I've commented on this on Facebook but I felt the need for a rant on here. Apologies in advance.
Novelist RJ Ellory was outed this week for posting fake reviews of his own books on Amazon. Oh, this has enraged me and I NEVER care that much about things like this. Each to their own, whatever works...blah blah blah.
HOWEVER, it's not the fact that Mr Ellory wrote fake reviews for his own books, it's that he wrote some that slammed his competitors. That's really poor show.
Since entering the writing community, I've been surprised at how supportive other writers have been to one another. I thought it would be the opposite - sniping and sneering at each others efforts. It's been a pleasant surprise to have other writers reading my work and sending me encouraging messages. In turn, I've read a fair few books of my writer friends and have loved them.
This is why the Ellory story has annoyed me so much. And before anyone says anything, I know it won't just be Ellory who does this. He's been caught and shamed but I reckon there are hundreds of other writers out there who have hopefully hung their heads in shame after reading the outrage this has caused.
As I said, if he wants to write his own 'glowing' reviews, fair enough. It's sad but harmless I suppose, it's the attack on fellow writers that sticks in my throat.
There's nothing worse than reading a bad review of your work. Us writers are sensitive souls but you have to take the rough with the smooth. I have read some words about Blackbrooke that made me feel sick and others that have made me cry where people have been scathing, either about the story or some of the characters. They cut deep and you can't help but wonder whether the bad reviews are 'right' and the good reviews are just people desperately searching for the 'silver lining'.
BUT that being said, you HAVE to just let the reviews roll in. As I've mentioned in a previous post, one of my fave writers Becca Fitzpatrick, no longer reads reviews of her work and I think that's the way forward.
What's kills me is Ellroy is a successful writer holding a contract with a major publisher so there's no need. He's talented and his legitimate reviews speak for themselves. I'm sure he won't do it again, especially after all of the furore, and I hope it makes other writers think twice.