If you are an author and you are in the habit of reviewing other authors on Amazon, beware. It is against official policy and it can cause you all kinds of grief.
I was not aware of this rule until I inadvertently broke it and was reported. I am not an author, I am an editor, but I am considered to be benefiting from book sales, although my own paycheque/paycheck does not increase one iota. I told the truth, I reviewed the work honestly, and I refused to review dozens more books than I penned a review for, none of which matters to Amazon. I always used my own name and never attempted to deceive. Doesn’t matter.
Even big names selling of millions of books, John Locke being one of them, has been caught using pseudonyms [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudonym A pseudonym is a name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differs from his or her original or true name (orthonym)] to write themselves glowing reviews while trashing the competition. (There is some doubt that this works, and may work in the favour/favor of the maligned author. See quote below.)
We are not talking about fraud and deceit here, we are discussing people writing honest reviews of other books.
Even if you are not an author or editor if you are asked to write a review be careful not to allow yourself to be influenced to increase the star rating at the request of the author. That clearly is fraud.
We are at the point where all reviews are suspect in many ways, which is a sad state of affairs and only increases the degree of the angle on the slope Indie authors are struggling to ascend.
Interesting and revealing on this subject:
I would be for winnowing out the five-star reviews by sock puppets and writer friends (though arguably the latter is basically what most book blurbs are these days) IF Amazon was also removing one-star reviews from jealous and spiteful competitors. That would even things out. As it is, things are in favor of underhanded competitors now who don’t understand that sales of competitive books often boosts the sales of similar books as readers get hooked on a subject and look for other titles on the same subject or in the same genre. Sadly many in publishing operate on the notion that there is a limited readership, when in fact Amazon is giving us a worldwide reach into markets most of us never even dreamed of reaching before. . ~ Author Duncan Long https://www.facebook.com/DuncanLongIllustrator