Thursday, March 10, 2011

Amazon is ticking me off

Just got an email from Amazon to my alter ego:

Many of your recent discussion board posts were found to be repeated posts that make the same point excessively. In order to facilitate customer participation in our discussion boards, we encourage them to discuss the topic and information related to it however, posts which are repeated will be removed.

If this continues, we'll remove your posting privileges from your account in accordance with our Conditions of Use. Please take a look at our guidelines before posting again.

Sometime in February, I posted a short promo for my latest book to three promo threads in different forums (romance, erotica, erotic romance). They've all been deleted as of today. I considered the matter, and then sent back a polite note to Amazon saying essentially that I have no desire to break Amazon's guidelines, but that my behavior is no different from many other authors, and that I needed clarification of exactly what I've done wrong that other authors haven't. I asked for very clear guidelines as to what I'd done wrong-- for example, I asked, may I only post a promo to one thread? Must the wording be changed? Must a certain number of days expire between postings? Is it more or less acceptable to create a separate thread for a book than to post to promo threads? And so forth and so on.

I also suggested, very obliquely, that perhaps they were singling me out either because I am writing erotic romance, or because I have a stalker or two reporting me repeatedly. I inquired as to whether they intended to remove all promotional threads, and if not, why other authors' repeated promos were being allowed to stand. I also assured them I would not post again until I got a clear and detailed explanation of how I should post in the future.

We'll see if I get any kind of coherent response. I think Amazon's policy on promo can be boiled down to, "Ignore it till someone complains, then delete and threaten." And that kind of sucks, and they really need to be called on it. But I don't imagine calling them on it will have any effect, nor make them feel compelled to really explain their policy.


  1. Oh wow. I hardly ever see a promo by you, so that's very scary. I haven't done many of those promo threads recently, but only because I wasn't sure any readers go to them. I'll be anxious to hear what Amazon says regarding the matter.

  2. I honestly think they only chastise someone when they get reports. But that could lead to all kinds of abuse-- suppose I decide I don't like Christian writers, for example, and organize a posse of friends to start reporting their promos? Could I get them all banned? I really don't like the way they do it, and I wish someone could get a firm, solid policy out of them so we didn't get threatened with losing our posting privileges while doing the same thing every other author on the threads is doing.