I heard something the other day that made me think of a Beatles tune. You remember the song. It was on the Sergeant Pepper album and sung by Ringo. I think it was the first song after the intro.
The lyric went something like this:
"What would you do, If I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me?"
The song popped into my head when I read that some big name authors, including someone I had admired (notice the past tense), were writing their own reviews under false names. When this was first brought to my attention, I was dismayed. Why would good writers sink to such practices? Then, I went through denial. Maybe the person who broke the news got it wrong or was talking about the wrong person. Finally, I became angry. As an author, I know the highs and lows of the writing industry. One of the greatest highs is when someone reads your work, the work you have spent months (years) pouring your heart, soul, and sweat into and tells you and the world how much they liked it. In my frame of reference, to fake a review is similar to stealing someone's work. I don't care what excuse these writers gave for doing it; none would suffice.
So, we're they punished? Good question. I don't know the answer. I do know that they are still being asked to speak at prestigious writers' conferences. I do know that they are still being tauted as "best selling authors."
I know I am about to go off topic, but stick with me . . .Why is it that Lance Armstrong can pass over five hundred drug tests (he was even made to take one while his wife was in labor) and when he is found guilty of taking performance enhancing drugs by a shady board who used partial witnesses, he is stripped of every title he had ever won and was forced to give back his winnings, but these authors are not asked to give back their awards or give back their royalties.
Just a thought.
"What would you do, if I faked my review, would you still read my books?"
I, for one, will no longer be reading these authors.
Until next time,