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Permlink Replies: 25 - Pages: 2 [ Previous | 1 2 ] - Last Post: Sep 28, 2017 11:31 AM Last Post By: Mrs Julia Evans
Mrs Julia Evans

Posts: 302
Registered: 05/22/16
Re: How to deal with fake reviews
Posted: Sep 7, 2017 8:58 AM   in response to: Maria Semina in response to: Maria Semina
 
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Nice to know my advice was appreciated. Normally when I dish it out, I get an exaggerated eye-roll back, but that's just from my husband and 13 year old son!

Going off on a complete tangent, when I checked out your book page a few weeks ago, to read the horrible review, I went into the UK site first by accident, because it's my home site, and I noticed you only had an author page set up on the UK site, not the .com site. That might be deliberate, but I'd always recommend setting one up, if not on every site that has Author Central, then at least on the .com and UK sites. I make the best use of mine by giving out contact details (author e-mail, FB and website) for people to get in touch to talk about my books, and feel like they can engage with me. Not everyone likes to be bothered communicating with readers, but I find it really useful. I'm currently chatting to a bunch of mine about ideas for new book covers. It's great because they feel like their opinion matters (which it does, to me). Anyway, sorry for rambling. Just my thoughts. Best wishes, J.
tommy london

Posts: 317
Registered: 08/15/16
Re: How to deal with fake reviews
Posted: Sep 7, 2017 9:30 AM   in response to: Mrs Julia Evans in response to: Mrs Julia Evans
 
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Hello. I do not honestly know who reads me, but a few hundred people might. That is due to actual pages read, which are by now up to 40 or more.
A few books, maybe a dozen have been sold as "e" books. Then there must be a lot more "freebies" which are free reads, or enjoying the first ten
pages, which is the "Look Inside" feature. That means I have seven books out now, three of them are a trilogy of fiction, and that most of them have
been read by someone.

I can do this 'cause of the new graphics on Reports sheet which shows my "Historical" record, of sales and money made. Lots of those must, again,
be freebies, but that is in our contract, and even I know that. So I lost money on what could have been solid sales. It is built in as loss. But if some of
the readers send me blogs on this Forum, and let me know which book they did read, and how, or which part, and if they paid for it or not, then I
might form an opinion of how we are "sold" or marketed. As in results. That will help me. Every new author here has to go through a painful
learning process. I am still "chicken" about the Create Space method. What happens? Do they print one copy of each book, or 10, or 100, or
thousands. I know this sounds stupid, but things are not clear. It is a mystery. (I am not into crime or spy stories, so I am not a snob about being
clever. My books have spies in them, but they are all turkeys, not James Bond, who is cool. But of course, 007 is a 100% fantasy.)

The first people who commented on my stuff noticed my Formatting was sloppy, and lots of my manuscript was boring, convoluted dialog from
some really dumb, nutty and antisocial characters. Spelling and grammar was Hell on editors, due to my cast being aliens. Etc. I also just hate,
really, the fact that Microsoft and Apple have different systems, which do not mix, and that Adobe often will not "do" what "Word" does, and so forth.
Hence my timidity. But my books got better. How many of you people are into my genre?
tommy london

Posts: 317
Registered: 08/15/16
Re: How to deal with fake reviews
Posted: Sep 7, 2017 9:57 AM   in response to: tommy london in response to: tommy london
 
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Actually, I am not angry. (As a joke, check out the Angry Nerd comic with some neat "bitchin" about some hitech stuff, every month on
page "x" of Wired Magazine.) As for systems not being convenient, as in the same method for all sections of KDP, well, they can solve
that easily. They are good with technical stuff, hence some small advances that appear every few months, which make "victory" as an
author attainable. They will have meetings to do that. The NAFTA thing is... the thing of it. Right? Even to be objective.

I did buy my own books. The first people to buy my books and read them were other writers, some of them successful. They may have
made lots of money with this. They turned out to be "into" thrillers, crime, mystery and espionage. Not themselves, but their genre.
That fits in with what usually gets recommended to my fans (if I have any). "Collapse" by a Soc/anthro prof seems to be the same
direction as philosophy, but that book is strict realism, as in academic. Then we get lots of Survivalist books. (Note: two different
authors have huge series, like 20 or more books, called The Survivalist, and their covers are similar. Weapons buffs think alike.
No plagiarism or ridicule intended. They just seem to have the same mindset.)

Clue: This is a serious assessment: Any "weapons" type books are okay, as I did enjoy them, but most come from the USA. So, as
my story goes, with Amazon, I figured that some US publisher might handle my series. And put up some money. But pure weapons
stuff is not really what I produce. I have characters that use modern guns, but the real point of my stories is to have them reach out
to each other and the "cosmic" which is on some other level. In Europe & the UK, they may get into my series more. Not that my
series is lousy, just that over there, weapons laws are just far stricter. So this mystical aspect may do better over there. That is real
Sociology 100. (... a quote...)

Edited by: tommy london on Sep 7, 2017 9:57 AM

Edited by: tommy london on Sep 7, 2017 11:23 AM
tommy london

Posts: 317
Registered: 08/15/16
Re: How to deal with fake reviews
Posted: Sep 7, 2017 10:14 AM   in response to: tommy london in response to: tommy london
 
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If you know any neat 1970s movies, you can see a joke coming. So there are some editors outside the
USA who can get into my books, look beyond some of the inherent comedy (?) and get at my philosophy.
You don't have some kind of relaxed "symposium" where you can debate anything over some vino, in a
small city state, kind of setup. You have to get concepts from books or the Internet. This is about marketing.


[Tom: In Book 2, some ugly incident happens once, for 25 minutes, within 300 pages of normal action.
Then they have to "rationalize" whatever happened. It is SNAFU all the way. After all that, they forget about
soil samples. They are already at a higher level.]

Edited by: tommy london on Sep 7, 2017 10:15 AM

Edited by: tommy london on Sep 7, 2017 10:17 AM

Edited by: tommy london on Sep 7, 2017 11:19 AM

tommy london

Posts: 317
Registered: 08/15/16
Re: How to deal with fake reviews
Posted: Sep 7, 2017 10:21 AM   in response to: tommy london in response to: tommy london
 
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Fish, eh? Fossilized fish? This is truly amazing. We thought you Mars people pulling our leg.
tommy london

Posts: 317
Registered: 08/15/16
Re: How to deal with fake reviews
Posted: Sep 14, 2017 10:00 AM   in response to: tommy london in response to: tommy london
 
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We read a strange blog from a person called Old Hack who spent much time trying to make
a certain point. I am not sure about his accuracy. There was a law suit. Then I read a blog
from a writers union. I just tried 2 new publishers under a new name. They used to be Doubleday
and one other, which shall remain Anon. Both are very old and established. Some research
will show that both cannot be "vanity" types. Where do some "hacks" and Writer's Union get this
idea that vanity presses are posing as legit companies? Do tell. Is this a joke?

Law suits have been mentioned. The issue must be American politics. They now cannot
publish and sell my books in North America, but possibly in Europe & the UK. Or so it
seems. By now, this state of affairs is obvious. Two blogs confirm it.

Controversy was in my books as Prophesy, almost cosmic, back in 1997. Before the
current hostility, books like "Collapse" or my own, or some writers who have talked
about me, were not understood. Not relevant. Anything Medieval or Ancient should
sell. (Like, what sexual mores did Sumerians in 5,000 BC have? Or people in the
Dark Ages?) I wonder what "objective" speculation sounds like?

Edited by: tommy london on Sep 14, 2017 10:50 AM
tommy london

Posts: 317
Registered: 08/15/16
Re: How to deal with fake reviews
Posted: Sep 14, 2017 10:13 AM   in response to: tommy london in response to: tommy london
 
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SInce a certain writer's union is involved, whom I probably now cannot join, nor can any European,
nor the Third World, until NAFTA is defined, or abolished, we suspect this is another
issue like with Tolkien and Ace and his missing money. Maybe somebody is not
getting paid. I did not get into Tolkien, but that was taste. I did like Spinrad's
books, and his attitude. That was cool. We suspect some new people in North
America are having fun insulting each other personally. They may be wasting time.

What is going on in my Book 2. On Planet Xiotan? Out in the open? What are aliens
up to? My stories are probably bull**** and any aliens would not understand them.
(They tend to be nice to me, even cute and affectionate, not as scary nor evil as
I have made them act in my books. I did that for plot devices. Like, follow older Star
Wars and Star Trek traditions. We all tend to do that.)
tommy london

Posts: 317
Registered: 08/15/16
Re: How to deal with fake reviews
Posted: Sep 14, 2017 10:33 AM   in response to: tommy london in response to: tommy london
 
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Here is what happened when a person we know joined MUFON long ago, by paying fees and taking a
test as UFO Investigator. (Like David Vincent.) They passed the test and got an ID card.

Too bad they were dumb enough to use their real name. Some local freaks who must have been
cops. followed them around. They tried to get them put into the local psycho ward, as they
said in that old TV show. Noisy Epilogues set in. (Happens as a routine in every Invaders
episode. Ho hum. What else is new?) Some can also operate Geiger counters. So what?

The issue was soon resolved as a casual misunderstanding, with no hard feelings. Some
wee beings and the real MIB also got involved. Some of these aliens can really levitate
and teleport.

MUFON is sincere as a bona fide research group. Too bad membership attracts attention.
So this former MUFON member, who shall remain anon, told us his/her story. And then we
created an exciting, series of books to cover it. But what we do is fiction.

MUFON, and similar groups, offer a normal deal. They just gather data from people who
are, apparently, contactees, then send members a monthly newsletter which has the
latest data on the issue. There is nothing wrong with this. Some of us just find aliens
more interesting to commune with than any Earth people. In other words, this group is
obviously not "lying" nor that other issue. You can also consult Marx, Freud
and Jung. They are still hip.

Edited by: tommy london on Sep 14, 2017 10:33 AM

Edited by: tommy london on Sep 14, 2017 10:35 AM

Edited by: tommy london on Sep 14, 2017 10:52 AM
tommy london

Posts: 317
Registered: 08/15/16
Re: How to deal with fake reviews
Posted: Sep 14, 2017 10:55 AM   in response to: tommy london in response to: tommy london
 
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Here is what happened when a person we know joined MUFON long ago, by paying fees and taking a
test as UFO Investigator. (Like David Vincent.) They passed the test and got my ID card.

Too bad they were dumb enough to use my real name. Some local freaks who must have been
cops. followed them around. They tried to get them put into the local psycho ward, as they
said in that old TV show. Noisy Epilogues set in. (Happens as a routine in every Invaders
episode. Ho hum. What else is new?) Some can also operate Geiger counters. So what?

The issue was soon resolved as a casual misunderstanding, with no hard feelings. Some
wee beings and the real MIB also got involved. Some of these aliens can really levitate
and teleport.

MUFON is sincere as a bona fide research group. Too bad membership attracts attention.
So this former MUFON member, who shall remain anon, told us his/her story. And then we
created an exciting, series of books to cover it. But what we do is fiction.

MUFON, and similar groups, offer a normal deal. They just gather data from people who
are, apparently, contactees, then send members a monthly newsletter which have the
latest data on the issue. There is nothing wrong with this. Some of us just find aliens
more interesting to commune with than any Earth people. In other words, this group is
obviously not "lying" nor that other issue. You can also consult Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
and Jung. They are still hip.

Edited by: tommy london on Sep 14, 2017 10:55 AM
Scott Neil

Posts: 8
Registered: 12/30/16
Re: How to deal with fake reviews
Posted: Sep 28, 2017 9:47 AM   in response to: Mrs Julia Evans in response to: Mrs Julia Evans
 
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Here's a tactic I've personally used in similar situations and it WILL work and cost you next to nothing. But you must decide if the time you invest is worth it. I use this only in situations where the act is SO egregious that it simply cannot be ignored. You file a small claims court suit against Jane Doe (because you don't yet know the person's name). The suit will not come to court for weeks or months, depending on the backload of your local courts. The amount sought is irrelevant. You have no intention of going to court (usually) anyway. You just want something the court will give you before there is ever an appearance in court. Once the case is filed, you have an amazing thing called subpoena authority. That means you can subpoena anyone or any company for records that will help prove your case. You subpoena Amazon for any and all records pertaining to the identity of this reviewer, and include a demand for any and all other reviews they have ever posted. You may or may not get those, but you should ask. Most importantly you want their home address, phone number, full name, email address, etc. etc. Amazon must comply or be held in contempt of court. Sometimes corporations will try to play games and refuse, or try to make you jump through hoops to get what you want. Tell them simply to comply or be sued. It's not YOU issuing the subpoena -- it's the court. Courts don't like to be ignored. They (Amazon) can try to back down the court if they want. But they can't. Once you have the data you want, you create a webpage which lists and details the entire sordid story from beginning to end, clearly, succinctly, unemotionally. And of course your web page includes the personal information of the reviewer, because that is now a public document. Then make sure the reviewer sees the page. They may quietly remove their review, or they may go crazy and threaten to sue you. Let them scream, and post every single communication you receive from them for as long as they rant. A week? A year? Fine. The more data they create, the bigger the website becomes, and the higher it ranks in Google -- which means the better the odds their parents, husbands, children, employers and friends will see it. Some states will try to tell you that you can't file a suit like that. Just keep pressing. You can. Some people will say that you should just develop a thicker skin; this is normal; get over it; move on; write more books; ignore everything anyone ever does to you. And where does it stop? How many cheeks do you have? Turn the other cheek, and the other, and the other, and eventually you have no more cheeks and you must stand up and protect yourself. Unfortunately some folks never defend themselves at all. Never. It is exactly that attitude that has created the situation we're in right now. So many have wimped out, that the scum bags of the world are counting on the probability that you'll wimp out too, and they therefore have Cart Blanche to do absolutely anything to anyone, including rob you of your living. I say BS. I've had to fight things like that, and I've lost revenue, simply BECAUSE so many wimp out and do nothing. If Amazon responds to the subpoena with just a silly name and bogus address, then you simply take the IP address that the review originated from, and file a subpoena to the ISP who held that IP address at the moment the review was made. The ISP will give you the name and address of the internet account holder. Name everyone in the family or in the office as defendants, and they will soon cough up the actual poster. Been there, done that. It works. As an added bonus, if the reviewer happens to have a decent job or other income (or their Daddy or husband or boss does), you can go ahead and allow the small claims suit to take place, after they've been duly served, of course, and demand to be compensated for your lost earnings. Some states and some courts will try to tell you that you can't apply a small claims case to someone in another state, or that you can't collect a judgement from a person in another state. Again, just keep putting one foot in front of the other. You CAN on both counts. I've done it. Document how much your income dropped after their bogus review, and sue for that amount. In many small claims courts you can now collect punitive damages as well. By allowing your scumbag reviewer to get away with this, you are sentencing every single one of us to the exact same scam, because there is no incentive for the sociological turds to change their ways. Sorry, I almost never post in these Godforsaken forums, and I never, ever read replies. I wish you luck. I hope you have the backbone to go after this scum. It won't cost you much, but it will take time and patience, especially if (when) you get stopped by courts and court clerks who don't know their own laws, but who are positive they do. If you get a judgement, you can actually take that and go get an anti-harassment order against the sh-t, and that will go on their criminal record (actually you can get that just based on the subpoena results). Then make sure their boss gets a copy of it. Its all legal, and it helps make the world a slightly better place. It's called basic morality and standing up for yourself. Too bad more people don't do it. One last comment: You express that you have confidence in Amazon. That is terminally naive. Sorry. No insult intended. But that's like believing in the Tooth Fairy. Amazon has ONE INTEREST: Itself. Period. End of story.
Mrs Julia Evans

Posts: 302
Registered: 05/22/16
Re: How to deal with fake reviews
Posted: Sep 28, 2017 11:28 AM   in response to: Scott Neil in response to: Scott Neil
 
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Hi Scott,

Wow! You certainly put a lot of effort into your response.

Unfortunately, you've responded to my post, and I'm not actually the OP. That would be Maria, and in case you didn't read the whole thread, thanks to a little help from a few people who commented on the review in question, and some very nice people at Amazon, her faith (terminal naivety) was actually rewarded, and the offending review was in fact removed.

And whilst I totally understand where you're coming from, and I agree there should be a way of getting these fake and often malicious reviews off the internet, sadly your whole reply was aimed at people who live in America, which neither the OP or I do.

And, speaking for the UK, where I live, our laws don't allow us the same freedoms that yours do. I used to do a lot of work with our court systems many years ago, and I'm pretty sure if I wanted to take an action in the small claims court over here, I would have to supply the reviewer's details and prove that I've been in touch with them BEFORE I take my claim to the courts. Our courts don't issue subpoenas the way yours do, so it's a complete non-starter.

Anyway, I'm going to bow out now, as I'm not the OP and it wasn't my problem, but I'm fairly certain that the legal system in Maria's country would be very similar to mine.

Hopefully though, some of your countrymen and women will have found your post very useful.

Best wishes. J
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