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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”
59(100.0%)
All’s fair in love, war and marketing. Besides, writers need all the help they can get these days.
0(0.0%)
Something else, which I’ll mention in the comments
0(0.0%)




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Comments

jongibbs
Jun. 25th, 2012 04:50 pm (UTC)
It's tough trying to get reviews, but I don't think it's an excuse for cheating, however tempting it may be.

I've seen a few 'Let's all read, then review eachother's books requests. Nothing wrong with those, but there are still potential problems. Life will get in the way, causing some folks not to post their promised reviews. others might give an honest, negative review, which I imagine could cause bad feeling.
msstacy13
Jun. 25th, 2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
I've received considerably fewer reveiws than I've requested;
I assume the feeling, generally,
is that one prefers not to say anything
that might be construed as unkind.

It's generally understood among those who know me
that I rarely give another writer fewer than four stars,
but never give five stars if I don't really mean it.

In one instance, the author genuinely appreciated the four stars,
and in another, the author discerned that two of the four stars
were professional courtesy, but appreciated my willingness to say
what others would not.

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















 











THE MEAGER PUDDLE OF LIMELIGHT AWARDS


Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

NJ writing conference - compressed

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