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?