The Sad Reality of Purchased Raves

Reviews are important. People depend on them. That said, if there is one glowing review in a sea of bad ones, it’s pretty obvious someone has been paid.

It’s important for all of us to take a minute to post honest evaluations of the books we read (if we have time). It counterbalances those dishonest voices, which will, unfortunately, always be around.

IBPA-Publishing's Independent Voice

The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) respects the value of book reviews to the publisher, author and reader and urges independent publishers, self publishers and authors to ethically pursue both traditional and online reviews.

IBPA rejects and deems unethical the practice of “sock puppet” reviews—bogus reviews by reviewers writing under false names and/or pretenses.

IBPA calls for “citizen reviewers” to pledge to review truthfully and thoughtfully—or not at all.

Many of you are scratching your heads, thinking that the above position statements simply re-state the obvious and why bother. The “why” speaks to the recent furor over integrity in online book reviewing.

As you may have noticed recently in both the book trades and other media, the spotlight is shining on “sock puppets,” defined as fake online positive reviews posted under bogus names or pretenses. The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy (New York Times, 8-26-2012) tells the story…

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3 thoughts on “The Sad Reality of Purchased Raves

  1. You know, alternatively that sea of negative reviews could be a bunch of sock puppets trying to drown out the positive review. Why is it always the “one glowing review” that gets singled out at wrong? Just sayin….

  2. You are right, Katy. Actually, when I recommend books in professional publications I depend on professional reviews in established publications such as PW, Hornbook, and SLJ. (I write materials for teachers.) When I am looking for something fun to read, I ask my personal (not virtual) friends. That’s just me, though.

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