Here’s an example. I randomly pulled these ads from fiver.com, a website where you can offer any service for five bucks:
- I will write two Amazon reviews from two different reviewers for your product or book for $5.
- I will give your book a glowing five star review on Amazon for $5
- I will vote Amazon reviews as helpful or unhelpful and report a review as inappropriate for $5
Okay. We all know this is wrong. No-brainer, right? And we also know that engaging in this sort of activity does nothing but adulterate the review process—that is to say, render it useless. And it no doubt hurts those of us who work hard to actually earn our good reviews.
But on a much deeper level one has to wonder: is it really worth it? Seems like a shallow victory to me. I know, I know, anyone who engages in this sort of behavior probably doesn’t much care about fulfilling a dream or chasing their passion. More than likely it’s all about the money.
Not that there’s anything wrong with making a buck, but if that’s the case, I’m thinking there are much easier ways to go about doing it. I speak from experience here. I’ve sold a lot of books, and when you consider how long it takes me to write one, I’m absolutely positive I could have earned the money in half the time doing any number of other things. Seems to me that writing books just for the purpose of making money is sort of like trying to dig your way to China with a plastic pail and shovel.
What about the props? Is that what it’s all about? Bragging rights? I doubt it, but on the slight chance that’s the case, here’s a question: how about just writing a damn good book? And if they can’t do that, if they don’t have the ability, why are they wasting their time writing bad ones? I mean, they have to be bad, right? If they were good, they wouldn't have to pay someone to say so.
If I sound a little angry it's because I am. But what about you? What do you think? Authors: how's it make you feel? And readers: does it make you want to take reviews less seriously? Not read them at all?
Talk to me.