1. XLadyX
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    XLadyX Banned

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    ePublishing Question about Fake One Star Reviews

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by XLadyX, Oct 27, 2014.

    Hi, everyone --

    I have been looking for a resourceful writing community to post at. The writing forum I came from was extremely unmoderated and as I browse through here, I am very interested to looking up more stories by others and other information on reading/writing. I love how this community is very organized and hope I can continue to post here.

    My question is, I'm a new writer (I was a blogger first), and I had recently published some stories on Amazon. However, I've had one star trolls harass me on fake names and make 25+ fake Amazon accounts to up vote their own bad reviews and down vote mine.

    Has anyone else dealt with this? Did the trolls ever stop bothering you or am I just doomed to have a dishonest one star review on all my books?

    This is stressing me out that I put so much time into my work and people have nothing better to do than to vote one star on it. Luckily it's been only one or two individuals who do this and most people like my work, but they are driving away people who support me who don't dare to write a review for me when those one star trolls will down vote anyone's comments who support me.

    This is really aggravating me and I want them to stop bothering me but they won't. :/

    Thank you for advice in advance.

    thelostxin
     
  2. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Couldn't you contact Amazon and let them know you suspect an user is using multiple accounts to defame you?
    They got stuff to detect that sort of thang.
     
  3. XLadyX
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    XLadyX Banned

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    Yeah, I just e-mailed KDP saying I think that user is using many spam accounts. I don't know if they'll do anything about it, though. His comment just read, "not a book...just something from a troubled soul" a very slick comment insulting me since it was a non-fiction book. I just can't get over that person really has nothing better to do than to insult people and make fake reviews on different names. That person has too much time on their hands.
     
  4. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    You can contact amazon. Amazon does try to get rid of fake reviews -- good and bad. They will not allow 2 reviews from the same IP address. They also have a policy that they utilize somewhat randomly, where they do not allow "competitors" to review products that are in the same category, which includes authors. So, technically, if you are a writer who sells a book (epublished or otherwise), you are not allowed to review the writings of others. Now, this is ridiculous, because writers are some of the best reviewers, and they're not actually selling a "competing" product in the true sense of the word, at least not most of the time. (It could be different if you wrote a book on how to raise goldfish and reviewed other books on how to raise goldfish. But novels don't really compete with each other, and by reading one, frequently you are more likely to read another.)

    Amazon is very concerned about the reliability of reviews. So much so that they have pissed off authors when it has removed legitimate reviews. If you can show they are fake accounts and that you are being harassed, amazon generally will look into that sort of thing. I know I've generally heard of this sort of thing, but it has not happened to me and I cannot remember where I had read it.

    Good luck.
     
  5. XLadyX
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    XLadyX Banned

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    Hey,

    Thanks for the info. I definitely can prove it's a fake account you're right. It only reviewed one other book besides mine and that book was from another writer I know who she is. It gave her book 3 stars and mine 1, but that was it so I feel like it is someone I know who is purposely aggravating me. The spam votes are also against that reviewer's favor. I hope they will delete his comment. Will let you know what happens.
     
  6. XLadyX
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    XLadyX Banned

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    I ended up deleting that short eBook because I'm thinking about writing an extensive book about it. That was just to have something out there, heh.
     
  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    This has really got me angry. I read Amazon reviews a lot, and usually comment on the comments, if they're like this. Basically saying 'this isn't a review, it's a vote.' (Or an insult?) It's a horrible thing to do to anybody. I think a 1-star review is fine, if it's a toaster you bought that broke down after two days, or something like that. But to trash somebody's story? I mean, if you have allowed the 'look inside' option, people should be able to judge your writing style for themselves. This kind of put-down is just inexcusable.

    One question. Are you selling your work, or do people get to read it for free?

    If you're selling your work, you should be able to check if the person actually bought it. Is there a 'Verified Purchase' sticker beside their review? If not, it's worth pointing out that they don't seem to have bought a copy of the story at all? This would strengthen your argument that they are trolling you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
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  8. XLadyX
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    XLadyX Banned

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    I put up test books on KDP to see what my stories would look like on kindle. I didn't think anyone would go out their way to harass me for it when it was clear that I didn't put much efforts into those short stories, it was just to have something out there for now to have something on the bookshelf. I don't think it was a verified purchase. I heard now people can review things without reading it! I don't think they should be allowed to do that because they could be mislead if they don't read something properly all the way through.
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    But what if you buy the book at a brick and mortar and want to review it on Amazon?
     
  10. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    That won't happen if the book is only available on Kindle, which I suspect this one is. If the people didn't bother to download it, then they can't have read it. Or at least that's likely ...unless they've stolen the MS! At any rate, it's worth highlighting this issue in the commentary, if that's the case.
     
  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I was thinking specifically of @peachalulu's book. It's on Kindle but I had her send me an autographed copy so when she's a famous author I'll have one of her first books. :agreed:

    When I post my review (still have a couple more pages to go) Amazon won't have a record of my purchase.

    And I sometimes read Kindle books my son purchased on his Kindle. I believe sharing is allowed.
     
  12. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well, I agree it's possible. But at the same time, it's worth a go. If they don't have a verified purchase sticker, they should be able to say where they got the copy they 'reviewed.' I bet they can't, because they didn't.
     
  13. XLadyX
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    XLadyX Banned

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    Hmm, I'm not too sure about that. I only know the basics when I buy it from the Amazon ebook store.
     
  14. Devlin Blake
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    Devlin Blake Member

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    The thing is, successful authors sell their books multiple places; Barnes & noble, Ibook store, their own website, Google bookstore, Lulu, and tons of other places. Just because they didn't buy it on Amazon doesn't mean they don't have it. Also, not everyone who downloads a book reads it.
     
  15. chicagoliz
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    And of course, just because someone purchased it or downloaded it, doesn't mean they read it carefully or thoughtfully.
     
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  16. XLadyX
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    XLadyX Banned

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    I agree. The troll who commented on my story called me a "troubled person." I said, "How so?" I thought I had displayed myself to be a respectable individual of society and he gets "troubled" from that some how. I don't think he really read it, either.
     
  17. XLadyX
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    XLadyX Banned

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    I actually remembered I posted a free download of the short story collection I'm talking about at Smash Words: I was hoping I could use that some how as part of my bully story I want to write: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/487890 -- This was the thing he reviewed that he gave it a 'one star' when I had it published at Amazon.
     
  18. XLadyX
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    XLadyX Banned

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    Good news! Even though I unpublished the book, the customer reviews still exist for it in the "customer review" section on Author Central, just unpublished. I didn't see his comment anywhere. I'm assuming they deleted his fake review. I know you're not really supposed to respond to reviews, but I knew it was someone who I had encountered from somewhere so that's why I did. Had it been a genuine stranger, I think I might have ignored it, well depending on what it said, lol. What a relief. I hope Amazon banned all his spam accounts, too. I appreciate everyone's suggestions.
     
  19. Missy
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    I'm curious. What makes them "fake" reviews? Are the saying outright lies about your book or are they just negative reviews from people who didn't like it? How do you know it was one person with 25 accounts and not 25 different people? I mean, is there any chance your book might have had a few problems that brought about the bad reviews? After all, Amazon is pretty vigilant about multiple accounts from the same IP.
     
  20. jannert
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    It was interesting that Alex Salmond's autobiography that covered the referendum period was instantly 'reviewed' by people who claimed it was awful and gave it 1-star, on the morning of the day it was put on sale! And no, they hadn't verified the purchase. And their 'reviews' were all about how they hate Alex Salmond and Scots and the referendum, etc. Nothing about the book itself.

    I think what needs to happen is people need to stop paying ANY attention to the star-rating system when it comes to books. By all means read the reviews, and glean from them what you will. If somebody takes the time to explain why the book is this or that, fair enough. But if they just make remarks like 'this is a book written by a troubled soul' without giving any decent reasons why they came to that conclusion, just ignore them. It's not a review, is it?

    Trolls exist, and we've got to learn how to recognise their 'work.' And then develop the backbone to ignore them.
     
  21. GingerCoffee
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    I've seen a lot of books with either a right, left or libertarian POV that have what I call political reviews. If the reader likes the politics, they like the book and if not, they don't.
     
  22. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've currently got "reviews" showing up on Goodreads for a book that isn't even out of editing yet.

    As much as you can, ignore it. I think Amazon is more vigilant than Goodreads about stuff like this, but there has to be a limit to how much of your energy you spend on other people's issues.
     

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