Wednesday, October 5, 2016

On Writing POVs, and Amazon's New Review Policy — IWSG (35)

The Internet, being a universe in its own right, is practically cluttered with all sorts of advice on everything and anything. So, you very well know that there are TONS of articles on writing, being an author, what you should and shouldn't do, blabblity blah, etc, and such. 

But things change. And there's no hard rule because everything is subjective. Speaking of, I—apparently—have some opinions of my own . . . and have made some contributions to the world of writing. I've also enjoyed some good advice written by an editor and have felt very opinionated on Amazon and its going ons.

I won't bore you with too many details, so I'll get to it:

If you've ever wondered about breaking writing rules and things we do to sabotage ourselves as writers, check these out: 3 Things Every Writer Should Stop Doing Immediately and 3 Rules to Break if You're a Writer

But those are just my POV on some things. For actual POV rules, allow me to send you to a fantastic series on them. Editor Lynda Dietz covers the important factors on Points of View Guidelines. There are three parts, all worth reading!

And AMAZON . . . well, they've changed their review policy again. The new rule states that a customer must spend at least fifty dollars using a valid credit or debit card before they’re allowed to leave a review. Prime subscriptions and promotional discounts don't qualify towards the $50.00 minimum—which probably isn’t fair as everyone looks to save money these days. Also, customers in the same household cannot submit a review for the same product, which does make sense.

Some of our fellow writers are upset about the change. It’s difficult to get our readers to leave a review as it is. But is this new rule really as negative as it sounds? When you think about the amount of scams and “fake accounts” leaving reviews, this might overall be a good move, and frankly a great attempt at leveling the playing field for all authors.

But anyway, here's an in-depth article on it: Amazon's New Review Policy's Impact of Authors

. . . and NOW onto the IWSG Question of the month: 

When do you know your story is ready?

I always find it easy to know when my book is ready.

Okay. Let's all laugh together now. If there's a writer out there who knows for sure their book is ready, I love AND hate them. It's not personal, though. Sort of.

As a "Chronic Rewriter" I truly never know how to decide a book is ready. I can always, and I do mean ALWAYS, find new (and old) things I could tweak. So, basically, it's more about deciding when to give up. 

Okay, that sounds terrible. But it's about admitting and accepting that the story has all the elements it needs and the writing is as it should be. Most importantly, that all my loose ends have been tied. And even more importantly, when my critique partners, betas, and the editor say, "For the love of God, woman, enough! It's done." THAT is how I know. 

I know. I'm not helpful at all when it comes to this. How bout you, though? How do you know when your story is ready?

This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hop.
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!  Posting is first Wednesday of every month. Click here for more info.


  1. What on earth??? I didn't know about this review policy change. $50??? Do they want to make it so no one can ever leave reviews? I don't get that at all.

  2. Lynda's posts on POV were really good.
    That's quite the change. I bet I lost some reviews in the process.

  3. I hadn't heard about that new review policy. Yikes!

  4. I give Amazon credit for trying to keep it fair. I had an email from a service offering to sell me five star reviews. (I didn't use it, of course!) So, I know that's a problem.

    I went with humor as my answer, because honestly, I agree with you- a story is never done. I simply move on when I get tired of tinkering with it.

  5. I didn't know about the new review policy either, Kathryn, yikes. I agree with you about the story never being done too. Anytime I think all the wrinkles are out, something else pops up, yikes.

  6. I know some reviews are fake or purchased, but the $50 rule seems to punish everyone.


  7. I heard a bit about the new rules at Amazon and I think I recall someone saying it wasn't as dire as it seemed. But I just woke up from a nap and can't remember exactly what they said. It was something along the lines of Amazon said it wouldn't affect books in some way. Sorry for being fuzzy headed about this.

  8. Just read "3 Rules to Break if You're a Writer" and enjoyed it immensely.

  9. I also heard it wouldn't be on books, but I could be wrong, maybe it is them backpedaling. It is one of those things though as indie authors we are always having to adapt.

    If there is a person who easily knows when their book is done, then they have been given a super power and I want to steal it like and evil villain.

  10. Thanks for the informative post. I had no idea about the change in review policy, but it does not seem fair at all.

  11. Didn't know about the Amazon rule change. Another one. Thanks for sharing. I'm never absolutely sure a story is done. Can't imagine anyone is. We just do our best.

  12. Hey, thanks for the promo! I love what you've been doing with all the writing rules and good advice, because it helps me as an editor as well.

    Amazon's rule . . . I spend so much there that I'm sure it wouldn't affect me, lol. But I sincerely hope it works to reduce the number of scam reviews while not discouraging honest ones.

    And I'm not even touching the portion about how to know your book is done. We could laugh for hours over the mere thought of it. XOXO

  13. Ah, so you're a chronic re-writer too, huh? I'm so bad I'm surprised I haven't re-written this comment three times.

    Also, that $50 rule seems a little strict. I mean, exactly how is that going to stop a bunch of friends and family from reviewing a book and just saying, "My son wrote this so I know it's great - 5 stars!" Hell, I saw a guy review his own book last month. He even said so in the review, and laughed that it was his personal account so he was allowed to do it. I'm pretty sure that $50 rule wouldn't do squat to people like him.

  14. I can see why Amazon has to get a handle on these reviews. If they have customers who are not happy after buying based on a bogus review, they're going to lose money. Can't have that happen.

  15. Huh. You know, the thing with Amazon's review policy, it changes so frequently you just have to wait a couple months. I've never had a problem posting reviews, but I know some people have. Which is sad. I guess that's what Goodreads is for, eh?

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