1. Partridge

    Partridge Active Member

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    ePublishing Book Review scam on Goodreads.

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Partridge, Apr 21, 2020.

    I'm sure the more grizzled, experienced writers on here are aware of this, but I thought some fellow newbies to self publishing could do with hearing this.

    A couple of weeks ago I published my first ever E-Book on KDP. Soon after I managed to get it listed on Goodreads, but haven't made an effort to promote it on there. If it gets picked on Goodreads, I'll let it happen organically.

    So imagine my delight when a PM popped in my inbox on the site from somebody saying they would like to review it! But I smelled a rat very quickly.

    They didn't refer to my book by title in their message, just stating that they were willing to review my "latest book", rather than mentioning my book by name. This "book reviewer" also told me they didn't have an amazon account, so could I get it to them another way? Oh, and one more thing, they're not on Goodreads very much, so could I kindly email them.

    This rat was smelling stronger by the second.

    Out of curiosity more than anything else, I fired off an email asking them where they would be publishing their review if they didn't have Amazon. Goodreads? Their blog? Facebook? The New York Times?

    I am also pretty certain that giving away your book for it to be reviewed on Amazon is against their terms and conditions?

    I got a wishy washy reply back just stating that they were a "book reviewer" with no more detail than that, and asking if I could get my "newest book" (again, not mentioning my novel's title, or calling me by my name, making me think this is a bot at work, or just somebody's MS mail merge at work) to them via PDF.

    A bunged their email address into google, and saw about ten different posts on Facebook groups, forums and Goodreads itself from authors who have had their work pirated after sending this "person" their work. Some just gave their work away another got a review.

    It may seem quite obvious that this is a scam, but if you're new I can see how you'd fall for this.

    Since replying I've also got 13 further emails within two days from other "book reviewers", "editors" and "beta readers".

    I've googled most of these email addresses, and most of them have come back as some kind of scam.

    If you are new to this, do not engage with such entities.

    I am sure that this is not unique to Goodreads, and there are many, many great genuine readers on there - but be wary of anybody coming out of the blue, offering to review your work.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  2. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Glad you spotted it before doing anything that could have ended up hurting you.
     
    Partridge and Malisky like this.
  3. Malisky

    Malisky Sirocco Contributor

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    I'm glad you've mentioned this because I was curious about it. I'm not so knowledgeable upon online publishing so this question might sound naive, but how do you protect your work from getting pirated? I mean, even if the scammer mailing you to review your book was on Goodreads and had bought your book, couldn't he pirate it? How does this work?
     
  4. Partridge

    Partridge Active Member

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    Sending out your work as a PDF, or similar to anyone you don't know is always going to be risky. Once it is published on Kindle or wherever, I can't imagine the process of stealing would be as easy - plus it would be a whole lot easier to prove that the work is yours.
    Obviously there comes a time where you have to do that to get your work to beta readers. I only send my WIP to people who are either "known" in our community, or those I trust in real life.
     
    Dogberry's Watch likes this.
  5. Cephus

    Cephus Senior Member

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    That kind of thing happens all the time. If someone wants to read and review my work, it's available for sale on Amazon. Anyone who wants it for free, screw 'em. I only care about reviews by verifiable purchasers.
     
    Iain Aschendale likes this.
  6. Partridge

    Partridge Active Member

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    At this stage in my career a review is worth far more to me than selling one book. I don't object to doling stuff out for free if it's going to benefit me in the long run - what I do object to is people trying to scam me, and others in the community.
     
    deadrats and Iain Aschendale like this.

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