There was an interesting thread on the Amazon author’s community discussion board a few weeks ago. It started with a post about writers who sometimes trade favourable reviews of each other’s books. The response from the Amazon writer’s community was quite encouraging for me. Most described the practice of trading reviews as highly unethical and said they personally wouldn’t do it.
While the consensus in the Amazon community was to trash the idea, I’m sure it’s something that does happen, and not just with others other writers but with friends and family members as well. However, I don’t think writers who engage in these practices are doing themselves any good. Readers are savvy enough not to base their entire buying decision on one or two glowing reviews, especially when other indicators like the sample pages don’t seem to jive with the review.
My favourite response from the Amazon group was from one writer who said: “If you want some good reviews, write a good book and then wait for your readers to review it.”