Monday, 5 November 2012

News: Amazon Reviews, Book Pride and "It's NOT A Hobbit!"

Author Steve Weddle is "befuddled" over Amazon's removal of his positive review of another author's book, for which he makes no money.

Amazon's rationale? "We do not allow reviews on behalf of a person or company with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product. This includes authors, artists, publishers, manufacturers, or third-party merchants selling the product."

Weddle's befuddled, because he has no financial interests "in the product or a directly competing product". Also:

...what is this "directly competing product" stuff? I mean, if I were selling a rotary-enhanced-lippo-vac, I could understand if the nice people at Amazon did not want me reviewing someone else's rotary-enhanced-lippo-vac. That makes sense.

Point. But Weddle is not the only author whose Amazon book reviews have been deleted.

So this is how Bezos's jungle is responding to the sockpuppetry affecting its rankings and reviews system, hmm? What's frustrating, though, is that Amazon isn't, for the time being, telling people exactly why it's doing the stuff it does.

What with this and deleting or locking e-books in people's Kindles, small wonder Amazon-published books are still not welcome in some bookstores.

On a possibly related note: What's this with Twitter "withholding" tweets that may have infringed copyrights? Hope they know this may also affect the RTs on the platform.

Tolkien estate says prof - and everyone else - can't call Homo floresiensis a "hobbit"; Village Voice Media sues Yelp over generic phrase "best of"; and and William Faulkner estate sues over a paraphrased quote in the movie Midnight in Paris. Will bars and lounges be prohibited from selling the Vesper?

In other news:

  • RIP Elizabeth Kuanghu Chow a.k.a Han Suyin.
  • Elie Wiesel to write a book with Barack Obama?
  • Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick highlights what they feel is the problem with America's history books. Across the pond, a "spellcheck generation" can't spell simple words.
  • Isn't it just so Anthony Bourdain for his imprint's first book to be about meat?
  • Remarkable story about an author helping a Russian who's pirating his book. It's not Coelho...
  • Malaysian books as year-end presents? Why not? Except that this is more of a rant about why governments of some countries don't seem to be proud of their books and writers.
  • How not to write comics criticism. Points can apply - somewhat - to book criticism as well.
  • "If you loved Fifty Shades, you'll love this book." I scoffed at this blurb -or something like it - on the cover of Sylvia Day's Bared to You. Still scoffing, just because. La la la la la not reading you....
  • Will this court case affect how former college students dispose of their textbooks?
  • Writing a book? Here's three things that should go into a book's first page.
  • E-devices, it seems, are changing how - and what - we read.
  • Ian McEwan praises the novella. Are we looking at an upcoming trend?
  • Are bad books better than no books? No. Because there's always the Internet. Or fresh air. Or coffee bars. Or bookstores. Or Ramly burger stands. Or...


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