By Iola GoultonIt’s no secret that there are fake reviews on Amazon. Indie author John Locke has admitted to buying reviews, ‘entrepreneur’ Todd Rutherford admits to selling them, a Gartner study shows 10%-15% of online reviews are fake, and studies show consumers have difficulty identifying fake reviews (many people don’t even know it’s a problem).
Some authors are prepared to let ethics fall by the wayside in the quest for the almighty dollar. I’d love to say that Christians are immune to unethical or dishonest behaviour, but I’ve seen this isn’t the case.
Narelle Atkins recently posted on author etiquette, particularly in regard to online interaction with readers. It was apparent the ‘rules’ are slightly different depending on where you are posting:
- Retail sites (e.g. Amazon): don’t interact with reviewers
- Reader sites (e.g. Goodreads): you can thank reviewers, but don’t criticise reviews
- Reader blogs (e.g. AusJenny or Iola’s Christian Reads): it’s nice to receive a comment from the author on a review, and I think readers like the interaction. I agree with Narelle that authors should absolutely visit and comment if they have requested the review or been interviewed. That small courtesy certainly leaves me more responsive to hosting the author again.
- Social Networks (e.g. Facebook or Twitter): it’s fine to like or retweet positive comments or reviews, but best not to mention critical reviews.