Write on- Oh you naughty, naughty, sock puppets!

Do you buy a book based on a review? Does a good one put you off? Apparently some top-selling authors are so insecure about their books, they have resorted to writing their own fake reviews.  What’s so stunning about this is, their books were already selling just fine. But if glowing reviews written on Amazon about their own products wasn’t devilish enough, they had to resort to stabbing their fellow authors in the back.

I do buy books based on reviews, but not always because the review was glowing. If it’s too good to be true, well…maybe it isn’t. I like an honest review. You can learn so much about the book, what the reader takes away from it, another opinion on the subject, and so on. Reviews that simply say, stunning, wonderful, better than white bread..ad nauseam tell me nothing of the book, or why I would want to read it? So why stoop to writing your own review?

Rejection and criticism is hard enough for any writer. Every time something is written, finished, and then published, it’s like putting your child out in front of a crowd to have it torn to shreds.  Sometimes that’s hard to get over. What makes it even more hurtful is that fellow writers, who know what it feels like, are doing this to other writers.

Does this mean that all reviews are bogus?What if you know someone and they read your book and write a good review, does this mean that any fan if he has spoken to the author and then writes a review will negate it? I wonder…but this practice of purposely slamming other authors and posting glowing reviews of one owns work is beyond distasteful, it is pitiful.

I am so glad there has been an outcry about this practice. Why lie to the reader about your own book? Why lie to yourself?

About susan sheldon nolen

It’s rare to catch me without coffee, a form of camera, or my beloved wire fox terriers. I love the history, the art, and it’s a massive part of my life, as I either paint, write, or get interrupted by my dogs, reminding me of the real world. I hope you enjoy your time here. It’s such a privilege to have readers.
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13 Responses to Write on- Oh you naughty, naughty, sock puppets!

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    I can’t imagine posting a review on one’s own book. Besides finding it unethical, I’d be worried they’d somehow link the IP address back to me. How embarrassing would that be? 🙂

    • That’s how some of them got caught. You can goggle sock puppets to read more. I just am not into naming names. I also don’t get it. ( well I do..it’s all about the sales numbers) and even though this is the age of the internet, it’s been down before. An author after her death was found with a garage of first editions…that’s one way to get to the top of the best sellers list!

  2. Bernadett-B says:

    The moment one “reviews” his/her own book is the same moment this person stops being a credible writer. Small businesses sometimes use this strategy of putting fake testimonials online while they don’t have clients. On the other hand reviewing another writer’s book, even if you can only speak of it in negatives, is natural since you’re also a reader yourself. Sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between sincere reviews and fake ones, or ones that are only there to discredit someone’s work, but it’s possible to come across books that are either so good, or so horribly bad that you can only speak about them in extremes.

  3. I wouldn’t even begin to know how to review my own writing……….

  4. mmgilbert says:

    This is absolutely the most amazing. I’d heard it were so and apparently it is. Therefore, I am going into business writing reviews for books before they are published and maybe before they are written (a practice that will give the reviewer wide latitude). “Strong but soft, evocative of so much and yet totally original, (INSERT TITLE WHEN DREAMED UP) will divert as well as appall in ways that will repulse and please. I am going to make a fortune.

    • Hurry up, it might already be in the process! :-)..There are paid reviewers out there, and some of them do a cracking job of it, but this practice of slamming other authors to boost your own sales is just appalling..

      P.s. I just love your gavatar!

  5. I’ve never heard of this going on before, Susan, but it isn’t very kind spirited, is it? I don’t really know a lot about writing, I’ll admit, but who writes the blurb on the back of the books? Is that the author or the publisher? Shouldn’t they be putting in there what they put in their fake review? Making yourself look good is one thing, but bringing someone else down to do it isn’t fair play… in my opinion anyway. I don’t think I’ll be reading positive reviews in the same way in the future, now that the seed of doubt has been planted!
    And, I agree with Andra… I have problems thinking of titles, so reviewing my own writing is a little out of my reach!

  6. Hi Tom, it’s been going on and apparently very easy to do on Amazon. It’s beyond mean spirited. The blurbs on the back of a book, are either solicited by the author from other authors, or the publisher, and if no one with reputation will review the book, then…the blurbs are written vaguely. Review on Amazon- after this broke, Amazon I heard was going to make the review process more open..how…they haven’t quite figured that out yet. It’s just too easy to be a sock puppet on the internet. I think the best review is the really old fashioned one, mouth to mouth..say have you read this book?

    • I agree with the word of mouth reviews / recommendations, Susan. I find they sound more interesting when someone is actually speaking about the book rather than me reading about it for some reason!

  7. Its a weird old practice, Susan. I hope I would have more pride in myself than to indulge.

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