Crime writer RJ Ellory is a best-selling crime writer who once had some of the best reviews on Amazon. The reviews were so good because, as it turns out, RJ Ellory wrote his own critiques under various pen names.
The British crime writers lying ways were discovered by spy thriller writer Jeremy Duns who played the role of whistleblower via Twitter. Duns tweeted of Ellory’s actions:
“Ellory writes 5-star reviews of his own work on Amazon—long, purple tributes to his own magnificent genius.”
The faked reviews unfortunately didn’t stop there; as Duns explain,s he, “also writes shoddy, sniping reviews of others authors’ work on Amazon,” under assumed identities, including “Jelly Bean” and “Nicodemus Jones.”
The reviews don’t mince words over his own work, calling one book a “modern masterpiece” that “just stopped me dead in my tracks.”
After the tweet was posted, RJ Ellory was quick to apologize for his actions, writing:
“I wholeheartedly regret the lapse of judgment … “I would like to apologize to my readers and the writing community.”
Amazon has since removed all of the authors reviews but has not issued a public statement regarding the incident.
Unfortunately, at least one group of authors claim that fake reviews penned by authors is a widespread issue on Amazon and the rest of the internet. That group of authors calls on internet companies to do a better job when it comes to filtering out fake reviews.
Do you listen to the reviews you read on Amazon and other internet websites?