DNF: Ink and Bone  My Thoughts: Six of Crows My Thoughts: A Darker Shade of Magic My Thoughts: Quake

Friday, January 18, 2013

Ghost Reviewers: What does it mean for the rest of us? [Ramble]

I found an interesting article on the New York Times today about how some authors artificially drive up their books via ghost reviewer. What's a ghost reviewer you ask? It's a person you'd pay to write multiple optimistic reviews (under different names) on a popular book purchasing site. (such as amazon) Making it seem as if they were a chorus of different people approving/vouching for your book. It's meant to convince the average buyer that you're "big cheese" and worth reading. 

Ghost reviewers of course are not real reviewers, rather paid mouths that will publish a message for a little cash. Mouths for hire if you will. However the sly deception doesn't end there. I've  looked around and it seems like  some ghost reviewers (for a price) are even willing to go onto a competitors novel and trash them by witting falsely negative reviews on their work. Yes, that's right, even you the indie author can be affected by these ghost reviewers. 

Now the real question is, how does this tie in with legitimate reviewers?
Dina Santorelli of Long Island, New York has an answer; "I found this article so disheartening. I self-published my debut novel earlier this year and received lots of four- and five-star reviews on various sites. I was thrilled, obviously. Reviews can make or break a book, particularly a book from an unknown. And to now think that people could question the validity of those reviews is just so deflating. Self-published authors work so hard to get the word out and compete with the big boys. Now I feel like we'll have to work even harder."

Disheartening words indeed, to read the new york times article Click Here
To Read another article concerning ghost reviewers Click Here


  1. I honestly really, really dislike ghostwriters. The type of ghostwrite I am familiar with are more along the lines of someone who writes books that have been *created* by someone else. A pretty popular example would be the Vampire Diaries series by LJ Smith. The publisher took her rights away from her and a ghostwriter took over writing the series. But this case is awful as well.

    Nice article.