C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

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8 Ways to Get Reviews That Aren’t Fake

See on Scoop.itWriting and reading fiction

Do you believe reviews? A majority of us don’t, but more often than not we believed the consumer reviews. Not so much anymore, especially now when reviews can be bought, or in some cases, simply faked.


Interesting advice from Penny C Sansevieri on Huffington Post. Learn at the link.


As for my thoughts on getting reviews: I’ve often asked for reviews but they tend to trickle in. Most readers just want to read, not write. If it’s true that reviews aren’t believed anyway, maybe after you hit six or so, just let it happen (or not) organically and don’t worry about it so much. Get on with writing the next book or cast a magic spell or take hostages. As for buying and faking reviews, how ubiquitous is the problem really, especially if people are so biased against them anyway? 


Is distrust of reviews considered a major issue by casual browsers and everyday readers (i.e. the majority) or is this issue overblown by power users who are in an echo chamber talking “inside baseball”?


It is frustrating that some sites won’t let you publicize even a free book if you don’t already have a minimum of ten reviews and a high overall rating. On the other hand, many of the most successful books get that way by sending out hundreds of review copies (or their publishers think that’s how those books succeeded, anyway.) Though earning reviews and word of mouth is techinically what we’re hoping for with our book giveaways, a lot of feedback suggests that free ebooks generally sit on e-readers unread. 


What do you think? Is chasing reviews a high priority for you or are your efforts and finite resources directed elsewhere? If so, what are you doing to sell more of your books? I’m a bit fatigued from revision stress at the moment, so it’s a bad time to say what I’m up for. Mostly? Right now? Scotch rocks. ~ Chazz

See on www.huffingtonpost.com

Filed under: publishing

10 Responses

  1. fuonlyknew says:

    Interesting. I hate to think my reviews don’t mean anything. Granted, it sometimes takes me a while to get to a book for my review, but when I do, I spend a lot of time drafting it and give my honest opinion. In between requests for reviews I try to do one of the free books I grabbed. It’s my way of saying thank you and I always contact the author before I post.
    That said, I love reading and reviewing and discovering new authors.
    How’s the scotch?

  2. Chazz says:

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    It’s fair to say reviews don’t mean anything to some people and I suspect that group is vocal and getting a lot of attention at the moment. I always read reviews before buying, though that’s not the only factor in the buying decision. I also consider the title, genre, the cover, the author, the price and the blurb (and the title and blurb come first.). If I’m still dubious, I’ll read a sample. I wish more people read samples as a matter of policy and customer happiness.

    I suspect a particular sort of reader (won’t say who, but you’re free to guess) may distrust reviews more. That’s not the typical customer. For the majority of readers and for all authors, reviews can make a difference to sales, up and down. I trust the process and figure more reviews will come as critical mass is achieved (though it does bug me that I don’t have enough reviews to get publicize on certain sites for my free promo days, dang it! Insert heavy sigh here.)

    Please keep reviewing. We all appreciate the effort because, as I mentioned, only a tiny percentage of readers will ever review any book.

  3. I write reviews for books. But I often stop reading a book that is not my preferred reading (nothing wrong with it) or too poorly written, or simply puts me to sleep. Often this is no
    fault of the author, the book simply doesn’t grab me.
    If I believe a book should get 3 stars or less, I don’t write a review for it. After all, it’s only my opinion, and many people may love it. Our tastes are all different.
    There are so many free books available that it takes a long time to get to any given book.
    I read/finish one or two books a week for entertainment and do usually write a review for them.
    But I don’t read reviews when selecting a book. I go with an author whose work I’ve enjoyed previously, or I read the sample.
    To me, reviews are strange. They’re a person’s opinion, people don’t necessarily read or believe them, and yet they carry a lot of weight.
    Some of the books I’ve read and thought poorly written, have their own fan club and people who loved them. When a story stops abruptly in the middle, I don’t think that’s a good story. Yet I don’t write that in a review (or write any review) because I don’t want to discourage the author
    Reviews. Untrustworthy, opinionated weirdness.
    louise3anne twitter

    • Chazz says:

      Louise, I love your attitude! You’re right. Some reviews have a tone of furious vehemence usually reserved for child molesters, genocide and family reunions. And I share your policy. If I don’t like a book enough, I don’t finish it so I don’t review it. Thanks for reading.

  4. I have two problems. After a great deal of effort I finally find people willing to review my books, but then they never deliver. By then I am so tired and disillusioned at being let down that it is all I can do to start the process of finding reviewers from scratch. So my question is, does anyone know where one can find a dependable and willing list of reviewers?

  5. Chazz says:

    John, your comment makes me wonder, how long do we wait before we know for sure the review isn’t happening? There are so many books and only so many book bloggers and only so much time. I have a couple of books I have to get to for review consideration, but frankly, I’m in the middle of high production so it’s not happening as fast as the authors would prefer, I’m sure. The other thing is, I’m not sure their books are to my particular taste, so when I accept any book for review I make no guarantee they’ll ever see a review. Of course, if I don’t like it, they don’t my review. A book reviewer’s only obligation once a book is accepted should be to give the book a shot and read. On page one, both parties are hoping to fall in love.

    The other wrinkle that makes authors grit their teeth is, unless you’re sending out coupons for your books via Smashwords, review copies do cost and it can add up. Why Amazon hasn’t stolen SW’s coupon idea for easier promotion by authors is a mystery. I gift ebooks to book bloggers and reviewers so at least the sale goes to me. (I might have just answered my own question, but I hope those paltry sales aren’t Amazon’s motivation for no promo coupons.)

    I understand your frustration, though my policy is to try not to get frustrated over stuff I can’t control. We can’t control book bloggers (and I don’t want to…hm…well, perhaps some sort of electronic collar…no! Bad! Wrong!) I’m just going to write the next book and hope people catch my flavor. I doubt the sort of list you’re looking for exists, at least not for all genres and all books since no one book is for everybody. Too many variables in taste. (Though if someone has that list, let’s see it!)

    I suggest we try a more casual approach and engage book reviewers on their home turf first. Comment on their blog where appropriate and genuine and let it come more organically. Keep sending out review copies here and there when it doesn’t feel like you’re trying to turn a door key in a horse’s butt. Don’t drive yourself crazy. I’ve done that drive to crazy…(Bob Hope’s one joke follows) “That’s not a drive. That’s a short putt.”

  6. This is exactly why I started the Goodreads group for indie reviews. Good, bad, or ugly, I’d like everyone that offers up a free copy a good shot at a review.

  7. Thanks for your comments, Chazz. I shall take your advice.

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