This is a potentially controversial subject. Please don’t judge me as ungrateful. I am merely seeking answers, as I believe this may be a big problem.
Among the three (only three? What’s wrong with you people?) reviews of The Anomaly Problem, there’s one I wish would go away. It’s a five-star review by someone called “Pen Name.” The review itself is only four words: “It’s a must read!!” I don’t disagree, but the review was posted only a day after I released the book, and I am quite certain the reviewer never read it.
See, this review was written by a family member who thought they were helping. Thing is, looking at this review through the eyes of a book buyer, my mind screams “FAKE.”
Well, it is fake. And due to some bad shit that happened over the last few months, I’m no longer in contact with this person. If I were, I’d politely ask them to take the review down. I may still do that, but before I do, the inquisitive part of my mind wants to know what damage the review is doing.
Sure, I like having five-star reviews. But what I really want on my sales page is honest reviews. People shopping for books want this too, don’t they? And this particular five-star review is glaringly dishonest. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure the majority of readers out there can tell.
Suppose that review is driving people away?
I asked Amazon about that. As many authors know, fake reviews don’t violate Amazon’s Community Guidelines. Hell, some people post reviews that have nothing to do with the book they bought (ever see one where the buyer complains about the delivery guy? One star ’cause the UPS driver left the book in the rain). Those are apparently okay, too. Needless to say, Amazon didn’t want to help.
I suppose if I had more reviews (seriously, y’all lazy or something?) it wouldn’t be such a big deal. But that one review sticks out like a sore thumb. And I can’t help but wonder: is it hurting sales?
So what do y’all think? When you see a review that you think might be fake or solicited, do you pass on the book? Do you ignore most reviews on Amazon, knowing their guidelines are trash anyway? Comment below if you’ve got a thought.