From author Anne R. Allen:
Last month the Seattle Times reported that Amazon is suing a bunch of paid review mills.
Unfortunately, many paid review sites don’t feel they’re doing anything wrong. A spokesman for one of the companies Amazon is suing said:
“We are not selling fake reviews. However we do provide Unbiased and Honest reviews on all the products…and this is not illegal at all.”
. . . .
[B]uying customer reviews is definitely against the Terms of Service of most retailers and can get you kicked off Amazon for life.
It can also draw the ire of the vigilantes who hang out in the Amazon fora, Goodreads, and BookLikes, who are some of the nastiest cyberbullies on the ‘Net. To them, an accusation equals guilt and you are never allowed to prove your innocence. These are people who learned their ethics from the Salem witch trials.
So you really want to stay under their radar.
I understand why they are annoyed. It seems as if every day I get followed by another paid review mill on Twitter. And their sites are slick. They make it seem as if paying for reviews is a part of the process of self-publishing.
. . . .
It’s OK to pay for a professional review from established magazines like Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, or Midwest Book Review. I don’t know if they’re worth the price, but they’re not in the same category as paid “customer” reviews.
The reviewers at those journals are trained and vetted professionals writing for well known magazines that have a reputation to uphold—not a bunch of guys in a cafe in Sri Lanka stringing together a few words for five bucks.
Professional reviews can’t be posted on retail sites in the review section. You can paste a small quote from one of them into the “editorial reviews” section, but not in the review thread.
Link to the rest at Anne R. Allen and thanks to Suzie for the tip.
Here’s a link to Anne R. Allen’s books
For PG, reviews from Kirkus or Publisher’s Weekly are a bad sign.