Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Shill is Gone: NY book publicist's five-star shill reviews scrubbed from Amazon -- including for my father's memoir


As I reported last week, under the username Avid NY Reader, book publicist Lori Ames wrote me that she had posted 5-star Amazon reviews for her clients' books, including this one for my father's recent memoir.

Mary Osako (source)

Click here for a subsequent inquiry I sent to Amazon spokesperson Mary Osako which included links to eight five-star book reviews posted on Amazon by Avid NY Reader paired with information that identified the eight authors as clients of Ms. Ames.

My inquiry simply asked Ms. Osako if this was in compliance with Amazon policy.

I didn't get a reply, but since then the eight reviews have disappeared.

For example, here's what my father's book's review page looks like at this writing:

Click here for a pdf of Avid NY Reader's Amazon page from a few weeks ago that includes the now-MIA reviews.

If any reporters working the PR or book publishing beats are reading this, here's a story idea.

Per my previous item, four years ago I tagged an unrelated book publicist in Clearwater, FL, doing the same thing for my mother's memoir and 71 other client authors.

Is it just a coincidence that unrelated publicists for both of my parents' books happened to post shill reviews on Amazon or is this a common practice in the world of book publishing?

And are publicists offering glowing five-star Amazon reviews to clients as an incentive?