Recent news about Amazon reviews here.
My quick thoughts:
Jeff Bezos and the gang are not playing around. This is a strong action taken against click farms and other gimmicks that have had Amazon’s review / marketing features in the news for all the wrong reasons. It was starting to appear to some indie authors as if Amazon did not care so much about review veracity as long as the money was flowing in for sales. This would seem to indicate Amazon cares a great deal about protecting the integrity of its brand.
Getting reviews just got harder. If you have books in Kindle Unlimited, this probably means that getting borrower reviews may be more difficult. I know of at least one regular indie reviewer who is on a fixed income (hence why he does KU). It sounds like this is $50 total lifetime, but still–it’s just another barrier to having, say, people who borrow a book from the library give an author good buzz.
Grudge Killers. While I’ve yet to annoy someone enough that they thought it was worthwhile to create 20 different accounts to one star me, I know of several authors who have. Amazon had previously had a “We have neither the time nor the energy to get involved…”-view of this. However, I think in part this is due to several prominent figures getting just avalanched by fake accounts when they publish a memoir. Regardless of the reasons for the beef, this should make it harder for crap like this to happen.
Overall I think it is a plus. We’ll see how it turns out.