Information requested

I have sent an email to Amazon, specifically to the KDP side of things, asking whether or not titles downloaded as part of the Kindle Unlimited program count as verified purchases. When KU first began, I asked the question and was told by one CSR that they did not and by another tat they did. I left it with that confusion because, at that time, it didn’t really matter. But with Amazon’s new ranking of reviews, it does come into play. So it is a question every author taking part in the program needs answered.

Like most authors, I would love to have more reviews for my books. But now, if I worry about my rankings (and I do, probably more than I should), I also have to worry about whether my reviews come from “verified purchasers” or not. The reason is Amazon’s new algorithm gives more ranking to reviews from those verified purchasers. More weight is given to reviews voted to be helpful and to newer reviews over older ones.

While I am glad to see the company doing something about the fake reviews and revenge reviews, they are making it more difficult in some ways for authors. I haven’t seen any real impact on my rankings yet from the new program but it will take time. Under normal circumstances, I’d not worry too much about how this change would impact me. Instead, I would sit back and wait, gathering my data so I could decide whether to stay in KDP Select or not.

However, this new ranking system goes into effect at the same time the new payout goes into effect for titles borrowed under either Kindle Unlimited or as part of the KDP Select program. That is a lot of change to have to deal with, especially when either could impact our bottom dollar. Having to worry about two issues at the same time is causing a lot of consternation among some indies.

I will update in a new post the response I get from Amazon. But, for now, I know that at least some of my reviews that came from folks who downloaded my work as part of the Kindle Unlimited program are not showing up as verified purchases. If Amazon were smart — and it usually is — it will amend the process so that books downloaded through KU, a subscription service, are listed as verified purchases. It will make a lot of folks happier, myself included.

CNET article on verified purchases and reviews

 

3 Comments

  1. If the KU reviews don’t matter, then I’m aggravated. I review the KU books I read, every single one, and I read them because they are in the KU program.
    Gonna write an email my ownself.

    1. As I said, I have had conflicting information about this. However, I know some of my reviews that do come from KU borrows aren’t listed as verified purchases and that is a problem, imo. You guys are paying your monthly fee — that means you purchased the right to read the book.

  2. That’s what I wrote in my email.
    BUT: This addresses a problem with having a single source distributor. What if they say “Bite me, you snarky little goof! You think yer measly $9.99 a month means you get to tell us what to do? We are freaken AMAZON!!!!!”
    And if they do….ummm, what do I do then? I ain’t gonna stop KU just because they are being mean to me. I didn’t sign up with KU because I wanted to be a member of a club. I signed up because I NEED the books, live on a fixed income, and have limited mobility. Where am I going to go?
    By the way: the only times in my life I WASN’T on a fixed income, I was in sales and on commissions, and I hated it. So, just sorta ignore the fixed income part of what I said.

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