Not only can fake reviews tarnish the image of companies like Amazon, they can also tarnish the image of the author. A Sunday Times investigation found that these bogus reviewers had influenced the ranking of a book that was littered with spelling errors. In fact, the title in question was at one stage the bestselling book in its category.
What is worrying is that it is highly tempting for authors desperate to see their book high on Amazon's charts. I myself was approached by an individual who offered to write a review for just $10. Needless to say, I ignored that offer and I would encourage, insist, that you do the same if you are approached.
Genuine, honest reviewers will not charge you for their feedback. They will want to review your work because they enjoy it, or if they want to help your work become even better. Yes, you might get a 1* review from time to time, but you can actually learn more from that 1* than a 5* review. Take those comments on board, and make sure you don't make the same mistakes in your next book. In addition, the fact that you asked them to review your work will make reviewers enjoy what they do even more. Reading and writing are both, after all, close-knit communities.
It is not just authors that can be affected by bogus reviews. Businesses, too, need to be aware of this practise. In the same way readers rely on Amazon reviews to find their next book, potential customers will use Facebook and Google reviews to assess whether or not to use that company's services or buy their goods.
By nature, a lot of us are shy about asking for reviews. But, if you do a good job and you are professional, you have nothing to fear! Most of the time, customers will be more than willing to write up a complimentary review. They don't have to be long either; just a short paragraph can mean the difference between someone saying yes or no to your business. Remember, 54% of purchases are influenced by reviews, so make sure they are genuine!
Reviews are everywhere and are used for almost everything. Do not let bogus comments ruin your work or your business.