Tuesday, May 20, 2014

New And Interesting Ways To Be Shady

The latest?

Somebody is offering "massive exposure." All you have to do to get a promotional tweet to his thousands of followers?

Review his book.

That's a paid review by an interesting back door. Made even more interesting by the fact that he's not offering free copies. Nope. You have to buy the book.

Or, you know, review it without reading it - because hey, he doesn't say it has to be a Verified Purchase review. You could just say you loved it, give it five stars, and get your "free promotional tweet."

Needless to say, this individual is not being followed back on Twitter. (I was tempted to follow him just to avoid the people he tweets, but I don't want to give him that "support").

People just love to game the system, don't they.

So, writers:

1. Don't pay people to review your book. Offering a free copy in exchange for a review is standard practice - but do remind people that federal law requires that they declare in the review if they received a free copy.

2. Don't get involved in review chains or review circles. Don't do quid pro quo reviews. It's a violation of Amazon's terms of service (seldom enforced) to review competing authors on Amazon - but you'll only get "caught" if you give glowing (or malicious) reviews.

3. Don't ask anyone - ever - for a good review. Ask for a review. Say "If you liked it, please tell your friends." But don't beg for five star reviews. It makes you look desperate.

And don't try schemes like this.