Comments: 48
Bark at the Ghouls 6 years ago
These people make me crazy.
Look at her FAQ: she knows Amazon 'frowns upon' these kinds of reviews so she posts them under a different account.

I'm half tempted to contact Amazon about her little scam...
Someone should. AND Goodreads, too. (Does she even know GR is owned by Amazon? Way to go to get yourself banned from two sites at once with a single post ...)
Bark at the Ghouls 6 years ago
I reported the post to GR.
Awesome. Let's see if they bump it up to Amazon or what.
I hope so ...
Rachel's books 6 years ago
wow! That's got nerve.
Familiar Diversions 6 years ago
I couldn't resist checking out her site. "If you’d like me to read your novel, please message me first before sending your payment via PayPal." How nice of her to ask folks to let her know they'd like a review before just sending her money.

On the plus side, nowhere does she say she guarantees authors positive reviews. On the minus side...just about everything.

Her FAQs address why authors should pay her: "Great question. I do urge authors to still send their work out to bloggers as well, but I believe I offer more guarantees. I guarantee an honest, timely review. I will buy your book out of the money you use to pay for my time. I fully support indie authors."

.... I'm speechless.

I wonder how many people have actually sent her money? And does she refuse to review books unless she has first been paid for those reviews?
Bark at the Ghouls 6 years ago
I hope no one is desperate or naive enough to send her money for her not-so-special specialty services. She doesn't even include sample reviews on her site and she's private on GR.
Spare Ammo 6 years ago
"I'm going to give you a completely honest anonymous review on Amazon because I'm gaming their system!"

6 years ago
Oh. Em. Gee.
Dave Grohl is right.
Bark at the Ghouls 6 years ago
Isn't he always? ;)
I've flagged her comment in that group. This is super shady!
Hol 6 years ago
Damn! Loved your comment though.
Debbie's Spurts 6 years ago
Did anyone look at some of the presumably $50 "Bookswith Brooke" reviews? I'm not sure if all were hers (Brooke is not uncommon a name and not impossible more than one reviewer using "books with..." as a screen name).

They seemed to be rather plain single paragraph ones. A few lines saying liked book or series without much about "why" or making it seem they actually read the book. Not judging; I don't always write good reviews either -- except that for $50 a pop, I'd expect more.
Familiar Diversions 6 years ago
I found a couple. One misspelled "read" as "red." Both were very short - maybe four sentences, tops. She sure is charging a lot for reviews that don't include details that would be useful to the books' potential readers and that she could probably write without ever actually reading the books. But hey, $10-15 a sentence is an absolute BARGAIN for review-starved authors. ::snort::
Bark at the Ghouls 6 years ago
How did you find her reviews? Her GR account is private and I couldn't find any on her website.

Maybe she has aspirations of being the new Harriet Klausner but with a paycheck instead of physical books?
Familiar Diversions 6 years ago
I can't speak for Debbie, but I googled them using a combination of her username and Goodreads. The reviews are still public and indexed even if the account itself is private.
Debbie's Spurts 6 years ago
We'll likely never know for sure what action goodreads, Amazon and/or Barnes and Noble takes or not. But I am curious if they'd ever subpoena PayPal records for her account/email. The private profile on goodreads currently says she wrote 102 reviews.

ETA: I doubt publisher Cook's Illustrated paid $50 for a review but she reviewed one of theirs at as an example. A few more examples (again, I have zero way of easily finding due to the private profile nor if knowing if just her personal reading or one of the reviews paid $50 for): in entirety says "Steamy, but it didn't cut it. Something was missing for me. Not awful, but I expected more. Likable, but not lovable." in entirety says "It lacked something for me. I was pulled in, but I found myself bored throughout most of this book." misspells " read" as "red" and says in the entirety "This was the first horror book I ever red. Just kidding. It wasn't scary, but as a kid, I remember screaming with my classmates as Ms. Kaiser read this. I remember the class especially enjoying the story about the girl whose head falls off. Memories!" ["my" and "I" are either how to not trigger most of the services/algorithms checking for fake reviews but equally possible a remembered personal read versus paid review].
Bark at the Ghouls 6 years ago
Wow, kind of what I expected to be honest.
Rachel's books 6 years ago
Looks like reviews (in Debbie's note) have been taken down.
Debbie's Spurts 6 years ago
Good and bad.

Good if goodreads took action; I know I flagged some comments, the profile and some reviews (with links to her website pages of fees, where posting and some of her posts in goodreads groups offering her services) and likely others did as well.

Bad if she removed cause discovered and coming back under a new profile name -- plus I do feel a little bad because did not see anything awful about her other than selling reviews. I do doubt all her reviews were paid $50 reviews. But, just a little because even if not illegal the fee was still against goodreads TOS and review guidelines.

It's getting worse and worse out there to find un-gamed, unpaid honest reviews (outside of friended or followed reviewers of course). Good ones get buried or gamed into obscurity in favor of marketing needs and quotas, the more it goes on the more others are not only encouraged to do it but feel they have to in order to compete, anyone sniffing a buck to be made ...
NerdyBirdie 6 years ago
Spare Ammo 6 years ago
Hmmm, I smell a 5 star rat-; her rating on GR is 4.14. 41%-5 stars, 38%-4 stars, 15% 3stars, 3% 2 stars, 1% 1star.Maybe those who can afford the $50 just write better books?
6 years ago
and Goodreads was quick this time. The post is gone. They also indicated in their email to me tht they would review the individual's account.
Bark at the Ghouls 6 years ago
Looks like her posts and account are gone, GR isn't screwing around today. They sent me an email saying the comment was deleted for violating GR TOS.
yep, I got the same thing. Account is gone, sure... there'll be another shortly, I'm almost positive.
Bark at the Ghouls 6 years ago
Sucker! Just like me :)
And bitter writers can call it Goodreads? :P

That only makes sense as a joke if you know that bitter writers already call Goodreads Badreads.
Debbie's Spurts 6 years ago
Bad reads is better than being called the "goodreads bullies" I guess.

I deleted all my reviews on goodreads -- my profile correctly says "zero" reviews. Yet my reviews still are seen on some book pages and counted. (Yes, I'm editing a data file to override all the reviews.). A known bug they are " working on " -- umm... working on for several years now from what I saw in feedback.
Debbie's Spurts 6 years ago
I know at one time I spent at least 10 hours a week for three solid months correcting -- and trust me I do see the irony -- all those unknown book/author data entries left behind when Amazon pulled their data. In addition to my review content and usual librarian work.

(Librarian edits. Short version: once upon a time, goodreads legally obtained some book data via a feed from Amazon they paid a fortune to receive. One day Amazon changes the terms of use on the data file where only Amazon purchase links and ads could be on the book page with everything else under a separate link/page. Goodreads did not agree to terms so stopped using. Amazon threatened legal actions if the already legally obtained book data was not removed [ex post facto anyone? and, no, that was not a condition of original data feed] -- goodreads caved and removed replacing title/author/cover data fields with "unknown" ... librarians pitched in manically fixing the unknowns and Amazon seriously but themselves in the butt because except for Amazon exclusive books the other data feeds kept adding books as usual while Amazon KDP select authors now had to fret getting their books on goodreads manually plus lost reviews and promotional book activity on what used to be their title n their author oage but now was "unknown book" on "unknown author" page -- goodreads never blinked and was not damaged other than librarian hours and some kindle editions were slower to be added; Amazon lost enough that I think the damage they did to themselves was a factor in their purchase of goodreads...)
Those short reviews kind of remind me of a blogger who was called out a few weeks ago, for selling arcs (with huge postal fees?), and who apparently hoarded arcs ( with the help of a sister and a daughter) during book conventions. I can't remember her name, though, and I stopped following her blog.
I've checked my twitter feed. Her blog is "Crosswords reviews", and there she went by Jessica:
And this one of the many posts that I read about the "scam":
That's the one. I posted about it here, too:

If you look deeper, there's a Jessica Porter running scams on Craigslist for phones, and I wonder if it's the same one...

This has also been going on for years, apparently.
Grey Warden 6 years ago
Going by the Youtube link in one of her reviews, this is one of "Brooke's" Amazon profiles for reviewing Children's/YA books.
Debbie's Spurts 6 years ago
I know it's not the point, but, seriously, $50 for each of those reviews?

Looks like she took down the website home page mentioned in Bark's original screenshot of group discussion. ( http:// -- other pages still viewable, *madly saves them to wayback machine and is now distracted by Internet Archive content...* )
Grey Warden 6 years ago
I have screenshots of her Wix page. ;p
Do I feel a blogpost coming on?
Grey Warden 6 years ago