Sunday, April 6, 2014

Discussion #17: Don't buy 5 Star Reviews

So, recently, I'd read an article about indie authors who buy their 5 star reviews. See it here:

I don't care if you are desperate to get your book out in the open; don't buy your fucking 5 star reviews.

Bloggers like me get tons and tons of review requests, and sometimes we can't even accept them all, much less than read them AND like them all. What pisses me off the most is when authors get mad at us for writing negative reviews. I've posted a couple of discussion topics in this category a while ago, but I just need to RANT.

So, a simple numbered list to authors who bribe their readers for 5 starred positive reviews:

1. You are cheating the people who actually read those reviews and let those reviews determine their opinion of whether or not they should like it.
2. No offense, but if you have to bribe to get good reviews, maybe you should really stop writing...
3. True, you may get some good reviews with monetary compensation, but most of us have review policies. And those review policies say that we can't be bribed into dishonesty to make you look good. And so, some of us get gravely offended when you offer us monetary compensation.
4. Fuck you.

And not just with reviews too. Don't offer to pay us when we say, "Sorry, I had to DNF your book.." I've only had one certain run-in. Not only was I offended by the sexual objectivity of women in that book, but the grammar was also terrible. But that's not the point. They claimed to be the next Harry Potter. No, fuck you. You can't fucking be the next Harry Potter. There's no such thing as the "next Harry Potter." Don't even. At least that certain author was respectful about it when I denied his request a second time after he offered to pay me. No, I won't fucking read your book if I don't want to read it. Don't pay me to change my mind. What kind of sickened me was that there was a countless amount of positive 5 starred reviews on Goodreads. It's not even possible.

I don't know, sometimes, we reviewers feel so bad about posting negative reviews. But everybody in the book blogosphere needs to know that it happens sometimes.

So, if you're an indie author, I get it. If you don't buy your 5 star reviews, I have a tremendous amount of respect for you. It doesn't matter if your book isn't the best. Heck, it doesn't matter if there are a bunch of negative reviews. As long as every single review you get is honest, I will always love you.


  1. My sister recently left me a 5-star and I wish she didn't. It looks contrived--like I bought it.

    1. Hello Randi! Thanks for commenting. If your sister has read your book and truly thought it deserved a 5 stars, then you really do deserve a 5 stars! :)

  2. Hi Liana, Thanks for using the post on my blog for your rant. I do so loath those authors who are messing up the whole review system by rigging it when they buy reviews.
    Like you I'm a reader, reviewer, and blogger about all of it. (Not to mention the fact that I am an author too, and as you can tell by the ridiculously small amount of reviews on my work, I do not go around to solicit reviews, paid for or traded) I want people to know that even when I have received a book from the publisher, or the author, my opinion is still my own and in no way changed if I gotten the book as a gift. If I like it enough for a 4, or even 5-star (has to be a pretty darn good book for that) I will go and buy my copy, just to support that author who has done a wonderful job.
    Like you I used to hesitate to post low rated reviews, fearing the backlash of it from upset authors and their family/friends (a lot of us authors need to grow a layer of thick skin and not feel personally attacked when we readers do not fancy their books, but that's a whole other topic) These days? I just post whatever is my opinion in my reviews, and I will refuse books that are just sent to me without asking if I even am interested. Really? Sending me your book and telling me in the mail that you would like to see the review posted here, there, and everywhere? I'm not only not going to read that book, I will not read any book by that author, ever. That one falls in the same category as the god-botherers that awaken you on an ungodly early hour to tell you the world is coming to an end and only their god can save me. Not interested, thank you very much. There's a form on my blog, and by the way a message that I'm not accepting new requests currently since my pile is already too high.
    Right, sorry for my own rant, but I loved your post. Made me chuckle.

    1. Hi Lucy! Thank you for visiting. :) Your post was pretty good, too. Got me motivated for this one.


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