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MysteryRiter
12-03-2011, 07:44 AM
This has me so engraged! I heard about it on FB and reading the reviews on this book, they are so obviously fake! Plus, the author made up some (I assume) bogus story about the wonderful cause where the profits are going; these two factors have boosted his sales a lot, too. It has infuriated me for the night and I wanted to share.
Read the discussion: http://www.amazon.com/forum/kindle%20book/ref=cm_cd_dp_rft_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx3RFWX8IMGF85E&cdThread=Tx1L5PMCIWRX80I

And the 350 bogus reviews on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Hacker-Hunter-ebook/dp/B005VRAZOS/ref=cm_rdp_product

Would love to hear what you think.

Hiroko
12-03-2011, 07:50 AM
That's just ridiculous. Some people don't realize how the publicity they may generate will only make them look stupid.

alleycat
12-03-2011, 07:56 AM
Fraudulent reviews are irksome, but it's part of the "Internet age" we live in now. People have to learn to discern what's real and what's planted; or else just ignore customer reviews entirely.

profen4
12-03-2011, 08:24 AM
Yeah, I'm indifferent. I'm surprised he was able to do that. It's not easy to game amazon on your own. Certainly some of them look legit - but I didn't read them all.

People have been gaming the systems for years and years. Buying their own books, paying for reviews, sockpuppets ... etc.

Drachen Jager
12-03-2011, 10:20 AM
I remember a story a few years back about a movie reviewer who turned out to be a fictional character created by the studio's marketing department. Turned out every major studio had a half-dozen such pseudonyms, some being published in big news publications, some of them existed and were just being paid to give good reviews, some were fabrications.

Now you know why Bio-Dome got a couple of good reviews.

escritora
12-03-2011, 10:22 AM
Now you know why Bio-Dome got a couple of good reviews.

:roll:

Susan Littlefield
12-03-2011, 10:27 AM
If the author did all those fake reviews, does that mean he read his own book 350 times? :D

I mean, how silly. Sounds like he had an awful lot of time on his hands.

Satsya
12-03-2011, 12:17 PM
Well, something about this is wonky.

Almost every Google hit for the author and book is either Amazon, or mechanically referencing that the book is a top seller on Amazon. The only place where it's actually advertised is on the Facebook page for the guy the book is dedicated to.

MysteryRiter
12-03-2011, 07:40 PM
Certainly some of them look legit - but I didn't read them all.

It would seem that way, wouldn't it? Why wouldn't someone put up a real review if it's selling so well? There are about three real ones, all of which are 1-2 stars. Two of the 2 stars were fake because they praise the author on how great the book is but they claim to have rated it 2 stars because of too much violence. Yeah, like that's not faked...
I agree that some look legit, but they aren't. They can't be. Read the sample of the book. It's so poorly written and edited that I actually laughed. There's no way anyone would give that 5 stars or 4 stars or 3 stars.
I'm sorta making connections to the guy claiming to be making all that money on reddit and was hoping someone else would bring it up, too. This book appears nowhere - no author blog, author site, author social media - except for on Amazon. It probably has nothing to do with the guy on reddit, but I keep thinking that this might be one of his books - after all, he admitted to writing them so fast without editing. He also said that he didn't have any social media, blogs, author websites, etc. Neither does this guy. This book is obviously making a lot of money, too. Does anyone think there's a possibility that this is one of that guy's books? Or am I just being crazy?
Both are plausible. :D

Jamesaritchie
12-03-2011, 07:46 PM
Why does it enrage you? It's doesn't harm you, and won't help the book. And why would anyone read through such reviews to see which ones look fake? Talk about time you'll never get back.

Chekurtab
12-03-2011, 07:50 PM
Does not enrage me. If anything, it looks pathetic...
He won't go too far with the lies.

Alwaysinspired
12-03-2011, 08:03 PM
Honestly, I don't think it's worth getting upset over. If it is badly written, his sales will slow down eventually. He's made himself look ridiculous by what he's done and has probably destroyed whatever career he might have had. Take comfort in that!!

2011's dreamer
12-03-2011, 08:16 PM
I read through a few. The reviews are hilariously fake. He's gettin five star reviews where sock puppets are saying, "He needs an editor, but that's the only negative." or "Even though the grammar is bad, this was amazing." There was one real ridiculous reviewer that said he met someone on a train who also read the book and they ended up discussing it. I mean, seriously?

Oh, shit! There was one review that has a sock puppet writing down quotes from the book, and the quotes, taken straight from the book, have commas that don't need to be there and awkward ass dialogue. Yet, the reviewer said, "Classic - this book is the BEST!" Here's the lines...

"$750 a cigar and worth every, nickel"

"Ok, what does a gentleman's gentleman work for?" asked Eugene (The Mafia Boss when talking to Sir Adam's butler).

"A gentleman, Sir," replied the butler, in a fashion that indicated that Eugene didn't qualify.

LOL

One more thing. He has sock puppets commenting on sock puppets' reviews.

Here's one.

Brilliant review, not the best review though one review said, and I quote: "pages turn quicker than a Spanish Bull Fighter waving a red flag with the words "I eat your mum" printed on it"

Smh. Really? Really? lmao.

Finally, when a real reviewer came and gave it a one-star, sock puppets jumped to defend the author, bringing up the author's personal life and the depressing things that's happening to him and etc.

These Mean Streets
12-03-2011, 08:24 PM
Like others have sais: this is the internet age where anyone can say (or write) anything hidden away behind their desktop.

Another result is that now, instead of honing their writing skills, many choose instead to hone their marketing skills.

Unfortunately, all the marketing gimmicks and lies in the world can't make a sucky book good.

CrastersBabies
12-03-2011, 08:56 PM
Thanks to Kindle, I usually can get a sample. I never buy anything w/o a sample. If the sample is too short or there is no sample, I pass.

I don't buy ebooks often, but when I do I try to gauge beforehand. I do browse reviews and look for longer, more thoughtful reviews.

Pistol Whipped Bee
12-03-2011, 09:06 PM
If you pull up his book on the US Amazon site he only has five reviews. I'm guessing they're reviews Amazon deems 'real'.

MysteryRiter
12-03-2011, 09:27 PM
There was one real ridiculous reviewer that said he met someone on a train who also read the book and they ended up discussing it. I mean, seriously?

I laughed at that one, too. You'd think if the author created fake reviews, he'd actually try. :D

Maybe I used to strong of words in the beginning. I'm not 'enraged' as much as I am 'annoyed' or 'disgusted'. But it bothers me that this technique has actually worked for him because there are writers out there who work much harder to promote their much better works and get much less sales. Of course, this guy cares nothing about writing; just money.
It really is funny to read the reviews, though, they are so obviosuly fake.

jjdebenedictis
12-03-2011, 09:36 PM
The author probably views any controversy stirred up by the fake reviews (such as this thread) a good thing.

But I agree that it won't help. A turd with a shiny bow on it is still a turd.

Parametric
12-03-2011, 09:41 PM
I wonder if his real name is Robert Stanek. :tongue

Alessandra Kelley
12-03-2011, 10:06 PM
Has this actually worked for the author? He's gaming the system somehow, that's obvious. But is there reliable evidence it's doing him much good?

And what if it were? Would you want to emulate his techniques?

James D. Macdonald
12-04-2011, 01:46 AM
I'm told, though I have no way of knowing, that if you order a Kindle ebook, and immediately return it, that the book's sales numbers are still bumped up, but your credit card is never charged.

Libbie
12-04-2011, 12:22 PM
Hahaha. What a bunch of crap. (the fake reviews, not Jim's comment.)

Becky Black
12-04-2011, 12:45 PM
I'm told, though I have no way of knowing, that if you order a Kindle ebook, and immediately return it, that the book's sales numbers are still bumped up, but your credit card is never charged.

Interesting! That's definitely a way to game the system right there. Not that I think they should take away the "Bought this is error? Return it right now!" option away from customers - it's a bit easy to hit the Buy Now accidentally on the Kindle. But they should see that the cancelled sale is never on the books sales rank.

Either this author has a lot of time on his hands that he should be using to learn to write better and/or do some legitimate marketing, or he has a good network of friends willing to spend some time creating a couple of dozen sockpuppets apiece to do all these fake reviews.

What bothers me about it is that like that recent plagiarism case it's someone else wanting the success without the hard work. Someone else who wants to take a shortcut and doesn't see that taking the time to become a decent writer is one of the basic steps you need to take to get to be a best-selling writer. How do they get any real satisfaction about achieving that status through cheating rather than work? Unless it's all about the money of course. But even then, you've got to make the money fast and it's a one-off deal, because eventually people realise what's going on and then the money stops coming in.

Kado
12-04-2011, 12:58 PM
Either this author has a lot of time on his hands that he should be using to learn to write better and/or do some legitimate marketing, or he has a good network of friends willing to spend some time creating a couple of dozen sockpuppets apiece to do all these fake reviews.
.

It's funny that you mention 'time on his hands' as his first chapter opens from 'the hand's' POV. There is quite an obsession with 'the hand'. He even writes the first line of dialogue to sound as if the person is addressing 'the hand'. He literally writes, 'Not waiting for a reply, the hand released the remaining cubes.' Made me chuckle.

Hard to believe all the glowing reviews when you spot a tense error in the first 100 words or so and some clunky sentence structure.

2011's dreamer
12-04-2011, 06:52 PM
It's funny that you mention 'time on his hands' as his first chapter opens from 'the hand's' POV. There is quite an obsession with 'the hand'. He even writes the first line of dialogue to sound as if the person is addressing 'the hand'. He literally writes, 'Not waiting for a reply, the hand released the remaining cubes.' Made me chuckle.

http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/replicate/EXID54878/images/resized_master_hand.jpg


Maybe this is one of his main characters...

profen4
12-04-2011, 07:21 PM
Scammers always get caught. And then there's a comment on a blog or a message board that links to the scam whenever you Google their name ... forever. It's just not worth it if you want to make a career of writing.

Becky Black
12-05-2011, 12:14 AM
It's funny that you mention 'time on his hands' as his first chapter opens from 'the hand's' POV. There is quite an obsession with 'the hand'. He even writes the first line of dialogue to sound as if the person is addressing 'the hand'. He literally writes, 'Not waiting for a reply, the hand released the remaining cubes.' Made me chuckle.

Hard to believe all the glowing reviews when you spot a tense error in the first 100 words or so and some clunky sentence structure.

Good grief. One of the things I've had beaten into me over the last couple of years is "no independently-acting body parts". I almost want to go and get the sample of this now to mock it.

Margarita Skies
12-05-2011, 01:02 AM
The author is shooting himself in the foot. He's not harming my sales because I am not even published and odds are I never will be. I am doing this for entertainment and getting these random characters and stories out of my head. I am not like a certain author I won't mention because I don't want to stir things up, that every time she creates a character or a scene out of a dream, like I do, she has to publish the characters in her dreams. I write the characters in my dreams, but I don't publish them because they're too dark for the publishing industry. I just write them so they don't fade into thin air, so they're documented somehow, but I am not going to publish till I get a literature degree. I know there are many published authors out there that don't have degrees, but I do want backup. I don't want to be the next Author X whose name I won't mention. You all know what I'm talking about, don't you, unconventional vampires? Hint, hint.


My vampires in Rotten Blood are going to be a-holes. :ROFL:


ETA: But seriously back to the main 'issue' here quote-on-quote because there is no real issue. What this author is doing, OP, is going to hurt his sales, not yours. We shouldn't get preoccupied over other people's mistakes unless they affect us directly somehow, in my opinion. Don't shoot me. Yes, it's worth commenting on it to share thoughts about this questionable author, but getting choleric over it? Not worth it. To me that would be like getting angry over my neighbor's dog peeing on my plants. What the heck am I supposed to do, alienate my neighbor by hurting her pet? I just wouldn't plant anymore if that were the case.


Moral, ignore customer reviews unless you're buying. When you're selling it doesn't even matter because not everyone's going to like your works.

profen4
12-05-2011, 01:09 AM
The author is shooting himself in the foot. He's not harming my sales because I am not even published and odds are I never will be. I am doing this for entertainment and getting these random characters and stories out of my head. I am not like a certain author I won't mention because I don't want to stir things up, that every time she creates a character or a scene out of a dream, like I do, she has to publish the characters in her dreams. I write the characters in my dreams, but I don't publish them because they're too dark for the publishing industry. I just write them so they don't fade into thin air, so they're documented somehow, but I am not going to publish till I get a literature degree. I know there are many published authors out there that don't have degrees, but I do want backup. I don't want to be the next Author X whose name I won't mention. You all know what I'm talking about, don't you, unconventional vampires? Hint, hint.


My vampires in Rotten Blood are going to be a-holes. :ROFL:

I agree he's shooting himself in the foot, but I don't see how Stephanie Meyer plays into this topic at all. FWIW I don't think there's anything wrong with Twilight. It was a story SM wanted to tell, and she told it the way she wanted to tell it. I don't think anyone can disparage her for that. It wasn't my cup-o-tea (yep, I read the whole series), but it was the cup-o-tea for over 40 million other people (I think I need some tea).

I say all the power to her. I hope she writes more blockbusters so that publishers make huge profits and can take chances on some new guys :)

Alitriona
12-05-2011, 05:31 AM
The author is shooting himself in the foot. He's not harming my sales because I am not even published and odds are I never will be. I am doing this for entertainment and getting these random characters and stories out of my head. I am not like a certain author I won't mention because I don't want to stir things up, that every time she creates a character or a scene out of a dream, like I do, she has to publish the characters in her dreams.

I came across a self-published book on goodreads with 40 odd 5star reviews. My initial reaction was to think it must be an amazing book and the summary looked interesting. Then I clicked on some of the profiles reviewing. Practically every one was suspicious, either had never reviewed another book or only ones by the author. Many of them had no profile information and a couple had the same name. Needless to say I didn't bother adding it to my 'to read' list.

This kind of thing will always come back and bite on the ass at some point.

I would also like to be enlightened about how Stephanie Meyer plays into this or writing characters from dreams, or degrees. Doesn't SM have an English Degree?

Is it because so many love the twilight books and rave about it? Disagreeing with reviews doesn't make them fake. Maybe I've missed the point of the comment.

Kado
12-05-2011, 01:03 PM
Good grief. One of the things I've had beaten into me over the last couple of years is "no independently-acting body parts". I almost want to go and get the sample of this now to mock it.

Read the sample for entertainment. The hand is the star of the show for about a page (it even has thoughts and intentions) then - gasp - inexplicably disappears without a trace, never to be spoken of again. Attention is given to a whisky glass for about a paragraph before the author finally focuses on a human. :D

Margarita Skies
12-05-2011, 02:58 PM
Good grief, it seems I can't comment anything without having two or three random posters throw stones at me without giving examples!! That's all they are! Examples people! I can't make direct reference to anyone, it seems, because you immediately treat me like I am a dumb douche just for doing so! This is why I asked for a self-ban last time in October, and you know something? I might just contact a moderator to ask for a permanent ban, right now. All I have to do is look up a random moderator and make the inquiry and you guys will get rid of this troublemaker forever! I'm sure that because of the way you're treating me, I won't be missed. So whatever, keep on attempting to start fights with me just because I made a callback, and then Derek has the nerve to tell me I'm acting like a child when I am attacked like this and make an attempt to defend myself.


I am not going to edit my earlier posts to keep CaoPaux for accusing me of being coy and trying to play innocent. That's right, mods. You thought I would forget, but I, I remember! If you have a problem, PM me. I refuse to accept these rocks thrown at me with no justification!! I am sick of feeling helpless before random strangers who have nothing else to do but beat down others when they disagree, here in cyberspace!

shaldna
12-05-2011, 03:45 PM
If these are all fake, and to be honest who can tell for sure, then I'd love to know how much time went into doing it.

Captcha
12-05-2011, 03:57 PM
If these are all fake, and to be honest who can tell for sure, then I'd love to know how much time went into doing it.

I'm wondering if it's some sort of group thing.

The writing is so comically bad that it seems unlikely to have happened by accident, right? And we think that it's pretty hard for an individual person to game Amazon to this extent.

But if it were a group of people - a large writer's club, or prankster club (do such things exist?), I can see them pulling it off.

I hope we hear the punchline at some point.

KTC
12-05-2011, 04:56 PM
I was considering selling a fake book on Amazon. Maybe I'll rethink my stategy.

Phaeal
12-05-2011, 05:09 PM
As usual, my reading of the first couple pages saved me. Yes, the protagonist does indeed seem to be a hand. A hand beset by misplaced and missing commas, random tense switches, and an obsession with ice cubes and crystal.

Five million five star reviews couldn't make me buy this one, even if they were "legit."

KTC
12-05-2011, 05:12 PM
As usual, my reading of the first couple pages saved me from this book. Yes, the protagonist does indeed seem to be a hand. A hand beset by misplaced and missing commas, random tense switches, and an obsession with ice cubes and crystal.

Five million five star reviews couldn't make me buy this one, even if they were "legit."

Exsqueeze me? A hand? Of the four fingered, one thumbed variety? The protagonist is a HAND?!

shaldna
12-05-2011, 05:27 PM
I'm wondering if it's some sort of group thing.

The writing is so comically bad that it seems unlikely to have happened by accident, right? And we think that it's pretty hard for an individual person to game Amazon to this extent.

But if it were a group of people - a large writer's club, or prankster club (do such things exist?), I can see them pulling it off.

I hope we hear the punchline at some point.


I#m not sure of the logistics, I mean, when you set up an amazon account you now have to buy something before you can write any review. So each of those accounts have had to buy something, anything, before they can review, and you're only allowed to review 48 hours later.

KTC
12-05-2011, 05:31 PM
As usual, my reading of the first couple pages saved me. Yes, the protagonist does indeed seem to be a hand. A hand beset by misplaced and missing commas, random tense switches, and an obsession with ice cubes and crystal.

Five million five star reviews couldn't make me buy this one, even if they were "legit."

OR...do you mean, like, Mr. Hand? As in...

"Aloha, Mr. Hand!" and "Mr. Spicoli has been nice enough to offer us some pizza. Be my guest. Get a Good one."

aruna
12-05-2011, 05:32 PM
Exsqueeze me? A hand? Of the four fingered, one thumbed variety? The protagonist is a HAND?!
Better than a foot, I should think.

Is anyone else reminded of Crack of Death?

KTC
12-05-2011, 05:34 PM
Better than a foot, I should think.




Ah...but a foot could actually take the reader places.

scarletpeaches
12-05-2011, 05:51 PM
I've just read a crappy little novella to see why it got all 5-star ratings on Goodreads.

Nothing to do with the book. Everything to do with the reviewers being friends with the author.

*le sigh*

profen4
12-05-2011, 06:04 PM
I've just read a crappy little novella to see why it got all 5-star ratings on Goodreads.

Nothing to do with the book. Everything to do with the reviewers being friends with the author.

*le sigh*

Maybe it would have been more enjoyable if you were friends with the author ;)

scarletpeaches
12-05-2011, 06:06 PM
Maybe it would have been more enjoyable if you were friends with the author ;)Or if I gave myself a lobotomy with a spork?

Kado
12-05-2011, 06:10 PM
Exsqueeze me? A hand? Of the four fingered, one thumbed variety? The protagonist is a HAND?!

Yes indeed. A hand. Honestly, it's the funniest thing I've read in a long time, poor guy. I think the point in this case is that the OP needn't be angry or upset. He could have written himself a thousand fake 5 star reviews and it wouldn't change the fact that he makes Stephanie Meyer look like Philip Roth.

Edit: In fact, if you read on to Chapter 2, the hand makes another appearance. I'm warming to this hand.:D Oh, and Chapter 3 begins with a finger. Chapter 4 begins with a hand and fingers. Chapter 5 begins with long bony fingers. That's the end of the sample. Hoo boy.

Alitriona
12-06-2011, 12:12 AM
Good grief, it seems I can't comment anything without having two or three random posters throw stones at me without giving examples!! That's all they are! Examples people! I can't make direct reference to anyone, it seems, because you immediately treat me like I am a dumb douche just for doing so!

Examples of what? How does it connect to fake reviews? I feel like I'm missing the point.

I presume you aren't talking about my comment or accusing me of throwing stones for asking for a comment to be clarified? That would seem a tad extreme.

If you think my last comment was bullying in some way, by all means report it and let a mod decide.

jjdebenedictis
12-06-2011, 01:15 AM
[Y]ou immediately treat me like I am a dumb douche just for doing so! This is why I asked for a self-ban last time in October, and you know something? I might just contact a moderator to ask for a permanent ban, right now. All I have to do is look up a random moderator and make the inquiry and you guys will get rid of this troublemaker forever! I'm sure that because of the way you're treating me, I won't be missed. So whatever, keep on attempting to start fights with me just because I made a callback, and then Derek has the nerve to tell me I'm acting like a child when I am attacked like this and make an attempt to defend myself.I'm so confused. You've only commented in this thread twice, right? And between those two posts, only two commenters suggested they didn't quite understand you or didn't quite agree.

I don't get how you're seeing some big conspiracy against you. What exactly are you taking such offense to?

And who is Derek?

LindaJeanne
12-06-2011, 04:34 AM
Interesting! That's definitely a way to game the system right there. Not that I think they should take away the "Bought this is error? Return it right now!" option away from customers - it's a bit easy to hit the Buy Now accidentally on the Kindle. But they should see that the cancelled sale is never on the books sales rank.

I imagine that if one customer tends to hit "bought in error" a lot, or if a bunch of never-bought-anything accounts start appearing all buying-in-error the same book, that there's some algorithm that's going to flag that (how often they get around to looking at those flags is a different question).

MDSchafer
12-06-2011, 05:05 AM
When it comes to self-published books I think 90 to 95 percent of all reviews are disingenuous; they're either sock puppets or friends and family. I think you're better off just to ignore Amazon reviews.

Polenth
12-06-2011, 05:32 AM
Exsqueeze me? A hand? Of the four fingered, one thumbed variety? The protagonist is a HAND?!

Being a hand reminds me of Legend of Kyrandia, where one of the characters is a giant hand. I'd totally read a book about a giant hand! (If it was good in other ways)


I#m not sure of the logistics, I mean, when you set up an amazon account you now have to buy something before you can write any review. So each of those accounts have had to buy something, anything, before they can review, and you're only allowed to review 48 hours later.

When it's unrelated people giving reviews to each other, they probably all have Amazon accounts anyway. It only shows up if someone takes the time to follow through to the books written by the reviewers, to see if the same names pop up. Most readers won't dig that deeply.

Wayne K
12-06-2011, 05:38 AM
The MC in the book I just bought is a rice bag

Wayne K
12-06-2011, 05:40 AM
http://www.amazon.com/Rice-Bag-Hammock-Aja-ebook/dp/B004WSQ8AM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1323135509&sr=1-1

I haven't seen it yet, but it sounds cool :)

aruna
12-07-2011, 07:08 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Rice-Bag-Hammock-Aja-ebook/dp/B004WSQ8AM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1323135509&sr=1-1

I haven't seen it yet, but it sounds cool :)

Oh wow, it's about Guyana! Got to buy it!

Gondomir
12-08-2011, 12:20 AM
The book is entitled The Hacker Hunter and the author hacked Amazon to sock puppet/spam the fake reviews? The irony! Outrageous! Reminds me of when the "critics" described the movie George of the Jungle as "the surprise smash of the summer," but at least that was tongue-in-cheek.