Sock Puppetry

For those of you who don’t know, sock puppets, on Amazon, are fake people, generally set up by authors, who go around writing fabulous reviews of said author’s books. I thinkthey may also be real people (friends and family) who do the author’s dirty work for them.

So, anyway, yesterday, I discovered a new review of The Space Between on Amazon UK. (see it here. You may have to scroll down– it’s the first on in the list.)

He suggests that, because of their effusive 5 star reviews, the other two people who reviewed The Space Between might be Sock Puppets. First of all, let’s be clear, they aren’t. One has a blog where she reviews all types of books, and she has quite a few reviews on Amazon (sock puppets generally  don’t have other reviews, seeing they were created just for the author). The other is someone who read the book when I was giving it away from my website. Yes, I asked him to put a review up and I knew it would be a good review because he was willing to pay money to get his hands on book two. But he is most certainly a legitimate fan of the book. (I asked all the people who had donated to put up reviews and a couple of then kindly did. I didn’t tell them what to write or how many stars to give.)

But anyway, the thing that I though was a bit strange… This latest reviewer, gives the book a 4 star review (which is great, and I thank him very much. I especially love the comments about the humour, because that is the type of humour I was– and am always– trying to include). But, surely it isn’t that far from 4 stars to 5, is it? If he thought the book was terrible, fair enough, jump all over the other reviews and call them out. But he says lots of very nice things. More nice things than bad things. So I just wonder how he can see it as 4 star, but not understand how others can see it as 5 star?

Oh well, I shall be thankful for the review and be thankful for another happy reader (who hopefully buys the rest of the books in series and gives them four star reviews as well).

Speaking of which, A Different Kind of Heaven is currently with a reader and hopefully won’t be far away.

And, for the record, I’m pretty sure I’ve never read a Jack Chalker novel, though I could be wrong… I shall have to check my list.

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4 thoughts on “Sock Puppetry

  1. Hmmm. I just checked and both 5 star Amazon reviews say “Real Name” under the moniker. I believe that means we were required to give Amazon a credit card with our name on it so that they know we’re real. Since my review is one of the two 5 star reviews, I’m trying to figure out if I’m flattered or annoyed to be considered a sock puppet. I think a click or two is all it would take to find that I have reviewed many books on Amazon and I’m kind of blunt when I don’t like one.

    Off to contemplate my socks for awhile . . . .

  2. Ooops. My review is on the Amazon U.S. site, not the U.K. site. So I can be neither annoyed nor flattered, and the pressure’s off to figure it all out. : )

    However, at least one of the five star reviews at the UK site also has “real name” under the reviewer’s name. I have no trouble believing people on both sides of the ocean can find a lot of fun and imagination in Scott J. Robinson’s The Space Between.

    • For a while there, US reviews were turning up on the UK site. Or maybe it was the other way around? Doesn’t seem to be happening now though, as far as I can tell. Another non-sock puppet has put up reviews of the first 3 books. Thanks Bill.

  3. Oh, and I realised I made a mistake. Other (real) people that I know (like my wife or mother) are called shills if they do glowing reviews. Seriously though, if I was ever going to use a shill I’d get them to do a solid 4 star review.

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