Amazon dictates

So let’s get this straight. In the real world, you buy something online, and then, when it arrives and you’ve tried it out, you can leave a comment. Amazon doesn’t operate like that. It’s too far away from Common Sense. If you buy a book from Amazon, read it and then write a review, a whole cabal of apparatchiks will review your review, and then decide if it’s worth publishing. In the last fortnight, I have written 3 reviews of the e-books I’ve bought from Amazon Kindle, and the socialists at Amazon have refused to publish any of them.

So, what’s the reason? I mean, there must be a reason, right? Wrong. It’s not as simple as that. The Amazon secret police won’t say which law you have transgressed. Instead, they send a list of 7 or 8 things that you ‘might’ have done wrong. Oh, I get it – they don’t want to commit themselves. Maybe they think we will sue! Or maybe, they really aren’t sure of themselves, and don’t want to put their judgements down on paper in case we see through their completely illogical and arbitrary declarations. After all, if it’s only 8, they could produce a form and let the person doing the judging tick a box, right? Easy. Too easy. It’s just like the Wizard of Oz. The skinny people at Amazon think that if they stay behind the curtain and shout, they’ll retain their mystique and power. Wow, they must have learnt that one from Joe Stalin.

There must be some kind of way out of here – Ah, yes, and now I’ve found it. It comes in the form of a new website called ‘Bookshop.org’. They’ve organised local bricks and mortar bookstores into a list. All you have to do is go to http://www.Bookshop.org, pick the book you want, then choose a bookstore near you and they’ll order the book for you, through that store. It covers the country, so there’s no shortage of choice. Why not? Amazon, being the biggest, (if not the best), have just shot themselves in the foot, yet again. By playing all cloak and dagger with reviews – setting conditions, not applying them consistently and failing to communicate (the thing they’ve always done best) – then people like me are going to be out there looking for an alternative. Sorry, Auntie Amazon, but if you insist on acting like Big Brother, then you’re going to lose customers. It’s only logical.

Author Mike shelters from the storm

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