Sunday, February 15, 2004

Authors reviewing their own books on Amazon

An interesting article in today's Observer lifts the lid on the phenomenon of authors using pseudonyms or anonymity to give their own books 5-star reviews on Amazon:

Amazon reviewers brought to book
David Smith
The art of self-reviewing - and coming up with a false identity to fool cyber-police - was last week exposed as one of the literary world's best-kept secrets. Amazon's Canadian site suddenly revealed the identities of thousands of people who had posted anonymous reviews on the American site under signatures such as 'a reader from Alabama'. There were some prominent authors among them.

The gremlins that bedevilled Amazon all week laid bare how writers can exploit the web to praise their friends, rubbish their rivals and even champion themselves in the hope of shifting extra copies. The humiliation ended only after outed reviewers ordered Amazon to fix it.
Wish I'd thought of that. (Only joking). I wonder if there are any Biblical scholars out there giving themselves five-star reviews?

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