Friday, February 21, 2014

Authors Beware. Unscrupulous "Book Reviewer" alert (Likely not real reviewers)

Okay, we've all received unsolicited emails from random authors asking you to buy or review their book. These emails are annoying and feel like spam. This is part of why I haven't set up many reviews for my current release, WRENCHING FATE. I don't want to be one of those people. 
Anyway, a book reviewer friended me on Linkiedin, which I thought was great. 
The I got an email from the reviewer with the subject line: "I want to review your book!"
Naturally, I was excited. ...Until I read the email.
Here is the response with all of the person's personal info omitted.

Thank you for accepting my invitation to connect on linkedin. Please help me by growing my network on linkedin and I will do a book review for you on Amazon. 
I will buy your book and I will do an Amazon verified purchase review of your book, only if you can share your linkedin contacts on my email (email) 

I will also share contact list of 2000+ Amazon reviewers with you. 

If you are interested the please send the amzon link of your book and Your linkedin contacts at (email)"
What in the ever-loving Fuck?
This person wants me to violate the privacy of others so she can spam them and try to get them to help her violate the privacy of their contacts?
I repeat, What the Fuck? This is the most creepy and unprofessional behavior I've ever seen from a book reviewer. Is this person even a real reviewer? Why is she going about review requests in this manner instead of getting to know authors or requesting books through netgalley? There are a ton of authors who would love to have their books reviewed. Why is she wanting to spam people instead?
This sets off all sorts of red flags, especially with the offer to actually purchase the book in exchange for giving up my contacts. Like it's a bribe. It makes me suspect that her objective is not to review books at all, that there is some likely unsavory motive. 
So I feel compelled to share this experience with you all and advise you to be wary of a book reviewer contacts you in this manner. 
I have sent the reviewer a response declining her offer stating clearly that I believe it would be unethical to share my contacts without their consent and recommend that she seek reviews through traditional means. I then removed her from my contacts.

She has since been banned from linkedin, but I fear more scammers like this will show up.

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