Two different ‘Zon topics to touch upon today, the new KU/KOLL payment structure, and the ‘Zon’s sooper-seekret sawce algorithm review removal process for…reasons? (What reasons, apparently, we’re not allowed to know.)

New KU/KOLL Payment Structure

Hugh Howey (as always) does a great job with going through the points:


Susan Kay Quinn also dissects it:


Amazon Removing/Rejecting Reviews

Imy Santiago recounts her recent go-round with Amazon refusing to post one of her reviews (a legitimate one for something she purchased) and also refusing to state exactly why beyond they “thought” she knew the author:


Christoph Fischer wrote about bumping up against this a few weeks ago:


And we’re not talking purchased reviews, either, or review swapping, or fake reviews. We’re talking legitimate reviews getting removed/proactively prohibited without recourse.

I get it that the ‘Zon has a review problem. They always have. But there needs to be an appellate process in place or all they’ll do is piss people off. What if someone is a legitimate reader and fan of an author and has frequent interactions with them? Doesn’t mean their reviews are any less legitimate. Conversely, what if someone is a fan and posts a critical review? Does that review automatically get whacked, too, disallowing balance and truth in the review process?

I am not inclined to toss the “C” (censorship) word around because Amazon is a corporation, and as such is entitled to creating and enforcing whatever TOS they want within the realms of the law. “First amendment” and “censorship” arguments are technically only valid when speaking about government doing the censoring.

But it is…chilling. What if someone is a devout critic of the ‘Zon and their reviews then get cut for…reasons? With no clear explanation as to WHY.

In social networks, we can literally have “friends” who we have no clue who they are. We’re encouraged to add people by Facebook, Goodreads (owned by the ‘Zon), and Twitter, etc. Do those encouraged connections now count against us?

Who the fuck knows, because Amazon won’t at least do us the favor of TELLING us. Trade secrets, okay, fine, I GET it, but unless an author lives in a complete vacuum, they probably have some measure of a social media presence now. Even if they aren’t a Goodreads author, you might still be able to like and follow them/their books on GR if you’re a user. Does that mean you “know” them?

Who knows? The magic gravy is seeeeeeekret.

Come on, Amazon. Please, give us a CLUE.


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KU info and Amazon WTFery – Reviews rejected/removed?
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