Another (Unethical) Tactic for 5-Star Reviews

Quid pro quo is rampant, especially in the author community during review time. It's tempting to make sure your book's rating expands like the universe! So tempting, in fact, that even giants like Amazon have a heck of a time keeping checks in place to deal with authors exchanging perfect (mostly dishonest) reviews. 

I bought a ring light last month to go with my new webcam. It not only had what I was looking for, but it had good reviews. Perfect! Well, it was until I opened it and found the stand didn't work (and no instructions). 

Wait, it's a lie to say there weren't instructions. There were, just not for how to assemble and use the ring light.
Interesting that my Amazon account would be in jeopardy. Wonder why!
Unfortunately, I've seen authors try something similar. In the case of the ring light company, they know they're selling an inferior product (no honest reviews for that $15 gift card) but would rather pay for reviews than fix the issues. Many authors are just insecure or nervous about sales; they aren't (usually) selling a book they know in their bones sucks.

When I buy books, I generally look at the reviews in the middle of the spectrum. I guess I should expand it to everything else I purchase.

Have you ever been taken in by glowing reviews?

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