I know a number of self-published authors who also love to help other authors with their book promotion by leaving reviews on Amazon. While most of these people won’t fake a good review if the book is horrible, most of them, because they feel some solidarity with other self-published writers, or whether they’re just too nice to leave critical reviews, will merely decline to leave a review for books that are too awful to write anything nice about.
I know I’ve done the same. My mother always told me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
But I think this is counter-productive for the self-publishing world in general. Because there are people and companies that will leave five-star reviews for all manner of dreck for money or the same in return, it’s important that poorly written books receive enough negative reviews to alert the casual reader that it might not be a good idea to spend their money on that particular title.
Right now, most readers not immersed in the book world as authors or social readers don’t have much of an idea about who has published the books they’re reading.
Most often they’ll go by the cover, author, genre and reviews to determine their book purchases
And for self-published authors, this is a good thing. If you do a good job with your book and your cover, there is a large segment of the reading population who won’t discriminate against your book because it’s not published by a big-6 publisher.
But if those same readers are duped a few too many times by fake reviews and false promises, they can just as easily be driven away from self-published books and into the safer arms of known publishers and authors instead.
Preventing that movement away from neutrality to bias should be on the mind of every self-published author who also reviews books on Amazon. Please, please leave your negative reviews where they are deserved, to preserve the marketplace for future self-published superstars.