Friday, December 7, 2012

More on the Amazon Review Mafia

Hello Splinkervillains!

It's a slow day and I have things to do.  As I'm sure you don't know, the Amazon Review Mafia, or ARM as they don't call themselves, are a non-existent group of individuals who believe they run a small section of the internet called "Amazon."

They aren't exactly a group.  More of an association.  I probably shouldn't even say this much.

The first rule about ARM, is that we don't talk about ARM! 

Now that I have established that ARM doesn't exist, let me tell you what they do.
They do three things.
First, they look for authors who don't play by the rules.  People who talk about their books where they aren't supposed to, or talk back to reviewers who are critical of their work.  You know, special snowflakes.

  Every time an Indie whines, a angel gets its wings.

Second, they look for authors, or anyone else for that matter, to wander into the Amazon fora and say something they don't agree with.  They are a very forgiving lot, so it isn't easy to get on their bad side.

"But all I said was 'love your neighbor!'

Lastly, if you're stupid enough to say anything, they engage in a repetitive but effective pattern of picking apart words, lightly attacking the poster, hoping to draw them into a discussion, and then slamming them repeatedly until it's time to go home or another author wanders in and says something.

It's the same pattern, and anyone can observe it on the Romance and Kindle Book Forums, if they have nothing better to do. It's not exactly the world's best kept secret. I don't need to name names, as that's not important.  What concerns me, other than their refusal to purchase "I've Been Deader", is their contribution in expanding the rift between Indie authors and readers.

"I used to look like Brad Pitt. Then the ARM got their hooks in me."

I don't mind that they are a group of people who, as far as I can tell, simply enjoy the thrill of attacking and arguing with authors, forum posters, Christians, 'newbies,' trolls, hobbits and themselves. The Internet is the great unifier of dividers.  We all need a place where we can shout "I'm right, you're wrong."  That's human nature and I don't fault ARM for behaving like humans.

What bothers me is the mixture of delusion, self-righteousness and butthurt victimization that they insist on clothing themselves in, as if they were all staring in a Keanu Reeves movie as a rag tag band of misunderstood heros determined to save the world, even if it means sacrificing their virtual lives.

"If we're going to hell, we're dragging every horned indie with us!"

To sum up, the ARM is real, if disorganized.  They enjoy a good fight and they are intentionally or unintentionally stoking the anger between readers and writers. A small war as far as wars go.  But don't be fooled by their cover story.

Like their evil counterparts, STGRB (See prior posts or wait for me to become bored again), they thrive on stirring the shit.  Just remember, their shit stinks as bad as the rest of the internet.

Present company excluded.

"We were never here."


  1. I think I may have seen a few of these people recently...

  2. I made a post on the Amazon forum in response to a request for recommendations for good Indie books. I recommended two good Indie books (not my own) It was ignored, and '0 of 3 people considered that it added to the discussion.' I gave up. The Amazon forums do not appear to be for nice people, Indies or not.
    But I will be brave and allow my name to stand on this.

  3. It would be a dismal place if not for me.

  4. It's why I never stray from dot com is for mentalists and pugilists and I've never been much of a pugilist.



  5. I think it's amazing just how much stored up hate those people have.

  6. I haven't even looked at the forums on Amazon yet, mostly because of the ongoing horror stories like this that get posted. If I keep quiet, no one will notice me. So far it's worked very well. :(

  7. If you want to venture forth into the forums, you just need to bring a proper sacrifice -- or tithe -- to ARM. Spend some time talking about how annoying it is when a writer spams or swaps reviews. Then talk about how you originally put your book on Amazon, then saw that it needed editing and took it down and didn't put it up until it was ready.

    Then talk about how wrong it is for a writer to respond to a review and that maybe how you made that mistake once and will never do it again. THey love the repentant author. Then all you need to do is find one of the bosses and compliment her on a few of her posts.

    Easy peasy.

  8. Thank you. I am taking notes. However my mother always told me a lady should never enter a forum without an escort. (Or was it a weapon?)

  9. Be sure to click on all the product placement ads. I plan on doubling my income.

  10. Forums, in general, are full of bitter, cliquey individuals who would never say anything to your face, but delight in smearing your work behind the cloak of anonymity.
    I just don't use them, I find myself being wound up by people who I'd probably not even bother with in real life.
    I'd probably take their dinner money in real life.

  11. This just in: ARM is the cluster of alter egos conjured by one Lance Lovelorn, 13, who's been locked in his grandma's basement in Bumfuque, Oregon, since he exhibited his first erection to her in 2008 on his birthday. [this is the place where you can allow your imagination free range to speculate on Lance's physical appearance, demeanor, complexion and such behavioral tics as the number of times he blows his nose between the nasty paragraphs he taps out on his keyboard from dawn to dusk.]

    Perhaps as a mitigating antidote to his coterie of essentially unimaginative pseudonyms is to remember that his lambastions do in fact stimulate sales of Indie books in keeping with the updated adage, "I don't care what you say about me, so long as you get the URL to my book page right."

    We await with subdued eagerness the release of Lance's purported Indie book, which we are told is a carefully edited collection of the more strident of his poison keyboard tappings on Amazon, Twitter, and any other social media that comes to his incipient pubescent limbic-driven mind.


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