From time to time I take part in a Goodreads review round. The idea is that ten authors each offer a book to be reviewed. Four of the ten then review that book, within a set time. Within the round none of the ten has his or her book reviewed by someone whose book he or she is reviewing. Participants are supposed to inform the moderators if they have previously reviewed a book by another of the authors taking part. This enables the moderator to ensure that neither is assigned to review the other’s book.
It now appears, however, that the rule applies across all previous review groups. You are supposed to check all the reviews you have ever received. If one of them was from an author participating in this round, however long ago, then you should be aware that you are banned from posting a review of any of his or her books, on Goodreads or Amazon, ever
It just happened to me. I was assigned to read and review a book by an author who reviewed one of mine back in 2018. The Goodreads police spotted this and informed me that I may not review her book.
Well, I’m sorry Goodreads, but I will review that book – but not post the review on Goodreads. Instead it will appear on my blog and be shared as widely as possible. That of course includes, indirectly, both Goodreads and Amazon because my blog is shared there.
I have to say I classify this rule alongside the steaming pile the creature on the left is likely to leave behind him. In the world outside of Amazon, in the world of traditional publishing, authors review each other’s books all the time. Those reviews are published in all the quality newspapers and magazines. No-one sees anything wrong with that. In fact, praise from one’s peers is valued in most walks of life. Why does Amazon dictate that self-and indie published authors are in some way immoral or unethical in doing so? (In case you were unaware, Goodreads is owned by Amazon.)
Why is a review by author ‘A’ deemed suspect simply because one of author ‘A”s books was reviewed by the author of the book being reviewed 2 1/2 years ago? More suspect than a paid for review from an organisation like Kirkus?
I can easily see, now, why so many of my fellow self-published authors are distrustful of Goodreads. And the irony of all this is that Amazon are constantly pestering me to post reviews of the books I purchase there! In that instance they don’t seem to care that the author might have reviewed one of my books in the past.
I know that a number of self- and indie published authors follow my blog. Have you come across this stupid and arbitrary rule? Let me know, in the comments, what you think.