Friday, May 26, 2006

Starry starry night

Funny thing: a few months ago I wrote a book review for a library journal, and yesterday I found that review posted on Amazon with five stars next to it. I wouldn't have given the book five stars; it was a mostly good review, but I would have given the book four stars, maybe even three. But nobody asked me for stars, nor did anyone ask me for permission to print the entire review on Amazon, despite the fact that the words "Quoted by permission" appear after my name. Who in the world would copy my equivocal review and post it on Amazon with five stars attached? Fortunately, Amazon helpfully provides the statement "This review posted by," and guess whose name appears there? The author of the book. Now that's effective: "This book gets five stars! I should know--I wrote it!"

I suppose I should be flattered that he liked my review well enough to rip it off, but instead I'm trying to figure out how I can remove at least one of those stars from his firmament.


Laura said...

What got the five stars? The review or the book? I've always wondered.

Talk to Jeff Bezos about your work being quoted without your permission. I'll bet it comes down. At the very least, you might get a gift certificate from Amazon. :-)

Anonymous said...

To the right of each review there's a clickable line 'report this,' which allows you to complain that the review is 'unsuitable.' Where such reports end up is anybody's guess. Writing Bezos is a better suggestion. If you're persistent, he usually answers.

Bev said...

Update: The journal's editor gave the author permission to quote the review on his personal web site but not on any commercial site; she is revising the journal's policies on reprinting reviews and she has already notified Amazon--and we had a good laugh over how thoroughly the author has made himself look ridiculous.