If any of you missed my three original posts, I was approached by an “authors” group who participate in 5-star review exchanges. You can read the original post by clicking the images below:
Click on this one to read part I
Click this one to read part II
Click this one to read part III
And now, the saga continues – Part IV –
The lowlifes that I have been blogging about have, it seems, joined forces and published one-star reviews for my novel “The Clearing.” They are infantile, and not very authentic, but still, they are there. My publisher has already drafted a letter of complaint and sent it off to Amazon, including some interesting information. Here’s the letter:
“With regard to four 1-star reviews given against The Clearing by Thomas Rydder (ASIN B00BMEVA0W) on October 11th & 12th 2013, I request that you consider removing them as I believe they are fraudulent, being a revenge attack by a group of authors who give each other 5-star reviews on Amazon against an author who exposed them.
There are four reasons why I believe these reviews are fraudulent. Each on their own is highly significant, but taken together the fact that 1-star reviews were made from these particular four Amazon accounts about that specific book and in that particular 48 hour period goes beyond any credible possibility of coincidence.
Here are my reasons for thinking these reviews are abusive:
1. The 1-star reviews did not match the previous reviewing trend. For its first 24 reviews and seven months the lowest rating for The Clearing was 3 stars. Then there were suddenly four 1-star reviews within 48 hours.
2. The 1-star reviews came with 48 hours of the author exposing a scam review group. On October 10th a Facebook 5-star fraudulent review group contacted the author and was firmly rebuffed. Thomas Rydder (the author) named and shamed the instigator, Ben Harris Jr. (here: http://thomasrydder.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/scam-alert-i-was-approached-by-a-5-star-review-exchange-group-on-facebook) There was clearly some animosity at that time. On the assumption that Ben Harris Jr operates the Amazon Account ‘Karrine’ (see example quotes below for why this looks likely) he has a history of reacting in an angry and threatening fashion to any criticism, and this fits the idea of these reviews being a revenge attack. The 1-star reviews appeared over the following two days. The same request to join the Facebook reviewing group was mentioned by another author: http://williambryanmiller.com/?p=630
3. The reviewing profile of at least three of the four reviewers is simply not credible, with two of them giving at least 60 5-star reviews within a 42 day period.
I looked at past reviews for the four people who gave The Clearing 1-star reviews. I looked at the reviews they had made from September 1st through October 12th. During that 42-day period:
Marshall Hanks reviewed 62 books. 60 were 5-star reviews. One 4-star and The Clearing 1-star.(Over a slightly longer time period, Marshall also gave 5-star reviews for both books published by Ben Harris Jr who is alleged by Tom Rydder and William Bryan Miller to have sent the invitations to swap fraudulent Amazon 5-star reviews.)
Count reviewed 9 books. 8 were 5-star reviews and The Clearing 1-star.
(Over a slightly longer time period, Count also gave 5-star reviews for both books published by Ben Harris Jr who is alleged by Tom Rydder and William Bryan Miller to have sent the invitations to swap fraudulent Amazon 5-star reviews.)
J Maurice reviewed 39 books. 38 were 5-star reviews and The Clearing 1-star.
(Over a slightly longer time period, J Maurice also gave 5-star reviews for both books published by Ben Harris Jr who is alleged by Tom Rydder and William Bryan Miller to have sent the invitations to swap fraudulent Amazon 5-star reviews.)
Karrine reviewed 64 books. 61 were 5-star reviews and The Clearing and two others 1-star.
(Karrine also made angry comments about low-rated reviews of the books published by Ben Harris Jr who is alleged by Tom Rydder and William Bryan Miller to have sent the invitations to swap fraudulent Amazon 5-star reviews. Karrine’s wording suggested that Karrine and Ben Harris Jr are the same person)
4. Overlap: these four reviewers are frequently giving 5-star reviews to the same books.
A Lucrative Vengeance (NADIA’S GOOD PUSSY) by Ben Harris Jr, who was exposed by Tom Rydder and at least one other author as soliciting authors to join the scam
Count, J Maurice, Marshall Hanks all gave 5-star reviews.
Karrine did not review but did write an angry comment on Sept 4th to a 2-star review made on July 7th by Read73. Karrine wrote as if he/she knew Ben Harris Jr personally.
A Lil Nasty Book (An Urban Novella) by Ben Harris Jr, who was exposed by Tom Rydder and at least one other author as soliciting authors to join the scam
5-star reviews from Count, J Maurice, Marshall Hanks.
Karrine did not review this book but was ready to comment on anyone giving less than 5-stars.
Karrine wrote this threatening comment to a 1-star review by Paul Meredith:
“Ha! I’m sure the author does not give a rip. Clearly you have an agenda! The other reviews speak for themselves. Remember that what goes around comes back around.”
Karrine wrote an angry comment in response to a 3-star review on Sept 2nd: “
It’s “Urban” Fiction not Hemingway Desmond! This Author did a damn good job. And you must have gotten the unedited “FREE” version that the author’s assistant accidentally uploaded. The author has since updated the file. Clearly, you did not purchase the book if you saw mistakes because the $0.99 version is edited. And furthermore $0.99 is actually a deal for such a great novella. Everyone is allowed their own opinion but it’s quite strange that this book has 29 Five star reviews and you are the only one who decided to mess up this authors perfect rating. Oh well, some people just don’t want to see others succeed.”
It does sound very much from these comments as if Karrine and Ben Harris Jr are one and the same person.
“80 Ultra Hot & Spicy Sex Stories: Mega Collection of Erotic Sex Stories for Adults”
Was given 5-star reviews by all 4 reviewers: Count, Karrine, J Maurice, Marshall Hanks
“Story Tellers: in pursuit of happiness” http://www.amazon.com/Story-Tellers-In-Pursuit-Happiness-ebook/dp/B00FITBON0/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
This was reviewed and given 5 stars by Marshall Hanks, Count, & Karrine
This was reviewed and given 5 stars Marshall Hanks, J Maurice, Karrine
Children’s Book: “Eric the Medic” (A Fun Illustrated Children’s Picture eBook) (Perfect Bedtime Story for Ages 2-8)
This was reviewed and given 5 stars J Maurice, Marshall Hanks, Karrine
Now, I need YOUR help. Please go to the link below and click “not helpful” next to the one-star reviews from “Count”, “Marshall Hanks”, and “J Maurice.” They are all in the crew…
. I truly appreciate any and all who do so :)