It’s been a long month.
Apart from the usual writerly stuff (you know, the stuff a writer thinks s/he’s going to be doing like… er… writing) authors across the world have been struggling with Amazon‘s widespread and apparently random deletion and blocking of reviews and trying to navigate the European Union’s new GDPR law.
I’ve been revising the first draft of my next novel, “Private Vices“, with the intention of publishing in late summer. I became distracted by thoughts of new adventures, so I had to roughly draft out a novella-length sequel to clear my head. I’m also running two sci-fi novellas past critique groups for publication over the next 12 months. Busy, busy.
So I did not need two huge, sprawling organizations subverting my efforts…
AMAZON: REVIEW MASSACRE
In an attempt to banish fake and paid-for reviews, Amazon has
set loose the dogs of war launched a Terminator-style set of automatic systems that are cutting swathes through valid reviews and blocking new ones – exclusively good ones. I lost most of my novels’ reviews and know of two genuine reviews that were blocked. I can’t tell how many others were blocked.
Authors worldwide are shrieking in pain… Okay, they’re pretty darned unhappy about it. Amazon seems uninterested in responding, let alone admitting fault and fixing the problem.
One author described it as lighting a candle with a flamethrower.
AND GDPR: DATA PRIVACY
“GDPR” means the Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the Processing of Personal Data and on the free movement of such data and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation).
Whew! (Takes a breath.)
They call it a regulation. In English, a potential fine of €20 million sounds a bit more serious than a regulation. And it’s why you’ve probably been receiving a million emails recently about privacy policies and asking you to confirm your subscriptions. Sadly, requests for confirmation are possibly in breach of GDPR. Advice differs.
Don’t blame the senders, blame the EU. Top-price consultants are giving different advice on compliance, so what chance does anyone have until there’s a knock on the door offering clarification in court? Some companies based outside the EU are saying they’ll stop doing business with EU residents to avoid the hassle. (Nice one, EU.)
Seriously, any informed comments are welcomed using the Feedback Form or to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy reading! (But don’t rely on reviews on Amazon to indicate a book’s quality any longer.)