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The De-valuing of Reviews by Indie Writers Using the 'Friends and Family Plan'


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Posted on Apr 8, 2012 1:23:37 PM PDT
B. says:
C.S. I was just being a smart a--. I always wanted to be a professor, they always had 1st dibs on the coeds. I know all about off budget items, such as grants, as my brother works for a Virginia congressman. There are grants for nearly everything, not just for the university types. It's simply amazing as how so few can provide for so many. God bless the American taxpayer for his unlimited forced generosity. .

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012 1:46:25 PM PDT
I once visited Academe. It's a nice place, but I wouldn't want to live there.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012 1:47:27 PM PDT
Forced generosity. Love it, B.!

(But not as much as I love you. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012 2:05:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 8, 2012 2:06:26 PM PDT
Splinker says:
They are crazy there, but I like Acadamea nuts.

Posted on Apr 8, 2012 2:59:55 PM PDT
Rick G says:
Wow. I've gotta learn to either not take a few days off from this forum or give up sleeping. Oh well, back to playing catchup. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012 4:20:04 PM PDT
It's okay, Rick. I think we are on reruns now.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012 4:23:50 PM PDT
LOL!!! Good point. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012 4:35:43 PM PDT
Rick G says:
I hear you, LG. Definitely seeing some trends.

Occasionally I'm tempted to come back into a long thread, say the exact opposite of what I posted 20 pages earlier, and then see if anyone notices. :)

Posted on Apr 8, 2012 5:14:36 PM PDT
A lot of people have taken the time over the past, what is it?....10 DAYS! to politely give their thoughts, opinions, suggestions, experiences about this issue. I've gotten some insight into this issue from the views of authors. But every page or two, a new author comes along who (I guess) is too busy or important to read about what readers think/like/don't like and just pops in to say, "Well, I don't agree because my case is totally different because...." and then they list all the rationalizations that 15 other authors have already listed. Some even get nasty about it and many use atrocious writing, spelling and punctuation, as well as faulty logic to tell us about it. I don't want to read a writer who doesn't think that the basics of good writing are important.

I've been looking at the freebie offers and I would say that 85% of them have 6-12 reviews, all 5-star. When I've taken the time to look at the reviewers' histories, INVARIABLY 90-100% of them have no review history other than reviewing that author's books, even for reviews written as long ago as 2009-2010. They have never read another book that inspired them to write a review. There are many similarities in these reviews that tip me off even without looking at the reviewer's history - which I won't mention because I don't want to give anyone new ideas. So, I don't even bother to look anymore and just assume that all or at least 95% of the 5-stars are fake. Fair? Maybe not, but it is fair to game the system with the intent to scam readers into buying books? I don't think so.

About 10% of the freebies have no reviews. Those are the ones that I've been picking lately. If it's a good book, I'll try to write a review to help out the author (and readers!) because he or she is going to get an extra star from me for integrity. If it's really bad, I'll probably say so, too.

BTW, I've read a lot of posts about what these forums were like before the MOA forum was started. I can't even imagine how bad it was! Probably something like email was before the providers learned how to filter out the v-drug and Rolex messages?

Signed - a reader who doesn't hate authors, just doesn't want to read bad ones

Posted on Apr 8, 2012 5:33:51 PM PDT
John Green says:
Applauded- by a reader who doesn't hate authors, just doesn't want to get scammed into reading books, good or otherwise. Simple as that.

Posted on Apr 8, 2012 7:17:14 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 8, 2012 7:21:31 PM PDT
Jacqueline says:
Happy Easter y'all! I really like "viper's nest," at least our Mary is a creative sort. All this time I'd been thinking in tired old cliches like, "clique."

This is one of my favorite threads for it's eruditeness and now I'm learning creative writing, too. Hope you all have a good start to your week.

I think I'll try and actually read an Indie book this week! My Kindle's just sitting there looking forlorn. See you all soon! {forelorn sp....}

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012 7:19:51 PM PDT
Jacqueline says:
Richard, if you are still around I was sad for your losses and wanted to be someone who says "Hello!"

Hope to see you around and that you heal well - and I agree about hospitals and germs. They scare me - all the Purell in the world doesn't make up for that.

Best wishes.

Posted on Apr 8, 2012 7:53:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 8, 2012 7:58:37 PM PDT
I'd like to ask: is it a 'fake' review if a fellow author in another writing cirle, or perhaps one who runs a blog, 'reviews' your book -- not because they 'stumbled' across it as a general member of the public looking for a good read, or because another general member of the public recommended it, but because you announced to them that it was now available (if they'd like to read it (hint, hint). And review it too.).

It seems there could be a fine line between publicity (because those blog friends are only too happy to put in a 'good' word for us on their site, and Amazon, too), and general reviews where the reviews have come from the general public who don't know us at all.

At the end of the day though, one will reach a critical mass and one won't.

Guess which one?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012 8:04:16 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 8, 2012 8:04:46 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012 8:18:32 PM PDT
John Green says:
Exactly what is so hard to understand about all this? It always sounds like trying to find a loophole or workaround instead simply following the guidelines and applying a little common sense- because if you're as smart as you like to think you are, you shouldn't have to ask.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012 8:22:17 PM PDT
Jacqueline says:
lol, John - I was waiting for that. This thread's gonna go on forever, huh? Which is allright by me....

see you all again soon!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012 8:24:01 PM PDT
It's not a loophole John. It's a contradiction in the definition of 'friends'.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012 8:33:22 PM PDT
Like.

Been following and just wanted to say that this thread should be required reading for readers, reviewers and writers.

Posted on Apr 8, 2012 8:40:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 8, 2012 8:41:39 PM PDT
Ms. P. says:
"But what if they have green hair? They can write a review if they have green hair and I don't, right?"

What are you looking for? PERMISSION? It reminds me of playground duty teaching second grade. The rule is don't go UP the slide. But, please God, don't ask me before every time you want to go DOWN. And, I'm sorry Jimmy got away with going up the slide three times when I wasn't watching. It doesn't mean YOU'RE not in trouble because I happened to be looking at the slide when you did it. But hey, try again tomorrow if you like taking your chances.

FFS, it is not that complicated. IF you are an intelligent, well-read adult, putting a piece of (hopefully coherent) writing UP FOR SALE to the general public, you should be able to read a guideline and figure out what is appropriate and what is not. And almost fifty pages of posts have made the exact same points, and we are still getting the exact same questions.

Posted on Apr 8, 2012 8:46:39 PM PDT
Yes, I'm off to start another post on something that's original.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012 10:14:10 PM PDT
John Green says:
<<It's not a loophole John. It's a contradiction in the definition of 'friends'.>>

How? Either they're you're friends or they're not. If they're your friends, you know the answer; if they're not, there's nothing to wonder about.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2012 3:13:54 AM PDT
Yes, and I always do. I read the whole sample. If I like it I buy the book. I've always been happy with the result.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2012 3:06:20 PM PDT
"I'll write a blog post about this issue that will get a lot more readers than will ever see it here in this little nest of vipers"

The people who actually post in this thread are just the tip of the iceberg. The thread stats state that there have been 118 participants at the time I write this. That means there are hundreds of others who are reading everything, but not posting. The majority of people who read forums never or rarely post on them.

As an example of what I mean, a couple years ago I posted a link to a page on my blog in a thread in the Kindle Forum because it directly addressed a how-to issue that was being discussed. Only a few people posted in that thread, but I got 147 page hits. Then you have to factor in all the other people who didn't post, did read the thread, but didn't bother going to my blog page.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2012 3:22:21 PM PDT
"About 10% of the freebies have no reviews. Those are the ones that I've been picking lately."

That's a great idea, LG.

Posted on Apr 9, 2012 6:13:47 PM PDT
FYI: Following the advice I received on this forum, I have advised those who received a free copy of my novel -- which I had sent out as publisher's review copies -- to declare (in accordance with amazon's guideline, which I have finally found on the website, but of which I was ignorant when I sent out the review copies) that they received a copy of the book in exchange for writing a review. I do not believe I can do any more to redress this situation. I am not concerned about my relatives reading my books and writing glowing reviews because my relatives are afraid of what they might find in my novels, and never read them.
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Discussion in:  Kindle Book forum
Participants:  137
Total posts:  1346
Initial post:  Mar 29, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 12, 2013

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