It came to my attention over the past few weeks that Amazon has unfairly stripped and blocked probably between twenty and thirty reviews from all of my titles, most of which were stripped from my hopeful autobiography about life with schizophrenia: A Schizophrenic Will: A Story of Madness, A Story of Hope.
It says in the Amazon Terms of Service that family members and close friends cannot rate or review your books or items. Fine. That would account for at most five of the reviews. What is Amazon’s reasoning for taking off the other 25? “You know this person.” Is the refrain they keep repeating. For half of the reviews of which I was stripped, this is blatantly untrue. I never met, spoke with, or even interacted with them in any way shape or form. Then, the other twelve people? These are people who are sympathetic to my writings and, it seems, to my goal to get a positive story out there about someone who has made some refreshing lemonade from a life that offered him lemons. I have taken Amazon to the Better Business Bureau in California. This has resulted in little so far. I will pursue this matter of policy and law to its terminus. However, because of the lawyers that Amazon retains and its power, it seems that they can do as they wish with the reviews, and that most of the people who have reviewed my books do not have a right to comment one way or another on my writings.
This is the problem of monopoly. I once thought Amazon a benevolent giant. I am not under this illusion anymore after this abuse of power. Still, Amazon is the best and only place to sell books, as an author. Through Amazon, I have sold books and ranked highly in Mexico, Spain, Canada, Germany, Brazil, Japan, Australia, the UK, and of course the world’s biggest market for books, North America. Jeff Bezos, I must remind you, with great power comes great responsibility. Remember to use your business to empower indie authors and you cannot fail!