Basically, Amazon views authors as in direct competition with each other so they do not allow them to review for one another. Honestly, this isn't something I usually think much about, but I do know the practice of leaving good and bad reviews has gotten a lot of chatter in recent months, and that at certain points the discussions have gotten quite ugly. Again, I just never thought much about it and have steered clear of all the nastiness, but I admit to being quite curious as to whether this is something we as readers should care about.
I've always thought that if an author blurbed or reviewed a book it meant that the author in question had read said book and in doing so had generated a genuine opinion one way or another as to whether the book was good or bad, but I wasn't ignorant to the fact that many times they authors might be friends. It makes sense, right? You share important things with your friends. You expect your friends to tell you the truth and not let you make a fool of yourself. You ask for honest feedback from your friends. Why should authors be any different? Wouldn't something like this be considered a peer review? Why would Amazon expect authors to avoid recommending books to fellow readers? Now, I actually like when an author I respect and admire shares their current reading lists (or playlists, or shopping finds) because often times it leads me to discover new things. Besides, if an author takes the time out of their busy schedule to talk about a book they've read then it might be worth listening, just like when a reader takes time. Do I base my purchases off author recommendations? Not hardly. Overall, it just doesn't seem like something Amazon should police, at least in regards to books, and in my mind they should worry more about all the fake profiles people create because that's just shady as hell.
So, what do you think: Should Amazon allow authors to review each others books or should that be considered a violation of a direct competition rule? Leave a comment and I might just send you a book from my stash of reviewed books!