Back in August, I posted a mini-rant about the slew of get-rich-quick-through-self-publishing books that were cropping up on Amazon. These books promised to make you the next Amanda Hocking or John Locke. Mr. Locke even published such a book, revealing his secret to success.
It’s no surprise to me that this turned out to be a lot of hooey. Sadly, some writers were sucked in, even seasoned professionals. Holly Lisle, a much-published author, admits to being fooled by the lure of easy money that John Locke offered. She recently blogged about her experience and I think it is well worth the read.
You can find the article here: Do I still recommend John Locke? No.
She also includes a link to an article about the issue in the New York Times.
The issue has to do with Mr. Locke and other authors paying for rave reviews on Amazon and other book sites. Irreparable harm is caused by this phenomenon. How can a reader trust a review if she isn’t sure if it was written by another reader or by someone part of a review mill, who probably didn’t read past the first chapter, if at all?
Answer: reviews are great, but let the buyer, even the freebie buyer, beware. It’s easy enough to read the first few pages of most books available on Amazon and elsewhere.
I also want to note that I don’t count as part of this reviewers who were given free copies of a book and then asked to post an honest review. Authors have to get the word out somehow and they are taking a chance the review will be unflattering.
Any writers reading this, published or not, let’s all agree here and now that we will never pay for a flattering review. After all, no amount of money can repair a damaged reputation.