Seeing Amazon reviews disappearing is a pretty consistent problem for most authors, in fact some of my older blogs posts addressing this issue are some of our most popular posts, overall.
This tells me that despite Amazon pulling back on being so aggressive with their review pulls, many authors still wrestle with this.
So, if you’ve noticed Amazon reviews disappearing, these tips may help you deal with it. Keep in mind that if this is impacting your book regularly, there may be a broader issue with the book, and I’ll address that as well.
Preserve What You’ve Already Got
Here’s the scenario… you’ve got a dozen new reviews and suddenly half of them are missing. What do you do? My suggestion is to keep a close eye on new reviews as they pop up and there’s an easy way to do this (especially if you have multiple books).
Just access the “Customer Reviews” on the back-end of your Author Central page on Amazon – that tab will show you all reviews, across all of your books. You can easily screengrab this page regularly and note when reviews are missing.
How does this help you? Well, when reviews get pulled, you have the actual review which you can then repost to the “reviews” tab under each specific book in Author Central. Yes, you’ll still lose the review on Amazon, but you’ve at least preserved it to add to your book page.
I do this regularly: once a week if I’m in between book releases, and more frequently if I’m on top of a new book release.
Sometimes Amazon has a Glitch
Though Amazon would never admit this outright, their website isn’t perfect. Glitches happen all the time. It’s understandable with a site that enormous.
The same is true for book reviews. In fact, just last week I had three separate people tell me they noticed their Amazon reviews disappearing (they had emailed me to ask why this would happen) – the interesting piece was that it was for a different book.
The only unifying factor was that the reviews were all posted around the same time. So, I emailed each of them back and told them to try and repost the review, two of them did and the reviews have gone live.
All of this to say that if you experience Amazon reviews disappearing (and you have the screen capture mentioned above to verify this), you might want to write to Amazon to see what’s going on. Or tee up a call with them via the Help button in Author Central.
I find that if you’re reasonable, polite and patient, Amazon will gladly help you. I’ve contacted them for all sorts of issues and gotten assistance.
One thing I will say is don’t be emotional. I know it’s hard when your book is losing reviews, so you may want to give it a day or two before you tee up a help email.
But if you can do so professionally, engaging in a conversation with Amazon could be really helpful. In some cases, you may find it was a random glitch – I’ve actually known authors to inquire about missing reviews on Amazon, and then get them all back. So, it’s worth a shot if you feel like the reviews you lost were from credible sources.
Keep Pushing for Reviews
Okay maybe this sounds obvious, but a lot of times what happens is authors (at some point) stop pushing their readers for reviews. You can’t replace reviews you’ve lost – and even if you are one of the lucky ones and are never missing a single review, you’d like to keep adding to the number of reviews on Amazon, yes?
There are a couple of quick ways to do this, the first is the Dear Reader letter in the back of the book. I’ve addressed this in previous blog posts, so I’ll add a link to it in the resources at the bottom.
The second is just ask for reviews. If you have a mailing list, and even if you don’t, asking for reader reviews is something authors so rarely do.
Those that do ask, reap the benefits. If you don’t have a mailing list, consider putting out the ask on social media, but do so in a way that makes your reader feel like they’re truly helping you.
Remind them how helpful reviews are to the buying process, how their voice matters – how their input (good or bad) could help to persuade a buy. Remember, never ask for five-star reviews, just an honest assessment of your book.
The issue of Amazon reviews disappearing is a tough and ongoing one, and often it doesn’t seem like a fair fight. I’ve seen products on Amazon with a crazy number of extremely similar reviews – in one case all the reviews had the exact same verbiage and were all left up on the product page.
But sadly, it’s part of doing business on Amazon, which is why I suggest the simple, but powerful tips in this piece to keep policing your reviews, keep getting new ones, and take your issues to Amazon, if you feel there’s been an error.
Resources and Free Downloads
Add Reviews with Dear Reader Letters
5 Ways to (Still) Sell More Books in 2020
Get a Custom Marketing Assessment and Personalized Recommendations
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Great info about replacing the reviews. In the past, some of mine have been removed, but then later, they show up again! It’s crazy. I really need to pay more attention. Your info will help. Now, all I have to do is make myself do it!!
Ann, glad I could help! Thanks!