Last August, we looked at The Review Factory — based on an August 2011 NYT article In a Race to Out-Rave, 5-Star Web Reviews Go for $5. This August, there is a new article on the wholesale manufacturing of purchased reviews:
“In the fall of 2010, Mr. Rutherford started a Web site, GettingBookReviews.com. At first, he advertised that he would review a book for $99. But some clients wanted a chorus proclaiming their excellence. So, for $499, Mr. Rutherford would do 20 online reviews. A few people needed a whole orchestra. For $999, he would do 50.
There were immediate complaints in online forums that the service was violating the sacred arm’s-length relationship between reviewer and author. But there were also orders, a lot of them. Before he knew it, he was taking in $28,000 a month.”
You may have wondered how some self-published books launched with lots of positive reviews at publication date. Now you know.
The article ends with Google and Amazon dinging him, and GettingBookReviews.com closing its doors. Meanwhile, here are some ways to discern if a review is a fake:
Yelp Going Public; Billions to Flow to Reviewers (February 17th, 2012)
The Review Factory (August 21st, 2011)
Amazon’s Absurd Pro-kindle Anti-Author Book Reviews (March 17th, 2010)
The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy
NYT, August 25, 2012