25 comments on “SCAM ALERT! I was approached by a 5-star review exchange group on Facebook…

  1. Far out. I guess there are scammers everywhere. I suppose if they got to me, I would have to tell them that a bunch of BS reviews mean nothing to me. I write for my enjoyment and the enjoyment of my readers. I am not looking to get rich at this late stage in my life, (and I guess that is their premise).

    • Well said, Dan…and yes, that’s their goal. Evidently at any cost, including their integrity. Like you, I write for the enjoyment – although I don’t mind when a few dollars cross my way. 🙂 But I’m damned sure not going to get them THAT way…

  2. Well said, Dan and Thomas. It’s people like that who post false reviews that make it tough for talented indie authors to get noticed. Like you guys, I write for the joy of writing and want my work to stand on its own merits.
    Thanks for posting this, Thomas.

    • Fact…I’ve actually received some 3-stars that weren’t unkind at all, and said my book was enjoyable, just a couple things dragged their rating down. Five-stars are fake…I don’t think many books warrant them…

      • Neither do I, Thomas. I’m finishing up edits on a book right now and while I’m proud of my work and think it’s a great story, I don’t it warrants 5 stars. As a reader, 5 star books are rare, and I’ve loved some of the 3 and 4 star books I’ve read (my rating) – some of them more than once.

      • Sure…I think a good, solid 4 is great. Not overblown or just emotion or friendship speaking. I’ll take them all day. With a few 3’s sprinkled in, just to keep my head deflated 🙂

    • From what I read, they simply traded reviews. Bad enough, as it is. But those are out there, too…I almost joined the group so I could get their names, but let it pass…:(

  3. The only review I want is an honest review! It is difficult enough to get anyone, even a family member or friend, to take the time to review a book. Any offer like this has to be a scam.

  4. Pingback: Honest and Integrity 100% | Haunted Book Case

  5. Thanks for sharing. We all know all games can be rigged, but what is the point…I agree about 5 star reviews too…I care about the content of a review more than the number of stars, as people’s criteria varies, but a well written and interesting review would make me want to read a book.

    • So true…Victoria and I were discussing this earlier. I’ve read 3-star reviews that wouldn’t deter me from reading a book I was interested in. These ne’er-do-wells just don’t get it…:)

  6. I found a book in the same genre as mine that had HUNDREDS (and we’re talking over 600) 5 star reviews, but it’s been out less time than mine, tells not shows, and when I tried to give it a go, found myself not enthralled at all. I then found out that the author had paid for reviews from a site called Fiver. I was APPALLED that this is even considered acceptable! It’s ripping people off. Ripping readers off. As a reader, I want to read a book that has honest reviews. Not a paid ego-boost for impatient authors that want increased sales. But, true colours eventually shine through, and authors that truly belong in the writing world will be around long after these fakers have lost interest. Writing is a journey and a way of life, not a money-making venture for those who seek overnight fame. The undeserving will eventually be shown for what they are.

    And a note to new authors: Please do not get pulled into these kinds of scams. Wait for honest reviews. If your book is good enough, people will review and tell everyone. If not, paying for reviews won’t change that.

    • Hi AM…
      Sorry I missed your comment earlier.
      Yes, offers like this one to tick me off. You’re quite correct – it’s becoming more and more difficult to get valid, comprehensive reviews, but I’d take a whole bushel of two-stars to one that’s been manufactured. And by the way, this “author’s” claim that I jimmied the message and contrived this and that simply isn’t true. He went so far as to say I could even write my own review and someone else would post it. Sound valid to you? He’s angry because he’s been exposed, and his name blasted around as the ne’er-do-well that he is. Now that he’s threatened me with all kinds of things, I’m taking it to the next level.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I hope you stick around 🙂


      • Funny enough, all this controversy is actually also really good publicity for you. The more people that stop by to see the argument going on, the more that will check out both yours and Ben’s books. They say no publicity is bad publicity. 🙂 You should post a sneaky little link to your books at the end of your post and tweet for other authors to join the conversation. 😉

      • I might hire you to be my publicity manager. 🙂
        Seriously, though, I hadn’t anticipated the number of views that this got, but something inside me keeps me from taking advantage. If folks want to follow this blog as a result of reading this post (and quite a few have), then so be it. But I’m not going to benefit monetarily from bringing to light something that should be eliminated. It’s conscious, not marketing 🙂

      • Very true on that about conscience. But, on the other hand, boosting awareness of your blog and books by discussing an important subject certainly isn’t selling your soul, and publishing is 90% marketing. And marketing is numbers, numbers means readers, and the more readers you have on your blog means more awareness spread about this subject. We’re not alone in this fight, though. I hear Amazon and Goodreads are taking action against paid reviews. One day, Internet free speech will also be honest speech.

      • That’s good to hear. The right to free speech doesn’t include the right to lie, cheat and steal. I intend to approach Facebook about this. Although I only have one person’s name, it’s a start. Funny how man can always find the negative aspect to any endeavor…

  7. I would much rather have an HONEST 1-star review than a million fake 5-star reviews. I want to be a BETTER writer, not one who is famous because of a bunch of lies. My momma taught me better than that. Kudos to you, Thomas – I always knew you were good people. 😉

    • That’s a fact, Mel. And in fact, I think participating in it would make you weaker. Why improve, when you can throw money or trade reviews and get a better result? Sad developments 😦

  8. Pingback: SCAM ALERT – Part IV – I’m going weasel hunting…join me? | Thomas Rydder

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