No, Nothing Surprises me Anymore

I was reading Cracked the other day when I stumbled across the hilarious, depressing and informative article 5 Despicable Things People Do for Good Online Reviews.  Seriously, you guys should check it out if you haven’t already.  Just be aware that Cracked is an adult humour site and the language reflects it.

My Thoughts

Meh, nothing really that shocking when you think about it.  Companies and authors alike can be highly unscrupulous when it comes to reviews and their online images.  Honestly, I’ve encountered a lot of the things on the list already, other than the threat of being sued.  I’m sure that will come too.  (Knock on wood.)

Taking quotes out of context, creating fake reviews and paying for positive reviews, though?  Even just a year as an admittedly minor book blogger has exposed me in some way to all three.  I suppose you could say I’m a rather cynical human being, but really, nothing about reviews and the publishing industry surprises me anymore.

But what do you think about the article?  Were you shocked/surprised?

6 comments

  1. CarlaJHanna

    Sad. I’m not surprised whatsoever. I’ve received plenty of solicitations to pay for reviews in the few months since I self-published. I have not participated and won’t. But I’m also bummed that I got a one-star review on Goodreads from someone who could not have possibly read my book. She didn’t get a free ARC. I did not make the book free on Kindle or Nook. I know my book numbers and who bought my books. So you’ve got fake positive reviews out there and fake slams, too. I’ve also learned that the NY publishers “own” the big name book reviews like NYT. They determine the dollar spend behind their monthly releases based on the review quality for their titles. Since they know which book will be praised that month, they promote that “winner.” I find it appalling how only about 100 people decide what we all read each year. That’s some heavy-duty power in a few people’s hands.

    • Carrie Slager

      I haven’t had nearly as many bad experiences as you because I’m not an author, but the things you’re describing aren’t that surprising. Some people just trash books for the fun of it, which is terrible, really. As for publishers owning the big book review publications/reviewers, that’s not surprising either. I’ve read some of the critically acclaimed books publishers spend all of their money advertising; some are terrible. I definitely agree that that kind of power should not be in the hands of so few people when it affects the reading public.

  2. James Kennedy

    Exactly… that’s why I review using my own blog rather than on Amazon. It’s also why I trust friends and fellow book reviewers much more than Amazon’s recommendations when I’m looking for new books to read. In fact, I don’t browse Amazon for new books at all.

    • Carrie Slager

      Yes, very true! I’m more likely to trust the recommendation of one of my book reviewing ‘friends’ than Amazon reviews. Although I do browse Amazon for new books, I’ll often check them against reviews my blogger friends have posted. It helps to have a good social network online when it comes to things like that.

  3. Thomas

    A year ago I would have been surprised, now I just shake my head and sigh. One of the reasons I don’t trust reviews too much unless they’re from trusted sources. While the internet has its benefits in terms of marketing and getting word around regarding great products, it has its pitfalls too – this is one of them.

    • Carrie Slager

      True, true. That’s why I trust reviews from people like you and the other bloggers I follow. We ‘know’ each other and aren’t in the pockets of publishing companies or advertisers.

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