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Wish Granted! Tips, Tools, and Templates to Write a Winning Grant
by Holly Rustick

$1.99
Kindle Edition published 2017-08-22
Bestseller ranking: 95983

Product Description
INCLUDES BONUS FREE E-DOWNLOADS: TEMPLATES FOR GRANT WRITING!

Grant writing shouldn’t feel like a trip to the dentist. Take the pain out of the process with this innovative and fun, yes fun, guide. Learn all the inside tips and tools of the grant-writing trade in this easy-to-read and upbeat book.
This book is definitely for you if:
•You break out in a cold sweat when your boss mentions the word ‘grant’.
•You’ve been tempted to throw your computer against the wall while writing a grant.
•You happily tell stakeholders there’s plenty of grants out there … but haven’t the faintest idea how to write and get one!
•You think you can send out a bog-standard letter to a bunch of organizations and get funded.
•Your eyes glaze over when you’re presented with grant writing jargon and acronyms.
•Your organization’s grant success A-game has r...

Author Topic: authors who purchase reviews  (Read 15106 times)  

Online Atunah

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #75 on: November 16, 2015, 03:19:27 PM »
Ha ha, yes, I know what you mean. If it was two stars and the comment was "not very good" i'd have been annoyed at the lack of specifics. Contrary, right?
Refreshingly honest, I like it  8)

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Offline Evenstar

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #76 on: November 16, 2015, 03:36:17 PM »
And, of course, there is that other population of reviewers -- the Vine wannbes. With only one novel under my belt I'm a novice, but I'm experienced enough to spot these folks. I try to avoid them because Rarity from the Hollow is not a mainstream, formula fiction, quick read. It takes time to digest in order to properly review my novel (literary element), and that slows down, possibly annoys, a wannabe Vine. Other authors may want to submit to them if identified. I'm not sure about their motivations. Free stuff? But, it feels stronger, like a competition among them to be placed by Amazon in the top 100, 500, 1000.... They all seem to be honest, and some are very kind based on my limited experience with them. But, I recommend, for what's it's worth, to make sure that one's novel is a good fit in not only genre, but also in how much time would be required by such a reviewer to perform a review of your work. One of the best reviews that I got from a Vine reviewer was unsolicited:

"Rarity from the Hollow written by Robert Eggleton, to be fully honest, was much more than expected and a great read -- semi-autobiographical literary work full of beautiful and ugly things, adventure, romance, pain and humor...."

As a consumer, a reader, I won't buy a book that has more than a couple of one line reviews, like "I loved it." Such reviews cause me not to trust any of the reviews of that book. I realize that this seems silly because it might be a great book that I might love too. Nevertheless, that's how I personally feel about it. I move on and pick, quickly, my next or next after that book to read.

I trust reviews by bloggers the most because I know that almost none of them are paid for reviews, but I will read a Kirkus review because I don't think anybody has enough money to pay that organization for a positive book review -- a practice that would be the demise of the company. Still, a well written review by a book blogger carries more weight with me than Kirkus.

I read all genres, including romance, even though I only write adult literary science fiction. I least read YA because I, personally, have a very difficult time respecting it as a genre despite its popularity, and the romance has to be something that resonates before I buy it -- not formula. I don't read erotic, but that's probably because I'm so old that I've lost interest in it. I buy a lot of books, a lot, and I write some reviews, only positive (5 star is very rare) ones because I don't want to waste any more time on a bad book.

I don't think most readers bother to write reviews, which makes all reader reviews feel suspicious to me. What motivates a person to type a review in that little box on Amazon? As a reader and a consumer, I want to contribute, but I'm not a pro bono gatekeeper of quality literature by any stretch. I get ripped off, everybody does, and I feel that I need to just suck it up when that happens. It's not the money, but the time that I regret losing when I buy a bad book. I keep reading a bad book, hoping that it will click, and then look back with regret about the lost time if it doesn't. The regret is never of such intensity that I feel like seeking revenge on the author by writing a negative review. "F" it. Life's too short.

Thanks for the opportunity to rant. I'm off, back to self-promotion of Rarity from the Hollow, but I'd rather be reading. I should go to the woods for fun because it's such a pretty day here, probably one of the last for the season. Take care everybody and good luck.

I can't even begin to calculate how many people were subtly insulted here. Is this real?

Offline 555aaa

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #77 on: November 16, 2015, 03:38:01 PM »
I so want the Darth toaster.
Yeah, but it got a bad review!

Offline James R Wells

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #78 on: November 16, 2015, 03:39:46 PM »
Yeah, but it got a bad review!

I find your lack of faith in the Darth toaster ... disturbing.

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Offline Becca Mills

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #79 on: November 16, 2015, 03:40:51 PM »
I find your lack of faith in the Darth toaster ... disturbing.

For the win.  ;D

Offline Sam Kates

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #80 on: November 16, 2015, 03:45:38 PM »
Yeah, but it got a bad review!

Ah, that was probably a review paid for by the makers of the Gandalf French Fry Maker ('Fry, you fools!').
    
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Offline Evenstar

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #81 on: November 16, 2015, 03:54:48 PM »
Ah, that was probably a review paid for by the makers of the Gandalf French Fry Maker ('Fry, you fools!').

I wish I was this witty, you made me laugh Sam

Offline DarkScribe

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #82 on: November 16, 2015, 04:01:42 PM »
Its hilarious to see which authors purchase reviews. You can always tell because they are short, and when you click through the same reviewer has given EVERYONE 5 star reviews. Sorry but no one gives 5 stars to every single book they read.  ;D

Then you have the reviewer who has 5 starred every book the writer has done LOL clear giveaway ( It screams fiverr)

I'm sure Amazon will bring the hammer down soon and I imagine number of accounts will be nuked badly.

Before i purchase a book, i don't look at their reviews. I look at WHO their reviewers are ( and what they have reviewed ) it lets me know immediately if its a paid review or not.

Not quite true. I only give one star or five star reviews. They are the only book that interest me enough to comment on. I agree that many writers still buy reviews - immediately apparent when a mediocre novel gets nothing but praise. Often the reviewers have new accounts and have made few reviews relating to other authors. What is even more amusing is when a stack of reviews come out on the day the book is released. Duh! Little you can do other than make your opinion felt in comments.

Offline Alan Petersen

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #83 on: November 16, 2015, 04:15:29 PM »
Ah, that was probably a review paid for by the makers of the Gandalf French Fry Maker ('Fry, you fools!').

Hmmm, you might be on to something.... "Heather Crockett".... that sounds way too close to Betty Crocker. It was General Mills!

Offline AngelaQuarles

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #84 on: November 16, 2015, 04:18:17 PM »
Its hilarious to see which authors purchase reviews. You can always tell because they are short, and when you click through the same reviewer has given EVERYONE 5 star reviews. Sorry but no one gives 5 stars to every single book they read.  ;D

Then you have the reviewer who has 5 starred every book the writer has done LOL clear giveaway ( It screams fiverr)

I'm sure Amazon will bring the hammer down soon and I imagine number of accounts will be nuked badly.

Before i purchase a book, i don't look at their reviews. I look at WHO their reviewers are ( and what they have reviewed ) it lets me know immediately if its a paid review or not.

As others have said, this isn't a good barometer. I'm actually noticing more and more short reviews than before pop up on mine. Kindle app must be pushing it? Who knows. But I get the generic loved-it ones from time to time, and I do wish it'd be more specific, but what can you do?

I'd also like to add that even when a review focuses on the author and not the book, that's not a flag either. I had a recent BookBub promo, so I'm getting a lot of new readers who are discovering my books, and just had this 5-star pop up: "Angela Quarles is a wonderful storyteller!! Awesome read!!" I have no idea who s/he is, and I saw s/he went on to read the next book and say I'm now one of their fave new authors. I see this as a good thing, because it means I'm accomplishing a side goal: branding myself. Sometimes readers get excited about a new-to-them author....

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Offline chalice

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #85 on: November 17, 2015, 08:48:53 AM »
I have 1500 reviews on my books. Most are 4 and 5 stars - the largest share are 5 stars, actually. Some are only a couple of words. Many say the same thing -- "This book is great!" "I loved this book!" "I couldn't put this book down!". It's because this is genuinely what readers felt about my books. How do I know this? Not a single one was purchased.

Most people do not leave reviews -- ever. Those who do are motivated. They either really loved your book and will give it 5 stars or 4 if they are trying to be objective, or they hated it so much that they had to leave a 1 star. For some readers, reviewing is a thing -- it is part of who they are as readers. They enjoy reviewing books so they review every single one they read.

Yes, of course there are authors who have purchased reviews. We know this is the case and Amazon is doing something about it -- and it should. But the OP is simply wrong to suggest that lots of 4 and 5 star reviews is a dead giveway of buying reviews. Short reviews, similar review wording is not evidence of scamming the review system.

The OP and others who expend time examining other author's reviews and inspecting them, suspicious of cheating and scamming, should spend more time writing actual books and focus on their craft and business.

I agree.
Spend more time writing and marketing your books.
Then you won't have time to be concerned about those who are trying to scam the system.

Best Regards,
Shana Jahsinta Walters.

Offline Sam Kates

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #86 on: November 17, 2015, 11:31:50 AM »
... you made me laugh Sam

I did? I'm glad. Goodness knows, we all could do with a chuckle or two in today's world.
    
sam kates

Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #87 on: November 17, 2015, 04:31:54 PM »
Not quite true. I only give one star or five star reviews. They are the only book that interest me enough to comment on. I agree that many writers still buy reviews - immediately apparent when a mediocre novel gets nothing but praise. Often the reviewers have new accounts and have made few reviews relating to other authors. What is even more amusing is when a stack of reviews come out on the day the book is released. Duh! Little you can do other than make your opinion felt in comments.
That (many reviews coming out on release day) is most likely advance readers. It does not mean the reviews were purchased. It can also just be lots of readers who were waiting eagerly, preordered, read fast, and posted immediately. My fastest reviewer was ALWAYS this one lady. (Who is now an ARC reader, now that I send out ARCs.) She'd have her review up within a few hours of the book going live. Every time. Pre-ARC, I'd have 10-20 reviews on release day. Now, I probably have 60. Same people who've always reviewed my books.

Generally, I find that the ARC reviews are only slightly more positive than the others. (More positive because, obviously, these are your most loyal fans; the people who like your books the best.) My books typically start out with a 4.6 or 4.7 average from the ARC folks. (Not everybody likes every book, if you write stand-alones. Serials or true series seem to maintain a higher rating, as it's the same characters.) After lots more reviews have come in, the book will settle to somewhere between 4.4 and 4.6.

What I'm trying to say is that NOTHING here--short reviews, long reviews, reviews that talk a lot about the author, reviews on release day--is necessarily a sign of purchased reviews. I'd say people need to stop worrying about this and worry about writing books people will want to buy and review. Sure, if you do, there will be folks who say your reviews must be fake, because they're too positive. So what. People say lots of things. The best review is readers buying your next book.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 04:33:33 PM by Rosalind James »

Offline Kevin Lee Swaim

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #88 on: November 17, 2015, 04:43:31 PM »
I would purchase a review, but only if it said, "Kevin is a powerful man, and handsome as well."

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Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #89 on: November 17, 2015, 04:45:28 PM »
I would purchase a review, but only if it said, "Kevin is a powerful man, and handsome as well."
LOL!

Offline PJ_Cherubino

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #90 on: November 17, 2015, 04:51:02 PM »
I have a rule that if I can't give 4-5 stars, I email the author my review instead of posting it.

In that case, I can point you to a book you might like to read . . .
 ;D

 

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #91 on: November 17, 2015, 04:51:23 PM »
I would purchase a review, but only if it said, "Kevin is a powerful man, and handsome as well."

Deal. I will make you seem a modern-day Adonis blessed with the courage of Braveheart, the authority of Putin and stamina of Ron Jeremy.

Let's talk price.

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Offline PJ_Cherubino

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #92 on: November 17, 2015, 05:00:19 PM »
This is why amazon sued fake review vendors. The spirited debate here is proof that the value of customer reviews is compromised by people gaming the system.

We should not have to put this much thought and effort to determine whether reviews are honest and/or reflect somethi g other than a legitimate impressjon of a product.





No, you are making a sweeping assumption, and you can't possibly know that for sure. I can tell you I have many loyal readers who review every book I publish, and I consistently see the same reviewers leave positive reviews. They are my loyal readers, and I certainly did not find them on fiverr. So, no, that situation doesn't "scream" fiverr, especially to any author who had an established fan base. They are our super fans for a reason --  because they love our books and love to review.
 Amazon does. Amazon has. Amazon is constantly on top of monitoring and removing reviews. That's nothing new.
 Wow. I wish I was that insightful. I don't have that sort of innate ability to know if a review is paid for by simply viewing a profile or reading a few words on a screen.

If reviews on books that are not yours bother you so much, simply report them to Amazon. Making sweeping generalizations and accusations, however, is likely to bring plenty of negative responses to your question. (If the OP was even a question, because it sounded more like a rant.)
 

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Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #93 on: November 18, 2015, 04:43:09 AM »
Note re: lots of reviews on the day a book is released.

With the Kindle First program, Amazon offers, each month, one or two of a selection of 4 or 6 books FREE to Prime members (or at a discount for non prime members). The titles are ones that are being published via one of Amazon's imprints. These are books that are available this month through this program, but not officially released until the first of NEXT month.

Lots of us take advantage of this -- the result is that you will see lots of reviews for these books already on the official release day. They're not 'purchased', more like ARCs, but they're also not 'pre-release' versions. Most people who review do say if they got them early via Kindle First, though there's no requirement that they do so. In fact, there's no requirement or even expectation of a review in the program details . . . it's not even mentioned . . . though I'm sure it's exactly what the Zon wants to see.


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Offline BWFoster78

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #94 on: November 18, 2015, 06:46:02 AM »
Quote
What I'm trying to say is that NOTHING here--short reviews, long reviews, reviews that talk a lot about the author, reviews on release day--is necessarily a sign of purchased reviews.

I'm not sure that the OP did a great job defining exactly what made him suspect that the reviews he found were fake, but I do understand where he's coming from.  Have you ever been browsing books, perused the reviews, and went, "Hey, wait a second ..."?

I don't look for fake reviews; I much prefer to concentrate on what I'm doing than what someone else is doing.

At the same time, I have run across some a couple of times that I am absolutely positive were fake.  What drew my initial suspicion was a repetition of specific language in each of the reviews.  Sorry I can't be more specific as a while has passed since this encounter, but it was something on the order of, "Author is the next Specific Bestselling Fantasy Author."

Literally, 2 or 3 out of the 5 or 6 reviews said that.  It just seemed ... off ... to me, as well as the language used in general.  Just out of curiosity, I looked a the reviewer profiles.  Each had submitted exactly 1 review: the 5-star one for the book that I was looking at.

Maybe someone can say, "That doesn't prove that the reviews were fake."  Okay.  If we're in a court of law, maybe we haven't proved our case beyond any possible doubt, but I think it's a pretty reasonable conclusion to draw.

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Offline Kay Bratt

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #95 on: November 18, 2015, 07:25:49 AM »
What is even more amusing is when a stack of reviews come out on the day the book is released. Duh! Little you can do other than make your opinion felt in comments.

As an author who worked hard to build a street team (mine is called Kay's Review Krew), this comment is off-putting. I spent a lot of time mailing out (at my own shipping expense!) over 100 print copies of my latest book, The Palest Ink. I also sent out between 30-40 NetGalley ebook copies. This took a lot of time to organize, package, email, post office runs, and then individual follow-up messages to the team. Before getting a spot on the Krew, the reader had to agree to 1) Not give away or sell the book before launch day and 2) post an honest review 'the week of' the launch.

The actual day of the launch I posted a reminder to the Krew and I had many who upheld their part and by the end of the first day of publication, I think I had close to 40 reviews. It's now about 3 weeks in, and I have 89 reviews and yes, most of those are from advanced readers. Not a single review on any of my books was purchased, unless you count the time, blood, sweat, and tears it takes to build that team of dedicated readers. 


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Offline PJ_Cherubino

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #96 on: November 18, 2015, 08:08:02 AM »
Your behavior is smart, ethical and within the boundaries of Amazon's TOS for their review system. But because so many have sucessfully gamed and abused the review system, the value of your efforts is greatly diminished. Customers have a difficult time distinguishing between the legitimate reviews of your work and the numerous bogus reviews.

The OP's sentiment seems to come from a very common low confidence in the review system overall. So much damage has been done to the review system that the customer has to actively review the review to figure out whether or not she is being manipulated.

So the gamers, schemers and scammers who go after instant review gratification have made all vendors seem guilty by association. I think this is why Amazon is unleashing the lawyers. Amazon's business model and the marketplace is damaged by fake reviews.



As an author who worked hard to build a street team (mine is called Kay's Review Krew), this comment is off-putting. I spent a lot of time mailing out (at my own shipping expense!) over 100 print copies of my latest book, The Palest Ink. I also sent out between 30-40 NetGalley ebook copies. This took a lot of time to organize, package, email, post office runs, and then individual follow-up messages to the team. Before getting a spot on the Krew, the reader had to agree to 1) Not give away or sell the book before launch day and 2) post an honest review 'the week of' the launch.

The actual day of the launch I posted a reminder to the I and I had many who upheld their part and by the end of the first day of publication, I think I had close to 40 reviews. It's now about 3 weeks in, and I have 89 reviews and yes, most of those are from advanced readers. Not a single review on any of my books was purchased, unless you count the time, blood, sweat, and tears it takes to build that team of dedicated readers.
 

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Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #97 on: November 18, 2015, 11:10:25 AM »
So the gamers, schemers and scammers who go after instant review gratification have made all vendors seem guilty by association. I think this is why Amazon is unleashing the lawyers. Amazon's business model and the marketplace is damaged by fake reviews.

This has been my argument for years regarding paid review schemes. Over the last decade, I really can't even count the number of times I've been "shouted down" for slamming paid reviews. "It isn't your business." "Everyone does it." "It doesn't impact you so why do you care?" But the truth is, these schemes DO harm the marketplace in which I function. Particularly when coupled with places like Bookbub, which have become the kingmakers of indies and require a certain number of reviews before they will even consider you. It creates an arms race that can't be won.

I started self-publishing in 2004. Back then, you really only "needed" a handful of reviews for a book to get some traction. It was more important to get reviews with blogs and book sites. You didn't have to engage in insane tactics to get reviews on Amazon because the quantity was not important. Two or three thoughtful reviews on a book was really all it took. Nobody refused to take your ad money because you only had three reviews.

Review selling broke the organic nature of reviews and inflated the number needed to make a dent. The kingmakers that require a specific number of reviews essentially rewarded review buying. For honest authors, the only way to compete was to give away hundreds (and in some cases thousands) of free copies in the hopes of generating enough reviews to make a dent.

And now, finally, others are starting to see the end result of the arms race. Consumers are getting wise, but not wise enough to differentiate between the actual scammers and everyone else. WE ARE ALL GUILTY by association. It isn't fair. But frankly, it is the logical result of too many people simply ignoring this behavior for far too long, thinking "it doesn't impact me" so they don't speak up or call it out.

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Offline Doglover

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #98 on: November 18, 2015, 11:17:23 AM »
Its hilarious to see which authors purchase reviews. You can always tell because they are short, and when you click through the same reviewer has given EVERYONE 5 star reviews. Sorry but no one gives 5 stars to every single book they read.  ;D

Then you have the reviewer who has 5 starred every book the writer has done LOL clear giveaway ( It screams fiverr)

I'm sure Amazon will bring the hammer down soon and I imagine number of accounts will be nuked badly.

Before i purchase a book, i don't look at their reviews. I look at WHO their reviewers are ( and what they have reviewed ) it lets me know immediately if its a paid review or not.
I have a five star review on every one of my books from the same reader; she likes my books, so should I tell her to stop leaving reviews in case someone suspects fraud? This is a ridiculous assumption. It is more likely to be fake if it says nothing about the books, the story, the writing or anything else, only how great it is, but even so. On the UK site I have a five star review on each of the six books in my series from the same reader, also the same reader has left 5 stars on three of my other books. Some people will only leave 5 star reviews or they won't leave anything, so naturally all their reviews will be the same rating.


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Offline Brad Carl

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Re: authors who purchase reviews
« Reply #99 on: December 26, 2015, 05:08:16 PM »
I need to read this thread in its entirety before saying too much....but I will say, I have been accused of "purchasing reviews" by one reviewer on Amazon. I can honestly say I have never done such a thing, and wouldn't even know how to do it. But as an author, you appreciate the high rating and marks. In the long run, the best way to decipher whether a book is good or not (this is just my opinion) is to read a few BAD reviews to see what they say. Some people are just angry and HAVE to find bad things to say. As a reader, it's your job to be able to distinguish the FAIR "bad reviews" and the people with major issues.





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