Just today I came across an author recommendation and, of course, I went to Amazon to see what the reviews for this author were like. Her books have solid 4 1/2 star ratings. Like always, I scrolled down to see what types of discussions are going on about the author's work and see a thread titled 'Don't trust these reviews'. Basically, a reader was warning future buyers that the author often times reviews her own books on Amazon under different names, and gets friends to do it for her as well.
Don't by into the so called "reviews" This author is notorious for writing her own reviews and getting her friends to write reviews of her books. There's even a discussion in paranormal romance called "reviews as weapons" where the author and her friends pat each other on the back for their fraudulent marketing tactics.
The author responded with this:
Troll farts troll farts--run away run away!!!
Her reaction piqued my interest and I went looking to see if she really reviewed her own books, and yes, she does review them, just under different names. I wouldn't have known this was true if she had bothered to hide her identity under the different names. She will post under a name other than her author pen name letting everyone know that she is the author. She has even started threads under one name then switched up halfway through discussions using her author pen name. One of the names that she began a discussion under is used in reviewing two of her own books, giving a four star review of one book, and a five star of the other.
Finding this out made me automatically believe the buyer beware poster. Now I'm not even wanting to read the author any longer, even with the praise that came from readers not affiliated with her. But I wonder if I'm being too critical? Maybe it's not that bad that an author reviews their own work. What do you think?
Is it fair for authors to review their own books?