I am about to stick my foot in my mouth here. I can feel it. Want to witness me go down in flames and regret my words? Gift horse – mouth – I’m looking at it. Here goes.
My book is about to drop and I am getting a little giddy. The thought of people reading and enjoying my story is nothing short of fabulous. Mixed in with these happy thoughts are worries about reviews.
I am not so much worried that readers will leave reviews good or bad. What I am concerned about are reviews from other self-published authors who think they are doing me a favor by leaving a 5-star review on Amazon even though they haven’t read my book. I give talks on ethics as a part of my day job, and this is not ethical in my opinion.
Before I entered into the network of indie authors I was totally oblivious to this happening. I figured when I went on Amazon and read reviews, that readers who gave 5-stars had actually read the book and enjoyed it. Sure you might have the occasional friend or family member who will give you a glowing review regardless, but I figured this would be the minority.
That is not always the case. See my previous blog post where I spout a bit of anger at the fact that I actually paid for and read most of the way through a self-published book with over 200+ 5-star reviews which was not a 5-star book. If I had taken the time to read through the reviews I would have known. Generic glowing descriptions of how wonderful the book is, recitations of the cover blurb to make it seem genuine, and an exclamation of brilliance that even Leonardo da Vinci would have scoffed at.
I do not want this. I do not want false reviews. I want real readers and real reviews. I have no control over what is posted on Amazon or anywhere else by anyone else, but I can make the request out loud to other self-published authors and readers alike.
Please don’t give me a good review unless you think I deserve it because you liked what you read.