Recently a client received an email from Amazon stating, “…Your account is related to accounts who have written reviews for books that you have a financial interest in, including books that you or your competitors publish. Our policies state that family members or close friends of sellers on Amazon may not write reviews for author’s items.”
We followed the link to Customer Reviews Guidelines Frequently Asked Questions from Authors:
The letter was specifically referring to this rule:
3. Can I ask my family to write a Customer Review for my book?
We don’t allow individuals who share a household with the author or close friends to write Customer Reviews for that author’s book. Customer Reviews provide unbiased product feedback from fellow shoppers and aren’t to be used as a promotional tool. Please refer to our Help Page for more details. Your family and friends are welcome to share their enthusiasm for your book through our Customer Discussions feature.
We suggest reading the Community Guidelines.
Just a heads up if you are wondering how Amazon would know – the author who received this email does not share the same last name as their family member, live in the same state, and the reviewer does benefits financially. Play it safe and don’t have close friends and family members write reviews for your books.