Another week, another case of an author posing as someone else to write glowing reviews of his own book on Amazon and Goodreads. Are you an author, just starting out, wondering how to create your own sockpuppet? Fear not. I’ve created this handy list of suggested phrases and techniques to use in any review of your own work.
10. The confident assertion of time-transcending value: “Masterpiece”, ”timeless”, ”epic.”
9. The greatness that is not just literary. It’s super-literary: “This book is so much more than a _______ (romance, mystery, thriller, YA, book).” See also: “spiritual revelation”, “life changing.”
8. The wistful anticipation of future royalties: “This book should be made into a movie.”
7. The casual attempt to boost sales: “This book would make a great gift for family and friends.” “I also recommend X, Y, and X, from the same author.”
6. An!! excess!! of!! exclamations marks!!!
5. The condescending but cool delegitimization of negative reviews: “Perhaps you yourself are a frustrated writer…”, “I’m not sure you understand what a book review is…” etc.
4. The everyman reviewer handle: “Ima Reader”, “Reed Daily”, “Just a Reader” (Caution: be sure this does not appear alongside your Real Name.).
3. Stylistic consistency: make same CapitalizatioN, spellling, and grammatical mistaked the negative reviews highlight.
2. The miracle conversion of the skeptic: “I am not usually a fan of this kind of book, but…”
1. The leading rhetorical question: “What have you got to lose?” (esp. for low priced self-pubbed ebooks)
0. The Formula of Wonder: Describe your book as a combination of Bestseller A + Bestseller B + Popular Classic. Example: “This book is like a mix of The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Alice in Wonderland.”
Combine any four of these. Add copious, mindnumbing detail about the book. A dash of deep concern for the author’s well-being never hurts, but don’t overdo it. And voila! A sockpuppet is born.