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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tom Harris, a fellow SF author (I think he is on KB) pointed this out to me.

http://zonalert.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/the-fiverr-report-on-melissa-foster-fake-reviews-fake-awards-fake-everything/comment-page-1/#comment-6

It lists many KBers claiming they bought packs of 500 fake reviews.

Here is an excerpt, along with all the names listed:

What about all the other writers who bought reviews from GettingBookReviews.com, Fiverr.com, and the many other paid-review companies? Tracking the paid-review accounts leads to some surprising names, like Ilona Andrews( fantasy author), R J Palacio (children's author), J A Konrath (mystery writer), Brandon Sanderson (fantasy author), Erin Hunter (fantasy author), and James Dean (children's author). Some predictable names too who purchased 500 or more reviews:

Debora Geary
Jasinda Wilder
Gail McHugh
Jessica Sorensen
Jillian Dodd
Rebecca Forster
Mary Campisi
Amanda Hocking
B V Larson
Blake Crouch
Aaron Pogue
Hugh Howey
Erica Stevens
Matthew Mather
Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Ryk Brown
Daniel Arenson
M R Mathias
David A Wells
T R Harris
Jay Allan
Mallory Monroe
Edie Claire
Stephanie Lisa Tara
K Bromberg
Tarryn Fisher
Cassia Leo
Michael G Manning
Emma Chase
H M Ward
J S Scott
A Meredith Walters
Bella Forrest

This is clearly a slanderous situation that needs to be dealt with. I know I have never even heard of this site. I barely even have 500 reviews total.
 

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This site also lists "Erin Hunter." As in Erin Hunter, the trad published author (actually authors) who wrote all those billions of Warriors books my son loves? I really doubt someone like that would need to buy fake reviews.
 

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MegHarris said:
This site also lists "Erin Hunter." As in Erin Hunter, the trad published author (actually authors) who wrote all those billions of Warriors books my son loves? I really doubt someone like that would need to buy fake reviews.
Yeah, no kidding. My daughter read a ton of those books too. They are hugely popular and the kids who want them learn of them from other kids, not from Amazon reviews.

I also laughed to see Amanda Hocking on that list. She has had a cult like following since before Fivvr was even around, I think. Isn't that a rather new-ish site?

And Hugh Howey? Yeah, he sure needs to buy fake reviews. ::) Sounds like sour grapes to me.
 

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I imagine Fiverr will be all over this as well, it has to violate some kind of employee NDA. It's not good for business if they let violation of their customer's privacy stand.

M
 

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Honestly, it is likely better to ignore some hole in the wall blog than it is to sue for libel (it's in print, so it's libelous, not slanderous - slander is spoken). The site's Alexa rating is so "oh my god NOBODY visits this blog" that you've probably given them more traffic by posting here than they've had in an entire year. ;)

Best bet? Ignore it.
 

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Amanda had a following because of fictionn (at least  I think it was fiction) she posted before on her blog. She had a big blog following which helped with her visibility. Plus she dominated and published 3 books in less than a month. She never needed reviews they just came to her.
 

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I don't know most of those authors, but seeing Deb Geary's name on there makes me discount the whole thing. I have personal experience with her rabid fan base and can vouch that the enthusiasm and reviews are not fabricated.
 

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Fortunately, as Kevin noted, that site has an Alexa rating of over 5 million... meaning practically no one visits that site.
 

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Incredible claims require incredible evidence or however the saying goes. The burden of proof rests upon the blogger, who has posted no contact information or proof that anyone on that list has done anything wrong. (Ilona Andrews and Brandon Sanderson? Really?)

Plus, if you look up any of those authors on a site like Sales Rank Express, you can track the sales history of their books over a long period of time and guesstimate how many reviews they should legitimately have, since there tends to be a predictable percentage of buyers who will review. Someone like Ryk Brown's volume of sales is consistent with his volume of reviews. Heck, that could be said for anyone on the list. If I were looking for review shenanigans, I'd be looking for people with a lot of reviews and much fewer sales than this noble list of indies.

It looks a lot like he went through the top 100 author lists in various genres and picked a few notable names - some of whom don't even have 500 reviews on their highest-reviewed works, I'd like to add. (Ninja ETA: Like Daniel "The Dragonborn" Arenson.)
 

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I think what the website is saying is that all these authors bought reviews early on, before they became popular and their fan base started posting reviews.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I just figured the KBers on the list would want to know. Hugh is on there, and Holly, and others I know are on this board.

Here's the complaint form for Wordpress.com. I don't know if it will accomplish anything, but those on the list might want to take a shot.

http://en.wordpress.com/complaints/
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
dotx said:
I think what the website is saying is that all these authors bought reviews early on, before they became popular and their fan base started posting reviews.
But the point is, it's bogus. It says I bought 500 reviews from some site. I don't have all that many more than 500 reviews total.
 

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Looks like a list of people who have a lot of reviews.

I got an email today from one of the authors on this list who obviously, by his shock and indignation, has never bought a review in his life. Neither have I. I know Jasinda Wilder well enough to know she wouldn't be caught dead doing this.

I've dealt with these accusations long enough to be able to shrug it off. I always feel like pointing out that 6,000 reviews isn't a ton after 600,000 sales, but whatever. Almost all of those 6,000 people have now friended me on FB or follow me on Twitter, and they seem real enough.
 

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I think, at the very minimum, this site wrecklessly looked at accounts that did fake reviews and assumed all reviews they did were paid. However, might these fake reviewers have left reviews unpaid for on popular author titles to increase their fake rewview account's legitimacy? If I were creating a fake account as an author to give myself fake 5 stars, I wouldn't just fake review my books. If I were a horror writer, e.g., I'd leave 4s or 5s on Stephen King and so on, a few top indies, and ME. (Note, I think about how these things work, I DO NOT actually do stuff like that!!!)
 

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modwitch said:
All I have to say is that sometimes people say stuff on the interwebs that is not actually true ;-P
What?! Say it ain't so. There goes my entire belief system out the window ;D.
 
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