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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)
Yes! This. I am more likely to buy a book after reading a thoughtful, detailed critique of both the good and not-so-good aspects. I would far rather make reading choices based on honest opinions because not every book will work for every reader, and there are some things I like that other people flag. Lush, long descriptions, for example, are not necessarily as much of a turn-off for me as they are for other people. And I have a lot of patience for slow plot development, so if I read a review that says something was too slow, I might give it a try. On the other hand, I despise certain stock characters so if I see readers mention certain behaviors or cliches, I'll pass. Either way, I'm not buying based on five-star reviews.

That said, the idea that writers would bargain for fake reviews is APPALLING to me. :C
Jun. 25th, 2012 03:09 pm (UTC)
It just seems icky, doen't it?

Thanks for the input, Jen :)
Jun. 25th, 2012 05:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I feel the same. I know what I like in a book, know what I don't care about. I'm the opposite of you. I can stand lush descriptions, but tend to skip them unless they're *really* good. And I want something reasonably fast moving (and with intriguing characters). I want to read stuff about the book in a review that is negative - otherwise I worry that there's stuff in there that I *might* hate that the reviewer just didn't mention.

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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