That’s right. You read that correctly. No it was not me or any one that I knew thankfully. In the end however it affects all of us, myself included, just the same.
All it takes is one bad apple to make the rest of us look bad.
Some author (who shall remain nameless in this post at least although he has been outted elsewhere on the internet) decided that for whatever reason that the reviews that he was getting were not enough and he had to create a few alternate accounts and post glowing reviews on his own work.
Now that is bad enough but almost understandable. Almost. Being an author myself I understand the want to be able to log onto your sales portal and see a fresh new review from someone who read your book and sincerely enjoyed it. That random bit of praise for something you have worked so hard for is a high like no other. Not to mention the fact that reviews are great marketing tools for an author when it comes to establishing a name for themselves. So yes in a way I can say I almost understand.
The other side of it however is that if it isn’t written by someone who is being sincere, then its perfectly useless. Sure you can pay to have someone write you a five star glowing review or write one yourself under a pseudonym but if the book you have written is not going to live up to the fake review(s) that you have had posted then your integrity is shot and the fakes stand out like a sore thumb.
You end up no better off than where you started. Let your writing speak for itself. If it is good then it will get the reviews you want to see. If it is not as good as it could be then listen to your readers! They know what they want to see and hear. If you are lucky they will spend the time to tell you what the problems they may just come back another day to see if you have made them going forward.
To me it couldn’t be more simple. However this particular author didn’t see it quite so cut and dried.
To make matters even worse. He used his fake accounts to go and bash other authors works. I don’t think I have to even have to explain how wrong that is on so many levels. Enough said.
At the end of the day however this sort of behavior undermines the hard work and effort that the new authors have coming up because everyone ends up doubting the validity of the reviews that they are seeing. They are left wondering if that really is a five star book or just another five dollar review.
I always hope for a great review of my work, but the ones I love the most are the ones that cut to the chase and tell me exactly what I need to know. I am not perfect. I know there may be places where I can improve my craft as an author. I may not always agree (and it may sting) but in the end you are my readers and my continued presence in the arena as a published author depends on your point of views and I will always value them.