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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Do some “authors” have no shame?

An “author” with the initials SY contacted me on Facebook today asking to post a review for his book on and give it a 5-star rating. In return, he would do the same for me.

When I looked up his book, I noticed that it has 51 reviews, which makes me wonder how many of those reviews are legitimate. Were they posted by readers, or were they posted by people who – like me – were asked to post a review?

The 55% 5-star ratings and the 40% 4-star rating don’t carry much weight either. If SY asked me to give his book a 5-star rating, how many others did he ask to do the same thing?

And then I noticed something else … SY has other books, either written by him or co-authored with someone else. I looked up the reviewers for those books and guess what … the same names kept popping up again and again.

Several people who gave a 5-star review to one book also gave a 5-star review to his other books.

In a blog post that SY wrote, he encourages self-published authors to give away copies of their books to various organizations to generate sales. 

Judging by his sales figures his strategy isn’t exactly working. His books are rated between #6,233,900 to #3,489,600. Not exactly best-sellers.

Now wouldn't you think that a book with dozens of reviews would be rated higher in the best-selling list?

By sheer coincidence, I came across another Facebook member who was approached by SY. She said she reported him to Amazon for unethical behaviour and that I should do the same. If enough people make Amazon aware of his review deceit, something will be done about it.

So I did. I sent Amazon a message that SY approached me to post a 5-star review and much to my surprise they responded within the hour. Apparently they are aware of SY’s methods as several people have filed a complaint against him. They assured me that steps will be taken.

My point … if you feel something is wrong or something bothers you, report it. If you take steps and someone else takes steps, something will be done. But if you keep quiet and others stay quiet, then dishonest individuals such as SY will continue to exploit other for their own gain.

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