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Fake reviewers on the attack on Amazon

DavidLumin

kickbox
Wow, it doesn't surprise me though as we are dealing with a cut-throat business environment. On a related note, I've noticed that self-published authors who go through amazon will write their own "reviews.":innocent: When I see reviews for books, it's usually through a trusted source like the NYT or NPR.

As a self published author. The best review I get is word of mouth. Those who write their own reviews are fooling themselves. No, I haven't sold a ton of books on Amazon, or any other venue. An author's best friend is the readers who tell their friends about the books they read. Not a review by a book critic or some one paid to write reviews.
 

S. M. Bowles

New Member
I am an independent writer and just like any other author I struggle to get noticed - and I'm sure I don't need to list all the ways to approach this. Well, I'm in between projects right now and figured I'd tackle some of the books I've been meaning to read.

The very first book I chose was a very popular book 1 to a series. Figuring it was so well regarded it would be a great read and a worthy investment.

I could only manage the first 7 chapters and I had to put it down. It was not at all what I expected and I cannot for the life of me imagine why it was so popular.

I posted my thoughts on Amazon 2/5 stars and a bad review which I am not at all fond of doing but this book was such a disappointment!

Much to my surprise not 20 minutes after I posted my review 2 new 5/5 star reviews were immediately posted. I was surprised because really this particular book is beyond it's heyday and who other than myself just finished it.

I feel very suspicious now - is it possible that big publishers monitor their $$ makers and put several new reviews up for every bad one just so they can keep the ratings high?

I am anxious to hear some thoughts on this. I went back through several pages of the reviews for this particular book and I swear it is like a pattern - bad review then immediately afterwards 1 or 2 new 5 star reviews with very little to say about the book and next to no information about the reviewers.
 

Occlith

Well-Known Member
I moved your post to this existing thread as it covers the same topic. I have no doubt that the 5 star review posted after yours was someone promoting the interests of the author.
 

RDC8492

Member
Oooh don't get me on my soapbox about the review system. lol How I wish I could say it is on the up and up, but sadly it's not. It's not just big publishers either. The corruption seems to be rampant.

I was naive enough to think it was all legitimate readers giving their honest opinions. In the two months that B.E.'s book has been out, we've learned what a cut throat biz this can be. I was really really surprised!!! There are people who SELL reviews. It actually upsets me more that there are unscrupulous authors who would pay for them! I was equally as shocked when you ask for true honest feedback and people don't say anything.

I've been warned to expect other authors in the same genre that feel threatened will post negative reviews. I have no problem with a negative review if it is truly someone's honest feedback of what they didn't like about a book. It's good for the author to hear those comments for future works. However, if it's strictly to knock you down out of spite then it's just wrong on every level. We earned our bad ones by making the mistake of not using a professional editor before publishing. But even the negative reviewers seemed to all say they liked the story and the plot, just not the editing. That was good feedback. Editing has now been done based on those reviewers. But some of them were simply vicious beyond constructive feedback and felt more like intentional sabotage than someone's opinion. Those cited things that were not even logical or accurate. It was clear they hadn't even read the book.

Then when you do earn a legitimate 5 star review, you can guarantee someone will give you a negative that tries to discredit the good one saying it's been bought or by a family member. *Note to readers, not every author out there is dishonest.. some of us still like to follow the rules even if it doesn't make our books go viral* Sorry, I had to preach because that's a very sore spot with me. I hush now. hehehe

Anywho, for the authors on this site, I have no suggestion other than take the approach we try to do... remember that you can never please every reader. Share the stories you have to tell anyway. There WILL be some that enjoy them immensely. If a negative review is legitimate, it's a learning tool. If it's positive, it's motivation. But never, ever, let a review define who you are as a writer. /end soapbox lol

Huggles
 

Conscious Bob

Well-Known Member
I've been warned to expect other authors in the same genre that feel threatened will post negative reviews. I have no problem with a negative review if it is truly someone's honest feedback of what they didn't like about a book. It's good for the author to hear those comments for future works. However, if it's strictly to knock you down out of spite then it's just wrong on every level. We earned our bad ones by making the mistake of not using a professional editor before publishing. But even the negative reviewers seemed to all say they liked the story and the plot, just not the editing. That was good feedback. Editing has now been done based on those reviewers. But some of them were simply vicious beyond constructive feedback and felt more like intentional sabotage than someone's opinion. Those cited things that were not even logical or accurate. It was clear they hadn't even read the book.

As a reader I tend not to read self published novels because by definition none of them have been rejected by a publisher, that may be Catch22 but there you go.
 

RDC8492

Member
Thanks Bob! I consider than honest feedback. However, and not strictly speaking about his book, there are some really good self pubbies out there. Even some of the long establish authors have gone back to self pub because it gives them more control. I agree, I've seen some that my dog could have barked a better story, but I wouldn't judge as a group. I prefer to let each individual author or book earn it's own reputation. Even Stephen King has written a flop or two. lol

I would like to ask a question though, how does being rejected by a publisher give a book merit in your opinion? Me is confuzzled what you meant. :)
 

Conscious Bob

Well-Known Member
I would like to ask a question though, how does being rejected by a publisher give a book merit in your opinion? Me is confuzzled what you meant. :)

What I mean is that the majority of books rejected by publishers didn't get published or at least that was the case until web publishing came along. I'm sure the gems are in there but there's a hell of a lot of dross to wade through due to no quality control.
 

RDC8492

Member
Now that makes sense. Ty. I have to agree on the no quality control. Granted, I "try" to be very open minded so I will still continue to buy and read self pubs if the content appeals to me. I am well educated but talk like a southern redneck, lol. Who am I to judge someone's grammar? I am odd. I'll own that.

Oh gee, now you have me erasing and correcting my grammar on this post. LOLOL
 

Ronny

Well-Known Member
Reading through this thread makes me glad I never read reviews before reading a book :) I pick my books purely by synopsis and maybe a sample. If I glance at a book cover and it's just full of review snippets but no synopsis, I don't even bother to read the sample. If a book looks like it will be of interest to me, then I sample a few pages. Usually this system works well and I don't end up too disappointed.

I just found a long time ago that reviews (whether legitimate or not) don't necessarily help predict whether I personally will like it or not. Even considering just legitimate reviews you have diehard fans that will insist it was great just because it's by their favorite author or maybe someone that tears books apart just because they thought there was too much cursing/sex/violence, whatever. It just seemed that basing my book choices on another strangers opinion didn't work.

I do go back and read reviews sometimes after reading a book, to see what others have to say and I have noticed an increase in what seem to be hype or slander reviews. I always wonder how people could put so much stock in them, when they seem so obviously biased.
 

RDC8492

Member
Since reviews are something on my radar, I've now gotten to the point that I look at what else has been commented on by the reviewer and how long they have been a member of a site. If they only have one book reviewed and it's slamming it.. I discredit the review as sabotage. For example, we got a One Star negative one yesterday on Amazon in which the reviewer pointed out things that were not even in the book nor factual.. his only other review at all was for....(wait for it...) hand cream! muahaha I just hope others do take the time to see if a review is credible or sabotage.
 

Roxbrough

Member
Does anyone actually read the reviews of others?
I have a mind of my own and think critics are a waste of time.
One man's meat etc etc.....
 

James Richard

New Member

I read where the same sort of thing goes on at Goodreads. Sometimes reviewers don't even read the book, and then just give it a one star based on how the book looks. They also have reviewers who apparently have an agenda to bring well known authors down by giving them one or two stars. Some reviewers have given no more than one or two stars to all the books that they have read. Apparently, Goodreads doesn't even care if reviewers give a review without reading the book first. It's all very disturbing what's going on out there.
 
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Conscious Bob

Well-Known Member
I read where the same sort of thing goes on at Goodreads. Sometimes reviewers don't even read the book, and then just give it a one star based on how the book looks. They also have reviewers who apparently have an agenda to bring well known authors down by giving them one or two stars. Some reviewers have given no more than one or two stars to all the books that they have read. Apparently, Goodreads doesn't even care if reviewers give a review without reading the book first. It's all very disturbing what's going on out there.

Pretty funny too, there's been a few good Private Eye articles written about this activity.
 
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