This post grew out of another blogger’s post – It’s all in the stars… Ratings on different sites: https://fictionophile.com/2019/11/08/its-all-in-the-stars-ratings-on-different-sites/. The post is about understanding the ratings at different sites – Amazon, NetGalley,and GoodReads as each site has its own definition of what a particular star rating means. Definitely worth a read if you plan on reviewing on any of those sites or other sites.
Can you spot a fake review? Sometimes they are easy, but other times they are hard to spot. I am going to include paid fake reviews as well as free fake reviews. In some cases, negative fake reviews are designed to target someone or some company who the fake reviewer doesn’t like. In these cases, they may be part of a larger group going after an individual or company, or simply someone with an ax to grind.
I saw an article or blog post recently about an author who managed to do very well on Amazon by adding fake reviews they wrote and paying others to add fake reviews. I won’t mention the name of this author as I don’t want to deal with legal issues should the individual decide to come after me. This is not the first author to do so and won’t be the last author. They pop up on a regular enough basis.
This isn’t about books specifically, but does provide some guidelines on how to spot fake reviews: https://www.wikihow.com/Spot-a-Fake-Review-on-Amazon.
There are companies willing to write fake reviews, pro or con, if you pay them enough money. There are numerous websites, some legit and some not, where you can find paid reviewers. I wouldn’t recommend using paid reviewers as they can cause you more grief than they are worth.