Just Say No To Fake Book Reviews and To Bulk Reviewers!
The ethics involved in the review has been a recent hot topic in the reading and writing world. Some reviewing services offer to “bulk” up a book’s online presence with quantities of guaranteed, positive fake book reviews. Self-publishers need to take a common sense approach when deciding how best to promote their work. But there are a lot of ethical issues involved in this more expedient process:
- Bulk reviews stand out– but for all the wrong reasons. Stock bulk reviews that may appear verbatim for a variety of books – without any changes made to add specifics unique to the book. These reviews do not show any indication that the book has actually been read. These type of reviews are immediately dismissed by readers as fake reviews. And fake reviews make both the author and the book look bad.
- Bulk reviews cause controversy. The book reviewing process has been under a lot of debate recently, but what all responsible readers and writers can easily agree on is that mass-produced, falsely positive reviews destroy the integrity not only of that personal writer and reviewer, but also reflects poorly on the writing industry as a whole – for both established and new authors.
- Bulk reviews water down the star ratings. Star-rating-inflation from bulk reviews causes readers to doubt the authenticity of any book that receives blanketed positive reviews. This detracts from the inherent integrity of the reviewing process.
- Bulk reviewers are unethical. Bulk reviews are not very different from bribes. Paying someone to like your work isn’t honest, or unbiased and the quality of the review always shows that. Readers spot good reviews as those written by other readers – and a bulk review will not sound honest, or written by an actual reader.
- Bulk reviews are anonymous. It’s hard to be worried about your reputation when you are guaranteed to be anonymous. There doesn’t even seem to be any guarantee that a bulk reviewer is a real person at all. In order for a review to be respectable, it has to come from a real reader, with a real reputation.