There’s A Shocker
Some authors blurb books they don’t like or haven’t even read. Motivations for such behavior varies from the not wanting to alienate a given author to simply trying to raise the blurber’s profile.
A bestselling woman author said that she gave “generous” praise for books she considered “dire”. She described it as a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” culture, with authors helping each other irrespective of the merits of the books.
Among those who admit to giving fake reviews is Isabel Wolff, whose romantic novels include The Trials of Tiffany Trott and The Making of Minty Malone. She said that she had given “unreadable” books good quotes “four or five times”. Her motivation was partly “low cunning”, and a desire to have her name on the cover of books that might sell well. “I give the most generous quotes imaginable to these frankly dire-looking books,” she said.
I’m not sure why this should be particularly suprising. Writers, like people in other professions, lie for a variety of reasons, including those mentioned above: wanting to get PR persons off their backs, wanting to gain something from the lie, etc. I think it’s appalling, but I’m not sure what can be done to stop it. Of course, coming on the heels of other revelations last year, the news is rather depressing. For example, last year, several authors who were in charge of judging books for major competitons admitted to not having read all of them. Then came revelations that authors write Amazon reviews of their own books or write reviews in defense of their friends.