We're not talking about a professional reviewer who writes for a newspaper or magazine, we're talking about a book blogger. Book bloggers read books and write reviews because they like books. Writing under a "persona" is not any different than writing under a pen name. Or any of us who have forum names. It is not a reason to consider a person untrustworthy. Book bloggers who review books because they like to review books and share books with people is a passion. Some of my favorite book bloggers do not post under their real names because it is a separate part of their lives.Guardian wrote:But regardless from her behavior, she is raising a very good point. Who is this reviewer? Why the reviewer is hiding and writing under an alias? Personally I would handle his reviews with great skepticism, because as I know the industry and professionals and their practices, they love to create phantom reviewers and reviews (Games, movies, books) to ruin indie products which are better than the pro industry ones (Which is not a hard task in the present.). So, when a reviewer is not capable to use his real name, when he is hiding behind an alias, writing reviews under an alias and you actually don't know anything about him, why should we take him seriously and why should we accept every word what he is saying in his reviews?My writing is just fine!
Of course, the present "event" is presenting how not to respond to reviews, but as #1, we don't know anything about the reviewer and his credibility, #2, as there are some interesting contradiction between the statements of the reviewer and author, I would handle all of these "no name" / "under alias" reviews with caution. Right now this BigAl's review site sounds as a typical industry "Phantom Review and Discrediting Factory Co. Ltd." which is producing reviews about self published books in every 1-2 days, which is almost impossible if the guy is doing it alone and if the novels are around 50-70k+ / each. Maybe I'm wrong, but this review site sounds a bit fishy to me, especially after this line in the Submission Guidelines... "I will post reviews to Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon UK as applicable.". If you're a blogger, you're not doing this, especially not for free. This site sounds as a bait to me and translates the following... "Send me your ebook, I'm going to review it under an alias and do you like the review or not, I'm going to present my opinion as the universal truth on every possible site.". Now, whoever is writing under an alias, that one doesn't take responsibility for anything he writes, regardless that review is capable to determine the outcome of sales and the reviewer is well aware of this.
So, always observe everything from two sides, not just from one. Yes, the author made a great mistake, but if the reviewer is not read the up to date version, while the author said to do so, in this case, the reviewer is also made a great, or even a greater mistake (Directly or indirectly, it's really matter.).
Also, most book bloggers do post their reviews on Amazon, GoodReads and LibraryThing and other sites like it. And yes, for free. It's because they like books and they like the authors they read. Many book blog reviewers do get free arcs and review copies and most put up disclaimers that by giving a free copy doesn't necessarily mean a good review. Some of my favorites are: