The saga of fake book reviews on Amazon is really gaining momentum. Yesterday R.J. Ellory was dragged into the mess, and today 49 leading British writers – including Ian Rankin, Lee Child and Mark Billingham – have written to the Daily Telegraph to condemn fake reviews, and to demand that something is done to address the problem.
In their letter to the Telegraph, the writers argued that there are likely many more authors and publishers who have paid for reviews. They call for readers to ‘take control’ of the reviews process, with the aim of ensuring that their honest and genuine reviews drown out the fake reviews, which seems to be the most likely way in which the problem can be tackled.
Meanwhile, the Crime Writers’ Association has also issued a statement condemning the practice of using ‘sockpuppets’ to plant fake reviews. There are a number of issues getting rolled up together here, such as authors using sockpuppet accounts to praise their own books and damn the work of others, as well as people buying reviews; Amazon has so far not commented on the fuss, but it’ll be interesting to see if they come up with any kind of response.