Skinny on Amazon Discussion Forums

Prior to May 2011, authors rubbed shoulders with readers on Amazon Discussion Forums. I liked this because I find it interesting to discover what readers have to say about books. In fact, I took their pet peeves to heart in many instances. Now, I ruthlessly scan my work for words and phrases that romance readers abhor or find laughable.

Unfortunately, some authors don't know how to socialize with readers. They created problems on these forums with their constant in-your-face advertisements for their books. This happened so much that readers became belligerent and abrasive to anyone they suspected was an author with an agenda.

So in May 2011, Amazon created Meet Our Authors Forum, a place where authors could congregate and talk about books.

Unfortunately, most of the discussion threads in MOA forums still amount to constant self-promotion. I'm an author, and I get tired of this too. If I go to a book discussion forum, then I'm there to talk about books I like, find out what other readers like, and get some insight into buying habits.

I don't necessarily mind if other authors post SHORT blurbs about their work. I do that too, but I try to limit it to a book link and a couple of sentences either about the book or a review quote.

Because I'm always looking for a good book, I don't even mind scanning through the discussion threads to pick out a short blurb about a book that might be worth my time. I NEVER stop and read multiple paragraphs about a book, or any quote where the author says something like: "this is the most wonderful book ever written" or "this is so much better than bestseller John Doe writes.


1. I don't have the time to read long blocks of text about a book. If you can't convey the essence of your book in 1 or 2 sentences, then you need to develop that skill.

2. Quotes not backed by a credible source -- even an Amazon Review quote is credible since it can be looked up -- are meaningless. Things an author says about his own book are nothing more than marketing copy, and that's not a credible review source.

3. I will never buy a book from an author who publicly disrespects another author. Writing karma is a bitch. Sling mud on another author in an open forum, and you'll end up muddied too.

Takeaway Truth

Writers, if you want to participate in a book discussion forum, then don't be a tool (of self-promotion) about it. Remember that the purpose of the forum is to discuss books -- all books, not just yours.


  1. Wise thoughts on this subject, Joan! I've never taken part in the Amazon forum discussions, but I've heard other authors express their frustration about similar things...
    Hope you're having a great week :).

  2. Excellent week, thank you. Hope yours is good too.

    I'm checking several Amazon forums to see if there are any I'd recommend. If I find something, I'll blog about it.