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The Amazon reviews brouhaha and you


Just 10 days ago, Amazon filed a lawsuit against more than 1,000 Fiverr vendors who Amazon says are writing fake product reviews on the retailer’s site.

The company says the bogus Amazon reviews could mislead consumers and give certain sellers an unfair advantage.

“Unfortunately, a very small minority of sellers and manufacturers sometimes tries to gain unfair competitive advantages for their products on Amazon.com. One such method is creating false, misleading, and inauthentic customer reviews,” Amazon wrote in the October 16, 2015, court filing. “While small in number, these reviews can significantly undermine the trust that consumers and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers place in Amazon, which in turn tarnishes Amazon’s brand.”

Amazon notes that it prohibits any attempt to manipulate customer reviews and doesn’t allow compensated reviews. Even so, the company says, an “unhealthy ecosystem” has developed to supply reviews in exchange for a fee.

Amazon Complaint

Fake reviews are a problem

Fake reviews are an issue for all types of products sold on Amazon, not just books, but I have been monitoring author reaction to this development in particular. Most of it seems to fall into one of four categories:

  1. Haters: “Amazon is an evil entity trying to take over the world. Unite in an uprising, authors!”
  2. Specialized haters: “This is a free speech issue! Amazon can’t stop us from saying what we want!”
  3. Legal beagles: “What’s the legal standing for this suit?”
  4. Consumerists: “It’s about time. I don’t even read the 5-star reviews because I doubt they’re honest.”

In the end, regardless of which of those categories best describes your reaction, what’s relevant to you is the fact that Amazon doesn’t tolerate reviews that aren’t honest. If you’re begging friends and family to “write something nice” about your book on Amazon, knock it off.

Is this actually a public relations campaign?

The other piece here for authors and other product sellers is that it’s likely that Amazon has another motive for this crackdown — improving its image.

Amazon reviews 2Amazon is now positioning itself as a champion of the consumer underdog as it stands up in court to protect you from the evildoers trying to trick you into buying books, baubles, or boomerangs that won’t live up to the glowing reviews.

Other businesses that rely on user reviews have noticed. In an NBC News report, a spokesperson for Yelp told a reporter, “. . . we’re really heartened by it. Any message loud and clear that the industry can send that these types of misleading activities cannot be tolerated on platforms is an important message for consumers to hear.”

The suit was filed not long after New York Times expose describing Amazon’s workplace as “bruising” made national news.

What’s more, just days after Amazon filed its “advocate for the consumer” lawsuit against phony reviewers, it published its response to The New York Times article on Medium.com.

I doubt the timing is coincidental. Amazon wants you to know that no matter what you read about it in the press, the retailer is working hard to protect its customers.

Author takeaways

But back to the author takeaway for this action: Don’t ask friends or family for book reviews, especially if they don’t read they types of books you write. Don’t do review swaps with other authors, either. Instead, learn how to get honest reviews (see “How to get reader reviews“).  Plus, in the article “Get reader reviews fast” on this site, author Michael Sunnarborg explains his simple six-step approach.

Finally, a member of the Build Book Buzz Facebook group commented recently that anything but a verified purchase review is useless on Amazon because Amazon gives verified purchase reviews the most weight. I asked Amazon about this and here’s the response I got:

“Anyone registered as an Amazon.com customer is entitled to write a product review. It doesn’t matter whether they bought the product from our website or not. Also, we encourage reviews on Amazon.com website, both positive and negative, verified or non verified as long as they adhere to our posted guidelines. Customer Reviews are meant to give customers unbiased product feedback from fellow shoppers, any reviews that could be viewed as advertising, promotional, or misleading will not be posted.”

There you have it.

How do you feel about Amazon’s campaign to “out” the phony reviews, reviewers, and review buyers? Tell us in a comment!

Tip of the Month

Amazon reviews 3

On the fourth Wednesday of the month, I’ll always share a “Tip of the Month,” a free resource or tool for authors.

File this one in the Cool Tools Department: The Kindle Sales Rank Calculator lets you take the current Amazon rank of any book and calculate how many books it is currently selling.

To get a book’s rank to enter into the calculator, go to the book’s Amazon sales page and scroll down to the “Product Details.” The number to enter into the calculator is the “Amazon Best Sellers Rank” — the first number, not the category sales ranks.

Key point: If there’s a comma (or two) in the sales rank number, remove it. The calculator won’t work if there’s a comma.

Comparing your estimated daily sales to those of books you compete with could help you formulate sales goals. Even if you don’t do that, though, it’s worth knowing what your rank actually means in terms of sales.

Subscribe to the free Build Book Buzz newsletter and get the free special report, “Top 5 Free Book Promotion Resources,” immediately!

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  1. Sandy–thanks for keeping this discussion going. It’s an important one. Just a thought: When Amazon launched a lawsuit of this nature in June, they did mention that their new rating system would weight recent purchases and verified reviews so it’s interesting to me that you got that answer. Here’s a quote from a CNET article in June: “The new system will give more weight to newer reviews, reviews from verified Amazon purchasers and those that more customers vote up as being helpful” URL: http://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-updates-customer-reviews-with-new-machine-learning-platform/

    1. Thanks, Chris! That’s really helpful (as usual!). I had my conversation with Amazon support in Sept. — you’d think that the person responding would know this by then, right? My question was very specific: Do verified purchase reviews carry more weight? — it’s not like I asked, “How do you take reviews into account?” or “Who can review a book?” Regardless, the takeaway for me is that you shouldn’t obsess over whether the reviews are for verified purchases or not (as some authors are doing) and you should encourage readers who rely on reviews to click “yes” when they are asked, “Was this review helpful to you?” Don’t try to create the perfect scenario with reviews — just get what you can, and do what you can to make sure they’re HONEST.

      Keep it coming, Chris. I love it!


  2. Thanks for this timely article. There has been quite a bit of discussion about this topic on my publisher’s author loop the last few weeks. It is hard to know how much of what we are hearing is real, and how much is just panic. I would rather have one honest review than 15 dishonest ones, so it’s all good in my book. I also talk to fellow authors about making sure they don’t link Amazon to their facebook or twitter accounts, as the Amazon crawlers are making those connections in their database, and removing reviews that might be legitimate, but since that person is your “friend” on your author facebook profile, Amazon sees it as a non-legitimate review. I have always resisted linking my varied accounts together – facebook, Amazon (which owns Goodreads, to some people’s surprise), Twitter, etc.

    1. That is excellent advice, Susabelle! Thank you! Could you tell us more about what you mean about “linking” Amazon to their Facebook and Twitter accounts? Are you talking about a link to the Amazon sales page in their profiles or something else?


      1. Hi Sandra. Sorry to respond so late, but my spam filter ate the notification of these comments!

        On many pages, you can “sign in” using your facebook account instead of creating a new account. This is true on Goodreads, many news sites, Thunderclap, and many others. It’s sort of “here, look how convenient, just use your facebook credentials to login, and we’ll remember you forever!” No bueno! And on Amazon, if you buy something, you can then click the little link to post to your Twitter or Facebook, and you will be asked to give your credentials and guess what…Twitter and Amazon never forget! Suddenly, they have ALL NEW WAYS to see who you are interacting with and what sites you’re visiting and oh my goodness, can’t you just see Amazon rubbing their hands together and laughing maniacally at all the new information they have on you? Never ever will I link my facebook to anything. Too much information is shared there, and I don’t need it bleeding over to sites that want to make money.

        1. Ah…now I understand! So the message is don’t log in to sites using your Facebook or Twitter accounts so you keep church and state separate, so to speak. Keep spreading the word!

          Thank you!


    2. Just an FYI: not sure what you meant here Susabelle, but Amazon cannot crawl your Facebook profile. Can you explain what you meant? But Goodreads is another matter. Yes, they are there. And in my experience, more authors are grabbing reviewers from Goodreads and that might put a review in jeopardy, especially if you correspond with reviewers through your Goodread Inbox instead of your regular email. That is right on.

      1. Once you use the link after purchasing something at Amazon to post to your facebook (“TELL YOUR FRIENDS WHAT YOU JUST BOUGHT”), they have access. Also, if you have Amazon as a “liked” page on your facebook, they can see what you post as well. Be very very cautious about linking ANYTHING together. Convenience be damned, because you are really putting your whole life in their hands, in many ways, when you link these things.

  3. I wrote Buster’s St. Patrick’s Day. It is a self-published book and I have 3 or 4 reviews. They are positive reviews. While no author wants negative reviews, they can be a vital learning tool. Some authors will be upset because they can’t solicit friends and family members with the same last name to write glowing reviews, they may figure out how to put out a better product. This will also have the side effect of helping Amazon be able to get rid of bad products and bad sellers. It will be a little harder on sellers but it will make things better in the end. Honesty is the best policy, in this case.

    1. Debra, I totally agree. You have expressed this beautifully — thank you! When it comes to books, I have found that the one-star reviews are usually useless — “my book didn’t get here as quickly as Amazon said it would” — but I usually find helpful info in the 2s, 3s, and 4s. Some of the 5-star reviews are too vague — “I loved it!” “What a wonderful story!” “He knows his stuff!” — to help me figure out if the book is for me.


  4. I’m all for it. I’ve never paid for or solicited a review, although I do appreciate anyone who does post a review. This is one of the few ethical things Amazon is doing regarding books and bookselling and I applaud this effort. Now, if only twitter will start doing the same thing to people who “sell” thousands of followers to make an account look popular! I recently found someone had hacked my twitter password and was having me follow hundreds of foreign twitter accounts in languages I can’t even read! I deleted all that I could find, but I don’t appreciate being made a party to fraud.

    1. Thanks, Chris. That’s an interesting proposal for Twitter to consider. I wonder if the company is considering it.

      Do you write fiction or nonfiction?


  5. Very interesting! I can see why they’re stamping down if it’s aimed at those who are paid to post reviews etc. But when it comes to reviews requested by the author, in particular for unverified purchases (such as free copies of ebooks obtained from the author’s website), then I’m assuming that Amazon will still be OK with this? Looks like this may be the case as per Amazon’s response above, that you revealed.

    Such ebooks are still listed on Amazon of course, but simply labeled as unverified purchases – as long as these kinds of reviews remain unaffected then i have no problem with it.

    1. Adrian, Amazon says that the purchases don’t have to be verified, etc., and I know that’s true because I’ve written reviews for books I haven’t purchased there. FYI, what you CAN’T do in exchange for a review is offer some kind of incentive — “if you write a review, I’ll give you a gift” sort of thing.


  6. This is a complex topic. I couldn’t agree more with the idea that buying fake reviews (and providing them) is wrong. There might be questions as to what big publishing companies do to obtain the reviews prior to publication and how much the PR or publicity campaign should or not be considered ‘paid-reviews’. Of course, there’s always the option of adding comments and endorsements as part of editorial reviews rather than standard reviews, and that avoids possible problems in Amazon.
    The other issue that has people concerned is the fact that reviews by ‘friends’ or people you know might be removed. Most authors work hard trying to build up a platform, be it creating a mailing list, blogging, or/and posting in social media. The idea is to connect with possible readers and fans. If the fact that one manages to connect with these potential readers disqualifies them from leaving reviews, that would be a problem. The main concern is not knowing exactly what ‘knowing’ somebody means. Would following a blog or exchanging a like be considered ‘knowing’ the person? And of course, writers are readers too. We might come across many other authors or see them around and follow each other in social media, but does that disqualify us from reading each other’s books? I think lack of clarity is a problem.
    The core idea is sound. The devil, as usual, might be in the detail. And yes, the motivation behind it might be more complex than it appears at first sight.

    1. All good points, Olga. It would help to know more about how Amazon susses out and evaluates connections. I’ll see what I can learn about that.


      1. And one more key point, Olga: The goal for your platform is more to generate readers, than to generate reviewers, so your platform-building efforts are still well worth it. If you can sell tons of books w/out having tons of reviews, you’re still doing really, really well.


  7. Thank you for excellent insights, as usual! As another commenter mentioned, the biggest issue for authors with the new Amazon crackdown is that they are sniffing out the most tenuous connections and declaring them unacceptable. Most authors have large numbers of FaceBook friends. I suspect, like me, they actually “know” only a small fraction of those folks. Susabelle is right! Never, ever connect your other social media to Amazon and, since Amazon owns Goodreads, I would venture to say they will soon be rifling through those accounts as well.

    1. It’s unfortunate, for sure, and even though it’s unfair, I can understand it, especially with books. There are no barriers to publication now, and you can write garbage but still get a lot of people to write glowing reviews that convince others that your book is amazing. So someone else takes their word for it, buys the book, sees that it’s useless, and pesters Amazon for a refund. There’s a cost to Amazon in this, right?

      This is just one example of why having an opt-in email list is so important to authors. Amazon won’t know who’s on your list….


  8. Unfortunately, what I didn’t read was that Amazon is going to get rid of the trolls who attack a book or an author en masse without ever reading the book and by using false statements. Authors who’ve poured their souls into their creations are devastated when this happens. Why can’t Amazon get rid of those reviewers?

    1. First, authors need to recognize trolls when they see them — and they are everywhere, not just on Amazon — and remember that they don’t write the truth. Tune them out! (Easier said than done, I know….) Second, trolls SHOULD be part of this “honest review” crackdown because those reviews aren’t honest either, are they? Have you ever asked Amazon that question? Why not write a letter to Amazon about this? For all we know, that’s Phase 2.

      On the bright side, you can flag troll reviews and try to get them removed. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s worth trying.


    2. Yes when are they going to stop trolls? I have about twelve 5 and 4-star reviews for my humorous novel They Win. You Lose. Then along comes a guy who admits he only read the first page before giving it one star. If I read a novel that was bad, I’d just forget about it. Because even bad novels take blood and sweat to write.

      Also, my wife read my book and liked it a lot. Amazon deleted her review. She was very cross and phoned them to say that if she hadn’t like it, she would have told me so in no uncertain terms. (And she would) However they gave her a BBC-complaints-department reply. i.e. get lost. This was a pity because it was a genuine review. But I agree, it’s complex.

      1. Stan, there are idiots, and there are trolls. Your 1-star review was written by an idiot. Readers know idiots when they see them. Even a semi-intelligent person who bothered to read that review would think, “How weird. How can they give a book a 1-star review after reading only one page?” and they will ignore it. It won’t influence them one way or another and they will think the reviewer is an idiot.

        A troll probably often has an agenda — for example, to trash all of the books that compete with his favorite author’s books, or to try to destroy the career of the dude who tripped him in the cafeteria in junior high.

        Idiots are just that, idiots — but they’re not evil — and people ignore their input. Trolls are dangerous because there’s usually volume associated with their evil ways. Remember, though, readers can recognize trolls, too. A troll review will encourage readers to consider other reviews that don’t share the same nasty language that is common among organized troll attacks.

        As for your wife, bless her heart, but I’m sure you understand that anyone who saw your wife’s review and figured she was related to you because of the last name would ignore her comment anyway, presuming it wasn’t honest. So you’ve lost nothing by losing that review. How nice that you have a cheerleader on the other side of the bed, though!


  9. You know, I don’t get why it’s okay for authors or big publishing houses to PAY services like Bookplex or Columbia Review or Kirkus for reviews. It seems like yet another double standard favoring Big Publishing (no surprise there) but hurts indie authors, who rarely have the kind of financial muscle to afford to PURCHASE a review from those sites.

    I’ve heard about “unbiased” and “fair” “one step removed from the money,” but if money is in the equation – and it is, clearly – how can that claim be made with a straight face? Sandy, I realize this is a bit of a tangent for the discussion on this article, so please delete it if you think it goes too far afield, but perhaps a discussion of why Kirkus is okay and Fiverr isn’t might help us all get a little clarity on the issue.

    1. Here are a few key points to consider, Alesia: Reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, etc. aren’t reader reviews, they’re editorial reviews. Editorial reviews by definition are honest and objective, and they’re not always reviews that authors and publishers like. Plus, traditional publishing houses can’t buy them, but self-published authors can. What’s more, if a traditional publisher submits a manuscript to one of these publications for a review, the review runs/appears, whether it’s favorable or not. With the Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly indie review programs, if you don’t like the objective/honest review you pay for, it can disappear.

      With these and other review services that offer reviews for money, you’re not buying a favorable review. You’re buying an HONEST review. When a Fiverr reviewer says, “Just tell me what you want the review to say,” it’s not honest, whether the person paying for it is an individual or a big publishing company. The Amazon issue is about honesty.



      1. I see what you’re saying. It’s the answer I get back when I raise the question, but it doesn’t really tackle the issue, does it? “Humans and money” are involved, in what is otherwise a straightforward transaction. That combination is rarely completely honest, in my experience, and the “catfish” phenomenon is a prime example of that, gone absolutely wild.

        Outside of those who are exploiting the free market system for profit (pretty sure everyone wants them rooted out, how dare they?), I think my reservations about the issue of paid reviews come down to this:

        What does “honesty” really mean in a context where an opinion is what’s being paid for? Why should an educated reader’s review/opinion be considered any more or less “honest” than an editorial review/opinion, paid-for or otherwise (one you can make disappear if you don’t like it, no less?)

        In other words, is “honesty” really the word we’re searching for, here?

        1. The people paying for what are supposed to be honest opinions when they contract with Kirkus, PW, Foreword, etc., are not the big publishers. They’re self-published authors. There’s no reason to think that those reviews aren’t honest — especially since the biggest complaint among authors is that the reviews they bought were negative (so of course they’re unhappy).

          So while you’re challenging the honesty of purchased editorial reviews, you’re challenging an outcome that sometimes benefits self-published authors, not those with traditional publishers you criticized in your first comment. The mainstream publishers can’t buy those reviews.

          That aside, the Amazon issue at hand is about reader reviews, not editorial reviews. It’s an important distinction at this point, because that’s what Amazon is focused on — user product reviews, whether the product is a book or a broom.

          To your last question, is the word “accurate” instead of “honest?” And isn’t that subjective, anyway?


          1. It totally is, and that’s the point. EVERY REVIEW IS SUBJECTIVE, REGARDLESS OF ITS SOURCE.

            There is no such thing as an objective review. You can’t pay for one, because they don’t exist. If you pay for an “honest, objective” review, you’re getting a doubly-dishonest, subjective review because there is no other kind.

            The solution I’m leaning toward is seeing money eliminated from the review process, period. That takes fiduciary ethics (questions of “dishonesty” and “unfairness”) from the equation, regardless of hair-splitting about the source (editor vs. reader). Not sure how that would/could be implemented, but it’s one way to address one of the big problem fueling the issue.

            Thanks again, Sandy, for hosting this intriguing discussion.

    2. Alesian, the difference between Bookplex or Kirkus as against Fiverr is that Bookplex and Kirkus follow strict ethical rules. They have enough clients to ensure that nothing affects their business even if couple of authors leave them just because the reviews were negative.

      On the other hand, at least 90% people on Fiverr were openly selling 5 star reviews irrespective of the content of your book.

  10. I think we would all agree that any attempt to remove fake reviews is a good thing. However, Amazon is being too heavy handed and wild in its approach removing thousands of good and honest reviews in the hope if removing the fake reviews. This has angered both the reader and author community in the recent past; see article “Amazon’s Policies Rile Self-Published Authors” at http://mediashift.org/2015/08/amazons-policy-changes-rile-self-published-authors/
    They even remove reviews for the most trivial of reasons such as a so-called relationship with the author – see petitions like https://www.change.org/p/amazon-com-amazon-change-the-you-know-this-author-policy
    Readers get further angered when they contact support and ask why their reviews have been removed, and they just send out the usual email explaining it does not abide by their policy. Yet when confronted by email or phone on HOW the review contradicts their review guidelines and policy, they cannot explain any further.
    What I find worse is that there have been blatant cases of Amazon’s own (VINE) favoured reviewers receiving awards and payments, yet Amazon does not remove these. Probably my biggest concern is the rubbish and troll reviews that Amazon is quite happy to publish. One line reviews like “rubbish” or “great” don’t really help, yet Amazon allows them.
    Isn’t it time Amazon got it’s own house in order and stopped these double standards?

    1. Maybe the trolls are next. We can only hope.

      The best solution to most of this is to write amazing books that readers recommend to their friends. When that happens, the buzz and honest (and positive) reviews flow organically.


      1. Sandra,
        Thanks for the encouraging comment. As you know, the suggestion is a kind one but very difficult in practice. Indie authors need as much help as they can get in promoting their books. This means help in getting honest reviews too. I recommend people reading Huffington’s Post’s article “Should You Pay for Them?” at Book Reviews: Should You Pay for Them? at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristen-houghton/book-reviews-paidfor-or-n_b_7903594.html
        It supports a growing opinion that if publishers can pay others to reviews books, then indie authors should be given an equal opportunity to do so too. So as long as they are honest (paid or not) Amazon should honour them.
        The webinar you did last year on Reviews was also great, so thanks for that one – good ideas shared on it.
        And yes…. let’s hope the trolls are next in Amazon’s target sights.

        1. Alison, how can the HuffPo article support a growing opinion that “if publishers can pay others to reviews books, then indie authors should be given an equal opportunity to do so too”? The paid options cited in the article: [Now paying for reviews is a commonplace practice. ForeWord, ($295), Kirkus, ( standard service $425, express service $575), and Publishers Weekly, (various guidelines), offer programs where you “pay to play.” ] are paid services for indie authors, not traditional publishers. The “big guys” can’t use these services. They submit their manuscripts with the hopes that they will be selected for review and that the reviews will be favorable — but they can’t buy them.

          And again, Amazon DOES honor editorial reviews — which is what you get with a Kirkus, PW, or Foreword review or any other media outlet, whether it’s the NY Times or USA Today. Amazon isn’t touching the editorial reviews, which appear farther up on the book sales page and are placed there by the publisher or the self-published author. Amazon is cracking down on customer/reader reviews. They’re different animals.

          I’m SO glad you benefited from the “How to Get Honest Reviews in 3 Easy Steps” audio training! Thank you! It has lots of info on how to get both editorial reviews and reader reviews.


      1. Thanks for contributing, Alesia. I really appreciate your input. Other perspectives really do contribute to a better understanding of the bigger picture.


  11. Sandra,

    This post has so much meat I needed a fork and knife to digest it.

    Thanks for introducing me to Dave Cheeson and his tools and tips. Now that I’ve found my way out of THAT rabbit hole, I have loads to say about reviews, but I’ll hit just my key points:

    1. I’m pleased that Amazon is cracking down on Fiverr providers who blatantly offer fake reviews. I worry that efforts such as this, however, may snowball into a move that results in wiping out more free honest reviews while the trolls run rampant with their negative reviews. (Have you heard of the cookbook mafia, an organized group that routinely posts negative reviews of cookbooks for what reasons I’m not exactly sure?)

    2. I’m glad that you clarified that paid reviews by Kirkus and such are editorial reviews, not to be confused with reader reviews. Traditional publishers not only pay for these “highly respected” reviews, however, but use PR tactics and events that big budgets can buy. Although indie authors may now buy Kirkus and such reviews, the costs are prohibitive for many. That means that the review-acquisition-playing field is still not level.

    3. I agree with Debra May that low-starred reviews can be instructive, but they are not necessarily negative comment on a book’s content. When a 3-star reviewer pointed out what I didn’t cover in my book he was absolutely right. His rating of my book reflected a gap between what he wanted my book to cover and what it actually covered. My Kindle book short read is not nor was it intended to be a comprehensive tome on the subject. If his review will spare a potential buyer from investing $1.99 in what s/he thinks will be an extensive coverage of the topic, good!

    The End.

    1. Flora, I’m glad you got your utensils out for this one!

      I just want to correct something again here related to this statement:[Traditional publishers not only pay for these “highly respected” reviews ]. Traditional publishers CANNOT buy reviews from Kirkus, PW, etc. They submit their manuscripts at no charge; sometimes they get the review they want and sometimes they don’t. But they can’t buy them. Self-published authors can, though, and while it might be too expensive for some, they DO have that option while the authors with traditional publishers don’t.

      Thank you! I always love hearing from you!


      1. Yikes! Thanks for correcting my misunderstanding that traditional publishers pay for reviews from Kirkus, PW, etc.

        There is a lot to digest in modern publishing, especially with constant changes. I’m happy that you help us stay on top of it.

        Thanks again.

  12. I have blogged about the number of companies on Twitter who offer fake reviews on numerous occasions. They are easy to spot! The bigger problem is those writers who ‘play’ the system, offering free books, then building a review platform on the back of it and upping their ratings.I read several posts boasting how writers got themselves to the top of various lists by this methodology. If only we didn’t have Amazon……..Personally, I am happy to let my books be reviewed by whoever …never solicit a review and never offer a review on a I did yours basis. AND I leave all my (only a couple) of crap one star reviews up so people can see I get ’em.

    1. Thanks, Carol. Fake reviews are a problem for sellers and buyers, whether they’re reviews that have been bought or reviews by trolls who haven’t read the book but are on some kind of destructive mission.

      If we didn’t have Amazon, we might be in trouble. Amazon accounts for more than 75% of book sales. I’m going to take advantage of that.

      Finally, negative reviews can be a good thing. As you’re seeing, at least people know that you didn’t buy or beg for them!


  13. Here’s the only place where my semi-complete ignorance of all things web-based is an advantage. I wouldn’t know how to fake a review! Am I behind the times or what! 🙂

    1. Diane, there is that school of thought that believes that what you don’t know can’t hurt you….

      ; )


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