Writers are Faking Reviews on Amazon.Com? Really?

What’s This World Coming to? Dept:

RJ Ellory, Author, Caught Writing Fake Amazon Reviews For Books

Bestselling, award-winning crime author R.J. Ellory has been caught faking Amazon reviews for both his own books and the books of his competitors.

Ellory was caught writing the fake Amazon reviews by fellow author Jeremy Duns, according to ABC News. Such an act is dubbed “sock-puppeting,” or writing anonymous online reviews praising one’s own work.

Gawker posted the complete Twitter thread written by Duns, via Storify, in which the author describes the posts Ellory wrote about his own works.

“Ellory writes 5-star reviews of his own work on Amazon. Long, purple tributes to his own magnificent genius,” Duns tweeted. “RJ Ellory also writes shoddy, sh—-y sniping reviews of others authors’ work on Amazon, under an assumed identity.”

Adding, “Prasing [sic] yourself is pathetic. Attacking other writers like this? I have no time for it, and have no time for anyone who defends it.”

Read it all

This doesn’t surprise us because we know several writers who have done the same thing – and proudly told people now at TVWriter™ about it (back before we were here). But it does fill us with disgust. The ultimate victory of marketing, this is, conquering ethics, morality, and truth.

Shame on you, dood. Shame on everybody who pulls this crap.

(Sorry, boss. We’ll go back to being funny – or trying to be funny – in our next post. But this really offends us.)

4 thoughts on “Writers are Faking Reviews on Amazon.Com? Really?

  1. Christiana says:

    The whole practice is disgusting. Although I think it happens a lot less than people think. Most writers are more ethical than that. But when it happens, it’s the height of stupid moves and it’s utterly unnecessary.

    As an author, you should be confident enough in what you write that you’re not sock-puppeting your reviews. And attacking “the competition” is ridiculous.

    If I like a specific genre, other books in that genre aren’t competition. I don’t decide between authors. I embrace all authors in that genre and read voraciously.
    Writers attacking each other under pseudonyms is disgraceful, unnecessary and juvenile.

  2. Christiana says:

    Oops, I hit “post” too soon. Let me amend that to add that writers who are so insecure, that they need to sock-puppet their reviews, should spend that time focusing on something more productive, like writing their next book instead.

    That and people who sock-puppet tend to be douches anyway. I’ve never met a sock-puppet who wasn’t. It’s really not a badge of honor, or a clever way to game the system. It’s a douche move, run by insecure, immature idiots.

  3. Christiana says:

    Another thought… I heard that, a couple of years ago, Amazon had a glitch and people’s real names were revealed under the reviews they had left. There were a lot of pissed off authors, once they found out that their 1-star reviews had been left by fellow authors who saw them as competition.

    Also, if you want to find out if you’ve been sock-puppeted on Amazon, see if you can track down your reviewer on Goodreads. They’re often on there with their real name and with the books they’re writing (or have written).

  4. kathyfuller says:

    Totally agree, Christiana. With all three comments. 🙂 The irony of it all is that most readers don’t use reviews as one of their top reasons to buy a book. Mostly its price, then cover, then back blurb, then the reviews. And now most folks who peruse amazon reviews know they could be sketchy, so its not a reliable measuring stick anymore. So all that sock-puppeting was/is a waste of time.

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