I love this story!! The Associated Press reports that several authors were caught redhanded over the weekend unfairly inflating the reviews of their own books and those of colleagues and friends.
The glitch apparently happened on Amazon.com‘s Canadian website.
Amazon’s online book store includes reviews of books, with space for Amazon customers to review the books themselves, either to agree or disagree with the “professional” reviewers. But the customer reviews are often not signed by their writers. So, a bad review could be shown to have been written by “A reader in Chicago,” for example.
Anyway, over the weekend, something happened to those anonymous tags, and suddenly real names appeared, revealing that some authors were posting glowing reviews of their own books while posing as enthusiastic readers.
One author who confessed to writing a review of his own book justified his actions by complaining that it is “absurd” to think that anyone can come in and trash a writer’s work anonymously.
Don’t quite understand that argument. How does requiring a name on a bad review remove the absurdity?
Like everything else, it’s really all in the eye of the beholder. Some of the greatest books ever written don’t hold my interest. And some of my favorites would never make a literary hall of fame. I feel sorry for anyone who bases his decision to buy a book solely on what a reader they’ve never met (whether they know the name or not) has to say about it.