Book Review Dishonesty

liarI’m not going to divulge any information about the person who is the subject of this article. What I will say is that I was shocked and appalled by recent conversation with a now former friend.

Recently I was talking to a person who detailed to me that they had a job on the side to make a little extra spending money. Ever curious I asked “oh what are you doing? Is it interesting?” The answer was “it’s ok I guess, but the money is good.” What was their job? They work for an indie book publisher. What is their job? They review books.

I replied “oh that’s cool you get to read free books.” I was informed that no, they don’t read the books. All they do is receive a list of Kindle books. Then they go on Amazon.com and create 5 different identities and create five four star reviews for each book on the list. They scan the front and back of the book and the summary and then spew some bullshit like “awesome, I couldn’t put the book down, can’t wait for the next one.”

I couldn’t believe my ears. I asked “you do know that you are lying for monetary gain and swindling people???” They got pissed at me. I asked “what publisher are you working for?” But they wouldn’t tell me of course. That’s pretty much says it all right there. If they didn’t think they were doing something wrong, what’s the harm in telling the truth?

It’s pretty obvious that some review shenanigans goes on with book reviews for Kindle and other eBooks. However, it’s really weird when it’s in your face by someone you thought you knew who thinks that this is a perfectly OK thing to do for extra pocket change.

4 responses

  1. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Realizing some people/chicks have zero morals or even real opinions and profit from being fake is a bubble burster. I’m not naive nor surprised, but seriously?! I’ve heard Wall Street has attracted a lot of sociopaths over the years. Soooo kids who wouldn’t recognize a book if it jumped up and bit em’, are now making money by pretending to be random reviewers. I trust certain publishers (Penguin for one) since they only publish good books, I’ve never disliked anything they put out but I suppose everyone has their favorites.

    1. The random stupid phony review situation is pretty ridiculous. Since I use Kindle almost exclusively for reading now I take advantage of the sample function. It has saved me a lot of money and hair rending. Another thing I avoid is books that don’t specify basic details like how many pages the book has. If the author is too lazy or to deceptive to do that then I’m not buying even if it is only 99 cents.

  2. I think it is the same with movie reviewers. I go to see a movie on the strength of the review and wonder if they were watching the same movie.

    1. True, you have to pay attention to who is doing the review. But I always hoped that they at least watched the movie. My bubble is burst.

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