Sunday, April 5, 2009

Once again

So I'm looking at some music on Amazon and I see a book on a page that catches my attention:

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World (Hardcover). Thought I'd read a review or two, just to get a feel for what it covers. Released on November 13, this review hits in less than a week.

Money makes the world go round, November 20, 2008 -- Amada Barry.

Seemed legit enough until I came to this....

"The other book I read this week that I also recommend very strongly is The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book. Let's just say it makes it a little easier for me to watch the market, and in a little better mood around my husband when I come home from work :) "

D---! Isn't Amazon going to do anything about this guy?

I left a comment, replying to someone else who had commented on the ads for the Quick Book. I used to be reluctant to do that, fearing that the person would use his 100 accounts to bash my reviews, but I don't care any more. Not after I spent about 3 or 4 hours on a review that never had a chance to one of the Quick Book ad/"reviews."

I don't understand why Amazon doesn't police for this guy, but as I think about it, perhaps the problem is far, far worse than I know -- and this guy is the least of their problems.


Malleus said...

Dave, could you give more background on this? I'm unfamiliar with this guy, is he someone who crawls around the site leaving reviews with the only goal of dropping promotions of another book? Is it his own book? What's the deal here?

Dave IRV said...

Yeah, that's pretty much it. I assume it's his book. He uses multiple accounts to do it. Some of these accounts will have three reviews, say, and all three will have shilled his book. Others will have only one review and it will shill the book. Let me grab an example:

The third one of the Most Helpful Customer Reviews. Here's the content:

"I love biographies, especially good ones that tell the truth about a person that you would never know otherwise (as opposed to their own shiny account of who they are). Call Me Ted does not disappoint.

First of all, a book about a guy who is hugely successful and admits "I don't spend a lot of time dwelling on the past or thinking about myself," is bound to be interesting so long as it is honest. And it is. You get a detailed look at Ted's life, including insight from competitors, his ex-wife Jane Fonda, etc. You get the whole story. His life wasn't easy: from the death of his sister to his father committing suicide, he had to battle for his wealth in the early days. He dropped out of college and worked at the bottom of his dad's billboard company before he committed suicide. From there he takes you through every step of making the billboard company into a media empire. Including his own challenges with winning, intimacy in relationships, and the challenges we all end up facing in life.

I did a lot of reading this week and have another book I have to recommend. It's called The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book and it's a fascinating exploration of the other kind of intelligence we all possess but few put to use."

That "review" is basically a synopsis of a nationally-distributed review I saw somewhere else (I forget where, but I actually communicated with Amazon about it) with the ad stuck onto the end.

One thing I am happy to report is that it looks like Amazon has taken the URL links out of his "reviews." There used to be a live link in all of them which took you directly to his book's page.

Malleus said...

Incredible. Pitiful, actually.