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Dealing with Negative Reviews on Amazon

Dealing with Negative Reviews on Amazon

Can you get rid of a negative review on Amazon?

Common question.

I have a client named Rudy Mazzocchi, who recently wrote a medical thriller titled Equity of Evil published by Twilight Times Books and shepherded by the incredible Lida Quillen.

To date he has received 83 Amazon reviews, 78 five star reviews, two four star reviews, and 3 one star reviews.

One of the one star reviews in particular was very negative and raised doubts that the number of five star reviews was honestly and
ethically acquired. Amazon wouldn’t deem the comment inappropriate so Rudy exercised the comment option on the review and wrote the following:

> Hey Neil,
> Thought you would be interested in the most recent 3-4 reviews since your posted review on AMAZON. My publicist and Literary Agent investigated all of my 75 5-star reviews for an upcoming interview with the NY Times and discovered that 51 of them came from professional book reviewers. They are attempting to get your review REMOVED from Amazon and to warn other authors. Did you really dislike this story that much?

> Ironically, I’ve received dozens of emails from readers in response to your review telling me that this was a “jealous competitive author” that I should not worry about it. I respect all reviews (and want to establish strong reader support) since this is the first of a trilogy called “The EQUITY Series”. I urge you to reconsider your review, but respect your opinion. I’m in the process of signing a movie deal that they believe could equal “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”.


You can read the details if you wish on Amazon here:

Equity of Evil Kindle edition

So my advice when you receive a negative comment is to:

1. Study it carefully, get what you can out of it.

2. Study the reviewer and commenter profile and his or her history of commenting on Amazon, to ascertain their sincerity, authenticity and veracity.

3. Do your best (e.g., active marketing and PR outreach that specifically asks people to post their comments to Amazon so that a. you get the benefits and b. overwhelm the negatives with positives), particularly with comments from people in your target pool that are specific, that explain specifically what you do that turns them on, and communicate clearly the sincere heartfelt value they experienced.

4. Explore the possibility of having the comment declared inappropriate and expunged from the Amazon record. And if that doesn’t work, then…

5. Comment back to the author comment directly on Amazon (and ask or request others do so as well) and make sure the response comments are written coolly, calmly, personally, professionally, and in a manner carries the dialog forward, openly acknowledges and address the issues you wish to discuss, and that allows you and others to see the big picture, capture and occupy the moral high ground, and view the commenter as questionable, biased, conflicted, and generally out to lunch.

This not only gives you the opportunity to show the Amazon users that you are in command, but you also get to add even more value and persuasive force to what prospective readers see when they come to the Amazon pages.

Make every word count. Think three steps ahead. Be assertive and act with power and style.

Use the negative review as an opportunity to turn a lemon into lemonade.

It may actually increase your sales.

Can you get a negative review removed? Probably not. It depends on whether you can persuade Amazon that an abuse policy was indeed violated.

There is a button on Amazon reviews that opens up a form that allows you to describe the problems you have with a review. You can read about how they want you to address these issues in their “Managing Reviews” section. Here’s the link:

That said, Amazon refuses to remove reviews just because they are bad in the authors opinion. If they go to the writing or the merits of the writing, then they won’t honor the request for removal.

You have to give them evidence of abuse as it is defined in their policy. You submit your complaint through their customer service.

Posted on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 at 9:23 am In
action, Amazon, book reviewers, book reviews