Thursday, 10 July 2014

Amazon Reviews

A lot of potential customers pay too much attention to reviews when it comes to books.  Amazon opened up a wonderful world for writers who had not managed to get published by traditional publishers.  Why not?  Well, not because they cannot write or have no story, but simply because traditional publishers will spend hundreds of thousands to get a book published, printed and distributed and they want to be 100% sure of a return for their investment.  So, with an unknown author and a story that is perhaps not in a popular genre, they will not take the chance.  So, there are many really good writers with really good ideas which would never have seen the light of day were it not for Amazon.  Gone with the Wind was turned down by lots of publishers and Stephen King was told he would never make a writer.
 
Unfortunately, while Amazon's kdp program has opened up a wonderful world for writers, it has also opened up a loophole for unscrupulous writers who want to get reviews posted that they do not deserve.  They get their family and friends to post reviews for them and they pay people on sites like fiver to leave glowing reviews.  These can usually be detected, but you need to know what you are looking for.
 
A book that has five star reviews within a day or two of having been published is likely using fake reviews.  A book that is really badly written, bad grammar, bad punctuation, too short, but has glowing reviews is fake.
 
I hate fake reviews because they are unfair to the rest of us who would rather earn reviews honestly.  There have been a lot of problems recently caused by one woman who thought it would be a good idea to get together with others, post their books to Goodreads lists and vote for them.  She thought that was a brilliant marketing strategy;  she would not agree that it was cheating.  It has, of course, backfired as now she is getting one star reviews for her books from all the people she upset.  These reviews are as fake as all the others that aren't genuinely earned, they are done out of spite and for revenge, but it is what happens when people try to cheat.
 
So if you are a writer, don't cheat.  Reviews will come eventually and if you are a reader, please don't decide on your choice based on this twaddle.

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