After seeing the massive list of reviewers who gave lots of one star ratings on STFU STGRB, I decided to make a little post on the obvious indie authors who like to give their buddies massive five star ratings.
It all started with the Bound by Blood series by Shane K.P. O’Neill. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16233465-bound-by-blood
You see, ever since I was a teenager of fourteen and read Dracula, I have been a big fan of Dracula fanfiction. It’s kind of my guilty pleasure. Especially now when I can scour the net for Dracula fanfiction books. On Goodreads there was a list that I often contributed too called Best Books Featuring Dracula. https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/11284.Best_Books_Featuring_Dracula#16233465
It was a small list at first with just few voters, but I kept adding books, always checking back for new additions. One day I got on and found to my surprise there were a slew of new voters (almost overnight) and to my surprise they all voted for three books –the Bond by Blood series by Shane K.P O’Neill. I was like, ‘What is this?’ In fact, the series pretty much took over the whole list, almost knocking out the obviously number one –the classic bookDracula. I was stunned. After all, this list was obscure. A new voter came along maybe every few months. Now there were 17 people all voting for the same books? So I decided to check these books out. Of course they had sky high ratings. How could they not? And almost all reviews came from the same voters (isn’t that covenant). Not to mention, most of these voters were all indie authors themselves. Bond by Blood was ‘wildly popular and had been placed on 48 other lists. 48! I thought holy crap. I know some great books that sometimes only make it on one. So how the hell can a relatively obscure indie book suddenly be everywhere? Searching frantically for one low review, I finally found it, only to find that the reviewer had been harassed by sock puppet. (It’s been removed, but I still remember it).
Anyway, I was bummed. I realize that indie authors are always going to have their buddies give fake, glowing five-star reviews. (It’s what struggling authors do.) But to screw with the ratings of every obscure vampire list on GR just pissed me off. Shane K.P. O’Neill didn’t just want to be on the ‘Dracula list’, he had to be at the up at the top. I thought, wow, what a dick. You guys suck. It’s ironic too, because I’m actually the kind of reader who might have bought this book. Not anymore.
Of course, Goodreads would never do anything about this kind of tampering. They don’t care about that.