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Deleting Amazon reviews

I think I am going to delete all of the book reviews I have posted at Amazon.

There are several reasons for this. First off, my primary book review log is here on Livejournal. I mirror everything here (and a few from elsewhere) to LibraryThing and most of the more recent book reviews are also on GoodReads and, via Facebook, LivingSocial. Both of the latter have their downsides and irritations, but it is pretty easy to copy the reviews across.

I've put several dozen of my reviews on Amazon, but find the interface annoying; no markups or hyperlinks allowed, and the extra bother of thinking of a title for the piece after you have written it. In addition, the social interaction of Amazon reviews is markedly nastier than anywhere else where I have been publishing them. I do not think of myself as a particularly delicate flower, and have no objection to robust debate, but I am struck by the preponderance of negativity in the few comments my reviews there have attracted (a small symptom of a wider problem; there have been several much more dramatic and well-publicised instances of Amazon review meltdown). It's not a pleasant space for debate, and I don't really want my words adding to the vicious spiral.

On top of that is Amazon's unpleasant corporate behaviour. I have hinted it before, but I will say it directly now: I think the Kindle is a swindle. There are already cheaper and better electronic book readers out there, and in particular there are readers with a sane and sensible approach to digital rights management, which I translate into layman's terms as meaning that you actually own the book that you pay for. The recent spat between Amazon and MacMillan did no favours for either side, reputationally, but Amazon were the more obviously evil of the two companies.

I shall probably continue using Amazon, for purchases, because living where I do and reading what I do I have little option (and they do get very good marks for delivery). But I simply do not want my words on their site adding value to what they are doing, so I shall spend some time over the next few days clicking "delete" on my reviews - which will of course remain visible here and elsewhere, as described above.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
peteyoung
Feb. 9th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
I put the majority of my reviews up at my book blog Fictionstream and was recently considering adding them to Amazon, but Amazonfail has now turned me completely off that idea. Also I won't buy from Amazon direct, only from third party suppliers (though Amazon do take a commission), and have preferred to use The Book Depository for quite a while now.
nwhyte
Feb. 10th, 2010 06:51 am (UTC)
Thanks for the tip re The Book Depository; I shall give them a try.
saare_snowqueen
Feb. 10th, 2010 08:36 am (UTC)
I've been using the Book Depository for about half a year now and have been very happy with it. Cheryl Morgan of Clarkesworld has a good deal to say about Amazon issues in her blog.

http://www.cheryl-morgan.com/?p=7806&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CherylsMewsing

and

http://www.cheryl-morgan.com/?p=7835&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CherylsMewsing
nickbarnes
Feb. 10th, 2010 01:00 am (UTC)
The Kindle Swindle is symptomatic of a deep problem in American-style (which for some absurdly ahistorical reason we are supposed to call "Anglo-saxon") corporate culture. Amazon are hugely dominant in book retailing, so they are well-positioned to market an e-book reader. So far, so good. Then they can use this e-book reader to do an evil DRM thing, which may, in the short term, boost their profits. They choose to do so, although it harms their customers, and will very likely harm Amazon in the longer term.
- Why do they choose to do so?
- Why do the executives who make these choices keep their jobs?
(Anonymous)
Feb. 14th, 2010 11:04 am (UTC)
Deleting sane reviews hurts Amazon. But it hurts random internet readers more. I hope you reconsider.
nwhyte
Feb. 14th, 2010 12:28 pm (UTC)
Sorry. I have just deleted the last one. My reviews are freely available in at least five other places; I don't really want them adding to Amazon's corporate value.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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