The theory is that more positive reviews will enhance the perception of their work, and also give some kind of intangible boost to how Amazon’s algorithms rank their books.
Some people are mad enough about this to start petitions, and even to push for this practice to be a criminal offense. Others are riding high on the moral outrage horse, and what about the children, and etc.
I fall squarely in the corner of I DON’T CARE.
Fake reviews are just marketing. A shady for of marketing, but still marketing.
1) This is no different than the actors they hire to pretend they loved movies for commercials.
2) It’s only slightly different from when “A stunning achievement in failed filmmaking!” becomes “A stunning achievement…!” in those same commercials.
Other reasons not to care:
3) I’m busy writing and not-marketing my own books.
4) Who cares?
This might be ugly in its cynicism, but I tend to think the more morally outraged an author is about this, the more insecure about their own work they are. More so, my theory is that their outrage levels are calculated in a precise ratio with how jealous they are about the sales figures of the accused authors.
There’s nothing wrong with that jealously, btw – just funnel it into writing, and also into marketing your own work more creatively.
Some of you think signing that petition is going to sell you more books.
The sooner you admit this, the better.
In fact, if you’ll email me a written admission to same that I can publish here on my blog, I’ll buy six ebook copies of one of your books – one for me and five for others. This, so long as we agree I’m not going to read it, and that I’m going to post a fake review of it.
That type of open honesty about dishonesty should be fun, so let’s make it that way.
On a more inquisitive note, I can’t figure out why they’ve been coined “sock puppet reviews”, but I went ahead and recorded one on video and posted it on Amazon.
It’s a fake review that admits it’s fake, which in some ways…makes it real.
How morally outraged should I be at myself.