Monday, September 3, 2012

Reviews: Oh the Horror!

When purchasing reviews, always use protection.
Everyone and their mother, and their grandmother, has jumped into the fray regarding the recent NY Times article exposing the underbelly of the publishing world that involves purchased reviews. You can read the article if you’d like and feel free to take your shots at John Locke. The truth of the matter is that all companies, major publishing houses included, have been doing this for decades. Not necessarily online, but it’s been happening for a long time. The difference between paying for reviews on Fiverr/Craigslist and “ordering services” from Kirkus Reviews is like debating the difference between an escort and a back-alley blowjob.

But I don’t want to beat this dead horse any longer. Rather, I’d like to take a closer look at the new digital marketplace as it pertains to my livelihood, books and music. In both cases, the consumer can sample enough of the product to know if they want it or not. On iTunes and Amazon, you can preview a song. On Amazon, you can read the first 10-15% of an eBook. If after looking at the cover, reading the description, and reading the beginning of the book I’m not interested, I don’t buy the book. If the song doesn’t grab my attention in the first 30 seconds the remaining three and a half probably won’t either. You are not afforded this opportunity if purchasing a blender online. You can’t “sample” a new HD television before ordering it from Amazon. But for things like music and books, why wouldn’t you?

And now, back to your regularly scheduled witch hunt.

On September 12th I’m releasing a new dark fantasy called Portal Arcane I – Reversion. It’s my favorite work so far. On October 12th, Raising Zombies – Family Life in the Modern Age will be available. If you like my smartass, sarcastic blog, you’ll love this collection of humorous essays and pranks gone horribly wrong. Is it shameless if I warn you in all caps first?


  1. I wrote a post about this too and how it relates to new authors and self published authors. I mention Locke but a few others.

  2. I saw it. Good post. I think my first reaction was outrage too because I felt like these authors used their money/influence to gain an unfair advantage. But when you get down to it, no number of 5-star reviews is going to help sell a turd. As I said in the post, if you can sample the book you know what you're getting. I'm not condoning their actions but I can't drum up righteous indignation either.

    Its here for those that haven't seen Knight's post: