Not that tipping point where a hobby becomes a paying profession or a profitable business.
That tipping point where the profitable business becomes a huge, multi-national conglomerate that no longer gives a flying fuck about customer service, or promoting and helping small businesses or independent artists and writers but instead chooses to exploit them at every opportunity, while blocking them from upward mobility or significant growth.
Recently all of my reviews were removed, with no notice, and no explanation. I am now blocked from reviewing.
Now, personally, I don't really care. But it is annoying. I know that I am an honest reviewer. I tried trading reviews once and the books I got to review were so hideously bad I could barely find anything about them to praise. I mean, really, terrible. Minutes of my life I'll never get back. And that was the end of that - about 3 books in as I recall. A lot of people email me and ask me to review books, and I don't generally do that either because...well... yeah, they are usually pretty bad for the most part. I've gotten a few free books for review, and products, too. I've always posted (if I remember, because I get a lot of books one way or another) that the book or product was free or discounted for review.
I don't KNOW, because Amazon will not tell me, why I was banned. But I THINK it is because I did a glowing review of a book I really loved. The author contacted me and thanked me and said, "Hey, I have a new book, you wanna read it? I'll send you a free one." Well, duh, I said YES. I really liked the new book, too, and I wrote another glowing review. Now, this is actually the second or third time this sequence of events has happened with different authors. So I'm not sure, again, because Amazon won't tell me. But it's the only thing I can think of that could have suddenly triggered this. I haven't asked for or accepted a free product or book (other than the one I just mentioned) in probably nearly a year or more. I have posted a few reviews recently, all good - so I guess they could just hate anyone posting lots of 4 and 5 star reviews. Sorry, I don't bother reviewing (or even finishing) a book I don't think is worth 4 or 5 stars.
But as an Indie writer myself, who sometimes sends someone a free book with a request to review (which is in general ignored) it pisses me off. Because BIG PUBLISHERS can send reviewers free books, and say, please read this and even wine and dine reviewers - and THAT'S OKAY. So what's the difference if an Indie author contacts a reviewer and offers them a free book?
Conspiracy theorist that I am, I am inclined to think that it's a sin for the Indie to do EXACTLY what the big company does...when the big company goes to their friend, Amazon (the other now big company) and whines. But that's just my thoughts.