The Painted Veil - W. Somerset Maugham

UPDATE:  I've just had an email from GR informing me that this review was flagged and deleted. I am sorry to lose the comment thread. However, what was interesting was that GR did read the review as they said that they do regularly check Fiverr for this paid review thing and were even now investigating two people. I reposted the review minus the controversial content. I don't know if it is visible to everyone or only friends, but then again, I don't really care.




This is a fake review. It does not reference the author at all except to say he could write rather brilliantly and I did enjoy the book. But let's get on with the fake review.

For those who do not belong to Feedback group, there is a massive thread devoted to GR's new policy (rolled out Friday, of course) of deleting all reviews that reference the author negatively. They are being deleted without informing people until afterwards apparently. But is it just some reviewers who behave badly (in the eyes of Goodreads, not mine) or are some authors doing even worse?

So I posted this in Feedback and I'm posting it here as a fake review because I want people to be aware of this rather pernicious and low way that a tiny minority of authors are availing themselves of.

This site Fiverr is offering for sale reviews, likes, etc to be posted on Goodreads. Obviously no-one but authors are going to pay for these services which go from $5. Some of the people offering the services say they are Goodreads Librarians.

These are the two most interesting imo, mark-as-read-rate-and-review-your-book-in-goodreads-and-become-fan 37 people have availed themselves of this service to date.


Add your book and write your own review for me to submit for only $5. This one has had 80 takers so far.

Searching for "Goodreads Amazon Book Reviews" brings up 11,297 people offering services related to those key words. Some people are offering to vote up (on Amazon) a book review from 50+ accounts.

This is a typical service:

Do you want to increase the sales of your book?
Leverage your product's sales with GoodReads' Social Networking and watch the growth.

I will mark your book as read.
I will rate it 5 stars (or any rating you want).
I will post a review for a boost on SEO
I will become fan of the author
Add it to a list of your choice

All for $5 !!!

I will re create the process with a different account +$5
I will add or vote your book on 10 extra lists +$5
I will add or vote your book on 20 extra lists,10 with one account, 10 with a different one +$10

I hope Goodreads will take this as seriously as it is negative reviews about authors. Because otherwise it is going to seem very much as if no criticism of authors will be allowed, but having them pay for reviews, listopia votes, likes, fans etc to be posted is acceptable. That is worse in my view because these things are meant to mislead people into thinking people genuinely liked the book and wrote a good review. The reviews that go off about the author are all reactive. The reviewers have written negative but genuine reviews and the authors (or sometimes their agents) have reacted badly to them on GR or elsewhere and then the reviews are rewritten to include the authors behaviour and possibly includes their other books. But which is worse, paying for fake reviews, likes and listopia or reacting by posting a negative review to an author's bad behaviour?

The first is designed to make as much money as possible for the author, the second is a storm in a teacup review that has to compete against all the other reviews, positive and negative for attention. And how do we know that these authors had genuinely good reviews, maybe their bad behaviour extended to purchasing them?

Please note, I think only a teeny tiny percentage of authors would go in for such a cynical manipulation of GR like this. I don't think the majority would stoop this low by any means.

So there you have it, fake review! (Which I will delete at some time in the future and write a proper one of this very fevered, almost malarial-swampy book that was an excellent read).