I wanted to review a really hot book I read very recently, on Amazon, only to find I couldn’t, for a complex set of reasons. It’s bad news I think, for authors of erotica, although not disastrous.
The reasons I have had to stop reviewing books on Amazon is due to somewhat unusual circumstances. It won’t surprise anyone to know that “Selkie” is a pseudonym, or (for those who know me) that I’ve largely made the problem myself.
The root of the issue is that back when I started using Amazon (a lo-o-ong time ago), I didn’t partition my erotic purchases (which I consider private and personal) from my other purchases. By the time I created my Selkie Amazon account, I’d already bought something like 700 erotic ebooks. And since they’ve been purchased over many years, and my memory is imperfect, it would be easy to accidentally buy a book a second time, wasting money. So Amazon’s “Whoops, you’ve already bought that book” message has saved me on many occasions.
The trouble is, because some authors have been buying fake positive reviews for their books, Amazon have to work vigorously to try to weed out and discourage such deceptive practices. A recent change was to require reviewers to have purchased enough items from their Amazon account, to indicate they’re not just a “burner account” set up to enable fake reviewing. But because of the size of my erotic library on Kindle under my other account, I didn’t want to start buying books on my Selkie account. This means, though, that I’m now unable to write reviews on Amazon under my Selkie identity.
I had hoped that perhaps using the Amazon Household feature would be a way around that — perhaps allowing me to:
- transfer the books I’d bought, to that account (nope: for good reasons, which I understand)
- be given a warning that the Household had already bought the item (nope; but Amazon did at least take a suggestion to consider adding the feature)
If Amazon add that feature, then I could create a Household, and share all the erotica from my main account to my Selkie account, and be warned if I accidentally try to purchase a book a second time. It took an hour and a half of text chat with a very helpful and thorough Amazon representative (Hi, Eunice!), as we explored options, to discover there was no way I could review ebooks while meeting both Amazon’s and my own requirements.
So until I buy enough goods under this account, and risk buying multiple copies of older books by accident, I can’t review erotic books I’ve bought under my main account on Amazon. I could review them under my real name, but then my reviews are shown with that name along with the other reviews for that product, so I can’t achieve the privacy I want.
I do keep a list of all the books I’ve bought. But to check that list to avoid double purchases requires me to remember to do the check, and spend the necessary 30 seconds — in contrast to the near zero-effort of just clicking the Amazon “Buy” button. So I know it would occasionally fail, and that irks me enough that I don’t want to do it.
But at least I can still review on Goodreads, so I’m doing that! For example, here is the review that prompted this blog post: The Gender Experiment. If you share my kinky likes, you’ll be in for a substantial feast.