I don’t pay for reviews or ratings, or encourage reviews or ratings that are not honest.
While I may know some who reviewed Sudden Mission, the reviews or ratings they provided are honest. The readers base the reviews on their own reading of the book and their own opinion of the writing and of me as a writer.
This thing with the fake Amazon book reviews is nothing new or unknown. Fake reviews are a fact of life and not just in the book area. It is an issue on iTunes, Barnes & Noble and other venues. Music, apps, games, books–every product sold online–are all subject to fake reviews. There is a pretty lucrative side business that has sprung up to support lame or bad products.
When you look at a product online and see the reviews, it is important to critically read and examine them to get a feel for the real value of the product. You can see where the fake reviews fall flat and the real reviewers come forward with experience and evaluation.
Online merchants are taking steps now to try to stop the fake reviews, finally. They will still have fake reviews, though. They cannot stop all of them. That leaves it up to you the consumer to use your critical thinking skills and weed out the bad reviewers and find the good nuggets. Do not depend on Amazon, iTunes or other online merchants to completely police the fake reviewers. It just isn’t going to happen.
So, I’ll tell you now that I will never buy or seek a fake review for any of my work. It stands or falls on its own merit. If you like it, I hope you give it a rating or honest review. If you don’t, I hope for the same thing. Feedback from the audience is important and should never be marginalized by hacks and thieves.
If I talk about a product, book, or anything else it is because I bought it, use it, read it, tried it. I buy my own books, tools, and apps and will give honest ratings and reviews on them when the situation requires it. I expect the same from fans, readers, and reviewers.
While part of marketing involves providing advanced readers copies (ARCs) of books, reviewers who read and review books from these usually state something to that effect in their review. That is the role they play in the marketing engine and is not unethical. What would be unethical is if the reviewer gave a dishonest review (positive or negative) and didn’t reveal getting an ARC.
Thank you for your kind attention today and reading this far. And if you read Sudden Mission, give it a rating or review when you get a chance. I value your feedback.