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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Sock Puppets - now the bookstores are at it

FROM the Guardian Newspaper:

A self-published author has spoken out against Waterstones after a bookseller at the chain store posted pseudonymous, malicious reviews of his novel on Amazon.

David Eckhoff left cards advertising his novel The Royal Factor, which he self-published with Amazon, in Waterstones' Bluewater branch. The cards directed readers to buy the novel, in which the prime minister decides to replace the royal family with one chosen through a televised talent show, from Amazon, and Eckhoff was quick to receive a response from Waterstones telling him the cards had been thrown away.
He then started to notice new reviews of his novel appearing on Amazon. "One majored on The Royal Factor being 'complete inane rubbish' and 'xenophobic' and the other accusing me of plagiarising John Steinbeck! I was expecting some people not to like it, it's a first novel – but two 'troll' reviews, on the same day when all previous reviews had been positive?" said Eckhoff. "Both reviews were long, rambling and vitriolic but neither contained any examples from the book, as if they had been written without having read it … I put one of the reviewers' Amazon names into Google. It turned out also to be a Twitter 'handle' … The person's name was easy to track down from there, and it became clear that she was a bookseller at Waterstones, Bluewater."

He complained to Waterstones, and the review was removed. Another "troll review" then appeared, which Eckhoff said appeared to be from the bookseller's only friend on Goodreads. He complained again; the review was withdrawn, and Eckhoff says Waterstones offered to carry his novel on its ebook site by way of apology.


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