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It happened again. A friend left a beautiful and succinct review of The Coffee Prince, and it disappeared. I only had two reviews of The Coffee Prince on Amazon, and now there is only one. This may not be very significant in the scheme of the universe, but if you’re a newbie writer, any good reviews taken away by the gods of Amazon and Goodreads are a loss.

Every writer needs good reviews. We hope for them, pray for them, just a few words of encouragement. Then the reviews police take them away because of personal relationships with the writer, or a shared email, or some mystifying quotient. This wouldn’t be so ironic if I didn’t know fellow authors who have suffered abusive or ridiculous mean comments. Like one star along with the statement “I haven’t read it,” that Amazon allows to remain.

Or trolls that attacked a Sandy Hook parent writing about the loss of her child in that massacre.

Amazon and Goodreads don’t protect us from trolls or stupidity, but they do remove perfectly good and honest reviews. Or the remarks of reviewers who thought an RWA bestselling novelist’s 1980’s novel, wasn’t sexy enough and went after her with sharpened claws.

I’m not one of those people who paid a “reviewer” from Fiverr to write and post reviews of my work, but a schmo who had two reviews. Now one.

Here’s what I suggest: if you have a personal relationship with a writer, avoid Goodreads or Amazon, and post a short review on the writer’s website or Facebook page. Tell them they can use it. God knows they appreciate reviews and treasure every one.

Thanks, and now I’ll get off my soapbox.