Reader “Thermopylae Farm” clued me to the news that best-selling British crime novelist R.J. Ellory has apparently been putting the “Shameless” in “Shameless Self-Promotion.”
The Telegraph reports that Ellory has been pulling shenanigans at Amazon (Scamazons?), creating bogus reader/reviewers (less formally known as “sock puppets”) who would give his works five-star reviews, while (and here’s the part that I find particularly shabby) slagging other authors, such as Mark Billingham and Stuart MacBride. Ellory has apologized, but the Crime Writer’s Association (Britain’s version of the Mystery Writers of America, which I would like to earn the right to join one day.) has announced it will further investigate the affair.
Lawrence Block has noted that the impact of social media and online reviews seems to be deleterious. Larry, I think we’ve got Exhibit A here.