All writers want reviews for their books – please, please leave one for me on Amazon.
Yep, I want them enough to beg – and to offer a book for free.
Today I got an email inviting me to purchase a promotional package which includes "UNIQUE and HONEST book reviews". If I go for his "BESTSELLER SO FAR" he will "post as many honest reviews as you want."
Well honesty is good, right? I have heard that the truth can hurt, but that's something I don't have to worry about with this offer as "I don't post negative reviews."
The sender of the email clearly thinks I'm the kind of person who might take part in such a scam. I am angered and insulted by this. So much so that I've come over slightly Liam Neeson. OK, I won't be hunting down and killing anyone, but I am forwarding the email to Amazon and others who I think might take action.
In case anyone is in any doubt, there is absolutely nothing honest about a review which will be positive regardless of the reader's true opinion and/or which the author has paid for. That applies even when the review is part of a package including other services you would expect to pay for and any assurances such as "NOTE: You are NOT paying me for the review but for the amount of time I am investing in reading your book," are worthless.
Please don't fall for scams like this. It's not 'just' that it's unethical. You're very likely to be caught out. The reviews will be pulled. Your seller account may well be closed too. Publishers won't want to deal with you. Readers won't trust you. I'll be cross.
So, please, please leave me a review on Amazon – but only a genuine one and be aware that all you'll get in return is my gratitude. You'll get buckets of that.
UPDATE 31/1//16 - I've had a reply form Amazon and at their request have passed on all the information I have so that this can be investigated.
If anyone gets anything similar, it might help the investigation to forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE 1/11/16 - Goodreads are also actively investigating this.