Book reviews going cheap! Get your book reviewed here for only £10!

HTWB book reviews

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….screamed PeoplePerHour recently … offering, we assume, any upcoming author the chance to have a reasonably positive (would you pay even £10 for a blasting?) review that will be placed on some useful sites including, we hope, Amazon.

“I can write a book review and post online (various places) for £10”

I can review your book and post online in four different places (details provided on request). 
My review will be written firstly for my love of books and the opportunity to share my thoughts. 
Reviews will be (sic) vary in length (300 word max), and will not contain any major spoilers. For reviews posted to my own book review site a rating out of 10 will also be included and shared via my social media accounts. 

…and would these £10 specials all be favorable reviews, by any chance?

Blatant nose-thumbing at honest promotion

This type of bullsh*t makes me see red. So do the scams authors and book promoters get up to so they can crank a book’s Amazon sales rank up to no 1 in its category … it’s all based on playing games with the algorithms and other whizzy-bangs Amazon uses to determine a book’s sales ranks. Easy-peasy.

It has all become such a regular, revolting pastime among not only self-publishers, I might add, but also “respectable” trade publishing houses, that my good friend and book coach mentor Mindy Gibbins-Klein actually coined a new phrase to describe how we do it the honest way. If a book hits its Amazon category’s number 1 spot purely on its own merits, it’s not a best seller…

it’s an organic best seller.

The fact that it has become necessary for people like Mindy and me to use such a phrase is outrageous. We should not need to. These scams pervading the book publishing industry have become so widespread that nobody takes “best seller” seriously any more. I use that term in my flagpost text on social media but I can imagine that many people seeing think, “yeah, yeah. Another one who has massaged the Amazon figures and got all her friends to write glowing reviews.” Or even has paid someone £10 to provide one. Yuk.

And I’m not a pot calling the kettle black

I’ve had 31 books published over the last 20 years or so and two of them actually have earned an Amazon number 1 category best seller spots in their own right. Organic best sellers, OK?

One is “How To Write Winning Non-Fiction” which hit that coveted number one spot a few times not long after it was published.

The other is my beloved old friend, “The Horse Lover’s Joke Book,” which is seldom out of the top ten in 3 or 4 horsey categories on Amazon. In the run up to Christmas it usually hits the number 1 spot several times … and has been doing so for the last 13 years since it was published in 2001.

With Winning Non-Fiction, I confess I did some conventional promotion via the social media (non-scam type) to get it out there and selling. With Horse Lovers, however, I didn’t even have to do that … its title is enough to attract people searching for gifts for their horsey friends and it looks like being a very long-term favorite, along with Tina Bettison’s hilarious trilogy led by “100 Ways a Horse is Better than a Man.”

How seriously do you now take “best seller” and glowing book reviews?

I really would be interested to know how you feel about these, especially where Amazon is concerned.

Do you still feel impressed when someone claims to be a “best selling author?” Or does it go over your head now that so many authors are claiming this accolade?

And when you look at a book’s reviews on Amazon (as I do often) and see several short, very similar, glowing testimonials, do you not smell a rat? Particularly given that people like this character advertising on PeoplePerHour are more or less guaranteeing a good review for just £10? (just over USD $16.00?)

Please share your views…

photo credit: The Daring Librarian via photopin cc

Comments

comments

Thoughts

  1. Amazon reviews have become a bit of a lottery, with some being posted by author’s friends and others being posted by trolls and haters. It is so confusing. By the way, I bought your How To Write Winning Non-Fiction book a while ago, it’s a great resource and I have read it a number of times.

  2. Hi Ian – thanks for dropping by, and thanks for your kind words about “How To Write Winning Non-Fiction” – I’m so glad you find it helpful! And you’re absolutely right about Amazon reviews.

    I have a feeling that some less-than-scrupulous book marketers and promoters have a bank of reviewers on the payroll who churn out the reviews on a pay-by-the meter basis. If you look at some books on Amazon which have been published by the so-called “co-operative” publishers, you will often see rows of reviews which are so similar they could have been produced by old-fashioned “article spinning” software. Surely the book-buying public can’t be fooled by this? I hope not…

  3. And I’m replying to Cendrine Marrouat here too as I am on a borrowed desktop in Toronto and for reasons I won’t bore you with can’t get on to Google Plus! (Will know how to set things up for next time, though…)

    Yes, Cendrine – those ads are incredibly depressing. There is no way someone is going to sit down, read a 300 page novel and then spend the necessary time reviewing it for GBP 10 … it’s just going to be a rehash of “gripping plot, couldn’t put it down,” etc. Do potential purchasers really believe that garbage?

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