John Locke Bought Reviews…So What!

Recently I have read some articles bashing mega self-published author John Locke for buying reviews from Todd Jason Rutherford on his now defunct website GettingBookReviews.com.  The thing that struck me about these articles is that John Locke instructed Rutherford that if the reviewers didn’t like his book they should feel free to say so in their reviews.  So what is all the hype about?  If John Locke had instructed the reviews all be sterling 5 star dribble to his greatness I could understand why people in the industry have said he is a fraud. What do you think?  Is there a difference in offering free books for reviews?  What about the Kirkus review?  That costs money does it make it any less valid to you?

 I have to wonder at this point what is considered a valid review. A lot of people bashed John Locke for paying people to buy his book. As a new author and publisher I have offered free books in exchange for honest reviews, and so far I feel the reviews for Vampires Romance to Rippers an Anthology of Tasty Stories offered up on Amazon are valid.  I have offered a few people the book as a gift in exchange for reviews. Is that dishonest?

His success is still going strong, do you think the 300 reviews John Locke paid for in 2010 is what catapulted him onto several best seller lists or do you think his talent and marketing skills are the true reflection of his success?  Has the revelation that he paid for reviews changed your view of him?  I must admit I have wondered will people truly give  an honest review if you give them a free book. What do you think?

2 Comments

  1. I’m not sure about all of the other hype, but I do know that many websites have policies against doing such things as buying reviews. I’ve talked to many authors who consider it everything from unethical to unfair in that only people with the available funds can get this type of jump start. All of the opinions are really moot if you’re breaking the websites policies.

  2. It’s funny I have discussed this blog more on Facebook than on here the actual blog. I agree with the fact that it is unfair in terms of authors with funding getting a jump start, however I also think it is unfair that some authors can afford to pay thousands of dollars for promotions and some of us cannot afford to promote in the best places. My whole issue with the articles on John Locke is this: Yes, he paid for reviews, but he insisted that they be honest reviews. Is that any different than an author paying for the book you read and asking for reviews? I actually was happy to see our book Vampires Romance to Rippers an Anthology of Tasty Stories get some 3 star reviews and some reviews with mixed comments, because they seemed real to me. So, in the long run I would rather have honest reviews, good, bad, or ugly I still want the truth.

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