Anatomy of a fake review
Let me make one up for a friend's new book (which I may or may not have read):
Outstanding piece of literature from this author. Pace, dialog, and plot are perfect. Kept me engaged from the first sentence on. I'd give it six stars if it was at all possible. Can't possibly recommend this book enough to all readers.
Perhaps a little over the top, but you get the idea.
Not all fake reviews cost money
I watched a fellow on an early morning news show talking about "fake" reviews. It seemed, according to his report, that most of these paid for positive comments happen on products, not necessarily ebooks or books in general.
Well, duh! Who needs to pay for fake reviews when you can simply have your friends and family hawk your writing. My faux review above is for my friend, and I could easily give it to her.
There are several tells in the game
1. The words "Verified Purchase" are missing from the review.
Here's one from my first book: WWIV - In The Beginning.
Now that's not to say the review isn't legit - if those words are missing. But if they received a free copy of the manuscript in exchange for an honest review, well - that needs to be pointed out.
2. There are too many reviews in relation to their ranking on Amazon.
Again, referring to my first book, I have 52 reviews and I've sold almost 5,000 Kindle copies. That's a 1% review-to-sales ratio. That book ranks between 100,000 and 300,000 typically on the Sales List after a year and a half.
So, how can someone publish a book, a month later have 15 mostly 5-star reviews, and be ranked at 1.5 million. That tells me they have only sold A copy of their book (one).
But what about those grandiose reviews? Well, thank you friends and family.
So, what do we do about fake reviews?
Me, nothing. Couldn't care less. That's their problem, not mine. Doesn't effect my sales or ranking one bit. And I'm writing because I love to do it, not for the minor accolades.
My daughter wrote a review on GoodReads for Book One. She gave me three stars. Nice try in other words. My brother gave me four stars on Amazon. And that was after he went out and bought it for his Kindle.
Either Amazon will clean up these fakes
Or, people will learn to ignore them
And I'm okay with either choice. Already you will notice people questioning the inordinate amount of five star reviews on some books...even ones published by the Big Boys.
What are your thoughts on the subject? I would love to hear what you have to say about (obvious) fake reviews, and how you feel they effect our industry.
Until next week - when I really think I will have that #GoT post done - have a good one!