Have you been misled by positive reviews?

From a new review of my novel, The Recluse Storyteller: “This is one time the 4 and 5 star reviews were right on. I loved this book.”

That made me laugh. And smile. And laugh some more. And then it made me ponder the Amazon rating system.

First off, I’m thrilled that the reviewer loved my book. He obviously has been burnt before by misleading reviews, and when I looked over some of his other reviews that was the case. I saw several poor reviews that he given books in the past, indicating that he had downloaded them for free, based upon the positive reviews. When he got into the book, however, the reviews didn’t seem to line up with his expectations.

This is an issue with Amazon reviews. It’s not always easy to know the source of those reviews. Perhaps the author is just using a pseudonym or maybe someone’s mother is showing her hometown pride.

As an author, I am dedicated to real reviews by real people. Sure, some people I know have reviewed my books. It’s certainly their right. I appreciate any review that is honest, and that’s the truth. The last thing I ever want to do is bring in a reader through an insincere review. I’m in this authorship thing for the long haul, and I want to find readers who like my stories and who will stick with me as well. Gimmicks and insincerity just isn’t going to do it.

That’s why I loved this short review. He acknowledged that the positive reviews given were indeed backed up by the writing. What else could a writer want?

Not everyone will like my stories or enjoy my writing style, and that’s fine. But when I find people who do, it’s pretty special and makes all the hours of writing well worth it.

I promise real stories. I promise real reviews. Nothing more. Nothing less.

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My Reviews are Not Fake – I pledge!

I took the pledge – http://truereviewpledge.com/

Truth be told, I took the pledge in order to request a review of my novel “Beauty Rising” from a site who won’t review authors unless they take the pledge.

But, I support what TrueReviewPledge is trying to accomplish.

We’ve probably all heard the stories. Authors padding their Amazon reviews with fake reviews from fake people or from from voracious readers who read 20,000 books in the last month. Yeah, right.

Reviews help drive sales, and some authors see no problem with padding their review resume in order to increase sales. Sure, it might be tempting, but I could never do that.

Call me old fashioned if you like, but I want my writing to stand on its own two feet.  I don’t know anyone who likes poor reviews, but I will tell you this, I would rather have a poor review than a fake review any day of the week.

Perhaps it’s a matter of pride. I couldn’t live with myself if I was just faking reviews to build up a readership. The only way I want to build a readership is by writing a quality book and having people enjoy it and want to share it with others.

That is why the reviews that I have had mean so much to me. Sure, I personally know some of the people that reviewed “Beauty Rising” – but I told them, point blank, to please be honest. I believe they have.

Now, I have many reviews from people I don’t know, most of them have been very positive – but not all. This is what really means a lot to me – to have someone write a review – good or bad – because the book affected them in one way or another.

I’m not writing for money – certainly not fame – I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. (Luckily, I don’t think I have enemies.) I’m writing because I love to write. What kind of person would I be if I loved my writing so much that I’d be willing to lie about it just to get ahead?

No thanks. I pledge that all the reviews of “Beauty Rising” that you can read on Amazon are real. Now it’s possible that someone faked a review, but I can’t imagine what the motive of that would be.

So I took the pledge. I want real reviews. I’ll be honest in my own reviews.  Hopefully, the book world will be better for it.