I only heard part of the ABC Nightly News report this evening about 'paid reviews' on Amazon and think it was about all their products, not just books. Apparently there are 'fly by night' companies of ill-repute offering anyone and everyone 5 bucks to write a review regardless (good or bad or indifferent) if they know/used any of the products or even read the book. Sounds like another headache/nightmare for all us writers. I peruse my favourite genre on Amazon to find books I might like to read. By far, the reviews are fair. However, when a 'no-name author' has a hundred 5-star glowing reviews within a week of releasing his/her 'book'......then it's not worth my time (the person has a hundred friends OR paid for one of these review services). On the other hand, it raises their novel in the ranks and thus it gets promoted over the honest authors who are really trying. A "catch 22" situation? Do you do reviews on Amazon of the novels you've read? How do you know which reviews are honest versus paid? Granted, there's a lot of crap on Amazon being lauded as "best sellers" by the author's friends and family BUT there's also gems as well. Makes me want to give up the idea of trying to compete in the 'paying' writing market. Vent over.....for now .