They are sort of topical, in that the OP is a writer and asking about something to do with a written work. They are questions with potential factual answers — either Amazon has X policy or it doesn't.

We are not Amazon, however, and while asking here may uncover someone who knows the answer, I wouldn't necessarily consider SE to be an expert opinion on Amazon.

And if Amazon doesn't have X policy, then these could quickly devolve into discussion questions and comparing experiences.

Mods, thoughts? Close? Ask OP to recast? I don't want to flag them because I'm not convinced the person's done something "wrong" per se.

  • 3
    Lauren, thanks for bringing this up. Also, please feel free to flag. A flag essentially tells mods and 10k+ users, "hey, have a look at this." Even if all that happens is that the flag handler leaves a note to the user, that's still a helpful flag. Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 4:30
  • ...although, since you see the flag queue, I can see how you might hesitate. Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 5:05
  • "Flag queue" meaning "you only have so many flags left"? Yes. What happens when I get to the end of that? (I'm reminded of an old George Carlin joke, but it involves one of the Seven Dirty Words, and I don't want to offend the mods. :) ) Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 11:22
  • The flag queue one of the moderator tools that high-rep users get access to. It's a list of flags that have come in and need to be handled. Users that have access should feel free to cast close votes, edit unclear questions, handle spam, or what have you. If you're not sure of what to do, you can always leave a note in chat. When there's a flag that needs to be handled, I think you'll see a number highlighted in yellow on the site header. (There aren't all that many on this site.) Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 17:43
  • Also, a correction: On beta sites like this, the equivalent rep requirement is 2k, not 10k. Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 17:47

1 Answer 1


These could be argued to be on-topic, since they're about self-publishing, but neither question is answerable or appropriate for this site. In my opinion, they should be closed.

Both of these questions are rants against Amazon. While I'd prefer to see the community close them, if community members had flagged these or voted to close, I'd cast the deciding votes with no hesitation. It's possible the Standback or Monica may see them and simply close them outright, and that would be fine.

Both questions seem to be essentially saying (1) User tried to review their own book and got caught (2) User can't find a policy explicitly forbidding this (3) User wants to know how to get away with this.

In my opinion, neither question is appropriate for a Stack Exchange site. I can't see how either could really be edited into a good question. If the poster wants answers, it'd be best to ask Amazon directly. If the poster wants to rant about how unfair Amazon is, I'm sure there are plenty of web forums that would work.

What in this review offended Amazon? Or are Amazon's rules just a tad different from their FAQ?

We're not Amazon, and this question is asking us to function as Amazon support.

Is there a way to review your own works at Amazon that won't be censored?

Again, this question is asking us to answer a question about the possibly ever-changing policies of Amazon. It also has considerable overlap with the first question - it's really just a rewrite with a different slant - and might even be able to be closed as a duplicate.

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    I agree with this answer. In the case of the second one the OP got an answer from Amazon (see the comment), so while that question might have been reworked into "how can an author add to the information at Amazon?", it wouldn't have been a strong question (ask them) and it's now moot. Based on the question and this answer, I'm going to close these. (They can always be reopened if the community feels differently.) Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 5:10
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    I'd like to emphasize that in general, questions about promoting one's work on Amazon, and using its toolbox and promotional options, seem firmly on-topic IMHO. These specific ones might have poorly written, but the topic in general can be valuable. @NeilFein, the "just ask Amazon" option exists, but I don't think any question that could be asked "directly" at Amazon need be off-topic; just commenting to clarify this.
    – Standback
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 20:59

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