Friday, August 31, 2018


Book Lovers Take Note!
Inspirational Verse for Those Who Hunger and Thirst [A Book of Poems to Feed the Soul] E-Book will be FREE via Amazon Kindle download this Saturday, Sept. 1 and Sunday, Sept. 2, and Saturday, Sept. 8 and Sunday, Sept. 9. You don't need a Kindle to download. Hooray!

Soul Food for the Soul
By God’s grace, I regained my appetite for the wisdom I received from my grandmother and my mother who taught me about life and introduced me to Christianity while serving up savory dishes of fried corn, okra, green tomatoes, and collard greens smothered in Deep South Chow Chow Relish, along with bone-chewing fried chicken.—Artemis Craig

 Inspirational Verse for Those Who Hunger and Thirst
 [A Book of Poems to Feed the Soul]
Author: Artemis Craig
Publisher: Artemis Craig Publishing (Nov. 6, 2013
Genre: Inspirational and Religious Poetry
Paperback: $15.00   Pages: 64
Amazon: Paperback Link
ISBN-13: 978-0989087605                  
Kindle: E-Book Link
Author Website:
Publicist: Marlan Warren  Phone: (323) 286-5582  


Inspirational Verse for Those Who Hunger and Thirst takes us on Artemis Craig’s firewalk from spiritual bankruptcy to redemption via compelling, heartfelt poetry and prose. Through the power of Faith, Poetry, and Love, she finds the strength to cope with Hollywood “failure”; devastating family losses; homelessness; single parenthood; attempted suicide and breakdowns. Her poems honor and reflect “the strong women of God” who wanted her to be saved, and serve as a testament to her “Never Surrender” determination.

Praise for Inspirational Verse for Those Who Hunger and Thirst

Artemis Craig has risen out of the ashes of Hollywood as an evangelical poet who has walked through fire, and lived to tell her story. ̶ ̶  Midwest Book Review

Her poems are like devotions. Artemis Craig takes us on a journey through her darkest moments, becoming very transparent about her suicide attempts, depression and hopelessness . . . and Hope.  ̶ ̶  Ellen Sudderth, ESP Literary Podcast

About the Author
Artemis Craig was born in rural Birmingham, Alabama to a steelworker father and educator mother. She graduated with a BFA in Film Writing Cinema/TV from USC. Artemis is the mother of one son, Roderic, who is her inspiration. She is a member of the Gifts of a Wordsmith group and performs at the Carver Theater’s “On Stage” showcase. She is finishing her second poetry book, Southern Fried Comfort Food: Recipes to Encourage the Soul, and her first novel, A Little Taste of Death, a sci-fi murder mystery. She divides her time between Birmingham, Alabama and Newport News, Virginia.

Friday, August 17, 2018


Update: Since I posted this all over my social media, Amazon has notified me that they have "reviewed" my reviews and decided they were Kosher enough to put back. But stay woke!

Check your book's Amazon site. Amazon is banning reviews left and right, often for no good reason.

All the reviews I wrote on Amazon have been removed. No notice. I only found out when I tried to post a negative review for defective merchandise I received yesterday, telling me that my reviews are no longer welcome on Amazon. Next, an author contacted me to say that my review disappeared from their book's Amazon page.

I have a strict honesty policy. If I don't like a book, I don't review it. Period. And when I review, I'm careful to include either a quote or items that clearly reflect that I've read and considered the book.

Right now there's a sweeping Amazon policy that will affect all of your book reviews on Amazon. Some of things to be aware of, as far as their bots are concerned:

1. If there's an indication that the reviewer and author know each other, the review can be removed.
2. If you say you received a complimentary copy, the review can be removed.
3. If 5-6 reviewers post in the same day, all those reviews can be removed. 

("Andddd...YOU'RE OUT!")

I'm not that worried. I still review for Midwest Book Review which has an excellent reputation and I'm honored to have a review "shelf" with them. And my reviews can still be found on Roadmap Girl's Book Buzz and L.A. Now & Twitter, Facebook, etc.

By Nate Hoffelder

Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader

Amazon has been fighting fake reviews since at least 2012. They have deleted scads of reviews, banned paid reviews, filed suit against several batches of fake review perpetrators, and even forbidden authors from having any type of relationship with reviewers.
And it's still not enough. Fake reviews are still being posted, mostly due to an underlying problem.
Buzzfeed published a story earlier this week that delved into the dark underbelly of the paid review ecosystem that has sprung up to manipulate rankings on Amazon. This massive system continues to operate despite Amazon's best efforts:

The systems that create fraudulent reviews are a complicated web of subreddits, invite-only Slack channels, private Discord servers, and closed Facebook groups, but the incentives are simple: Being a five-star product is crucial to selling inventory at scale in Amazon’s intensely competitive marketplace — so crucial that merchants are willing to pay thousands of people to review their products positively.

To be fair, Amazon isn't the only retailer with a fake review problem; earlier this week Valve announced it had permanently banned a game developer from the Steam marketplace after finding out that developer's employee had posted fake reviews.

This problem exists in all marketplaces, and not just Amazon, but Amazon is the only retailer who has a reputation for banning innocent reviewers, thereby punishing innocent authors.
Right about the time that Buzzfeed was publishing its article, I was reading FB post after FB post from authors whose reviewers were getting banned from posting reviews.

Elena Page wrote about how she lost one of her first fans: "Amazon emailed her last week and accused her of leaving biased reviews on Amazon. She was banned from ever leaving reviews on Amazon again, and told she was not allowed to argue her case or refute the claim in any way. All the reviews she’s ever left, have been removed."

Other authors chimed in with similar reports, including one who noted that their books had lost most of the reviews even though none of the reviews were fraudulent.

Amazon has an automation problem. This company uses bots to run almost every aspect of the Kindle Store from detecting fake reviews to checking the formatting in ebooks and finding fraud in Kindle Unlimited, but the bots don't work very well. This leads to situations where innocent authors are punished because Amazon's bots think the authors are scamming Kindle Unlimited while the actual scammers continue to operate at a massive scale.

The under-performing bots are also in part to blame for the ongoing problem with fake reviews on

The simple fact is Amazon can't tell which reviews are fake, and which are forbidden by policy, and they're not the only ones.

A lot of the recent stories about fake reviews, including the Washington Post article from last month and Buzzfeed's piece, have relied on a company called ReviewMeta. This one of two startups that have developed algorithms to detect fake reviews. The other is called Fakespot, which has its own algorithms that work in essentially the same way.

These two companies will tell you that they can identify which reviews are fake with a high degree of certainty, but the thing is, they rarely agree and that raises serious questions as to their accuracy.
After the Washington Post reported on the fake review problem last month, David Gaughran followed up with a post that pointed out how ReviewMeta falsely labeled his books as having fake reviews.
Okay, this doesn’t look good. And if you look down the page it shows each of the products they have assessed that led to this overall brand trustworthiness score. You can see many of my books have “failed” in the eyes of ReviewMeta and “Unnatural reviews detected” has been appended to several of my books. Crikey.

You can click on each product and see how it came to that determination, and the supposed evidence for each component of that decision. Again, I stress, this transparency is truly commendable.
But this breakdown also reveals the faulty assumptions that led to these incorrect determinations about my reviews. And it’s not just my reviews, of course. These simplistic calculations affect most authors. (You can search for your own books here.)

You can find ReviewMeta's analysis of David here. While you are at it, you might also want to take a look at Fakespot's analysis.

The thing about these two companies is that they identified some of David's books as having fake reviews, but not all. The other thing about these two companies is that they didn't agree on which books had fake reviews.

One thought Let's Get Digital was tainted, while the other passed the book. The same goes for Liberty Boy, and other titles.

The disputed analyses call into question the very idea that fake reviews can be identified by algorithms. As David put it:

The sad thing about all of this is that Amazon does have a fake review problem, one which is compounded by Amazon deploying a fake review detection algorithm that seems about as accurate as the one from ReviewMeta, perhaps for similar reasons too. Which means that authors innocent of any wrongdoing get genuine, organic reviews from bona fide reviewers removed every day and the scammers and cheaters with fake reviews keep getting away with it.

This problem is only going to get worse before it gets better.