Guild member and publisher Rick Lakin shared information he posted on his website regarding Amazon's revised review policy.
To Independent Authors on Amazon:
In October 2016 Amazon updated its policy for product reviews including books. Reviews that are posted in exchange for receipt of a product are, and always have been, prohibited by Amazon and by the Federal Trade Commission.
Recently, Amazon has been cracking down on clubs and groups that require compensation or product in exchange for reviews. For those who have an active social media presence, Amazon has been deleting Friends and Family reviews. On the other hand, I am not aware of a single review being deleted for any of the thirty-plus books I have published.
As a publisher, I recommend to my authors that they ask their reviewers to include the following statement somewhere in their review:
“I received a free/reduced price copy of this book with no obligation to post a review”
Therefore, it is ok to send an Advanced Review Copy (ARC), e-book or hardcopy to potential reviewers.
Here are the words from Amazon at the end of their latest policy update:
"The above changes will apply to product categories other than books. We will continue to allow the age-old practice of providing advance review copies of books."
As Indy publishers and authors, we are in a tough market with 1.3 million books published annually. Reviews are essential to the effective promotion of your books. Be aware of the guidelines but keep on sending those books to reviewers and colleagues in the community who can help you promote your books.
iCrew Digital Publishing