Warrior Mums

Warrior Mums

19 December 2011

Vengeance of an Amazon Book Reviewer


I've spent a good while mulling over whether or not to post this blog.
I’m not really a blogger and if I’m honest I’d rather read than write them. But there’s a monkey sitting on my back which I have to shake off so I can step into the New Year with a lighter load. It’s for that reason I have decided to share what happened to me earlier this year when I upset someone I had met on a social media site; someone I looked upon as a friend.

A negative book review is a healthy thing, so I’m told.
Hey, there isn't any accounting for taste so why should any of us beat ourselves up if someone doesn’t like what we write or the way we write it?

On the other hand, what if the review has nothing to do with your book and is written out of pure spite? Of course the natural reaction is to look the other way and ignore them but that’s not always possible.

I have been both mainstream and self-published and have met quite a few writers on the social media sites such as Myspace, Facebook and (a newbie) on Twitter. Earlier this year, a friend (not herself a writer) kept harping on my Facebook page about how she will never buy from Amazon and how unhappy she was that writers are selling their wares through Amazon when Amazon is? Selling child pornography. I felt that she was making people feel uncomfortable so I deleted her.


What did she then go and do? 


She went straight to her Amazon.com book review of I Love
Charlotte Bronté and changed it from this:

I love Charlotte Bronte (Paperback):
"I’m not much of a reader of fiction, but I couldn’t put this book down. It’s not just a story, it’s a journey. This particular author has the magnificent gift of taking us out of our dull worlds, and putting us right there with her, and the lush world and characters she creates. If you have a passion for Ireland, you will be especially delighted at the way she makes life in a small Irish village seem so real, and so downright charming.
Believe me I am a tough sell when it comes to fiction, but this book is not only well written it’s intriguing. Check the “story within a story” she included which takes this from being a great book, to something that pulls you in and never lets you go. I truly LOVED this book."


To this:
"Wrote a good review originally because the author asked me to. I guess if your writing is that bad, you are reduced to begging like that, lol. Save your money. This book is the ramblings of a mad woman who also defends child pornography. Look elsewhere for ways to spend your time and money."

Should someone be able to accuse me of supporting Child Pornography because I sell my books on Amazon? I think not.

I reported her review of I Love Charlotte Bronté, as abusive, as did many of my loyal Facebook friends. I also sent in a complaint to Amazon.
They removed the review within 24 hours and I breathed a sigh of relief.
But wait, the following morning a friend emailed me saying, ‘She’s back!’
I went to Amazon.com and could not believe she had been allowed to re-post.

I Love Charlotte Bronte (Paperback)
‘This book was written in the tone of a sappy 14 yr old girl who has read too many Bronte books. It’s cliched, lacks imagination, the story is slow, scattered and culminates in a predictable ending. You're better off spending your time and money on a REAL Bronte novel, rather than this uninspired wannabe.'


This review is from Marie's Voice (Now rewritten and entitled, With a Little Help From my Friends) 

‘Interesting and good read at first. But this was supposed to be a story of a teenager who fights for the well-being of a mentally handicapped child she wants to adopt. Great story til you get to the end and find out after all the fighting, she winds up putting the now-grown child back into an institution, defeating the whole purpose of the "battle". Disappointing to say the least. Reader beware.’

Reader beware of what?

I say authors beware - beware of personal attacks and slanderous remarks, and beware of having no redress when someone sets out to deliberately sabotage your book sales.




44 comments:

  1. I have just ordered your book from amazon and I will review it after I've read it. I'm considering it a Christmas present to myself.
    Not because you (or anyone) asked me to b/c you didn't. Because your blog post made me aware of your book and it sounds lovely. So, something good has come of this. You sold another book, LOL, to a fellow writer who delights in reading and reviewing good books.
    Bobbi Sheahan

    ReplyDelete
  2. Don't you just "love" how unfair it is? I'm sorry, I know it hurts. Some people just think they have the right to be jerks. I'm sorry that it happened. I am sure that some positive reviews will come along and bury the one from the jerk. Hugs, Annie at Annienygma.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much, Bobbi, you're positivity is really appreciated. Every cloud..:)
    I hope you enjoy your present and it's all you expect it to be.
    All the best for Christmas and the New Year and may 2012 be the best year of your life. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Annie, I thought she would have removed it. My thinking was, nobody would be that cruel, not about my daughter. I was wrong.
    Many thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I was quite nervous of posting this but I actually feel better now that it's done and guess what - the monkey's gone, LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Michelle,

    I'm sorry to hear that someone was that nasty but unfortunately people can be venomous on the internet. A lot of readers are taking reviews on Amazon with a pinch of salt these days so try not to worry too much about reviews. If a review is too glowing or on the other scale overly spiteful and vindictive in nature, I think readers know well enough not to believe them.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Emma, I agree with what you're saying, however, if a book review is removed because it's abusive, I think the reviewer should be banned from Amazon. People are banned for far less on that site.
    Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a gorgeous Christmas in Cork. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for sharing this Michelle. Unfortunately there are those who for one reason or another abuse the freedoms allowed by the Internet.

    As a writer, you expect to find those who like and even love your words, but also realise that there will be those who don't, but have to accept and even respect their opinions. This is 101 normal.

    But for those few, such the person you have mentioned in your post, who decide to lower themselves to spiteful innuendo and lies, I have nothing but contempt and believe they should indeed be blocked from being able to post such malicious material.

    I can only suggest that when I have experienced such people, the best is to report them, and then ignore them. The rest of the world is smart enough to know an honest review from the ramblings of a crackpot.

    The very best of luck with your writing and I wish you all the best for the festive season.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The reviewer's comment is so obviously malicious it defeats its purpose! I could see she was a hater as soon as I checked out your book on Amazon. Sites like Amazon should be more robust about removing such reviews & blocking the sickos that post them.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Derek, many thanks for stopping by and sharing your wisdom. I take great pleasure in reading your blogs and getting all the up-to-date info about the writing world.
    Intuition is a marvellous thing and it's what led me to check my reviews after I deleted her. If I hadn't checked, her statements about me supporting C.P. would have sat there and probably appeared in links that would have remained to this day. I do feel I have a lot to be thankful for.
    Thanks again for stopping by and merry Christmas to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  10. LOL, Jane, I must be so naive because I didn't know people like her existed. I think I'd spot the phonies a mile away now; those that write about everything except the book they're supposed to be reviewing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I like fairness.
    I had to read it for myself.
    I ordered the eBook and sat up half the night reading it. Here's my candid review: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Charlotte-Bronte-Michelle-Daly/product-reviews/1438930070/ref=cm_cr_pr_top_recent?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending
    Bobbi Sheahan

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks Michelle. Cork is lovely right now!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Bobbi, I was more than happy that you took the time to stop and post a comment but to then go to Amazon last night, download my book and have it read by this morning (82,000 words) AND THEN to post a review? You're a star and I thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. it's a real shame that people turn so nasty so quickly

    ReplyDelete
  15. For the well thought out reviews I clicked "Was this review helpful to you?" Yes!

    For hers I clicked no.

    The other reviews were more in depth and thought out.

    Besides, your fans know the difference. :-)

    Carpe Noctem,
    Des

    Desirée Lee
    Putting the Romance Back in Necromancy
    http://www.desireelee.com
    des @ desireelee.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Darren, I've learnt there's nowt as queer as folk. Thanks for stopping by. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Desirée, thank you so much for your support. I like that we authors look out for each other. And yes, you're right, I think fans can tell what's genuine and what's not.

    ReplyDelete
  18. MIchelle, I applaud you for writing about the problem. Wishing you great things and Happy Holidays.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you, Maria! And the same festive wishes to you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. That person certainly went out of her way to be cruel. Karma will come back to get her, never fear. I was impressed that all of the other 4 reviews of your book were not only positive, but FIVE STARS! I, too, just bought your book on Kindle. Looking forward to reading it! That woman's nasty negativity has actually brought you more supporters. Hey, what's that I hear? Is that Karma at the door? Merry Christmas, Michelle!

    Debbie K. (@JackPatzMom)

    ReplyDelete
  21. You're right, of course, Debbie! What goes around comes around has never been truer! And if it wasn't for her snide comments how else would I have been able to get the measure of friends who've taken the time to comment on my blog. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and hope you enjoy my book.
    Merry Christmas to you, too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Yep. Been there, done that on Amazon. Not the problem you've had, but people who didn't like a genre or whatever and gave a low-rank rating, even though in their review they state the rating has nothing to do with the quality of writing. Say what? Then why review the freaking book if you won't even honestly review it???? UGH. Although I did have a reviewer on another site deliberately misrepresent the content in one of my books (let's be honest, they lied about what was in it and used quotes out of context and ignored other quotes that clearly refuted their claims) and when I tried to politely defend my book and point out the errors, they rallied their blog flunkies and attacked me. Fine, the book stands on its own and gets extremely high rankings from pretty much everywhere else. Hmm, funny, that. UGH. I hate people sometimes! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Michelle. I'm sorry to hear about your encounter with a malicious reviewer, but luckily the review is so hateful that her motives are quite clear. And I also believe in karma. It'll come back and bite her. Haters never really win. It takes a miserable person to do something so cruel. Be thankful you're not her. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Tymber! So if the review is nothing to do with the quality of your writing then what's it all about? I think 'times they are a changin' and Amazon needs to regulate their reviewing system. Reviewers are entitled not to like our writing but when the reviews get personal then there something wrong with the reviewing system that allows this kind of abuse. It has to be stopped.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Candice, many thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment. I too believe in Karma and although I don't wish her any harm, I realise she'll eventually get what's coming to her, after all, we reap what we sow. :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. This woman sounds deranged. I think that it took guts to write a book about your experience and the fact that she took advantage of that by posting those cruel messages shows that she has a serious problem. I say keep at it and you should be proud of what you have achieved, for you and your daughter x

    ReplyDelete
  27. Emma, I've had so many personal messages (with links to their Amazon book reviews) from authors who do not want to be identified. None of the reviews are as accusatory as mine but they are mean and nasty and bear no relevance to the authors books.

    LOL. I doubt anybody could ever put me off writing, Emma, it keeps me (kind of) sane.:)
    I think we owe it to ourselves to make sure our work is the best that it can be, and once it's out there, to own it with pride.
    Many thanks for stopping by and commenting and good luck with your book.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous17:54

    A similar experience with a revenge book review led to a thorough look into the world of Amazon book reviews. Authors need to be vigilant about the motivations behind the reviews of their work on Amazon. It is the most important point of sale for all of us, now and in the de-listed future.
    http://www.thebigriverreview.com/Home_Page.html

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh my goodness, I learn something every day. Many thanks for the link to something I never imagined existed.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Sandy18:38

    I'm glad you blogged this, Michelle. I know how hurtful her cruelty has been to you. And her comment regarding your support of CP is nothing short of slander. Shame on Amazon for allowing that. Nevertheless, I'm delighted the monkey no longer resides on your back! :) May 2012 be your best year yet.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thank you, Sandy! And all the best to you in 2012. :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Unbelievable! How can people be so thoroughly, utterly spiteful? Hope that posting this was cathartic for you. Console yourself that someone who is full of that much poison can never be happy.

    ReplyDelete
  33. It was indeed cathartic, Susan and very much so for the many people who have messaged me after finding themselves in similar situations.
    Many thanks for dropping by, I really appreciate your support.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Is it just me or does anyone else find the reviewer's behavior to be signs of a mentally unstable person? Only someone teetering on the very edge of sanity (unless it's someone that's already gone over) would go from being deleted as a Facebook friend to trying to sabotage that person's career. Whack job! Sorry you suffered this indignity, but it seems clear that while she has abused the privileges that come with freedom of speech, she lives a miserable, lonely life in which she seeks validation outside of herself, from near strangers, and also seeks the fleeting sense of power that comes with posting those awful messages.

    I wonder if you tell Amazon that the child pornography accusations were against their corporation, not just you as a customer of said corporation, that it might not have the desired effect of having her more permanently banned? A link to a site where she posts her rants might be useful, if you feel the need.

    In the end, I agree with the person above who said that most people look at reviews and take the "middle of the road" ones to heart, and leave out the extremists from both ends. It has become more obvious which reviews are subsidized by family, friends, or the pocketbook, and which are competitors insecure about their chances or just plain mean or crazy folks who have the manners of one raised in a barn yard, but not the class.

    Cheers to you and all my best wishes. You are clearly a heartful woman, writer, and mother.

    Regards,

    India Rivers

    ReplyDelete
  35. Many thanks for your insightful comments. To me, her reviews were written with rage, which is why I gave her plenty of time to delete them, but sadly that didn't happen.
    Amazon were very dismissive of me. When I complained about her being allowed to repost they told me they couldn't discuss her, due to the Data Protection Act.
    It's like a squatter moving into your home, the law is on their side and that is why the law is an ass!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I had this same type of thing happen to me. A one star review posted on my Amazon book page from someone who knows me and has a bone to pick. Sadly, he was clever enough to make it sound reasonable enough that Amazon chose to leave it up, not knowing the history.

    Anyway, I went by the page and rated her review as "unhelpful" for you, as had 8 other people already. Ha.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thank you, Craig. I do appreciate that.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Anonymous06:22

    Aw, now why did you have to do that? Now I'll fall asleep tonight and dream of rabid howler monkeys screaming about child porn and Bronte. Personally, I think that if a person can't tell the difference between reviewing a book, album, etc. and reviewing what can only be seen as a personal snub by someone who is far too narcissistic, they don't need to be banned from Amazon. They need to be banned from the internet. :/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, I do hope you didn't have a heart attack in your sleep!
      I think they should be banned too!

      Delete
  39. I hate that this happened to you but I am so glad you blogged about it. The truth is there are MANY fake reviews on amazon spurred on by jealousy, hate or just petty differences that spill over. Believe it or not there are some who set up multiple accounts and do bad reveiews over and over on the same authors, or sometimes to one publisher, as it may be a rivaling publishing company who is trying to cause damage to another. I find it all ridiculous, I have never taken part in such tactics but as I have networked on social media I have come across many who have been targeted and wish that it would stop. I don't know when some people will realize that this type of thing will get no one anywhere and on top of that it is embarrasing as I am a sighed author and would rather not see people in my line of work act like this. So anyway, I thank you for sharing your story and I will definately check out your book soon. Cheers and great success to you.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hello Rue, I wasn't aware of the multiple accounts or targetting rival publishing companies. So many people have contacted me about snide book reviews since I posted this blog a few months ago. I have actually begun to spot some of those meanies who claim to be book reviewers but clearly have a hidden agenda. You would think they'd have better things to do, wouldn't you? And they're so transparent they're almost laughable....
    Many thanks for taking the time to comment. I've certainly learnt something new today!
    All the best! :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'm just reading this now, Michelle, as we have just connected. This reviewer is incredibly unprofessional. And I don't fault you at for sharing this situation with your readers! I would hope that any intelligent person reading your reviews would take this review and chuck it! As it should be chucked!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Although the woman you speak about is clearly in need of heavy, heavy meds, I hope I can offer two statements that will lift any remaining negativity from you: 1. What comes around goes around. I have watched Karma in action, and the uglier you are, the uglier it is, and it ALWAYS catches up. Sometimes it just seems to take a while because Karma is clever, and knows just when to strike. 2. I would sit down and write this woman a well worded "thank you". From the responses I see on this post, I'd bet that you have many more good reviews than her wanna-be bad one and that your loyal readers will stay with you. In the meantime, she has gathered an awful lot of attention for you and your work...take me for instance. I'm intrigued.... ;) Good Luck! Many blessings to you! CHEERS to your future success...how's THAT for Karma?? *clink*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, you are so right! I dusted myself down and moved on, making many new (loyal)friends along the way.
      Thank you for the love and support and I hope 2013 is your best year yet. :)

      Delete