Monday Musings: I’m Pissed, But What Else Is New…

Monday Musings III

Here we go again with this bullshit. What am I bitching about this time? Same thing I bitch about every few months or so, and that’s these baseless, shitty reviews that Amazon allows to be posted. Case in point:



This alone should be an automatic disqualification of this review. If Amazon has bots that can detect my expletives and deem them inappropriate for publishing, then why can’t they do the same for reviews that include trigger words and phrases like “did not/could not/would not finish reading” or ” I did not read the book”? Yes, I’ve contacted and called out Amazon on Twitter about this, and no, I have not received a formal response (big surprise there.)

Some of you may not know that my alternate moniker is Petty LaBelle. I checked out this chick’s review history and have deemed her a major troll. I have no tolerance for these kinds of “readers”. I’m done for now, but I have a message for her and all the other trolls:



31 thoughts on “Monday Musings: I’m Pissed, But What Else Is New…

  1. I have TWO product reviews Amazon has returned to me twice claiming they’re ‘inappropriate’. One’s a five-star, the other, a one-star. I’ve had half a dozen people read these reviews looking for the issues – and everyone is as confused as I am.

    Yet, mean, useless drivel like this broad’s is posted easily, and it will take an act of God to get it removed.

    If you didn’t READ the book, what is the point of posting? What? The author is going to read it and say, “Hannah doesn’t like ghosts stories, so I’ll never, ever, ever write another one!” Get over yourselves, people.

    Trolls and crack monkeys. We’re doomed.

  2. As I have said and will always say, “Amazon, thy name is whore.” This company that started years ago as a re-seller of used books has morphed into this don’t-give-a-shyte monster that doesn’t know how to act. And lets others come into its space and act the same way. Sorry, but Amazon will continue to let trolls run the show until it stops sucking on the teat of the money folk serve up. Until it gets penalized for refusing to sanction trolls, more of the same will continue.

    1. They definitey don’t care about authors or their ant-plagiarism software wouldn’t be so weak. And they wouldn’t make it so difficult to have a plagiarized book taken down.

  3. This is something that drives me crazy. How can it be possible to review a book you haven’t even read? It’s ludicrous and yet Amazon turns a blind eye to it. Goodreads is just as bad. I’ve had reviews from people who claim they haven’t read my books but heard they deal with infidelity and they don’t approve of that. It still makes me want to scream! If a person has NOT read the book, they should NOT write a review of it. It’s that simple. Grrr. Okay, end of my rant. 😉

  4. That’s just dumb! It’s beneath trolling. First of all, it’s not a review. She should be contacting the author directly if she has a request.

    I have to to tell you that I haven’t even published my first novel yet but I have been working on my branding and some marketing and I have already felt the shade. I really don’t get it. Criticism is one thing. Haterism….(yeah I said it!) is another thing entirely. It’s really disheartening.

      1. I will be in touch soon. I got stuck on my last few chapters. I will try to avoid the shade trees!

  5. Thank you for posting this. One of my readers alerted me that you had mentioned the unfortunate incident, and I use that term loosely. Unfortunately, even when something is blatantly unfair, it is often ignored if the ruling decision would be in the author’s favor. This is illogical. There are a number of issues that we face as authors, and the odd matrix of the review system is one of many. I should not have the privilege to leave a review for a vacuum I never purchased and used, for a lip stick I never bought and wore, nor for a book that I never downloaded and read. Thank you for your rant, sweetheart. 🙂 We need all the help we can get and being quiet about it sure doesn’t help, either.

    1. I always stick up for y’all when I see blatant fuckery. And while amazon affords the indie author this amazingly huge platform to showcase their work, it also leaves the door open for crap like this sadly. We gotchu.

  6. Hi Musings IRJ – I wanted to share with you Amazon’s response to my request that they take the baseless review/not review down. My argument was how is this a review when they have reviewed nothing. How will you survive is no one buys a thing and just reviews pictures instead of product. This review does not fall within your review policy. But they will track and tag a post supposedly from a friend of the author and refuse to post. They suck.

    Message From Customer Service

    I hope this email finds you well. This is Kath from the Communities team.

    I appreciate that you took the time to provide us with feedback regarding our moderation process. We welcome the diverse opinions of our customers because we believe the differing opinions lead to constructive and interesting discussions about our products and services.

    Due to the sheer volume of posts that we receive daily, we aren’t always able to catch everything right away. We rely on our Community to help notify us of any inappropriate or abusive comments by using the “report abuse” feature. This will help us know where to focus our efforts.

    However, I’ve read the review titled “I do not like reading about ghosts” for the book titled “Ghost Writer (Raven Maxim Book 1).” I understand your concerns, but the review doesn’t violate our posted guidelines, so I’m unable to remove it in its current format.

    We try to encourage our customers to give their honest opinions on our products while staying within our guidelines. As a retailer we are interested in cultivating a diversity of opinion on our products. Part of that is allowing our customers to air their honest thoughts on items they have received. Here’s a link to our guidelines for reference:

    We appreciate your understanding. We hope to see you again soon.

    We’d appreciate your feedback. Please use the links below to tell us about your experience today.

    Best regards,
    Kath A.

  7. I am Hannah that you are calling out and I also just so happen to be a subscriber to your blog, which I used to enjoy. First of all, I am not a troll. It is called an opinion. You are obviously the troll, since you are TROLLING through all my comments, which I have the right to leave, especially when I have bought a book. You have an open platform to give your opinion, in the name of this blog and as Amazon allows me to voice MY OPINION in the form of a comment, that is what I choose to do. Secondly, instead of going off for my comment, which I have every right to give, write them, as you obviously have, as you have nothing better to do.

    1. Can you justify rating a book only 2 stars when you admit that you haven’t even read it? How can you have an opinion on something that you know nothing about? Just because you don’t like the genre or subject matter, how does that qualify you to objectively review a book, which you again admitted that you haven’t read?

      And lastly, this is my blog and I can say or do whatever the hell I want, and that includes calling BULLSHIT when I see it. Deuces!

    2. Hello Hannah,
      I respect your opinion on whatever the subject matter is, and you’ve made your points quite clear, so I will dispense with the pleasantries. I understand that some people are leery of reading subject matter that they deem “objectionable”, “offensive” or downright “unnatural/taboo”. The great thing about one having reservations about material that you can’t relate to is that you can choose to read it or not. At the end of the day, you do have a choice in what you choose to allow your mind to wrap itself around. But, if you know that you have a conscious objection to this type of material, why condemn it when you didn’t even read the entire book? I think Ms. Laveen makes it very clear what her books are all about. She clearly knows that her writing style and subject matter is not for the faint of heart and definitely not for quite a few people, period. You had the option of returning it for a refund, exchanging it etc. But why write a bad review and give a bad rating based on your dislike of reading about ghosts because they are “something that you don’t play around with”? This book represents a labor of imagination, time, research, open-mindedness and yes pride and love by Ms. Laveen. This is her work. Now, I can see if you read the book and it didn’t make sense to you and it left you bewildered and just “beh”. Then by all means, without filleting the author or authors (who, surprise, have feelings too and are sensitive about their stuff) communicate your reasons for why the narrative didn’t sit well with you. But to just run rough-shod over a book you haven’t read and already formed a judgement on because of your dislike of ghostly stories, is really not on. Case in point. Let’s say you make a mean sweet potatoe pie (if you do, you already have a customer here!) and while selling your pie, you come across an individual who typically eats pumpkin pie. How would you feel if that person took a mere whiff of the sweet potatoe pie that could rival Pattie Labelle’s and then decides to tell everyone waiting in the line behind him that “ugh, I don’t like sweet potatoe pies, because I don’t mess around with yams and sweet potatoes – no I didn’t try it at all, I just knew coming in here I wasn’t going to like it, so everyone keep that in mind before you buy Hannah’s famous pies, because it’s got potatoes in it”! Now that would be crazy no? Indeed, it would. So, that being said, please think about the impact that this has on the author’s ratings. Me personally, I go by what my Mum and Grand mum say, “if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all”. Of course that is next to impossible for someone like me, but hey, I try to keep it respectful, instructive and insightful. Who knows, Ms. Laveen maybe would have reached out to you to talk about what irked you and what could have been written differently. She is very appreciative of feedback from her readers. She won’t always write what we all like. But being that voice that at least gives honest constructive feedback goes a long way Hannah. I do hope that you will continue to support Ms. Laveen and the countless authors like her that do have the guts to explore subject matter that until recently had been exclusively reserved for their non-ethnic counterparts. Thanks. Yema

  8. Yes I can justify it and so can Amazon. You are the one who is heated about it. I am not. And yes it is your blog, as I stated, so you can throw your baby fits when you want (or call BS as you would like to call it). However, I stand by what I said and there is nothing you can do about it.

    1. Damn right I’m heated because I care about what does and doesn’t qualify as a valid review. And your standing by a baseless review speaks volumes about your character more than all the fits I throw, and I’m sure authors and readers alike will take no value into your reviews now that you’ve shown us what you’re all about. You have a good day now as I don’t intend to engage you any further.

  9. This is the part of the Amazon policy where this non-review falls outside of guidelines. I blame Amazon they are totally at fault for this ” As a retailer we are interested in cultivating a diversity of opinion on our products. Part of that is allowing our customers to air their honest thoughts on items they have received.” However, this should not be designated a review, it is a hit job. As if indie IR authors don’t have enough problems with their products and having their voices heard. We continue to eat our own. Fail to support these women, in the name of what? Just drive by. Why say anything? Why stomp into someone’s workplace and declare in front of co-workers and potential clients, that their work sucks or you disagree on what they are making, and no no you don’t know how you do it, you don’t really know if it is good, but your opinion is my opinion, so there.

    1. Amazon is full of shit and always has been, but it’s particularly difficult for an indie author. And I agree, this review was personal and had nothing to do with the story, which she has repeatedly admitted in never reading.

      1. Agreed. But as long as we have voices like yours, we will continue to have these wonderful Authors’ backs in a meaningful way. Someday I pray, people will understand that we must band together and push them forward, hold them up, not join the lynch mob that is trying to shut them down.

  10. Thank you again. All I can add to this conversation is that I have no issue with a reader not wishing to delve in certain subject matters. That is one of the main reasons I give warnings before the book even begins – because we all have our personal preferences, and yes, opinions. If a reader wishes an author to write a different subject matter, that is their opinion as well, but what one must understand is that romance fiction is a personal expression. I can not ‘ghost write’ pardon the pun, for my readers alone. I have to write from the heart and express my art in the way I deem fit. Just as I do not have the right to go into someone’s job and tell them how to do it, tell a painter what to paint or a dancer how to move to the music, we as artists of the literary word and world, can not be dictated to on how to write. If a reader of mine that has supported me and been uplifting and positive wishes to contact me personally and express that they’d love more books about A,B, or C – then that is fine. It does not mean that I’ll do it, but I definitely respect a reader who enjoys my work, and would simply like to see more topics that appeal to them done in my style of writing. We have to treat people in the manner in which we’d want to be treated, be respectful and understand that these books that myself and my sister authors write are expressions of our imaginations. Not everything is for everyone – but you FIRST have to actually read a book to know that. Regardless, I ghost write for no one, but I love and appreciate my readers to the hilt, so I do attempt to not only write stories that I enjoy, but ones that they can enjoy as well. Be blessed.

  11. Wishes and wants are not what a reader should base a review on. I WISH some of my favorite authors could release a book a month and only write about subjects that I personally enjoy. That ain’t happened yet! I don’t WANT to read a book about people having sex with dinosaurs, yet there are people out there writing (and reading) those types of books. If a favorite author of mine wrote a story about a person getting busy with a T-Rex, I just wouldn’t buy it or REVIEW something that I have no interest in. Most responsible reviewers don’t even leave a star rating for books that they don’t finish, never mind one that they haven’t even read. The bottom line is that even though Hannah is apparently within her rights according to Amazon’s review policy to leave a review for a book that she hasn’t read, it is unfair to the author and other readers who are looking for a review based on an informed opinion after having consumed the product. I don’t think that her review will deter anyone from trying the book, it’s just annoying that it is allowed to stand when valid reviews are regularly removed because the are ‘questionable’. Oh, the glory of the ‘internets’…

  12. Most of the time, it feels like Amazon spends a lot of time policing the wrong reviewers :/ They’re quick to block a reader from reviewing if, that one time a decade ago, they “liked” an author’s pic on Facebook. Meanwhile… this.

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