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How To Identify Fake Book Reviews On Goodreads and Other Websites

How To Identify Fake Book Reviews On Goodreads and Other Websites

The first thing we do before investing our money in something is check if it’s worth the investment. And what better way to do that than to see what others who have previously made that investment have to say about it? This is where product reviews come into the picture. With product reviews, you can check at the drop of a hat if something will interest you or not. If it does, you proceed with the purchase. If it doesn’t, well, you can browse through the 874280 other product reviews.

Goodreads is one app abounding in book reviews and dear to all book lovers. But what happens if the book reviews are fake? Budding authors may write them to boost their ratings. People might write them to support their author friends. People might be paid to write them too. This might make you choose a book that you may not like it all. How can you control this and avoid purchasing disastrous books? Here, we have listed ways to Identify fake book reviews on Goodreads and other book review websites.

Beware of the review content

Reviews that are tacky or all over the place are probably not real. Fake reviewers also tend to be extravagant in their opinions and overdo their praise or criticism. It’s highly unlikely that a good reviewer finds a book flawless, and even if he does, he will not use superlatives in every sentence. The content of a true reviewer is also more likely to be related to the book itself rather than being about himself. Someone who’s read a book will be able to make unique points regarding the plot and the characters. So the overuse of personal pronouns is a red flag – they might be doing it just to sound credible. So this way you can Identify fake book reviews.

Identify Fake Book Reviews On Goodreads and Other Websites
Identify Fake Book Reviews On Goodreads and Other Websites

Check out other book review sites

It’s good to get some research done before you decide to buy a book. If you’re feeling sketchy and uncertain about book reviews on Goodreads, check Amazon for more book reviews. There are also websites dedicated to books such as LibraryThing and ReedsyDiscovery which specialize in book reviews. In fact, lesser known websites are less likely to have a lot of fake reviews because fake reviewers who aren’t genuinely interested in books may not even know of them. In any case, it’s safe to buy a book based on at least 10 reviews on Goodreads and 10 reviews from other book reviewing websites.

Pay attention to the reviewer’s writing style

Fake book reviews tend to have bad writing styles. Check the writing style and you can identify fake book reviews. They will make more grammatical and spelling errors and use more adjectives to conceal their lack of matter. They might prattle on and on and gush about how good the book is without having reviewed many books in the first place (check their profile for this information.) Research has also revealed that repetition of phrases is higher in case of fake reviewers so be weary of reviews that reiterate and recycle the same words over and over. Even instinctively, one might discern that a reviewer’s writing style is fishy and doesn’t look like those of other book reviews. Or in other words, it doesn’t seem legit.

Check the reviewer’s profile

Checking a reviewer’s profile before trusting their reviews blindly is a great idea. Fake reviewers will generally not have a profile picture. They will also likely have a commonplace name, such as John or Will or Mary. They might also have reviewed limited books and may have given them exorbitant ratings and exaggerated, gaudy reviews. Or they may have given five star ratings to all books  by a particular author or publishing house. They may also have few followers and may not put up their contact information. This alone is not enough to label a review as fake, as some people may desire privacy, but it’s a good sign the review ticks other boxes too..   

Check the time of posting

If a book has garnered lots of (usually very high) reviews within a very short span, it’s likely that some of the reviews are fake. Moreover, if the reviewer made the post right after the release of the book on Goodreads, it could be fake. Of course, only a few professional reviewers or influencers get sent copies of the book before publication for marketing purposes. So if these reviewers aren’t Booktubers or Bookstagrammers or influencers, they’re most likely fake reviewers. For this you need to do a background check on the reviewer and the publication history of the book.

Message the reviewer

If all else fails, message the reviewer regarding the book. Fake reviewers will most likely not respond, especially if the question is related to the book. Real reviewers will probably be open to a healthy discussion on the book and will not seem intimated by your question. They will also be more likely to know about the intricacies and the minute details of the plot and character. Remember, it’s not fair to be rude or condescending based on just a suspicion – don’t come across as disrespectful. That will immediately put even a real reviewer off and they may not be inclined to respond to you at all.

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