Author Topic: Sock monkeys  (Read 7608 times)

storerkl

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Sock monkeys
« on: September 14, 2012, 04:41:54 am »
Mike,

Thanks for the post about sock monkeys.  This is a term I've never heard before.   However, I just ran into such a review recently on Audible.com.  I cannot remember the book or author (not one of Patty's books).  I read a glowing review and about 3 or 4 reviews further down, I read the exact same wording by a different reviewer.  I did send an email to Audible about this, however, it doesn't appear that they will be able to do anything about this. 

Fortunately, I bought the book and found I agreed with the review, so all is well in the world!  Honestly, I only read book reviews if I cannot make up my mind about whether or not I'll like a book.  Past experience with movie critics has made me very skeptical about agreeing with reviews by other people, so if I'm still in doubt after reading the review, I'll go to the library and borrow the book, if it is available through them.  Most times, I just go with my gut feeling and out of 357 books purchased through Audible  (gulp - the number staggers me too), I have found less than 10 that were a waste of my money. 
 
Patty's books were introduced to me via Audible with a $4.95 fee for the first book of the series.  I paid full price for all the rest of the books in the Mercy Thompson, Alpha Omega and Sianim Series.  So my experiment was well worth the price paid - for me as a reader and Patty as the author.  One of these days I'll get around to the other series she has written.  I am sure they are wonderful as well.  thanks for listening.  Kathy

Mike Briggs

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Re: Sock monkeys
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2012, 03:11:08 pm »
I'm very happy that your experience was that the duplicated review was accurate.  Too often, authors are using sock puppet accounts (or paid for reviews) to flog some awful, unreadable dreck as the culmination of fine literature.  The author manages to pad his or her sales figures, and unsuspecting readers are duped out of their hard earned money.

I'm appalled when authors (like Konrath) actually defend the practice, and claim it does no harm.  I beg to differ!   At any rate, I can promise that Patty has no sock puppet accounts, nor do we pay for reviews.


* In the interest of full disclosure, I think I wrote a review for one of Patty's books, several years ago.  However, whenever I comment on Patty's books I'm careful to  disclose my relationship with the author.  Patty's publisher has also used a review from Kirkus on several covers.  Apparently Kirkus is now charging for reviews (though they won't guarantee a positive review, the publisher is not compelled to show negative reviews).  I don't know if they were charging ten or twelve years ago or not. 
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lunapara

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Re: Sock monkeys
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2012, 04:57:59 am »
I can't imagine the time and effort that an author would need to expend to go around writing his/her own book reviews under ficticious accounts.  Of course, I'm not an author, so maybe it pays off?  If I'm trying to decided whether to buy a certain book or not, I read a number of reviews to try and get a sense of what most readers have to say about a book. 

There was a recent erotica book that was sweeping the country....I don't buy much of that type of book, but I was curious as to why it was so extremely popular.  Fortunately, I read a cross section of reviews and decided that I didn't want to read this book...the comments about repetitive phrases and word usage, lack of character development and comments about the plot line confirmed that I would have thrown the thing in the trash by about the 2nd or 3rd chapter.  So reviews were helpful in that case.  There were some glowing reviews that I was puzzled about because they didn't mention any of the negatives...you have to wonder if there are women out there who are so excited to read about explicit sex, that they don't care if its well written (or if the author and friends were writing these reviews).

I've never had to go searching for other opinions regarding Patty's books.  After the first one I read (Hob's Bargain, I believe), I was hooked for life.  Its good to know that there are some things you can count on.

Patti L.

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Re: Sock monkeys
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2012, 10:31:55 am »
Ah, Lunapara, the authors themselves seldom write these reviews; it's either family & friends, or a paid service, just like the spam services that flood your email box with stupidity and try to bring it to boards such as this one.  Someone in poverty somewhere in the world is paid a few cents per site they manage to put these reviews up on; Amazon, B&N, blogs by other authors or "third party" reviewing bloggers.  Usually as responses to the honest reviews given by the owner of the blog.
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charmed

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Re: Sock monkeys
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2012, 02:50:10 pm »
Although there are authors who have admitted setting up sock monkey accounts and writing fake reviews. Seems like an awful lot of work; are the results really worth it?
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big city wolf

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Re: Sock monkeys
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2012, 02:58:49 pm »
I saw a review of a book on a major internet book retailer that was written by a person with the same screen name as the author on a different free published books website.  So, yes, I believe it.  It was the first thing I thought of when you mentioned sock monkey accounts.  I would have thought the author could have created a new name.

BlueCatShip

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Re: Sock monkeys
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2013, 10:52:48 am »
 9) Oh, here I wandered into the thread thinking it was going to be about sock monkeys as in stuffed animals.

But then I read on and figured out what was going on. Heh.

I don't mind other authors reviewing an author's work. Heck, that's common practice, courtesy and helping the other guy or gal out. Where do they think all those quoted comments just inside the book covers come from, aside from literary critics and industry periodicals? ;) But those are done with disclosure: The name recognition helps readers make a buying decision. "Oh hey, I like his/her books, he/she says this guy/girl is good, the blurb and the cover art look good," and pretty soon, the reader walks out with an armful of books and the bookstore, publisher, and author are all a little bit happier. ;) Or that's supposed to be the idea, anyhow.

I don't like that some places (big A) preventing that, just because they want to stop the "sock monkey" reviews. (I'll just presume they are not anti-monkey or anti-sock or anti-plush-toy....) I don't want spoofed reviews either, but I don't want to prevent, say, my favorite authors from reviewing another author's stuff that I might really like.

(Example: It was because of C.J. and Jane's and fellow fans' comments that I bought and started reading Patty's Moon Called. Now I'm hooked. :) So I'm really glad for friends telling me I'd like the books. -- And having very positive words from authors I like is at least as much a factor as other friends.)

Heheheh, and any actual monkeys, if they can write a review, that's impressive. But I hear there's some very talented ones employed by this English guy....
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Patti L.

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Re: Sock monkeys
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2013, 09:56:56 am »
This isn't exactly on topic, but rather than open a new thread,

http://sharonleewriter.com/2013/11/how-to-help-authors/  Good points for any author whose writing you enjoy & want to see continue available to you.
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