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
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