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Old 09-03-2012, 01:31 AM   #106
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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?
Its entirely possible. Some people are such sheep. They would in turn bleat about how 'awesome' the book is, and the rest would be history. And money.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:21 AM   #107
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Its entirely possible. Some people are such sheep. They would in turn bleat about how 'awesome' the book is, and the rest would be history. And money.
Yup.
It's a matter of visibility.
There are literally thousands of fine writers out there whose work could be entertaining and pleasing thousands of readers if only the readers knew of their works.
Given that some people use the Amazon sorting tools to explore the Kindle store, juicing the reviews to artificially float his titles into 5-star range instead of "merely" 4 stars would draw enough eyeballs to make a difference.

Another trick Mr Locke openly admits to using early on is "throttling" his ebook prices--dropping select titles to $0.99 whenever they dropped low in the sales rankings and raising them back after a few days when they moved back up.

Both tricks had the same goal: raise his visibility to get enough books out into the world to build up his name as a brand. How *much* they helped him and how much such tactics might help *today* is unclear but they very likely help him ramp up his business into long-term viability.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:28 AM   #108
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Another trick Mr Locke openly admits to using early on is "throttling" his ebook prices--dropping select titles to $0.99 whenever they dropped low in the sales rankings and raising them back after a few days when they moved back up
Surely there's nothing wrong with changing prices to stimulate demand? Isn't that how selling and buying things works, and everyone does it all the time?

Andrew
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:32 AM   #109
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Surely there's nothing wrong with changing prices to stimulate demand? Isn't that how selling and buying things works, and everyone does it all the time?

Andrew
There is nothing wrong with juggling prices or offering the book free. The only problem many have with Locke is buying fake reviews and pretending that they came from readers who found his book in a conventional manner and enjoyed it enough to write a glowing review.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:05 AM   #110
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There is nothing wrong with juggling prices or offering the book free. The only problem many have with Locke is buying fake reviews and pretending that they came from readers who found his book in a conventional manner and enjoyed it enough to write a glowing review.
Yes, and I agree that's dodgy. It was referring to lowering prices to stimulate demand as a "trick" that he "openly admits to" which puzzled me.

Andrew
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:10 AM   #111
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Yes, and I agree that's dodgy. It was referring to lowering prices to stimulate demand as a "trick" that he "openly admits to" which puzzled me.

Andrew
It isn't a trick, it is commonly employed marketing device. Specials or discounts are a part of everyday life. Amazon recommends such ploys.
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:16 PM   #112
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Yes, and I agree that's dodgy. It was referring to lowering prices to stimulate demand as a "trick" that he "openly admits to" which puzzled me.

Andrew
Note: I didn't say "dirty trick", just trick.

It's as much a trick as any other card trick.
Mis-direction and illusion. Nothing wrong with it. Just sneaky. Clever.

Try definition 3a, here:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/trick
Quote:
3a (1): a quick or artful way of getting a result : knack <the trick is to make it look natural> (2): an instance of getting a desired result <one small adjustment will do the trick>
Marketting is by definition a matter of finding new tricks to get people's attention and make them buy your product. As a rule, marketters don't brag about their tricks and ploys (if you prefer that synonym) because they usually hope to repeat them.

Locke, however, apparently thought that talking to the Guardian about how he got people to buy his ebooks at the higher price instead of waiting for the next discount period wouldn't hurt his sales.

There *is* a school of thinking that there is no such thing as *bad* publicity so this whole thread might be serving his interests right now.
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:59 PM   #113
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There *is* a school of thinking that there is no such thing as *bad* publicity so this whole thread might be serving his interests right now.
Ultimately the only thing most people really care about is: are his books any good? If they are, readers will forgive him the tricks he's used to get their attention, if they aren't, the paid reviews will soon be swamped by real ones saying the books suck.

BTW, I was just reading an article about a trade-published writer who admitted a couple of years back to leaving bad reviews of books by other authors in his field. Things like that are the reason why trade-published authors are sneered at.
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:32 PM   #114
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More trade-published writers leaving fake reviews:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/b...hors-warn.html

That settles it: I'm never trusting a review of a trade-published book again.
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:34 PM   #115
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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?
There are really two questions here with different answers.

1. Q - Would he have sold more than a million books without 300 fake reviews?
A - He very well may not have. Obscurity is the biggest problem for an indie author, and *300* fake reviews is a huge splash in a small pool. It suggests a large groundswell of support for an otherwise unknown author.

2. Q - Did he sell more than a million books *just because* of the 300 fake reviews?

A - No, not just because of the reviews. While I don't think he would have sold so many books without the reviews, if his books were spectacularly bad his books would not have sold so well. Nor do I think that he would have sold so well if he hadn't prices his books as aggressively as he did. So while I think the fake reviews may have been necessary for his success, I don't think that they were alone sufficient for his success.
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:14 PM   #116
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That settles it: I'm never trusting a review of a trade-published book again.
On Amazon, no. There isn't the level of trust to make the review worth reading. If you don't know the reviewer's motive, how can you trust it?

In the New York Times or the Atlantic Monthly, yes, because the reviewer is being paid to be objective, and some effort is made to keep reviewers away from books authored by friends.

Not that old established magazines are perfect here either. Reviewers, however professional, don't know my taste. It always is a risk that I start a book not worth finishing.

Someone may dislike this post because mainstream book review publications ignore their books. The world is unfair -- especially to authors -- and great books can be overlooked. Given limited time, I still am going to stick to paid reviewers hired by professional editors, such as found from links here:

http://realclearbooks.com/

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Old 09-03-2012, 06:42 PM   #117
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In the New York Times or the Atlantic Monthly, yes, because the reviewer is being paid to be objective, and some effort is made to keep reviewers away from books authored by friends.
Are you sure? I heard differently this weekend at Worldcon. They do not publish the relation the reviewer have with the author if any and it is common that there is some relation. According to the person in a panel that seemed to know what he was talking about.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:17 PM   #118
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Are you sure? I heard differently this weekend at Worldcon. . . . According to the person in a panel that seemed to know what he was talking about.
The two mainstream review sources I picked are just coincidentally the ones this anonymous person attacked?

In the long history of those publications, ethical lapses have occurred, as well as borderline situations. One difference between NYT/Atlantic and Amazon is that the reviews in the former grouping are not only signed, but signed in a way the review author is clearly and uniquely identifiable. Because of that, it's easier to recognize an ethical lapse where people are reviewing each others books. If it happens, someone can then write a letter to the editor or otherwise expose the situation.

I realize that many, if not most, Amazon reviews are also signed, but you can't be 100% sure of the attribution. And even when you do see an name and a city, it's often a common name and a big city, so the attribution can't really be used to check anything out.

Kirkus and PW have completely anonymous reviews. As I said previously, I'm not a fan of those either.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:34 PM   #119
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Things like that are the reason why trade-published authors are sneered at.
Trade-published authors are looked down on? By whom?

I guess someone needs to tell the two major US parties to stop nominating trade-published authors for President.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:44 PM   #120
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Trade-published authors are looked down on? By whom?
If you'd read the thread you'd presumably have realised I was parodying the OP, who thinks that one self-published writer buying reviews means all self-published writers should be sneered at. Clearly, then, we should sneer at all trade-published writers because some of them have admitted to posting fake reviews.
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