Short version: I agree with E.
Wood explained that [Amazon] should reinforced to prevent what HWA describes as inappropriate reviews, or those that
- indicate the customer has not read the book, but only a small portion of it, such as a free electronic sample.
- include spoilers that, once revealed, could significantly reduce interest in the work.
- include negative personal remarks about the author.
- are focused on the work’s price rather than its content.
Reading the sample: If I read the free Amazon-provided sample, and then decided, based on that content, that I do not then want to purchase the novel, that decision is review-worthy--especially if I explicitly state this fact, in order to be fair in my review.
Spoliers: I agree. But I have also recently read a publisher-written synopsis of a horror novel that contained a major plot spoiler--not a reader review, but a publisher-released synopsis. (American Gods)
Negative personal remarks: Granted, but how do you define "personal"? I recently wrote, about American Gods, the following:
...it feels like Gaiman trying to be King or Barker--it feels artificial and forced at times.
I do not mean this as a personally negative comment towards Neil Gaiman as a fellow human being. Neverwhere is one of my favorite novels, and Stardust and The Graveyard Book are magical. But American Gods did not feel like a Gaiman novel; it did feel as if he had been trying to write his own Talisman or Damnation Game. I make mistakes, and so does Neil Gaiman. Are we to be so careful with our precious authors that they are above criticism? Am I a "bully" because I feel American Gods is derivative? No, I am not.
Price: I have chosen to not buy ebooks because of an elevated price, and that is information that the market needs in order to thrive. If it hurts someone's feelings that I won't spend 12.00 USD on their ebook, then I am at a complete loss.
I have supported the horror genre for quite a long time; I created and moderated the email listserve grimoire, dedicated to the horror literature genre, for twelve years.
I agree that we should all be more civil to each other. But this includes authors' being civil and respectful of me, their reader. Call me a "bully", I don't feel like giving you my time, imagination, or money. That's not bullying; that's capitalism.