As for the fake reviews bringing down the ship - Not only does daysoldier make several good points, especially about the longstanding practice of fake reviews within the industry – I think INDI writers are wasting their time soliciting fake reviews, or swapping bogus reviews.
The only way you are going to make money at this (IMO) is to keep writing, and develop a fan base. If you get a reader to buy a book based on a bogus review, and the reader dislikes your book, he is not going to buy your other books. He might even return the one book, and get a refund.
The key is to build a fan base. Fake reviews aren’t going to chase readers from Amazon – but fake reviews aren’t going to help you build a fan base.
<What was the name of this thread? lol... Should have been wisdom prevails.>
For me the thread title should be....A place to spend Sunday when the temp is over 100 degrees outside, the pool isn't warm enough yet, the car air is broken and it isn't possible to get serious writing done when other family members are home! LOL
I think as with every area that deals with creativity, there have always been gatekeepers. The world and economics has always worked this way. There were gatekeepers when the great artists of the Renaissance painted their masterpieces, there have been gatekeepers for nearly every version of the bible that was ever printed. Even the King James had it's detractors because new ideas are always a challenge to those who hold power.
We're not dealing with anything new here, it just affects us and our dreams. Good writing, as others have said, will rise to the top, as will many of you here on this forum.
What scares or upsets me the most is the numbers of "small publishers" and "small agents" that cropped up all over to HELP the poor author get it right....not just offering editing services and cover art services but putting your books up for you and doing all the marketng and holding your books hostage so far as your dashboard goes. Oh so many of them are far worse than any complaining gatekeepers. They are literally robbing unsuspecting authors.
You really hit this one on the head Rob. These are the people I mean. An editor recently blogged that from now on her indy clients have to let her publish their work for them because otherwise they will screw it up and ruin her good name.
I have a friend who asked me about self publishing her daughter's book. I suggested she spend the money to have it professionally edited.
Instead they went to a vanity publisher - spent a nice chunk of cash - and not sure how good the editor was, because I read the reviews on the book, and one really blasted her basic writing, as if the book had not been edited.
Her eBook sells for $8 - which seems a little hefty for a new author with only one title.