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Amazon reviews are they moderated by software?

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Here’s a very interesting email I received from my very good friend John, a person who’s knowledge I trust implicitly. He says,

Kathy,

I know you and I believe it when you say that what this book is important and that people should know about it. The sad thing is that I suspect that no human being at Amazon has yet read a single word you have written. I imagine, and look forward to being proved wrong, that your review was analysed by a bit of software which decided that your language sounded like a publisher/author marketing a book. In your writing you say little that is personal to you about the book: how much it has helped you, how it resonated with you, what bits you loved, how you wished there were more like it. What you do say is that everyone in a particular market sector should read it and then give an overview of the contents. It sounds like a sales pitch and that is, I suspect, how the software interpreted it. It can’t help that you (i.e. your name) is connected with self publishing and that this book is published, essentially by the author.

I doubt also that the reply you got to your email was anything other than automated: it ignored everything you said; perhaps your second email will push the system into a human dimension and you can get a dialogue going. I have no idea how closely Goodreads and Amazon’s systems have been integrated so I don’t know if your review will remain.
I hope it does because, like I say, if you say this book is important and should be noticed I believe you. Good luck with it.

Love, John

Typical of me, I have now read the first bit of this more closely and from my recollection, I was much more personal in my original (lost) review). In fact Lisa’s book The Brightness of Stars resonated for me quite deeply in parts. In my review on Goodreads I am far less revealing of my own feelings whilst reading the book. Probably because, as I have suggested, this is the 3rd time I have written it and the spontaneity and passion I felt immediately after reading the book is reduced, and of course overlayed with the anger I feel towards Amazon. However, I do believe what my friend has explained above.

My name is connected with self publishing only due to Jo’s (my daughter) work at Writer’s Block Admin Services and her
e Book Formatting
I am a mother, and mother’s support their children where they can, and following her and retweeting her stuff is how I do that. Jo also published Dad’s book Sojourn in Silesia, I am named as an editor. So, I can see how the software has made it’s arbitrary decision about me and the book by Lisa Cherry (that if I mention again, I might end up looking like I am invested in it in some other way, rather than it’s message).

I’ve just had a chat to John, he’s happy for me to share is suspicions. He’s says I do sound like I am promoting the book, well yes I AM, because I believe it is important and I feel passionately about the subject. It makes sense now that the 2 emails from Amazon are pretty impersonal, and of course they can’t answer my further questions as they’re not real people. I am hoping that if I contact Amazon again (and again) that eventually a real person will come along and see the mistake.

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About kathythesane

Lived in Kent, then Devon, now France. Trained as a Mental Health Nurse in Canterbury, then at Training South East (Sandhurst) in Transactional Analysis with Alice Stephenson (dec'd) , Suzanne Boyd and Mellie Lewin. Managed a Private Psychiatric Nursing Home for very mentally ill patients in Devon for 3 year before retiring to France in 2006.

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