Amazon gets bodied, Publisher’s Weekly has a new survey, Some Movers and Shakers and as always, some bookshelf porn.
Amazon Takes on Fake Reviewers
In a move that frankly surprised me, Amazon has done something I thought they’d never do…they’ve decided to take on fake reviewers.
It’s been no secret amongst authors and publishers that sites like Fiverr.com provide some downright clandestine opportunities for cheating the review and algorithm system Amazon (and other retailers) has set up for it’s products. Freelancers exist on Fiverr who advertise their services to anyone willing to pay a fee.They offer the most coveted commodity to authors…favorable reviews. Yup! You can buy a five star review, several in fact. These freelancers can pack your reviews section full of glowing endorsement.
Have you ever seen a book listed on Amazon with 100 five star reviews, but then purchased the book and wondered if you’d read the same book everyone else had? If so, then you may have been the victim of fake reviews.
Although authors and other product retailers have complained about this process for quite some time, I can only assume that Amazon has finally learned they have some skin in this game as well. This week it was announced that they were suing 1,114 Fiverr freelancers, accused of producing fake reviews. But how can Amazon do this you ask? By invoking the very document they hold over every indie publisher’s head when they want them to toe the line…The great and infamous Amazon Terms of Service Agreement.
I’m torn between rooting for Amazon to win and raging against the fact that it has taken them this long to act.
You can read more about the lawsuit here.
And the Survey Says…
At this point you should all know how much I love surveys and this week Publisher’s Weekly produced results of a very interesting survey conducted on the publishing industry. The results provide some interesting takeaways:
1.) The median age of the respondents decreased from 2014 from 42 years old to 35.
2.) 89% of the respondents were white/Caucasian, the same as 2014
3.) The favorable perception of improvements towards diversity in publishing is increasing.
4.) 60% of respondents reported their companies had acquired self-published books in 2015; a 13 percentage point increase from 2014.
Please note that the survey results were based on responses from only 425 respondents. The survey was sent to over 5,800 Publisher’s Weekly subscribers affiliated with publishing houses.
You can read the full article here and look at more of the results. It’s an interesting read and worth the time.
Movers and Shakers
The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev
Ria Parkar is Bollywood’s favorite Ice Princess–beautiful, poised, and scandal-proof–until one impulsive act threatens to expose her destructive past. Traveling home to Chicago for her cousin’s wedding offers a chance to diffuse the coming media storm and find solace in family, food, and outsized celebrations that are like one of her vibrant movies come to life. But it also means confronting Vikram Jathar.
Ria and Vikram spent childhood summers together, a world away from Ria’s exclusive boarding school in Mumbai. Their friendship grew seamlessly into love–until Ria made a shattering decision. As far as Vikram is concerned, Ria sold her soul for stardom and it’s taken him years to rebuild his life. But beneath his pent-up anger, their bond remains unchanged. And now, among those who know her best, Ria may find the courage to face the secrets she’s been guarding for everyone else’s benefit–and a chance to stop acting and start living.
Rich with details of modern Indian-American life, here is a warm, sexy, and witty story of love, family, and the difficult choices that arise in the name of both.
Brooklyn’s Song by Sydney Arrison
But as the story progresses, sparks begin to develop between Brooklyn and Song, providing the reader with a storyline overflowing with sensuality, compassion and romance amidst the onset of drama, tension, suspicion, deception and murder and an explosive ending, which you will never see coming.
Spitfire Suckerpunch by Lavender Parker
When a cop fights for his life, a criminal meets her match…
Life is finally starting to go Tate Grayson’s way. He’s come to peace with his painful past and has accepted his place in Big Jimmy Domino’s rag tag family of outcasts. Life is good. But the shy, not-so-gentle giant has no idea that a sexy spitfire from his past is about to reappear and punch a big messy hole right through his quiet existence.
Growing up in Harlem, Shay ‘Sugar’ Spears was taught to never trust the police. Why she ever thought she could trust the big blonde cop with the shy smile, she’ll never know. The joke was on her when he arrested her for a crime that she didn’t commit. She went to prison for six long years, but now she’s free and she’s looking for revenge. Tate may be irresistible, but there’s no way in hell Shay is going to let him get away with what he did to her. She’s on a mission to make him just as miserable as she is.
Problem is, every time Shay looks at Tate, all of her plotting and scheming becomes less about making him pay and more about making him hers. But Shay is playing with fire and it’s only a matter of time before she gets burned…
Lakota Moon Rising by Constance Gillam
Julia, a mixed-race woman born into slavery in Louisiana, escapes brutal plantation life only to be captured by the Comanche. She holds tight to her dream of Canada and freedom as she unwillingly witnesses the acts of savagery the Indians perpetrate against the whites.
Later traded to the Cheyenne, she is reluctantly drawn to a visiting Sioux warrior. The newcomer she calls Horse Man is both gentle and savage, compassionate and ruthless.
In a vision, Sunkawakan Iyopeya—Julia’s Horse Man—has seen white soldiers corral his people like cattle onto barren land. He visits the Cheyenne to convince them to band with him and his tribe, the Lakota Sioux, against the soldiers at Fort Laramie who would destroy the Indian way of life. While in the village, he meets beautiful but fiercely independent Julia. Both struggle against their growing attraction.
He is torn between love and duty. She is torn between love and freedom.
Can their love surmount the prejudices and animosity of 19th century America? Or will those forces tear them apart?
Some Bookshelf Porn
Laurel Cremant is an opinionated author and reader of romance with a wicked sense of humor. RNIC was smart (or crazy) to bring her on as a blogger. Come back on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month to get her romance industry news…with a colorful twist.