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A couple of months ago, I got invited to (what I can only describe as) a ‘Mutual like and review’ party.

Here’s the gist of the invitation:
On sites like Amazon, Goodreads, B&N etc. you give a glowing, 5-star review of the latest book by each of the twenty or so writers taking part. In return, they do the same for you. Everyone’s book ends up with a couple of dozen great reviews (including yours). This not only makes your online sales pages look better, but also raises your book’s profile within each site’s database, apparently making it more likely to include you in all those ‘Folks who read this also bought’ section. The best thing of all (according to the sender), is you don’t even have to read these other folks’ books, just take a name or plot line from the blurb and make something up.

I didn’t accept, didn't even reply, but it left a rotten taste in my mouth which has been bugging me ever since.

I suppose this sort of idea was bound to take root at some point or other. After all, plenty of folks already do the ‘I’ll ‘like’ your Facebook page, if you like mine’ thing, but I have to say, I find this far more disturbing.
Personally, I don’t pay too much attention to a book’s star rating, or how many reviews it has, but some people do. I’m sure they’ve learned to disregard the obvious one-line raves written by well-meaning friends and relatives, but to me, it’s just plain wrong to post a ‘review’ of a book you haven’t read.

Sure, I’d like more reviews on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads and the like, but not from people who haven’t read my work. I really hope this idea doesn’t catch on, but I’ve a nagging suspicion many writers will convince themselves it’s okay to join in the deceit, citing the ‘Everyone else does it.’ excuse, or simply because they don’t care if it’s wrong, so long as they make a sale through it.

How about you?

How do you feel about writers giving rave reviews for books they haven’t read?

Poll #1849478 Fake reviews

How do you feel about writers giving rave reviews for books they haven’t read?

It’s wrong, with a capital ‘Wrrrr”
All’s fair in love, war and marketing. Besides, writers need all the help they can get these days.
Something else, which I’ll mention in the comments

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Jun. 25th, 2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
Wow. Just. Wow. That's disgusting. Rating books you haven't even read? What is wrong with these people. I never rate a book I haven't read. (Or at least picked up and tried to read. I think it's fair to give a bad review if you can't finish the work due to the work itself.)

I get itchy when people ask me to post up reviews, etc, knowing I've actually READ a book. But even then, they have never requested I do it without reading the work in question, nor just asking for all 5 star ratings. This is horrible. I almost wish you would post up the person's name who sent you the email, so we can publicly vilify them. Seriously, this kind of thing should not be tolerated. I'm not foolish enough to believe it doesn't happen, but I don't have to accept it as good.

Any author that accepts this, and does this, should be horribly ashamed of themselves. They should go sit in the corner, and not get any cookies.
Jun. 25th, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
'They should go sit in the corner, and not get any cookies.'

I can see you're upset, Ed, but don't you think your suggested punishment sounds a tad extreme ;)

Jun. 25th, 2012 04:24 pm (UTC)
Fine. One cookie. But just one, Jon. We can't have pandemonium.
Jun. 25th, 2012 04:35 pm (UTC)
Lol, true enough :)

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there



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