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Friday, 1 June 2012

Are you a puppeteer? AKA Sock Puppet.

They walk among us.

Not the actual socks with stick-on eyes we made as kids (usually Dad’s old socks with a hole) but in REAL HUMAN FORM. Otherwise known as:

 Frustrated Authors.

They make up a fictitious name and an Amazon account, give themselves five-stars and write “OMG!! Fantastic book. Just could not put it down. Can’t wait for the next book/movie.”

Because of these frustrated writers, five-star reviews have become suspicious, and readers are no longer impressed. And who can blame them?

People read reviews to make a judgement to see if they want to buy, and if they do buy and enjoy your book, probably you have got away with it. But what if they hated it? It’s possible. As many people hate Twilight as they love Bella and her fanged friends. And do you know what readers do? They feel cheated. They head back to write their own review and some even CHECK THE PREVIOUS REVIEWER’S CREDENTIALS. If the five-star reviewers have no history you can bet these readers will assume you have written the appraisal yourself.

You might even be talked about in the forums so much so that your review is replied to with destructive results. They might even tag your book with “sock puppet”, “ fictitious review”, “do not buy”.

I’ve seen it happen.

But who are these Frustrated Authors?

They are usually first-timers impatient for success, and they are fixated on NOW. They aren’t looking to the future and seeing the problems they are heaping onto themselves and other writers. They don’t understand that it isn’t the first book that brings in the readers it’s the second, or in some cases, the third. Of course, having a book that is typo-free with an excellent story helps sales.

As an indie writer myself I know how hard it is to get seen when there are so many other books out there. The trick is to build an Author Platform BEFORE you publish. It isn’t too late if you have published already, but build NOW. That means connecting with PEOPLE.

LISTEN to what they have to say, interact. Google book reviewers/bloggers and ask them if you can gift them a copy of your book. Don’t expect an excellent review in exchange; a good review is the icing and a light fluffy sponge. A bad review is a rather stale cake (better than nothing). And if you get a bad review DON’T respond negatively.

It’s a slow process. The cogs turn verrry slowly in Writer Land, and if you try to speed up the progression, you’re going to get trapped in the spokes.

Article by Louise Wise