Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fake One Star Reviews? (Part 2 of 5 Posts)

For the first post in this blog series, click here.

As some of you know, Anna J. McIntyre is a pen name I use when writing romance and mystery. Anna is for my middle name; J is my middle initial, and McIntyre is a surname of one of my great-grandmothers.

I’ve also written a short story – American Bondage – under the pen name, Sallie Holt. Sallie Holt was my father’s paternal grandmother, who died in her early twenties after having four children, and at least two other pregnancies, with the last one resulting in her death.

American Bondage is somewhat controversial, and deals with the subject of abortion in a world where it is illegal under all circumstances. Not wanting to mix politics and controversial subject matter with my McIntyre pen name, I borrowed my great-grandmother’s name.

I mentioned this in the KDP forum, and told them to keep my secret. Obviously I was being flip, because anyone can read the forum and there are no secrets there. Shortly after publishing the story on Amazon, someone tagged it with my real name: Bobbi Holmes.

I don’t believe you will find tags on Amazon these days – it is something they phased out a while back. But it used to be that readers could tag books, to help other readers find books they wanted to read. For example, if a book was about poodles, readers could give the book the tag “poodle” – sort of like how hashmarks work.

I was a little startled to find my real name as a tag on American Bondage’s product page over on Amazon, so I asked in the forum who added it. At the time I was mildly amused, and I assumed it was someone who was just being a smart ass, and didn’t really think it was done for malicious purposes.

Boy, was I wrong.  I’ll explain more tomorrow.

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