Recently, the internet has exploded with shocking revelations regarding a number of successful authors exposed using false identities or other tactics to provide themselves with many fake positive reviews, and in some cases posting negative reviews on their “competitors”.
I have been appalled and disgusted by much of the behaviour I have read about.
There is a lot I could say about this, but it has already been said to death in recent weeks. If you want to know about the controversy, you can find it soon enough. But importantly, it is NOT all writers who are involved, and it is NOT all reviews. I remain proud to state I have never solicited a review in any way. Every review my books have received to date has been written by a genuine reader/reviewer with no prompting, no payment, and absolutely no other skulduggery. Even though often seen as a marketing tool, reviews are first and foremost a product intended to assist readers.
The innapropriate reviewing practice of a small handfull is casting doubt on the millions of honest reviewers, the works they review, and the value of the reviews to the readers they inform. This can not be permitted to occur, and as such, gestures like this: http://nosockpuppets.wordpress.com/ are important as they send a message to those considering the wrong path. The more people who make known their aversion to such tactics and those resorting to them, the less people will be tempted to behave with such dishonest disregard for their readers, and their writing colleagues.
I am a Science Fiction writer. If you write SF, you are never my competition, you are allways my colleague, my fellow SF writer, and perhaps even a reader. I respect my readers, and I respect my colleagues. I will never participate in dodgy practices such as those that have recently been exposed.
Thanks for reading.