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Old 08-27-2012, 08:26 PM   #1
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Author Wall of Shame: John Locke

"“Many of the 300 reviews he bought through GettingBookReviews were highly favorable, although it’s impossible to say whether this was because the reviewers genuinely liked the books, or because of their well-developed tendency toward approval, or some combination of the two.”

Mr. Locke is unwilling to say that paying for reviews made a big difference. “Reviews are the smallest piece of being successful,” he said. “But it’s a lot easier to buy them than cultivating an audience.”

The New York Times ran an article regarding review mills, and in it we discovered that Mr. Locke spent thousands of dollars buying reviews. Not only did he buy reviews, but he actively sought to game the Amazon review system by asking the paid reviews to buy a copy of the book (for reimbursement) on Amazon so that the review would show up as a verified purchases to increase their perceived legitimacy."

http://bardsandsages.com/juliedawson...me-john-locke/

Pathetic. Things like this are the reason why indie authors are sneered at.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:41 PM   #2
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John Locke? I assume you are not talking about the empiricist.... I saw the title and was really taken aback.

Some guy buying fake reviews? Shameful. And the irony... for a writer to buy writing services...
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:56 PM   #3
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I think the most deceptive part documented by the Times was Mr. Locke's failure to mention the use of paid reviews in How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months!

As for dishonoring indie authors, at least some of his books, including the one I just mentioned, are published, albeit by an apparent vanity publisher.

According to Locke's amazon web page, How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months! is his most popular title. Now there's a sad commentary on something.
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:47 PM   #4
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i wonder why he seems so proud and even admitted the fact.
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:57 PM   #5
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Ah yes, the Internet scolds are in full force.

If you're going to have an open system, people are going to try to abuse it. Caveat emptor is not exactly a new concept.
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by xg4bx View Post
Pathetic. Things like this are the reason why indie authors are sneered at.
True. Because trade publishers would never expect to get reviews in return for buying advertising space in magazines and newspapers. And trade-published authors would never write a glowing blurb for a book without reading it.

Indie writers buying reviews sucks, but let's not pretend that trade publishing is a haven of virtue.
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:13 AM   #7
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Ah yes, the Internet scolds are in full force.

If you're going to have an open system, people are going to try to abuse it. Caveat emptor is not exactly a new concept.

It works two ways, the manipulate system, someone catches them. They win either way... Smart marketing and proofs that you shouldn't believe everything... Not perfect world, but at least both sides have opportunity do something about it...
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:10 AM   #8
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True. Because trade publishers would never expect to get reviews in return for buying advertising space in magazines and newspapers. And trade-published authors would never write a glowing blurb for a book without reading it.

Indie writers buying reviews sucks, but let's not pretend that trade publishing is a haven of virtue.
I was told by one author of a "Big" that the team at her Publishing house mailed her packet on self-promotion that included things like writing her own review and then asking her friends, families, and acquaintances to use that as a guide and go out on the internet and post it.

And there have been more than a few authors caught with sock puppets on Amazon - not only writing their own reviews but writing terrible reviews for the books of their competitors.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:19 AM   #9
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I was told by one author of a "Big" that the team at her Publishing house mailed her packet on self-promotion that included things like writing her own review and then asking her friends, families, and acquaintances to use that as a guide and go out on the internet and post it.

And there have been more than a few authors caught with sock puppets on Amazon - not only writing their own reviews but writing terrible reviews for the books of their competitors.
I've also heard of people at publishing houses hounding book bloggers and intimidating them into giving perfect reviews. Plenty of bad everywhere you look.
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:17 PM   #10
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:19 PM   #11
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Seems like marketing to me. Sleazy, but what forms of marketing aren't?
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:17 PM   #12
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I do not think positive fake reviews can make a bad book successful. And I wonder if the positive effect of these fake reviews is really that great.
In the case of John Locke it seems to have been a good investment for him.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:16 PM   #13
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I do not think positive fake reviews can make a bad book successful. And I wonder if the positive effect of these fake reviews is really that great.
In the case of John Locke it seems to have been a good investment for him.
Clearly you have not read his work. It didn't sell on merit.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:40 PM   #14
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Clearly you have not read his work. It didn't sell on merit.
I have read most of his books, and I liked them.
Do you really think he sold more than a million books just because of 300 fake reviews?
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:54 PM   #15
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I haven't read anything of his, and I'm pretty picky about reviews being objective, but to be fair, according to the NYT article, while he paid for people to review his books, he didn't take the option of positive-reviews-only, and he asked that the reviewers actually buy the books and read them.

*If* that's true, it doesn't bother me as much even as all the authors who get together and trade positive reviews of each other's books for free.

Hiring readers to review seems like a pretty fair thing to do, as long as the reviewers are encouraged - by whomever hires them - to be honest.
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