Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Reader, Help Author

People love books.  They love to read them, talk about them, encourage others to pick them up, and wait feverishly for the next one in a beloved series.  Many authors, such as myself, get emails, Authorgraph requests, Twitter messages and much more from our readership as a way of them letting us know they enjoy our work.  The one thing they don't often like to do is leave written reviews.  It's a real shame, because I'm going to introduce you to a large, motivated group of people who do.
Trolls.
Dirty, nasty, vicious little trolls.
These are people who register spam accounts through Amazon with the express purpose of leaving horrible reviews on competing books.  Perhaps you heard of the scandal last year where best-selling authors were caught engaging in this despicable practice.  The idea seems to be that if they leave enough bad reviews on enough other books, people will somehow be driven to theirs.
And here's the kicker, many times the review has nothing to do with the book.
Here's one Tony Healey recevied for Far From Home 3: Hero, a sci-fi tale suitable for all ages:
Now, there is not ONE single instance of profanity in the entire series, let alone this book.  Mr. Borror, though I doubt that is his name, took it upon himself to simply try and sabotage Tony's hard work.
Larry Borror has left a total of THREE reviews on Amazon.  One of which was this one lying about FFH3, and another two which were positively soaked with praise for a competing series.
Independent authors like the good Tony Healey aren't the only ones who suffer from troll reviewers.  Take a look at this little gem:
Talk about going against the common curve.
It's nice to see that JK Rowling gets the same quality of troll reviews that I get, such as:
Rise in addition indeed, Bob.
So, what I'm asking is this:
If you read a book and want to support the author, please consider leaving an honest, well-thought out review.  Let other people know you enjoyed it.  There are whole legions of nameless, faceless snakes out there playing dirty to try and defeat hard working writers.
It truly is important, and it truly makes a difference.

Bernard Schaffer

1 comment:

  1. Trolls are everywhere and appear everywhere like bloated pigeons looking for a place to shit. I am sorry they are so unhappy or so insecure that they feel powerful through the anonymity of the Internet allowing them to stomp the joy out of other people's lives by their callous and many times mean-spirited opinions.

    Good article. Sorry you had to write it.

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