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Just Say No to Fake Reviews

Posted on: May 27th, 2015 by Publisher Services



The ethics involved in the “book review” industry has been a constant hot topic in the reading and writing worlds.  There are many internet reviewing services which offer to “bulk up” a book’s online presence with quantities of guaranteed, positve fake book reviews.  Self-publishers need to take a common sense approach when deciding how to best promote their work. There are a lot of ethical issues involved in this expedient process:

  • Bulk reviews stand out – but for all the wrong reasons.  Stock bulk reviews may appear verbatim for a variety of books – without any changes made to add specifics unique to the book.  These reviews do not show any indication that the book has been actually read.  One service even states that their reviewers base their reviews on the sample pages provided by Amazon.  These types of reviews are immediately dismissed by readers as fake and actually tarnish both the book and the author.
  • Bulk reviews cuase controversy.  The book reviewing process has been under a lot of debate in recent years, but what all responsible readers and writers can easily agree on is that mass-produced, falsely postive reviews destroy the integrity no only of that of the reviewer but also reflects poorly on the writing industry as a whole – for both established and new authors.
  • Bulk reviews water down the star rating.  Star-rating-inflaction from bulk reviews causes readers to doubt the authenticity of any book that receives blanketed positive reviews.  This detracts from the inherent integrity of the reviewing process.
  • Bulk reviewers are unethical.  Bulk reviews are not very different from bribes. Paying someone to like your work isn’t honest nor unbiased.  
  • Bulk reviews are anonymous.  It is hard to be worried about your reputation when you are guaranteed to be anonymous. There isn’t even a way to be guaranteed a bulk reviewer is a real person.  In order for a review to be legitimate and respected, it has to come from a real reader with a supporting body of work.