Online book seller Amazon has taken down an ebook which dishes the dirt on its best seller ranking system.
The Day the Kindle Died, detailed a six-month investigative effort to document how it was possible to get into Amazon’s best-seller list by faking reviews, promotes inaccurate sales ranking and bestseller lists.
The book was penned by Thomas Hertog who told us that he came up with a cunning plan when he was trying to flog his financial advice book called Wealth Hazards.
As we pointed out before Christmas over five months all he had to do was buy and download his book to his Kindle 173 times. He has also written 42 customer reviews that he voted on one hundred and eight times to raise the ranking on Amazon’s bestseller list and recommendation lists.
However it seems that Amazon reads TechEye and decided that having Hertog’s book on its lists was a little embarrassing. He dropped us a line this morning saying that Amazon had taken the book down.
Hertog points out that Amazon has gone on record as saying that it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because “we or others” believe their message is objectionable”.
It has used this rationale to defend selling some books which are fairly close to the bone and is something anyone who does not like book burnings can only applaud.
However, on December 31 it seems that anti-censorship line did not apply to books which slagged off Amazon as it was taken down.
Hertog wondered if Amazon has a double-standard or feared the truth about its best seller rankings getting out
“No one knows yet as they remain silent hoping their actions won’t be noticed. The book’s final chapter is aptly titled – Even Great Companies Make Mistakes – it asks Amazon CEO & Founder Jeff Bezos to fix what’s wrong at Amazon. Apparently the fix is to kill the message and the messenger,” he said.
Amazon has not said why it has chosen to censor the book.