Thursday, 28 February 2013

Fake reviews on Goodreads now?

Some of you know well my stance on paid-for reviews, so you'll imagine my reaction to this message on Goodreads, which I received this morning:

Dear Michele,
I absolutely loved the synopsis of your book!!! I am looking very forward to read it.
I have a proposition to make. I do paid book reviews and I would like to review your book very much.

I will put your review on Twitter, Facebook, my blog, Goodreads, www.revish.com, www.worldcat.org and Barnes and Noble. I will also feature an Interview with you on my blog
If you have any other site you want the review on that is also fine. I'll also put it up on indiblogger which is a networking site for Indian Bloggers which will help your book to get an Indian audience. I don’t charge much for the book review and I'll take a kindle version of your book too if that's convenient.
Please let me know if we can work something out!!


Is it possible to Actually spit feathers? I'm close to finding out. I responded (of course I did), and reported the email to Goodreads:

To pay for reviews is unscrupulous on the part of the writer, and an abhorrent business on the part of the "reviewer". In addition, you are not allowed to solicit business on Goodreads.

I had a response within minutes:

I merely asked whether you were interested. If authors are interested, i conduct the entire transaction on my personal email ID off goodreads. I merely propose which is not soliciting business...

First of all, Goodreads explicitly prohibits "using the Service for any commercial solicitation purposes". Secondly, I looked up the definition of "solicitation" from the business dictionary: "the act or instance of seeking bid, business or information."  Er, NAME REDACTED, perhaps you should check the definition as well.

This person's email raises such a horrible thought. Are authors now paying for fake reviews on Goodreads? If so, it makes me very sad that they think so little of their books (or are genuinely selling such shite between two covers) that they would do this. It shows a complete lack of respect, for themselves and for readers.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Grrrrr.....this is so wrong. Thanks for flagging it. I hope Goodreads closed that person's account.

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  4. I had exactly the same approach from someone. He even advertises (of course, it's not really 'advertising', as he claimed with you) on Linkedin. The prices are derisory, about £5 for a 'review.' But your point holds. If anyone thinks their work is such rubbish that it needs a plug for a fiver from someone in a tin hut on the Nullabor Plain then they ought not to bother publishing it at all. I don't know who uses this service. Maybe Jordan's publishers.

  5. I think we're fast reaching the point where a book needs a healthy sprinkling of 1 and 2 star reviews, to be taken seriously. Any book with nothing but 5 star reviews rings alarm bells for me.
    But it seems this will be a really hard thing for Goodreads to police; I don't think there's a way round it, really.


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