‘Boom’ and Busted: Author Admits Amazon Reviews Are Fake

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“Boom” for sale on Amazon.


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As if you didn’t already know the truth about Amazon’s “reviews.”

Author Tony Horwitz writes in the New York Times.

Except there didn’t seem to be a “team,” just an outside publicist who was busy on other jobs. She circulated a hasty press release and wrote a glowing review of “Boom” on Amazon, the main retailer of Byliner titles. Byliner urged me to “game the system” by soliciting more such “reviews” from friends and relatives, and issued a few tweets touting “Boom.” Then silence.

I’m shocked! Shocked! to know that Amazon reviews are bogus.

And if you want to pick up a little pocket money, you can write them too!

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About lmharnisch

I work at the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Books and Authors and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to ‘Boom’ and Busted: Author Admits Amazon Reviews Are Fake

  1. Eve says:

    This article was very depressing, though it didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. Like the author, I was actually able to make a living as a freelance magazine writer/editor back in the ’90s, something that is no doable anymore.

    And while I know the whole book/magazine/newspaper industry is changing, I don’t have to like it. At least I got my licks in and a few books published before it was swept out from under me.

  2. Wayne Selover says:

    Nice to know there are still career opportunities out there in journalism…

  3. jmd says:

    That Amazon reviews are bogus is still a story…? That authors solicit positive reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, et al., is still a story…?

    I think you’d have to be living under a rock to NOT know this by now. Authors openly solicit positive reviews on their blogs, offer “contests” with “prizes” for reviews (another method of paying for positive reviews), beg for them from their Facebook “fans”, etc.

    I ignore Amazon reviews. Absolutely ignore them. They’re a waste of bandwidth at this point. I don’t know any serious reader who looks to Amazon reviews for an indication of how good or bad a book is.

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