One Star, Mr Ellory….

Now, you know how I like a bit of controversy, so I was rather tickled to read today about crime writer RJ Ellory, who’s been dabbling in a little ‘crime’ of his own. He’s been caught faking glowing reviews for his books on Amazon, whilst panning the work of rival authors, including Mark Billingham and Stuart McBride.

Writing under the pseudonym ‘Jelly Bean’, Ellory awarded all his books 5 stars (of course!) and described A Quiet Belief In Angels as ‘a modern masterpiece’. He was apparently exposed on Twitter, rather fittingly by ‘spy novelist’ Jeremy Duns, ‘using a bit of searching and detective work’. (That’s a great story in itself!)

Roger Ellory is an award-winning West Midlands writer, who was a Richard & Judy favourite and has now published 10 novels (one of which won the Crime Writers Novel of the Year Award in 2010). I saw him talk once and he was pretty inspiring. He wrote over 20 novels – all rejected – before he finally found publishing success. All of his novels are set in the USA and many of his readers don’t realise he’s British.

But what d’you think about what he’s done? I suspect Roger Ellory’s not the first writer to ‘fake’ good reviews for his books on Amazon but slating other writers’ efforts is a bit below the belt.

He’s subsequently apologised to “my readers and the writing community” and I bet he feels a bit stupid, don’t you?

P.S: Entries are trickling in for my Random Words mini-story competition. And that’s what I’d expect. Because it’s only 5 days since I announced the details. There’s still plenty of time to revise, edit and ‘hone’ your work. Resist the urge to send the first thing you dash off! There’s no prize for sending it in quickly. If you leave it for a while and go back to your story, you will, I promise you, be able to improve it.

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7 Responses to One Star, Mr Ellory….

  1. Pingback: The Great Review Controversy, Take 2 | Chazz Writes

  2. Jackie Sayle (Brown) says:

    I think posting fakes reviews is the pits. I mean, how unsure of yourself and your writing can you be?

  3. What a twit, though by doing that he’s given himself more publicity, I’d never heard of him, and now I have. Don’t think it would inspire me to read his books though.

    • I agree, Susan I did think about that too – what do they say? All publicity is good publicity?! Must admit, I’m not a fan of his books – they’re just not my cup of tea – but lots of people read them and think they’re fantastic.

  4. I’ve seen Roger Ellory speak 3 times and he is an extremely interesting and motivating. Twice he’s been to our small writers group – both times completely free of charge. He came across as a lovely man.
    I’ve only read one of his books – A Quiet Belief in Angels, like you Helen they’re not quite my thing but my husband has read several.
    I’m really disappointed to hear that he’s been faking reviews. Surely he had no need? Unfortunately, I’m going to see him in a completely different light now…

    • Yes, it’s a shame, isn’t it? I can’t even believe that writing the odd ‘good’ review (for his books) and the odd ‘bad’ review (for ‘rivals’ books) would make a jot of difference to the overall numbers of books sold or readers influenced, so he’s needlessly ruined his reputation and standing – at least in the short term (I’m sure it’ll all be forgotten in a week or two). It’s certainly going to make me think twice about the reviews I read on Amazon though. Who knows who’s written them!?!

  5. I think the worst part of it is the bad reviews he gave his “rivals” :(

    Xx

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