In The Day the Kindle Died, Thomas Hertog claims it is possible to get your own book to the number one bestseller spot in its category on Amazon simply by posting fake reviews, voting on them favourably and downloading copies of the Kindle ebook yourself.
Hertog claimed he managed to do just this with his own 2009 personal finance book Wealth Hazards, pushing it above books by established bestselling authors including Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump, despite having actually sold a mere 32 copies to third parties.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
I’d seen a link to this swim by in my Twitterstream but I didn’t click through until writer Steve Mosby asked if I saw it. I’m glad I clicked!
I know there have been reports over the years of writers checking their Amazon rankings like a drug addict.
Now it’s all shown to be manipulable and probably fraudulent too.
Given a choice between seeing a book of mine as number one on some damned list versus getting rich off a steady seller waaaay down on that list, I’ll take the cash over the ego any day.
What about you?