The only thing better than a great writer is one who’s also humble. Crime writer RJ Ellory, apparently, does not fall into this category.
According to ABCNews.com, the author was caught writing positive Amazon reviews for his book and negative reviews for his competition’s books under a pseudonym. It was another writer, Jeremy Duns, who discovered the fake reviews, when he realized both “Jelly Bean” and “Nicodemus Jones” repeatedly wrote 5-star reviews for Ellory’s work, while trash-talking novels written by others.
Ellory also slipped up a few times, forgetting which account he was using and signing the reviews “Roger.”
The reviews were taken down after Ellory was caught, but not before other authors, like Duns, snapped screen grabs of the reviews and posted them to Twitter.
Ellory issues an apology statement to The Daily Telegraph, writing:
“The recent reviews – both positive and negative – that have been posted on my Amazon accounts are my responsibility and my responsibility alone.
“I wholeheartedly regret the lapse of judgment that allowed personal opinions to be disseminated in this way and I would like to apologise to my readers and the writing community.”
A spokesperson from the Crime Writers Association said this is happening more frequently — authors tooting their own horns, so to speak, on sites like Amazon and Twitter.
It’s times like this I miss the days without social media.