Alphabet Blogging Challenge Day 18
It’s day 18 of my September alphabet blogging challenge
The letter is R
and the subject is REVIEWS
I thought of doing a post on rewriting and revising today, but I’ve written a few posts specifically on writing, so I thought I’d have a change (bit of one, anyway)!
I also wondered about relief, as I’ve recently read somewhere that the Cambodian alphabet has 74 letters! Phew! I think 26 is a challenge.
But I’ve settled for reviews – especially of the amazon variety – as they’ve been somewhat in the news recently with RJ Ellory’s ‘outing’ as a fake reviewer for his own books!
When I first heard that, I thought it couldn’t possibly be true. I’ve heard him talk at a major writers’ conference, and although I haven’t read any of his books, I know he’s a very popular crime author and his books have sold world-wide. Why on earth would someone like that compromise his position by writing fake reviews?
However, the following day he apologised for his ‘error of judgement’! And apparently he didn’t only write glowing reviews for himself, but negative ones for his rivals!
I presumed his reviews would be withdrawn, but I’ve checked amazon and there are a few suspicious ones. I do wonder about the one that describes Ellory as a Shakespeare for today!
He was due to be the headline speaker at the PowWow Lit Fest in Birmingham on Sunday, but he’s withdrawn (too cowardly to face people, I suppose) and they’ve got Alison Moore (author of shortlisted Booker ‘The Lightship’ instead). A better bet, I’d say.
But the RJ Ellory issue does highlight the problem of amazon reviews. They appear to wield a huge amount of influence, and yet, the system is clearly open to abuse. Even if people don’t falsify their reviews, friends and family can be encouraged to write lovely comments, artificially bumping up the five-star status.
Perhaps I’m just envious, as although I’ve had a few really nice reviews from people I know, and from others that I don’t know, the majority of readers don’t seem to do it. I’ve had strangers make the effort to contact me with lovely comments about ‘Unravelling’, but they don’t post reviews on amazon. I know a lot of people don’t think of it (as well as others who are opposed to amazon full stop) and I’m certainly not blaming anyone, let me hurry up and add! It’s really nice when readers get in touch – and thinking about it, I don’t remember ever writing to a writer even when I’ve loved their book – but a bit of me would like to say to those readers ‘You couldn’t post a review on amazon, could you? Oh, and while you’re about it, could you make it five stars?’!
Otherwise, there’s the danger I might start writing them myself!