Saturday, December 29, 2007

All in the Family

Here is a glowing over-the-top review of a book by Grady Harp admirer, Betty Dravis:

"I bought this book from Amazon.com and took it on vacation with me. When I started reading The Toonies Invade Silicon Valley, I couldn't put it down! My hubby was calling me to dinner and I kept saying, "Wait a minute!" It is a great book, fun-filled and really holds your interest. All the way through, my imagination was at work picturing all the wonderful characters, it was almost as if I were in the book myself! I love the ending! What a surprise! The characters are so cute, I can totally imagine this book being made into a movie! I hope Disney or Time Warner or Pixar gets ahold of this book! WOW! You will absolutely love it. I guarantee it! Thanks Author, Betty Dravis for such a good book! "

This review was written by one Debra A. Pangborn who just happens to be Betty's daughter. I am sure that is a sincere heart-felt hope that Disney would decide the "toonies" were movie worthy, it would be nice to have a very wealthy mother. On the other hand, it's rather difficult to believe she had to buy a copy of her mother's book from Amazon.com.

Another Harriet sighting on Amazon UK

Just stumbled across another one, thought I'd share it with the rest of you.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Deleted by Amazon 37 minutes ago.......

Well, it appears Amazon has found TaylorX's list of blacklisted people either offensive or to be spam. We'll never know, but it appears they have been deleted. And for those who missed it, it's still listed in his In My Own Words on his profile page,

"THE FOLLOWING USERS ARE BLACKLISTED FROM POSTING IN MY FORUMS. If you see a comment from one of them, ignore it:-KrossD-Problem Child-Vote Wh*re-MarieMM-Rachel-Henry The 8th-Keyboard Fetishes-Any alias used by the above users "

Friday, December 14, 2007

FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS

Hello all,

I just wanted to share this with you.

I had this crazy idea to ask all the heads of THE CIRCLE to "be my Amazon friend". I just wondered if anyone would take me up on it, what with my impeccable standing in the community and all.

Well...to my surprise BettyDravis accepted immediately and sent me an e-mail.
This is what she said:

<<<<"Hello, KrossD,

I'm pleased that you invited me to be your new Amazon Friend. I gladly accept.I'll check your profile and go YES a few of your reviews. I could use a few more YES votes, too, because I'm close to the Magical 1000 ... only 25 points and I'll be an official Amazon Reviewer. Yay me! I'll check on your page from time to time and e me if you want more info about me or my writing. Please check my new blog which is an update on my current WIPs (Works In Progress).

Thanks again,
Betty">>>>


Sadly, I think she'd already given me NO votes therefore her yes won't take...but at least I have a new friend. Yay me!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thomas Jiffeylube?

Has anyone else received a request from a Thomas Jiffeylube for "an interview" from a contributor to the HKAS? I've received two e-mails from him now, though I'm kind of loath to open them for fear they could actually be fatally virused communications from, say , a Grady Harp, MMMarie, or JP Picks. I'm not tempermentally inclined to paranoia, but when you're dealing with matters Amazon, it never hurts to be cautious.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Now here's a shill reviewer for you

I stumbled across this reviewer profile today, and I found their many one and two sentence reviews (all four and five stars by the way!!) rather sparse for a so called professional reviewer. From a brief look at their website they seem to be not much more than a used book seller. Or am I missing something?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Is #11 TaylorX deleting and reposting his reviews to get rid of unwanted comments?

See for yourself, and when you click on the see comments section you get the Amazon can't find this page, which is what happens when a review with comments has been deleted. This topic has just been raised on the discussion boards. Of course, that doesn't appear to be a problem with the review comments that are flattering to him :-)

As a refresher on this, pick any old review of yours and post a comment. Delete the review and repost it. When you look at all your reviews it will still be in the same date, but with the comment gone. However, if you change the option under reviews to see by newest comment first, you'll see that old review still there showing a comment. Click on that you should get that lost page message from Amazon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Kindle from Amazon

What do you think of it? Have you tried another ebook reader? Share your experiences, please.

Here's Bezos talking with Charlie Rose.

Friday, November 23, 2007

We got mail!


Guess who this is (you know him). Let me help: it's one of our Friends Top Reviewers. Make sure to guess yourself, do NOT go here to find out.
We thank our correspondent for the pointer.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

THE HARP "SURGE"

Famous # 7 Reviewer Grady Harp has recently begun submitting a much larger than usual number of reviews on a daily basis, and these have been greeted by a much larger than usual number of helpful votes, nowadays generally over 100 each. What will he do , after inching his way by questionable means toward the questionable top, if he finds himself unable finally to dislodge the incomparable Harriet from her throne? Will he sit upon the ground and weep that there are no more Top Reviewers to conquer?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Familiar Entry in the Break Through Novel Awards Contest

Amongst the recent excerpts from my reading list I came across a familiar title. I think we've seen this author and his book mentioned occasionally in the reviewer comment sections. Book title, TerrO.R.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Harriet Klausner Review on Amazon UK

I had heard HK used to write reviews on Amazon UK, but this is the first I've ever seen. Too funny, I was looking at the one and only review and as I'm reading I'm thinking my this style seems familiar--spoilers and all --and there at the bottom of the review is her signature. See for yourself, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lady-Sherwood-Jennifer-Roberson/dp/1575665875/ref=pd_sim_b_title_2/202-1787339-7180641?ie=UTF8&qid=1194812062&sr=1-2

BTW, Amazon UK now has review comments. Your email and password works the same as at Amazon US.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Grady Harp on Powell's Books

Our friend No.7 Top Reviewer — I'm talking about Maestro Harp, of course — appears to be running a syndicated show, just like Harriet Klausner.

PS. Unrelated (though who is to say?): The Art of the Book Review, an Interview with Grady Harp. Study this.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Amazon Break Through Novel Award

I thought I'd update you on how this is going for me. I received an invite to be one of the reviewers (as posted earlier), and I said I could do two a week. I have a link I go to and log in and there will sit my items to download and review. They are usually about 10 pages, in MS Word. So far there have been a couple of promising ones, and two real turkeys. The rest are (at least for me) just mediocre. I usually don't read contemporary fiction, and thrillers and scifi are not even in the picture for me, but I put a note on my review that I don't read those genres to be fair to the author.

It's really hard to judge where a story is going if you don't know if it's SF, Romance, a thriller, etc. The first time they sent my a spreadsheet that gave a brief description of the book and that helped me immensely, but I haven't received any updates.

From what I recall from the website, after these preliminaries are through there will be selections made for the final review process and then winner(s) chosen. So far it's been an interesting experience and I'm glad I was able to participate.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

New Amazon Video Reviews

  1. Has anyone seen one yet? If so, can you point me in that direction?
  2. WOW! I got an email from Amazon offering a FREE flip video camcorder (I'm sure I'm not the only one who got that email), I don't even have to pay freight! It looks like they want to encourage more reviews.

Not sure if I want to put myself on camera to the world yet, can't quite imagine a book review on video. I think krossd could do much better than I could :-)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Where Have All The Comments Gone?

Amazon has an unintentionally amusing new policy for safeguarding its sales or certain of its top reviewers' feelings. It now "hides" many of the comments below reviews if they haven't received lemming-like endorsements from such cabals as the Notorious Grady Harp Voting Machine. In Amazon's words, "Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion." Usually, this awkward censorship in the Comments section is immediately undermined by the following concession," Show post anyway." Amazon here reminds me of the editors of my high school Latin textbooks. They routinely censored Ovid and Plautus, but feeling guilty, included the excised "dirty" sections in the backs of the books. Enterprising students, of course, turned to those "hidden" passages first. It might be wise now to follow the same practice when reading Amazon's Comments sections. For examples of the seller's new practice, see the instances at the foot of several of Grady Harp's newest reviews.

Is it possible to read 7 books in a day…every day?

A good question.
Is Harriet Klausner for real?

Is it possible to read 7 books in a day…every day?

That’s apparently what Harriet Klausner is doing. The famed #1 book reviewer on Amazon.com (who does claim to be a speed-reader) posts, on average, 7 book reviews a day. So not only does Harriet have time for reading all these books, she can also whip off reviews of them pretty quickly, too.

Color me skeptical, and I’m not the only one. Read this page of comments to see how curious observers are challenging Harriet’s numbers, while others are coming to her aid. [...]
For the whole thing visit here.

Taylor X is back commenting

Well, he seems to be commenting on review comments again and he's removed the comment about his comments being closed from his profile page, http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A3MOF5KF93Q6WE/102-4421097-9253744?sort_by=MostRecentComment&display=public&x=10&y=18

Monday, October 22, 2007

BENJAMINS 'R US

Unless I've been unable to access the option, it appears that Amazon has deleted the opportunity once accorded to users to comment on new movies still in theaters under the category "Theatrical Releases." I wanted to comment on the grossly overpraised indie film "Lars and the Real Girl," a finely acted but dully developed and finally stupid two hour ordeal, ideally suited to the Lifetime or Oxygen Channel. Amazon, most likely because it can't sell anything but the soundtrack for brand new films, seems to have dropped the category of "Theatrical Releases" for its reviewers. Ars Gratia Pecuniae!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: new Freud book

I had to quote this:

Zigmund Feud says:

What we have here Problem Child is a textbook example of what may be referred to as Top Amazon Reviewer Delusion Syndrome (TARDS). I have a chapter on TARDS in my soon to be published masterpiece "Amazon and its Discontents". (Ironically I intend to send free copies of this book to everyone suffering from TARDS in order to promote sales here. Sweet!)

Some pathologies to look out for in identifying people suffering from this syndrome:
- complete acceptance of the belief that quantity of reviews is directrly proportional to quality. Most people believe the relationship is inverseley proportional;
- complete acceptance of the belief that getting your friends to vote for your reviews validates your belief in the quality of those reviews; (There is a corrolary indicating a relationship with multiple personality syndrome sufferess where people create multiple identities to vote for their own reiews and believe that is okay cause they are, well, different people);
- the belief that obtaining a high rank through the posting of copious reviews, including multple reviews of different versions of the same product, somehow vests you with an ownership interest in Amazon sufficient to dictate what others can do here;

Just a few key notes here to whet your appetitie. Please pass this comment along to all your friends and PLEASE BUY MY BOOK AND WRITE A REVIEW OF IT!!!! PLEASE

Hurried Klausner Hurrying a little too much?

Looks like she got a little carried away with the cut and paste. http://www.amazon.com/review/R2VVA7JHP3D6SR/ref=cm_aya_cmt/102-4421097-9253744?%5Fencoding=UTF8&ASIN=0312355289#wasThisHelpful

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Yes, of course! I mean no. (a.k.a. Free Cheese)

From the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award FAQ:
Q: Do I keep my content rights if I enter?
A: Yes, you maintain full content rights when you enter the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award [; however,] if you are selected as a Semi-Finalist on January 15th, 2008 [...] [,] you will be required to provide Penguin right of first refusal on any publishing contract until you win, are eliminated from the contest, or April 22, 2008.
That is, if it's worth anything, Penguin owns you. And not only as far as the submitted manuscript, but "any publishing contract"! Am I misreading this?
Here's another good one:
The Grand Prize winner will be selected from among the Finalists based on Amazon customer voting [...]
I foresee quite a bit of overtime work for The Notorious Grady Harp Voting Machine (TNGHVM). ;-)

What's it worth, this so-called 'customer' voting? To know the answer, one needs only to check out Grady Harp's reviews record with his invariable 60-100 votes for every single item received near instantaneously upon posting of every review of his.
More funny stuff:
5. PRIZES. The following prizes will be awarded:

One (1) Grand Prize will be awarded, consisting of a full publishing contract with Penguin to market and distribute Grand Prize winner's winning Manuscript as a published book, including promotion for such published book on Amazon.com. Upon the full execution of the publishing contract, Penguin will pay the Grand Prize winner US $25,000. (The approximate retail value ("ARV") of the publishing contract is US $25,000 for the advance.) This US $25,000 payment is an advance against the royalties to be earned by the Grand Prize winner under the publishing contract. Penguin will determine the royalty rates to be paid under the publishing contract, which will depend on the format in which the book is published. Publishing contract with Penguin is not negotiable, and Grand Prize winner must sign "as is" upon receipt of the executable contract [...]
Twenty-five grand is cool of course, but the rest... and what if the royalties (determined by publisher alone!) do not eventually amount to the advance? Will the happy advancee have to return the dough ? How hard is it for the publisher to arrange for such a royalties schedule that there'll be nothing left for the author or even to leave him in the red? Even 'creative accounting' won't be required. Comments invited: tell me whether, and if so, where I'm misreading this.

I mean, why would anyone deny himself the right to negotiate? Doesn't having no right to negotiate amount to a guarantee of being fleeced? What publishing risks does Penguin take here? They are under no obligation to publish anything, winner or not; they are getting a nice free marketing survey, and they are to determine the price IF they do decide to publish. Seems like a risk-free strategy to me.

If I were an aspiring writer, what would I gain by forgoing the regular publishing route (agent, etc., including pay negotiation) and resorting to this contest? The high privilege and distinct honour of being 'judged' by the likes of Hurried Klausner?

But, that said, I know nothing about publishing industry, so -- whoever is -- please enlighten me.

Amazon Break Through Novel Award

This is interesting, I received an email from Amazon wondering if I'd like to participate in reviewing some of the entries.http://www.amazon.com/b?node=332264011

Thursday, September 27, 2007

David Oakford strikes back!

Haven't seen this yet. Lack of ethics and a feeble mind, combined with a blissful absence of awareness of the two: such is the psychological portrait of an aspiring writer who's just made his entrance on one of the Amz comments section.

Check out the exchange between our old friend Gregory Callahan and poster 'David'. Here's a guy who openly threatens a commenter with retaliation for commenting under a review of his book. Mind you, comments are about a review, not the book itself (not that there would be anything wrong the other way too). Finally, for the lazy readers, here's a quote:
David writes:
Gregory,

Since you seem to think it is OK to spam and conduct personal attacks through comments on other people's reviews, I've decided to hit every one of your reviews with the same type of thing you've done to this review. I mean, you must think it is OK because you do it.

You can avert all of this by removing your comment from my review, then and only then will I stop spamming your reviews. You want dialogue, you got it.
Aaaaand.... here's a few signs showing that poster 'David' is fully intended to make good on his threats ! Incidentally, poster 'David' apparently has no problem with um... reviewing his own books and, yes, you guessed it, giving them top, five-star ratings.

Quoth Albert Einstein: "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." Truly so, eh?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Reincarnation

MM (Marie), the indisputable queen of jabberwocky, has apparently made good on her threat to disappear and return as a sockpuppet. All of her recent cryptic utterances have been deleted by author, though now under the nom de plume of "Sarah Goldberg." I wonder if Sarah will post her future comments not in adolescent "code," but in intelligible English. Can she? Will she? Inquiring minds want to know.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A note from a blog reader

We've received a letter (btw, if you -- I'm addressing the collective passerby commenter here -- if you email to us with your comments and you'd like your name quoted, mention that: otherwise we'll protect your privacy).
I just discovered your blog and am reading through the archieves. [...]

On your post talking about the delete/repost feature wiping out all comments [probably this?] [...]:

The delete/repost issue you are discussing was instigated when a top 100 reviewer was found to be deleting and reposting the same 5 or 6 reviews over and over again to gain more votes and climb the ladder.

So, while it now helps people bury comments, it was started to keep people from cheating.
Someone had already proposed this, I think. So, OK, perhaps (though who knows). So? Besides, I have a hard time believing in Amazon's intolerance toward cheating: just look at what Our Friends Top Reviewers do -- like, for example, 'reviewing' piles of books daily, all rated five stars. Robert Morris seems especially active lately, check him out -- this man reads (and highlights!) way too many books too quickly it seems to me. Likes them all! Of course.

Actually, W.Boudville picked up some speed too. Soon he'll be at his previous level, reading a dozen books a day.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Another Doubting Thomas

N.Brett writes:
... this review seems to be mainly lifted from the book jacket or a publishers brief ...
Why can't people believe that Harriet actually does read five hundred books a day and that her reviews are absolutely rivitting?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Quality Comments (TM)

Bradley Stewart, author of Kayak Reef, writes:
Brad Stewart
This review leaves you drooling for more of A Perfect Grave.

Very insightful discription.

Bradley Stewart, author of Kayak Reef.
!!! ;-)
Oops, that wasn't all. Check out Bradley's own book Kayak Reef (Eye of the Arctic). Notice the reviews -- except for one sharp-eyed passerby, they're all by single-review reviewers (I'm sorry, those look like sock-puppet accounts to me), plus a review by poster "Brad Stewart "zire" (zire)", purportedly the author's son. There must be a cabal of wannabe writers who first, self-review, and second, join the ranks of the Quality CommentsTM posters. The book's been published by something called Searchlight Publishing an outfit with a rather cheesey and disfunctional website, probably (ahem) not one of the major publishing houses.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Boudville The Financial Engineer

More financial advice from W.Boudville! His insightful review of the book Mortgage-Backed Securities: Products, Structuring, and Analytical Techniques (Frank J. Fabozzi Series) is now available for your edification and viewing pleasure.
... Much other space in the book explains how the cash flow can be divided into tranches. Different ones based on differing yields and risk.

A cynical reader might surmise that the implementation of ideas like those in the book have contributed to the recent turmoil in the mortgage industry. Aiding and abetting.
Rivitting!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Grady Harp's day job

First, let me say that KrossD brought this to my attention. After reading it carefully I emailed the artist involved in this incident. He responded to my inquiry promptly and verified the facts. He told me that the ordeal with Grady Harp had soured him on art dealers and that his primary outlet for his beautiful paintings and drawings is now directly through his studio.

This letter Wim wrote to ArtSpace 2000 is his account of his dealings with Grady Harp's gallery. It is not pleasant reading. I'm not sure how many of you are aware that KrossD is a gifted artist and is knowledgeable about galleries, artist's contracts, etc. Read what Wim has to say about his encounter with one of Amazon's "top" reviewers. It's an eye opener.

Another Ave Atque from Harp coming soon ?

Pavarotti died. The best tenor of our times, rest in piece peace [thank you, Barbara :-)].

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hiding traces

Poster Reggie wiped out all his comments in this Harp thread. Reggie, don't you want you voice to be preserved for posterity? Strange action! Yet it reminds me of someone...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Dear old Harriet reviews SEVENTY-FIVE (75) books today.

Seventy-five on Sept 4; overall in September (which is not quite four-days old as of right now), Harriet Klausner reviewed eighty (80) books. That is twenty books a day on average.
Off topic: Captain, ave atque vale. Schadenfroh.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

PD Harris Chimes in on an HK Review

See it here.

W.Boudville abandons medicine...

...and enters a new field -- financial engineering. His incisive review of the book Credit Derivative Strategies: New Thinking on Managing Risk and Return, edited by Rohan Douglas, from Bloomberg Press, published very recently: on July 31, 2007 (as the books that W.Boudville reviews tend to be, at least those he gives a high evaluation) sets a new standard of... er... uhm.... something.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Good Doctor Under Attack Continued

Methinks the good doctor is confused. He thinks the HKAS is attacking him??? Oh well, some extra publicity for the blog.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dayton Blog: Michael Vick, Amazon.com, and more...

In a new post on his blog on Dayton Daily News, Vick Mickunas deals with Michael Vick, dogfighting, and Amazon's selling magazines like Gamecock. Check it out.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Innocent passerby perplexed

After reading Harriet Klausner's review of the book The Careful Use of Compliments: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel, a person unfamiliar with the situation writes [emphasis mine]:
Trina L. Drotar

HK, you mention that people who enjoyed Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency would enjoy this book although they are different. It would be useful if you would elaborate on that. If you read both books, you certainly should be able to do that. All I am seeing here is a plot summary, which I could get from Amazon or many other places [indeed]. You might keep this in mind in other reviews. Why is the book good, interesting, bad, etc? What made the book that way? Are the characters well developed, etc? These are far more useful than plot summaries.
Ah, we agree. But, with the above recipe, how many reviews would you produce ? Moreover, you may even want to write a two-star review at times! For a Top Reviewer that's a no-starter.

Daily blotter: Quality Comments and more.

JP Picks wrote :
>I enjoyed your streamlined review, Grady. I should be seeing
>this film soon.



The Good Doctor is under attack! Waylaid by the Klausner Protection Squad!
Joseph J. Neuschatz wrote:
What's wrong Harriet ? Only 6 (six) reviews yesterday ? Headache ?
[...]
ken Oconnell wrote:
the only joke here is you M.D., you ranting about a woman who is ranked number one on a website on the internet? Truly where did you go to Med School,Franklin Pierce? Go away

Twilight wrote:
Joseph J. Neuschatz M.D.,
I have read the reviews of you book "terrO.R." I can't wait to read it.

Our good friend Mark-O has another new review! (And an item to sell, of course).

He changed his seller nickname -- it's '123marko' now (the old was 'shipbooksnow' or something like that).

Also notice that he has deleted three reviews -- the ones with the comments, of course. The comments, as you remember, were pointing to his copy/pasting his 'Excellent! Excellent! Excellent!' spam-piece thirty-three times, and that he's been selling all the books he's reviewed. Would someone please report [this gentleman's activities] to Amazon so we can be done with this particular phenom. I mean, so that we can see what Amazon will do in such a case.
More neuroscience news from our friend Top Reviewer W. Boudville! His valuable thoughts on the book Consciousness and Cognition: Fragments of Mind and Brain can be found here. Also of interest is his older review of Sextus Empiricus: Against the Physicists. Against the Ethicists. (Loeb Classical Library No. 311) by Sextus Empiricus. He did not quite like this particular book: three stars. A rarity! Not to be missed.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Hmm... never heard that before!

25. Peter D Harris on Aug 17th, 2007 at 10:08 am:
So you don’t have a better idea than the existing system, nor do Amazon, nor do I, when it comes to the issues you are so concerned about. In that case, why not just take your business elsewhere and forget about Amazon as countless others have done before and will do so in future? [...]
Oh cunning PD Harris! He just keeps coming up with new stuff...

Competely OFF TOPIC: curious article about Bergman, check it out.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Our friend Top Reviewer Robert Morris was asked:

Here:
Tralphonso Beshore
Is every book you read a 5 star book?

Robert Morris
Excellent question. No but most of those I review are.
And, as we've pointed out before, since Robert Morris has been, apparently for years, reviewing on average a couple of books a day, it follows that not only does he read at least that much daily, but actually even more than that: but he does not review the books that aren't quite perfect. Hmmm... OK, if you say so, Sir. Btw, about those that are not five stars, what are they? Four stars? Have you ever posted a one-star review? I couldn't find any; as a matter of fact, I could only see five-star reviews -- but then I haven't checked it all, of course.

Amazon appears to be selling cock-fighting rags



Check this out. I thought this was bs posted by a fruitcake when someone mentioned it (isn't organized animal fighting illegal?), but it's true. How could that be? Also read the related article. Here's another one (thanks to Barbara).

Here's another one: The Feathered Warrior.

Here's another one: Grit and Steel

Thanks to Barbara for the links.
Thanks to the 'fruitcake' who posted this comment. That's the risks you take: first, people will think you're a fruitcake; then it turns out it's all true.

Oops, there's more. Dog fighting. The "Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed" thing.


And more.

Mark-O got another book to sell.

A new book to sell, a new review on the Mark-O reviews list. But this time he took trouble to write a new review for it (rather than pasting in his "Excellent! Excellent! Excellent!" piece one more time). Why the change?

Now here's an enterprising Amazon Bookseller

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0007191332/sr=8-1/qid=1187283786/ref=olp_product_details/102-4421097-9253744?ie=UTF8&qid=1187283786&sr=8-1&seller=

Make sure you look at the price. What's really funny is The Wild Rose isn't even written yet. Amazon has something goofy going with this whole book. I went looking for The Winter Rose, which is the second of a planned trilogy that's already been published in the UK. According to the author the third book, still unwritten, will be called The Wild Rose.

I searched Amazon for The Winter Rose and came up with this book. How the heck does one sell a book that hasn't even been written? It's a head scratcher.

In Grady's own words

Profile for Grady Harp:
Author of WAR SONGS, I am an Artist Representative, Gallery Owner, writer of essays and articles on Figurative and all Representational art [...]
What's the deal with the capitalization here? Is the self-inflated maestro misunderoverestimating a bit his, uhm, literary prowess? No, that can't be, 'cause if it were true, how would he be getting so many 'helpuful' votes. Please advise, for I am lost.

Lambert's Ghosttown: Rivitting !

Harriet Klausner, born in the USA, holder of an MLS degree, whose thesis topic apparently was 'the Impact of Science Fiction Reading by High School Seniors on Standardized Reading Scores', evaluates the book Ghosttown (by Mercedes Lambert) thusly: "Rivitting". Yeah, I believe she writes these reviews... their a rivitting, absolutly rivitting reed; Harriet, your brilient; your a Great Literary Authority who's No.1 Position as an Amazon reviewer is clearly justified.

Btw, today, she's already read eight (8) books. I mean at least eight: she reviewed eight but maybe she's read more: after all, Harriet doesn't review everything she reads: she reviews only the books that she likes a lot, four- or five-star ones. Eight reviews today. That, after having read (reviewed) what, fourteen books yesterday? Awesome, simply awesome.

Hurried Klausner Copies too much again!

Here,

This is the second time I've seen one of her reviews with the ISBN # and other book detail at the top of the review. Is she pulling that along with the editorial reviews off of the book page? It's not on her review of the book on B&N. Just wondering.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ted Klotz: Now Here's An Honest Reviewer (NOT!)

I give credit for this to a posting by Claudia I on the Amazon discussions.

See Reviews by Edward Klotz. I do believe that's spamming, isn't it?

See his book, The Trigger Event. Nice to see he gave him self five stars for a non-review.

Let's see, wonder if I report this to Amazon they will take appropriate action, unlike what happens with complaints about the wonderful and untouchable top reviewer, Harriet Klausner. Odds, anyone?


NOTE by moderator: since these reviews seem gone, I'd like to quote one of his reviews here (no worry, it's not much): "Brilliant! An excellent book! If you like quality political thrillers you should check out The Trigger Event" -- and so it went for about about six pages' worth of such 'reviews' for all kinds of books. I'll also post a link to the cached versions of some of it -- just so a newcomer could see what it was all about. Here's the reviews, and here Edward Klotz reviews a book by Ted Klotz, five stars. The cache will be gone at some point, but for now let's point to it.

Curious comments

Here.

PS. Notice Quality Comments(TM) by 'Alrin':
Alrin said...

Sorry, Pat, but what exactly is the point of this post? Maybe I've missed something, but it seems to me that the intent is to give this particular reviewer a bit of a bashing. Just don't seem like cricket to me, especially when coming from a fellow reviewer.

Correct me if I totally missed the point.
Yes, Alrin, you've totally missed the point -- or maybe you pretend to, since the issue is a really easy one. The problem is here: "especially when coming from a fellow reviewer". 'Reviewer' is not the problem, you see. Fraud is. Still a fellow? Fellow fraud?

Klausner update

Fourteen more today (as of 12:25 pm PDT). Musta read them yesterday (after writing and posting yesterday's dose).


PS. A good comment by Robert Moore (in the GH section):
Guys, you miss the point: these vote totals are stacked and violate the spirit of reviewing on Amazon. The review is good, but not a masterpiece. And I'm sure if anything Ms. Clamor is upset to have a work of hers reviewed by someone who is pretty obviously guilty of ballot stuffing. [...]
A good, eloquent post -- except, perhaps, that no one's missing the point. Oh, all right, members of the Shill Protection Force do, but that's not for real, they're just playing stupid, hoping to make the Gentle Reader there distrust his lying eyes and believe the unbelievable instead.

Having said that, maybe Robert Moore was addressing FreeHam in plural as an organization. Either case, a good post.

Laugh out loud funny

This has nothing to do with Hurriet or Grady, etc. I just wanted to point you to someone named person's reviews. They can be quite entertaining. Reminds me a bit of KrossD's reviews. It was nice to laugh.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A39L6FG6O2IZ75/ref=cm_aya_bb_pdp/103-2697241-6524618

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

How hurried can one be?

About this Klausner review that Cathy already posted about: I'm amazed that even after several days of this review's being on display, HK (or whoever does this under her name) hasn't fixed it! I mean, how telling this is. Post and never look back. Soon she'll switch to posting random excerpts from an old phone book with five-star ratings: after all, that could be done even faster than what she does now.

PS. Today is August 14, 2007. In these fourteen days Harriet reviewed ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FOUR (154) books. That is exactly eleven (11) books a day on average. (Of course, L.E. Cantrell and other Friends Of Harriet would say something like, so what? Just because you can't do this doesn't mean no one can! :-) Or something like that... )

Amazon Vine?

Did anyone get an invite for Amazon's newest review creation called Amazon Vine? I did **blush blush**
Do you think the invited Harriet?
God forbid she starts reviewing movies and music!!!

PD Harris weighs in

With his habitual perspicacity PD Harris (remember PD Harris?) comments (No.13) on our post (No.12).

Monday, August 13, 2007

Dame Harriet seems to be losing it.

No comment, just read this (thanks to our correspondent).

Congratulations!

Finally someone understood what this blog is about! Ian, your brilliant ;-)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Did Hurried Klausner hurry too much?

See this review. Interestingly enough, HK posted a review for the book on B&N without the duplicate paragraphs (as best as I can tell, my eyes hurt bad enough reading her reviews) and with four stars instead of the five she gave it on Amazon.

Hurried Klausner (love that by the way!), seems to have been way too busy copying and pasting just a little bit too much. Doubled paragraphs and a double signature, and WHEW what a title for her review. I guess posting all those reviews the last couple of days --- where is LE Cantrell when we need him to count for us anyway? I went back to page ten or so before I could find something posted before August 10.

Another note on these recent reviews. She does review some erotica books in the latest bunch, but seems to have toned down the her randy side and the sex scenes aren't described in such excruciating and tasteless detail.

I also noted that one of the books she reviewed today was written by Amazon's #26 reviewer, http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/AFVQZQ8PW0L/002-5252214-5336844?sort_by=MostRecentReview&display=public&x=17&y=11.

Grady Gets Bumped or The Lazarus Effect

It looks as if the latest technique of the Harpists is to resurrect Grady's old reviews and attempt to breathe life into them. The most recent exhumation has been performed by Diogenes, (there's an irony, I thought he was looking for an honest man-keep looking). This review of Robert Hellenga's novel The Fall of a Sparrow is from September of 1998. It's one paragraph and tells you absolutely nothing about this book. But that didn't prevent Diogenes from his attempt at reanimation. I guess he saw the success that C.MCCALLISTER had and thought he'd jump in.

This nine year old review currently has 7 of 24 helpful votes. Those were the days before the "loyalty voters". It will be interesting to watch and see how many votes this old review can pick up.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

"It is an exciting time in neuroscience"

So says our friend Top Reviewer W.Boudville. We'll take his word for it!

Klausner undeterred (August 2007)

August 2007 is barely five-days old and already Hurried Klausner posted thirty-six (36!) book reviews. Eighteen of those posted today. You go, girl!

(I hope L.E.Cantrell will do the counting and post more Quality Comments soon.)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Grady Harp's Instant Vote in action:

Taking place right now (July 27 12:36 pm PDT): check it out. It just went from 19 to 21 in a matter of seconds (in sync by the same amount for the last three reviews). Amazing. Completely in sync: one, two, three; one, two, three.
Zodiac (Widescreen Edition), posted on July 26, 2007:
12:36 pm PDT: 21 votes.
12:41 pm PDT: 22 votes
12:43 pm PDT: 23 votes
12:46 pm PDT: 24 votes
12:53 pm PDT: 25 votes
02:44 pm PDT: 26 votes
03:54 pm PDT: 28 votes
06:06 pm PDT: 29 votes
08:40 pm PDT: 31 votes

07/29/07 10:42 am PDT: 57 votes

Origin: A Novel, posted on July 26, 2007:
12:36 pm PDT: 21 votes.
12:41 pm PDT: 22 votes
12:43 pm PDT: 23 votes
12:46 pm PDT: 24 votes
12:53 pm PDT: 25 votes
02:44 pm PDT: 26 votes
03:54 pm PDT: 28 votes
08:40 pm PDT: 29 votes

07/29/07 10:42 am PDT: 54 votes

Talking to the Moon, posted on July 26, 2007:
12:36 pm PDT: 20 votes.
12:41 pm PDT: 21 votes
12:43 pm PDT: 22 votes
12:46 pm PDT: 23 votes
12:53 pm PDT: 24 votes
02:44 pm PDT: 25 votes
03:54 pm PDT: 27 votes
08:40 pm PDT: 28 votes

07/29/07 10:42 am PDT: 52 votes

'The voters' went for two previous reviews now:

Factory Girl (Unrated) (was 37 for a day or so; posted on July 19, 2007):
12:46 pm PDT: 38 votes
12:51 pm PDT: 39 votes
12:53 pm PDT: 40 votes
02:44 pm PDT: 41 votes
03:54 pm PDT: 42 votes
03:56 pm PDT: 43 votes
08:40 pm PDT: 44 votes
07/29/07 10:42 am PDT: 54 votes

Picture Windows (was 41 for a day or so; posted on July 18, 2007):
12:46 pm PDT: 42 votes
12:51 pm PDT: 43 votes
02:44 pm PDT: 44 votes
03:54 pm PDT: 46 votes
08:40 pm PDT: 47 votes
07/29/07 10:42 am PDT: 57 votes

'The voters' went for another previous review now:

Britten: Serenade/Les Illuminations/Nocturne (was 40 for a day or so; posted on July 18, 2007):
12:53 pm PDT: 41 votes
02:44 pm PDT: 42 votes
03:54 pm PDT: 43 votes
03:56 pm PDT: 44 votes
08:40 pm PDT: 45 votes

07/29/07 10:42 am PDT: 60 votes

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Here's a good man

A post by Travis Deputy occasioned by Harriet Klausner's review of the book Dead Man's Song:

HA! HA! HA! SHE'S FULL OF CRAP, TOO, JUST LIKE MR. POMERVILLE IS, EVEN THOUGH SHE GAVE MABERRY'S BOOK 5 STARS. SHE DOES THAT WITH JUST ABOUT EVERYONE(HINT:SHE DOESN'T READ THE BOOKS). TALK ABOUT 2 LOPSIDED REVEIWS. NEITHER OF THEM READ THE BOOK, BUT ONE GAVE THE WORST RATING AND THE OTHER GAVE THE BEST. CRAZINESS x 10 = INSANITY!!!!!! COME ON PEOPLE!!!!!! LET'S BE HONEST AND ACTUALLY READ THE BOOKS AND GIVE A FACTUAL OPINION OF WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT AND IT'S STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES AND NOT OUR BIASED OPINIONS OR ANY MADE UP BULL JUNK. HINT: DON'T WRITE A REVIEW USING THE BACK COVER SYNOPSIS. BOTH OF YOU ARE SO FIRED YOU'RE REHIRED FOR DOING THIS! COME ON NOW PEEPS! READING ISN'T DIFFUCULT TO DO! LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM, GROUP OF WORDS ARRANGED IN PROPER SYNTAX MAKE A SENTENCE, GROUP OF SENTENCES MAKE A PARAGRAPH, BUNCH OF PARAGRAPHS MAKE A CHAPTER, BUNCH OF CHAPTERS MAKE A BOOK. AMAZING, YES I KNOW! CONFOUNDING THAT TOO! AND WHO KNOWS YOU MIGHT ACTUALLY ENJOY AND LEARN SOMETHING. REMEMBER, READ THE BOOKS, THEN RIGHT A REVIEW THAT ISN'T BIASED OR BASED ON A BACK COVER SYNOPSIS. IN OTHER WORDS, BE HONEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I couldn't put it better. Travis, we like you. :-)

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Notorious Grady Harp Voting Machine sputters (?)

The latest three (?) reviews of MaƮtre Harp appear stuck on about thirty votes for longer (far longer!) than usual! What's up with that? Stretching it over a week or something? Pulling that Klausner-pause thing on us? Get to work, mother@%@$@#$s! :-) Ninety votes or you don't get your supper.
What?! From Grady Harp's review of the film Factory Girl:
[...] But Edie spent all her wealth on parties and drugs and broken promises of fame, fell in love with an unnamed folk singer (Hayden Christensen - very shallowly imitating Dylan Thomas), and eventually fell out with the world and into the realm of drug addiction [...]
Dylan Thomas? Folk singer? In any case, whoever he was, Dylan Thomas was dead by that time. I haven't seen this movie, but this must be Bob Dylan, no? What's he smokin'? Grady, I mean.

The Harriet Klausner of Movies?

I give credit for this lead from Vick of the Dayton Daily News, http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A10ODC971MDHV8/ref=cm_pdp_reviews_see_all/102-4421097-9253744?ie=UTF8&sort%5Fby=MostRecentReview.

My goodness he's a busy boy. But, go look at his profile, more specifically his website, http://www.bestmoviesbyfarr.com/

Hmmm.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Quality Comments by JP Picks

Curtesy BuyBlogComments.com: Examples of Paid Blog Comments
Our Blog Comments are of high quality! [...] Our promise to you is that the comments will look very real, from real people (which they are from). The blogger won't recognize that its a paid post.
1. JP Picks comment
2. JP Picks comment
3. JP Picks comment
4. JP Picks comment
5. JP Picks comment
6. JP Picks comment
7. JP Picks comment
8. JP Picks comment

9. JP Pics comment


? Uhm.... I mean.... If the shoe fits... :-) :-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Comment parler des livres que l'on n'a pas lus?

Curious: How to talk about books we haven't read? Check this out.
More detail here.
Babelfish.

Harriet Klausner: the publishing industry’s Big Bertha.

A curious (as always) post on Bloggasm: Harriet Klausner: the publishing industry’s secret weapon?
[...] These [commenters'] responses are part of a larger backlash against Klausner, a mixture of conspiracy theories, skepticism and ridicule. The most tame of these criticisms simply point out that she rarely includes anything in her plot summary that isn’t on the back cover, indicating she hasn’t actually read the book. Others say that her sentences often suffer from grammatical quicksand, tripping over themselves and in need of editing. The most radical members of the backlash offer theories that she either works for Amazon or the publishing industry, astroturfing the customer reviews section to promote sales. Nearly all express annoyance at her tendency to only give four and five star ratings. [...]
A good post, check it out (link above).

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Priceless

Find what's wrong with the following situation:
362 of 363 people think this post adds to the discussion.

No, no, no! Gregory Callahan, you got it wrong again.

In a recent comment, Gregory Callahan makes a mistake again. He says:
[...] From what I gather, Grady's detractors are more concerned about pre-pub books or small press books that he may have received FREE promotional copies of to review. [...]
No, no, no. Gregory, you got it all wrong! No one talks about how Grady gets his books, nor has anybody even looked at Grady's reviews themselves for the sakes of analyzing them in isolation yet (perhaps these topics deserve discussion as well, but it just hasn't been done yet.)

The problem with Grady Harp's reviews is not the reviews themselves but the mind-bogglinggly high rate of their being voted 'helpful' immediately upon the posting of every single review of his, no matter how obscure the item, no matter how poorly written the review. This instant vote is the problem: it's obvious that the voting is done by a bunch of flunkeys rather than curious, review-reading visitors to the site in search of a book to read or a flick to watch. This has already been discussed ad nauseam! You never learn, Gregory Callahan!
Unrelated: a convenient clickable link to the 'time thing' Comment (see below, in comments here).

What's going on?!

The Notorious Grady Harp Voting Machine (TNGHVM) slows down? Check out his reviews page: there's a review that's already three [sorry, I got carried away] two days old (Deseo) and it still has only eighteen (18) helpful votes. Everything above that review appears to be voted helpful at no more than a half of the usual voting rate of the first two days. I'm worried!

The object of our veneration, Harriet Klausner, hasn't added anything since she posted those thirteen (13) reviews on July 12. I'm worried!

John Matlock "Gunny" reviews a book once in every two-three days! All five stars, as before, but what happened to the reviews' usual (five-to-ten a day) rate of arrival? No more science/technical books either.

What's going on?!
I am, however, glad to see that our friends Top Reviewers W. Boudville and Robert Morris are going strong. Not as strong as before (sigh) but almost.

In a normal person's words: The Drama that is Amazon

Here's an eminently normal reaction to the current Amazon goings-on (the world has not gone crazy, despite what you can see on amz 'discussion' board! :-) .
[...] I for one love to review books for Amazon. I do it for the fun of it and feel I am giving a service to those who would appreciate it. I always go to Amazon for my shopping needs and when I want to find out about something, especially about a book I read the reviews by everyday people like myself. Some are informative, others look like they have been written by a five year old.

[...]

Harriet and I have a interesting history. About 5 years ago I starting noticing her reviews. I became enraged because she would post reviews for books that wouldn't come out for months in advance. How the hell did she get ARCs and galleries from publishers and authors? Were her reviews so amazing that they thought tons of people after reading her less then steller reviews, would run to the nearest book store or online website like Amazon to purchase it? I then calmed myself down and started to realize this woman could possible be a scam. Perhaps a group of people reviewing for their own means under one name? And I also started to wonder if anyone cared like I did?

[...]
Somehow I know this is not Quality Comments® and I'm sure this was written for free. :-)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Plug your book?

Oh my, look what I stumbled across whilst reading a topic on the book discussions at Amazon.

http://www.weberbooks.com/2007/02/contents-for-plug-your-book-by-steve.html


I haven't read through all the threads but look at the topic of Amateur Book Reviews. FYI, it looks like you only get to read one page, but at the top left corner you can keep reading. Very illuminating.

If you want to join in that discussion on Amazon, pick any historical fiction book, scroll down to the bottom and under book discussions it's the thread "Calling all authors......"

Does anyone have Vic's email at the Dayton Daily News? He might like this one :-)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Astroturfing (very curious, from Bloggasm)

An interesting article (and a few related links).
It’s called astroturfing. A hired PR agency will send its minions into a blog that is criticizing one of its clients’ companies and defend it. But instead of admitting that it’s a PR agent, the person will act like he or she is an everyday reader [...]
Look familiar? Remember trolls from The Klausner Protection Squad on the Amazon 'discussion board' and review-comments threads? People who'd materialize out of the blue and immediately attack you whenever you'd question the credibility of 'reviewers' like Klausner/Harp/Boudville/John Matlock "Gunny" ? Remember Eileen Rieback, LE Cantrell, Cherise 'Switch-the-Topic' Everhard , FTF, Pam "not a requirement" T., and the rest of strange personages there? If the shoe fits... For more detail on this 'business model' visit Buy comment spam, by Simon Owens
Also curious on the same theme:
1. Peddling comment spam (again), from Making Light
2. I am not content; I am a human being (Making Light)
3. Astroturfing - from Wikipedia

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Why Shill Reviewers Are Untouchable on Amazon

The Amazon reviews system is designed, programmed, and operated in a way that gives advantage to book-hyping shills indwelling the place — this is a suspicion that's impossible to avoid after paying careful attention to its workings for a while. For example consider this nuance: a reviewer can at any time delete a review of his own. In itself, this is good and sensible: why not, it's his review, maybe he doesn't like it anymore. But how about this: the same reviewer can repost this very same review, and — attention please — this review will appear as posted on the original posting date (of the deleted review). That is the case even if the review was several years old. Now, this is strange, isn't it? I mean, if you deleted something, it's probably because you didn't like it (for whatever reason) — and it's gone! You'd think the new review should appear marked as posted on the date when it was actually posted. That's not how it works on Amazon.com, and the way it does work is very strange. Why would this be done this way?

I think an example will give a hint:

(1) Here's a review by Harriet Klausner (of the book One Step Over the Border: A Novel) as it appears right now, i.e. this is how a newcomer to the site will see it.

(2) And here is the google-cached version of it; it appears as it was a month or so ago. Please note that there are a number of comments in this version. 1

Have you noticed that the current version does not have ANYTHING at all in the Comments section? It is pristine; it looks like no one ever posted anything there. And yet there were posts — and not just any posts, but posts questioning the credibility of the reviewer (in this case, HK). Where did these posts go? How did they disappear?

Here's how: the reviewer deleted and reposted this review. This operation does not preserve the comments yet the review appears posted on its original posting date: there's no sign of this reviews' having been tampered with, and — how convenient! — there's not a hint that there used to be comments under this review (and, needless to say, what they said, and why, and so on). In other words: a reviewer can get rid of comments posted under his review and he can do it unobtrusively, 'cleanly' as it were; w/o leaving any traces of any comments' having ever been there to begin with.

Eureka? Effectively, a reviewer is in full control of comments made by others for his review. He can censor and expurgate them any time and for any reason. Suppose you've been shilling for a publisher, posting, say, two dozen five-star reviews every day for the said publisher's books. Now suppose someone notices that and posts a comment expressing his outrage. Bummer! You've been outted! Well, you don't need the public alerted to your shilling of course, and the good news is, Amazon is on your side: all you need to do is delete and repost this review — the unwelcome comments will be gone, the review will appear untouched, a common Joe reading this particular book's page will supect nothing. Not knowing that what he's reading is hype by shills, he may even be swayed by the positive rankings and buy the book.
1. [Read this only if the cached page comes up w/o comments] Alas, no longer: no sooner have we mentioned this cached version as it disappeared: the link to cached page now displays the regular (current) page. Someone must be monitoring this blog really carefully and taking action where possible; well, OK, it's nice to see we're read :-) Anyway, the point is, there were a number of comments in the older version of this page (I'll see if I saved the cached page: if I did, I'll post it here; if I didn't, just take my word for it: there were comments there).

2. Yes, I found it: here it is (loads slowly, give it a few seconds).

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Amazon 'fixes' the review problem (the John T. Reed case)

Here's an interesting story from John T. Reed, one of the few respectable writers on real-estate investment (as well as some other themes). This story concerns his experience with the Amazon reviews system. I offer this excerpt w/o commentary: the story speaks for itself.
Review
Amazon once received a very favorable review of my book Coaching Youth Football. In fact, that book is so successful that two other books that used to have different titles changed their titles to Coaching Youth Football. [...]

The fact that the other publishers copied my title to profit from my writing is not Amazon’s fault. But [the following] is. I asked Amazon to stop selling my books, which they sort of did. But they put the very favorable review of my book on the page where they were selling one of the other Coaching Youth Football books. How do I know the review was about my book? Because the reviewer used my name as the author in the review!

I called to complain. [...] Finally they 'fixed' the problem. But how they 'fixed' it tells you volumes about the IQ and integrity of the people who work for Amazon. They left the review of my book on the other book’s Web page, but they removed my name from the review!!

How would you do it?

If you were to invent a method of publishing reasonable (i.e., truthful) book-reviews, how would you do it? What would your approach be? A special site, or a site ring, or a dynamic group of totally independent yet connectable pages/sites? How would you approach the credibility-maintenance aspect?

Think of this (and share; if you're not a member of this blog, feel free to email; if you'd like your email published here, mention it).

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Response from Amazon about mass deletions

Took a long while and about five requests from me, a couple of back-and-forth messages in between, and finally there's a response from Aaron of Amazon Customer Service [emphasis mine]:
Greetings from Amazon.com.

I have reviewed your account and your status in regards to our
Customer Discussion Forums.

Your posts were found to be profane, obscene, inflammatory and
spiteful.


Because of this, it was determined to remove your posting privileges
from your account in accordance with our Conditions of Use.

We have also removed all of your posts. Please take a look at our
guidelines for more information: [...]

Aaron
Amazon.com Customer Service

Well, you know what these posts were. One more discovery about Amazon, I guess? Or, perhaps, our suspicions confirmed...
Note: Someone asked me to clarify matters here a bit: most of the posts in question dealt with shilling and other shenanigans by some Amazon reviewers. The rest were something like "Thank you, Sir", "I agree", "here's where more info about this book can be had from", and the like. There was nothing profane or obscene in any of them... well, unless Amazon considers the very broaching of the topic of book-shilling profane and obscene... which, in a way, would make sense — for them :-)

Monday, July 9, 2007

Examples of bad reviews

What's up every one? I was browsing through Amazon the other day and found something interesting. I thought I'd share it with you guys. One of the top 500 reviewers made a listmania list of how reviews shouldn't be written. I found it interesting, so i thought you guys might too. Anyways here's the link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/listmania/byauthor/A4LLXH0IZ3LMQ/ref=cm_pdp_content_listmania/103-2943256-4400656

Friday, July 6, 2007

Off Topic from HK, but have you checked out powells.com?

I remember Barbara mentioning Powells before. I love Portland, but I'm terrified to go to Powells as I'm afraid I'll buy the whole store. Nordstroms I can resist, book stores -- forget it! When you post your reviews online, you have the option to be in what they call their "Daily Dose" -- if your review is chosen you can win a $20 gift certificate. What the hey and one week later after posting a few reviews and I won!

Harriet Watch: Thirty-Eight (38) reviews today already.

Not bad, huh. :-)

PS. It's forty-five (45) now. !!!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A Hidden Dragon Riseth

All,

Roaming around Amazon randomly, and ran into a review by this individual. Read the review, and it was not particularly interesting or useful, just your standard worshipful amateur puff-piece. Or so I thought until I glanced at the postive votes: 399/400 since Feb. 2007 for a little-known niche TV series?

What?

Harp NEEDS this person's cabal--Grady is strictly small-fry compared to this reviewer. Check it out, and laugh.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A16Z7G9BBYH9EN/ref=cm_cr_auth/002-0341736-9724042?ie=UTF8&sort%5Fby=MostRecentReview

Lauren H. Lavine is the reviewer's name.

Cheers,



MK

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Even more Soap Opera

Here is the link for an nice on going comment section for another one of Harriet's reviews:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/discussionboard/discussion.html/ref=cm_rdp_st_rd/105-7707976-6050051?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0375424865&store=yourstore&cdThread=Tx2LQ0W8ZJU8OMK&reviewID=R28T9GGFMQ1OSD&displayType=ReviewDetail


Look at the post from Linda G, a new fan of HK perhaps?:

Harriet Klausner is a human being, a sensitive soul, as well as a speed reader. I sent her an E-mail asking a few questions about Amazon's reviewing policies when I began reviewing in 2005. I was surprised to receive a prompt, courteous reply to that first communication and to each of a few sent periodically since then.Is it time now to realize that this is a human soul being repeatedly battered? Give the bruises a rest.I wonder what would happen if those here wishing to decapitate Harriet's Number 1 rank would attempt something different for a few days...A few weeks ago, in one of my periodic taking time to post a few Yes votes on Harriet's list, I was going to post a comment with a compliment. I picked my favorite line in the review and was ready to quote it and say what I thought was interesting and well composed in it. When I got to the comments string I noticed that the line I had picked to compliment was the same line picked by those who wish to criticize Harriet's reviews endlessly. I was so shocked and saddened that I didn't post a comment at all.I realized that my compliment would give no solace to Harriet in any case. What human being putting our her type of production, and I know personally that she does write these reviews, would be able to read any of what is being posted here, and come away without needing a month to heal and regenerate the ability to breathe, let alone work?Decades ago, when I was giving public talks on rape prevention as a crime prevention officer in Portland, Oregon, what we taught foremost, in the case of being taken captive by a rapist, is to somehow get the person to see you as a human being.Harriet is a human being. She will continue posting reviews as Amazon's # 1 reviewer until she decides, for her own reasons, to stop. You are doing nothing to change that except contribute to ill will in the world.I'm wondering, honestly, how this group of posters would feel if they decided to try giving compliments to Harriet for a while, instead of a constant diet of negative input. I believe that not only would the posters feel a welcome relief, a sense of humanity, but the world might literally shift on its axis, to the good.Bless this world and its poor tortured souls who have need to do this type of slashing to another human being. I believe you know that you are not attacking something which is lifeless. You know what you are doing. Please stop. No, instead please turn your anger and hatred into something which might begin to be compassion for a fellow creature.Forgive them for they know not what they do. Or do they.It's past time for me to go cook supper for a husband who works nights in a coal mine.

And I had a good laugh from Brandi in response:

oh god. linda save the preaching for someone who CARES. and i no more believe you then i believe harriet. as touching as your little speech is you said nothing to prove she isn't a fraud

Friday, June 29, 2007

That Nasty HK typo that won't get fixed

Jeez. In a review (noted by Barbara, good catch), HK used the word nig instead of big. Despite being reported as inappropriate (I know I pushed that button), it still lingered. So, I emailed Amazon with the review link and note about the inappropriate sentence. Here's their response:

"Thanks for writing to Amazon.com. Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience you may have experienced.You can submit product correction requests online. At the bottom of the product detail page of every item on our web site (with the exception of not-yet-released items), you should see a blue Feedback or Suggestion Box where you can report any inaccuracies in that item's listing on our site.When submitting corrections, enter the information *exactly* as it should appear. For example, do not submit Title information in all lower-case or upper-case letters; all words must be spelled correctly.If your correction is approved, it should appear online within 5 to 7 business days. We must be able to verify the accuracy of the new information from multiple sources. If we're not able to, we can't process it.Thanks for visiting Amazon.com."

HUH?

Librarything.com

This is very cool, I'm just starting to play with it, http://www.librarything.com/. You can catalog and rate your books, and it does a great job of suggesting similar books. Check it out.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Mark-O (Columbus, Ohio) - our new friend Top Reviewer

Mark-O (Columbus, Ohio) Well, he's not officially "Top" yet, but he got the idea! This genius has posted the following text thirty-four times (for thirty-four different books (he has, overall, thirty-five reviews); needless to say, all these reviews rated five stars):
GREAT BOOK - A MUST HAVE, GREAT LEARNING TOOL,
Excellent! Excellent! Excellent! This is a great book to get you involved in this subject. Plenty of examples for all skill levels and are both detailed and useful. Much of this information can't be found in other books. The chapters are well written and in-depth. I recommend this book for anyone that is trying to become an expert on the subject.

We also find it curious that all these books are from Wordware Publishing (which, in my experience, is a shitty outfit from whom I haven't seen ONE good book; I mean, literally).

When I noticed this smartass first, I have committed the Amazon No.1 sin: I posted a surgeon-general sort of warning in the comments section of every single review by this turd. Today I've noticed that they are all gone: here we obviously see the result of the good old delete-and-repost manoeuvre so frequently used by dishonest reviewers when they want to get rid of comments bringing their shenanigans to light. So, all in all, I see in Mark-O good 'topreviewer' material...

Please join me in welcoming Marc-O of Columbus, OH to our select list of Our Friends Top Reviewers!
Stop the press! As investigated by poster "Cathy", reviewer Mark-O also sells the books he reviewed in the used section as 'ship-now-books' 1. This man is really good!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Total Wipeout (Ave Atque Vale, FTF)

Apparently within the last half hour FTF got wiped out by Amazon: everywhere, massively, with no exceptions. Now, that's the case where I can't but welcome the action. Will you, friends, forgive me if I admit to feeling a bit schadenfroh? :-)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Harriet's Old Tricks. Still Not Impressive.

I just read/reviewed a fantasy novel called SHADOWED BY WINGS. Dark and violent, yes. But Harriet calls this book, in the title of her 'review' no less, a "violent XXX fantasy saga." If I were the author, I would be seriously offended by that, because it implies that everyone is running around having graphic sex, participating in horrific violence, or possibly, both at the same time. Her title completely dismisses (or at least marginalizes) a very good novel. Yes, it's dragons and fantasy. And it also has some interesting things to say, if you draw the fairly clear parallels, about various parts of the world, still extant today.

Yes, I posted my comments. Please also read the Publisher's Weekly blurb on the book's main page, then read Harriet's bs re-write of the SAME blurb, using the SAME words in many cases. Her "review" is liberally sprinkled with very bad guesswork as to what goes on in the book. If you assume that the entire "review" is incorrect and misleading, you won't be far wrong.

Why does this still manage to surprise and anger me? I have no idea. But it does. It really, really does.

Shadowed By Wings on Amazon

Monday, June 18, 2007

Tricky W.Boudville

Our friend W.Boudville would like to look legit, we've already mentioned that. Just so his reviewing record does not appear all-positive, once in a while he picks something real obscure or very, very old -- and gives it a bad review. For example, here our cunning friend W.Boudville picked two technical books that are fourteen years old and slammed them — for what? For being obsolete. That's brilliant.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Just Wondering....

Since Grady Harp cheats and gives himself tons and tons of positive votes, if and when he surpasses Harriet K as #1 reviewer, do you think she will fight back? She hasn't been getting the positive votes she use to and I really think Grady is on his way to push her off the thrown.
If this does happen, the comment soap opera will be old news! Harriet and Grady mudslinging each other!
Joy :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What is it with the camel comments?

Twice now, this reviewer, http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A26TSW6AI59ZCV/ref=cm_cd_pdpReviewDetail/002-5252214-5336844, has made some unusual comments. S.A.M. picked up one the first one, but here's another one "Yes, the camel is now actively involved. The camel is strict and swift, but fair. The guilty shall be punished, and the righteous shall find their reward. Unless the camel gets it backwards, again."

A top reviewer, numerous Amazon friends (including Grady Harp). LOL, even MM doesn't understand him/her. Thoughts?

Security Warning: Amazon Login Data Compromised (?)

There's a new development on the Amazon comments threads (so far in Grady Harp's section): now posters' comments are being deleted not as 'deleted by Amazon', but as 'deleted by author', that is by you.

That means someone's been deleting your messages on your behalf, which means they have access to your account, 'cause one would need to log in as you in order to delete your comments as you.

For an example please check out this thread (it's just one place; there may be others; look carefully). See if there are any comments showing up as deleted by you that you did not actually delete.

If you see anything suspicious, it would make sense to change your password and remove credit card data (if you have any). Well, do whatever you feel prudent on the assumption that your account have been broken into. I do not exclude the possiblity of this being an inside job, so do whatever's necessary in your opinion.

Of course, you should also notify Amazon about this. It looks like someone's helping Grady Harp for serious — hacking into Amazon (or maybe it's an inside job, who knows). And btw, why am I not surprised? Oh well...

The Latest "Hot" Discussion at the HK Reviews

Interesting comments flying around at a book called Courting Trouble. I very much like MK's idea of drafting a letter that all can copy and email to Amazon. I am all for that.

As far as that GROSSLY offensive email sent to Barbara, that needs to be reported. Barbara, if you could copy the email headers and either post them here or send them to me via email I can find the sender's IP address from the headers and use a WHOIS search engine to tell me who the provider is. An abuse email contact is usually provided -- then send the entire hate email to that address including all the headers. They will be able to find out who sent the email and shut him/her down. I would also recommend sending it to spam@uce.gov. Don't know if they'd jump on that or not, but you never know.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Yuck!

I was just browsing through Harriet's "reviews" and happened upon a book that I had read and another book that I was thinking about reading and I absolutely cringed! Ugh! Don't you hate it when you see a book that you enjoyed or that you thought you may read and see her review? Ick! I actually read the reviews. *slaps forehead* It just annoyed me and I thought I would share. I'm sure that everyone has had this experience more than once with HK.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

You've got to be kidding!!

Harriet has now posted 71 reviews over the 14,000 in less than 48 hours.
I noticed for 2 days she didn't write any reviews. Was she reading all those books during that time?!? I am now speechless.

"Deleted by Amazon" : a new batch

A bunch of Grady Harp Voting Machine 'timetables' has just been 'deleted by Amazon'; now more consistently (meaning in more places). It happened suspiciously in sync with Harp's deleting and reposting his latest three reviews (this strange at first sight operation results in a removal of all comments). I wonder if this 'removed by Amazon' statement really means it, or some of them 'top reviewers' can do it themselves (or trigger somehow). Any ideas, observations?

Now that HK has topped 14,000

I seem to recall that I had made an offer once we hit that 14K mark that I would give a $25 Amazon certificate to whoever could write the best HK style review.

Are you guys still interested or not?

Interesting comment on the DB's

From the same thread Barbara had mentioned, go to comment 48. An interesting comment there about what happened to another top reviewer anytime he reviewed the same item as GH. Apparently he received massive neggies in similar quantities that GH receives helpfuls as soon as the review is posted.

http://forums.prosperotechnologies.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=am-custreview&msg=26350.41

Saturday, June 9, 2007

It's Official!!

HK- 14,008 reviews.
She must have had a slow Friday to read 10 books and be able to reviews them all.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Top Reviewers Soliciting Items for Review Update

Interesting, I had noted earlier that I had sent an email to Amazon about blatant pandering for items to review. I received another email today that they ARE STILL CONSIDERING the matter, and begged me for my patience. Oh, I'd like to be a fly on that wall!

Amazon's New Format

Has anyone been to the discussion boards lately? Here is a statement from mirasreviews:

"It is kind of funny to see how the comments have evolved>>
What is GOING ON in Harriet's comments!!? Are you following the action? Who is that First Thing's First person? Where did he/she/it come from? Has Barbara really stopped participating? How can this possibly be good for reviews or customers? Any customer who is fool enough to put a word in gets trampled. Amazon could remove reviews from product pages entirely, and these people wouldn't notice as long as HK is still posting and Grady still gets votes.

No wonder they haven't noticed the new format. "

Anyone have a thought on the new format?

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Recent Events

What the Heck, as long as they are making pissy comments about being quoted at this blog, yet it's OK for comments here to be copied and pasted at Amazon, I thought I'd go for broke.

From Zena:

"Yup you missed all the fun MM. Kross has been slumbering for awhile only to come back with the same pompous and bombastic accusations against my character and raving "mock comebacks" at FTF. He did throw in a little parody of how you talked-guess he felt a bit nostalgic leaving you out for so long.His new "thing" is shouting at us that this is not a chat room and that if we continue to discourse in a style that does not have a whole bundle of meaning, he will continue to harass us at all cost-don't you just love it! "

I certainly didn't see anything pompous and bombastic, nor "harassing". Thoughts?

Is this the longest comment thread ever?

No wonder HK's not writing any reviews. She's probably having too much fun watching the meltdown of reasonable discussions. 212 comments as of 3:30 Pacific time.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/discussionboard/discussion.html/ref=cm_rdp_st_rd/002-5252214-5336844?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0505527197&store=yourstore&cdThread=TxDJPYG9AISHE0&reviewID=RVOPJVG4QQLIF&displayType=ReviewDetail

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

13,998 and going

I wonder why Harriet hasn't posted 2 more to reach the 14,000 mark. On June 4th she had an influx of reviews... hmmmm....
So when do you think she will finally reach 14,000? Maybe she will stay at 13,998 like review #2 who is as 6666 because he finds it funny.

Monday, June 4, 2007

What is going on over there?

I swear, madness has set in, it's as bad as the DB boards at the HK review comments. Barbara, I commend your efforts in doing research on the books, looking at the other reviews, Publishers Weekly, etc. It might help a potential purchaser think twice about taking those reviews seriously, but the counter effort by another commentator is really beyond belief. And what about those three groupies adoring every word said?

BTW, JJJS and myself have both had a comment removed from a GH review, where we were documenting the times and vote counts. I wonder if it was considered spam somehow?

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Negative Votes and other thoughts

One question I have and it maybe so obvious, how do you know what you start getting negative votes? Is it when you look on your profiler page and one of your reviews has the example of: 0 out of 2 people think about your review?
I've been noticing this on my newer reviews I have written, not that it phases it me too much because god forbid I want to be number 1 like Harriet! I also noticed that she hasn't been getting too many helpful votes for her reviews, so I guess that goes for something.
I also find it so hilarious that Harriet will be reaching the 14,000 mark, probably by the end of the week and it makes me think how many books I have read in my lifetime. I am turning 31, and started reading hardcore around 13. So give or take I have been reading for about 17 years. I think I can clock the amount of books I have read both in school and personally maybe near 1000, possibly give or take a few hundred.
I wonder why Guiness hasn't gotten in tough with her for the most prolific reader ever in history! LOL

Friday, June 1, 2007

What is going on?

Not trying to be melodramatic or anything, but there is a heck of a lot more hostility in the comments than there ever used to be! My jaw actually dropped while I was reading some of the comments posted today. I used to enjoy reading some of FTF's comments, but now he seems to be on the attack against Barbara - anything she posts, he immediately jumps on! What happened to him??!? What is going on?

Top Reviewers Soliciting Items to Review

Update, I had sent an email to Amazon about a week or so ago about a top reviewer who was blatantly soliciting items for review. I had received a reply that they needed some time to review the matter, and I just received another email today stating "I wanted to send you a quick e-mail to let you know that we are still researching the matter regarding a "top reviewer" soliciting items for reviews".

I'd like to be a fly on the wall in those meetings.

And Barbara, you are most courageous to keep on chiming in as you do at HK's reviews. It's getting to be quite a jungle there.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My Elves Are Different

Visit "My Elves Are Different" and click on the picture to enlarge it.

Monday, May 28, 2007

More on that disappearing review

I can't figure out how to edit the blog.

The reviewer who made the snotty comment #139, http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A3B48AN8JID1JK/002-5252214-5336844?ie=UTF8&display=public&sort%5Fby=MostRecentReview&page=1.

My goodness, she's really into the HK type of fiction (smut and bodice rippers, not Christian Fiction) and from what I've seen so far (four pages) EVERYTHING gets five stars. Makes one think.

A disappearing review and a snotty comment!

This is interesting, see this book:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/0764201654/ref=cm_cr_dp_all/002-5252214-5336844?ie=UTF8&n=283155#customerReviews

I had purchased this book not realizing it was Christian fiction and read it anyway, and subsequently reviewed it, "While I understand this is a Christian book, it seeped through virtually ever word of the book and much too preachy and overbearing for my tastes, and virtually no chemistry between Ruth and Josh. This was one of those books that I prayed for the end to come so I could toss it in the charity pile instead of on my bookshelf to be read again and again. It's interesting noting from the other reviews on this site, and looking at the one on Amazon UK, the only 5 stars are from professional reviewers. Makes one think."

No big deal, but it even ended up a couple of days ago as one of the most featured (or whatever they call those spotlights now) review. Now it's not only gone, but I have this snotty comment from one of the other reviewers: "It may have been an honest review for her, but I'm one of the professional reviewers and I thought the book was great. I KNEW it was an inspirational and I found the dialogs to be terrific and did not find it to be awfully "preachy" at all -- for me it was a breath of fresh air and I loved it! Everyone has an opinion but to rank on a book because it is not a genre that you care for is not fair to any author. Very childish!Marilyn Rondeau, RIO Reviewers International Org. " and my "spotlight has been replaced with a Klausner review. Horrors! I wonder who had my review removed anyway?

Gunny is already living in tomorrow

John Matlock has just posted (again) a review timestamped tomorrow. Any ideas as to how this is possible and why he does it?


W.Boudville read six (6) books today:

- The Nanotech Pioneers, 257 page
- SOA Using Java(TM) Web Services, 608 pages
- SPSS 13.0 Advanced Statistical Procedures Companion, 368 pages
- Pearl Harbor: A Novel of December 8th, 384 pages
- Java/J2EE Job Interview Companion, 360 pp
- Macromedia Flash Professional 8 Game Development, 528 pp
-----------------------
Total: 2337 pages.

All except one, four stars; one three stars.

Yesterday W.Boudville read two books.