Sock Puppets – WTF!

Sock Puppets

What the heck are sock puppets, right?
Well, have you ever run across an article or other document online that was
obvious self-promotion? Oh, the ‘writer’ might have had a different name, but
the intent was obvious, as was the bias. Those people who pose as an objective
third person to promote their own sites and products are called ‘sock puppets’.
They are obvious mouthpieces that serve only to promote their own interests.
There are three types of sock puppets out there.

1.      The Gusher
– These people will say stuff like ‘it is perfect’, the ‘best I’ve ever
seen/read/used’, and ‘I’ll never use anything else’. Obvious promotion in this
one. These people don’t even bother to hide the obsequious tone in their voice.
The only thing that’s hidden here is the author’s true name.

2.      The Researcher
– These people pretend to have done their homework. They’ll say things like
‘after extensive research’ or ‘after trying many similar products’ or ‘after
comparing the quality’. Don’t be fooled by a good vocabulary and a fancy turn
of phrase. They no more did research than the man in the moon.

3.      The Journalist
– Objectivity is the cause of the day with this type. They will give seemingly
objective and unbiased comments that are anything but. They will say things
like, ‘despite the price’, or ‘though there were some flaws, overall the
product was excellent’. They never point out any real flaws and always end up
endorsing the product above all others.

It is not hard to spot a sock puppet.
Watch the way they endorse the products, the language used, and the overly
enthusiastic approach. While self-promotion is not taboo, there are much better
and more transparent ways of going about it. Honestly, how good can the product
be if you have to pretend to be someone else to endorse it?

Liz just a
simple lady tries to convey some of what it is like to date online through
. For any further
information on online dating you can email her at: liznelson17 “@ “

Reader reviews or high profile reviews from ‘professional critics,’ which do you prefer?

How do you feel about ‘Sock Puppet Reviews?’
article by Deidre Havrelock

Of course, I’ve dreamed about getting those coveted high profile reviews like the ones found in The New York Times. What writer doesn’t dream about a glowing report filled with fancy adjectives, telling us our book was “nothing short of spectacular,” “a monument to literary genius,” “spellbinding and flawless,” “compulsively readable,”  “jaw-droppingly brazen.” A great review from a professional critic is marketing gold and an ego booster. But a bad review…eeek! (Let’s not go there.)

But really, when it comes to reviews what matters most to me are the ordinary readers—readers who know and like my particular genre. And I think most authors would agree. After all, if a romance reader doesn’t get my sci-fi dystopian adventure, then really who cares? I can’t go around worrying that I’ve missed a potential market. Make sci-fi readers happy and they’ll tell more sci-fi readers about the great book. (Throw a little romance in, though, and you might make everyone happy.) Ultimately, I think most readers know what they like and they know when a book works. So even if I receive a review (of my creepy spiritual journeySaving Mary) that goes, “Gr8t to red…liked it lots!” I go to bed with a smile on my face because what I really hear is, “Mesmerizing journey …unequivocally fabulous.”

As far as ‘sock puppets’ go, I first had to take a few moments to figure out what the heck the term meant. I mean, apparently a sock puppet is no longer a quirky character made from your brother’s white sport sock. It’s an insidious little thing, a mask of mis-representation that authors place on Amazon in order to stimulate sales. It’s a desperate act of a starving author (or a quirky one, I’m not sure).

When I was first invited to write this post regarding reviews and sock puppets (after I figured out what a sock puppet was) I thought I was being asked to write my own sock-puppet review for Amazon. 

My initial response was, “I can’t do that!” (It’s soooo wrong!) But as I poured through the bloggers and writers discussing the term and its definition, I realized that some people considered even a review by your mother as hideously unscrupulous—“Well, of course your mother is going to praise your book…sock puppet!!” 

Personally, I don’t care if your mother writes a review for your book on Amazon—she has a right to. And I certainly don’t care if your best friend since grade two writes you a glowing review, praising your literary genius. I also couldn’t care less if the guy you gave a kidney to last summer decides to post a spectacular assessment of your work on Amazon. They all have the right to do that…and, eventually, as authors gain more readers (and reviewers) everything will work out (and readers will see that Mom really was right).

However, I have to vehemently oppose the devious act of authors giving their own reviews. Authors CANNOT give their own reviews…reviews MUST come from other people who aren’t socks! Such as mine … A SOCK PUPPET REVIEW

Deidre D Havrelock grew up in Edmonton,
Alberta, Canada where she eventually met her husband to be, DJ. It was DJ who
initially noticed Deidre’s dark state and worked to seek out someone willing to
perform her exorcism. Eventually, the newlyweds found their way to the southern
hot spot of Brooks, AB where Deidre began writing. From there the family
trekked across eastern Canada to Moncton, NB where they learned to love French
fries with cheese curds and gravy. Currently nestled in the hills of Kennewick,
Washington, Deidre has two horses, one dog, three cats and too many rabbits…and
let’s not forget her wonderful husband and three energetic daughters. Her
memoir, Saving Mary: The Possession chronicles her dark childhood and
the path that led to her demonic possession. She is currently working to finish
book two of her spiritual memoir, Saving
Mary: The Deliverance
. You can find her at

Excerpt from chapter four – Curses
Me and Kelly, we
make plans for sleepovers all the time. We don’t ever sleep at my house. We
sleep at her house. I sleep over at Kelly’s a lot ‘cause I know there’s no
little eyes or ghosts creepin’ around at her house.
At Kelly’s house we play in her playhouse. We sit on neatly stacked
bricks, pretending they’re chairs. She’s writing the rules for our new club.
I’m colorin’ the membership cards, tellin’ her about the little eyes in my
house. She calls me a freak. I then decide to tell her about a dream I had. The
one she was in.
“It’s dark outside. And quiet. The leaves in the trees aren’t
moving, that ugly ol’ Fort Road is empty and the street lights—they’re dim.
Only the moon gives light. It all looks like one of those old pictures, you
know, shadowy and still. The only sound comes from Angie’s shiny black tap
shoes as she moves down the sidewalk. They’re all, clippity-clop, clippity-clop, CLIPpITY-CLOP, clippity-clop ’cause of the echo. Angie isn’t dancing
though. She’s just walking, wishin’ her shoes would shut up. We’re all wishin’
her stupid shoes would shut up. You turn to Angie with your eyebrows pointing
to your nose. The way you do when you’re mad … ”
I tell Kelly about the church and about the robbers and about how
she hid and how I didn’t hide very good. She says, “That figures.” And we
laugh. Then I say how I was pulled to the altar, how I was made to get married and
how I was kicking and screamin’. 

Coming Soon – Book Two – Saving Mary: The Deliverance

If you’re a fan of supernatural fiction then you will be captivated
by the continuing true story about a demonically possessed girl and the path
that led to her
deliverance. Part two
of a two-part series,
Saving Mary: The
is the story of a modern-day Mary Magdalene—the woman from whom
Jesus cast out seven demons.

At seventeen, Deidre Daily finds herself oddly altered. Recently kicked out of
her New Age channeling group for having bad karma, she slowly draws within
herself, spiraling deeper into the darkness that has taken up residence inside
her body. Now bulimic, depressed and harassed by spirits nightly, Deidre waits
for the God who once spoke to her as a child.  

Deidre’s fascinating spiritual memoir relays her story from adolescence to
marriage. It is a candid account of possession and exorcism from a first-person

Are you a puppeteer? AKA Sock Puppet.

They walk among us.

Not the actual socks with stick-on eyes we made
as kids (usually Dad’s old socks with a hole) but in REAL HUMAN FORM. 
Otherwise known as:

 Frustrated Authors.

They make up a fictitious name and an Amazon account, give
themselves five-stars and write “OMG!! Fantastic book. Just could not put it
down. Can’t wait for the next book/movie.”

Because of these frustrated writers, five-star reviews have
become suspicious, and readers are no longer impressed. And who can blame them?

People read reviews to make a judgement to see if they want
to buy, and if they do buy and enjoy your book, probably you have got away with
it. But what if they hated it? It’s possible. As many people hate Twilight as
they love Bella and her fanged friends. And do you know what readers do? They
feel cheated. They head back to write their own review and some even CHECK THE
PREVIOUS REVIEWER’S CREDENTIALS. If the five-star reviewers have no history you
can bet these readers will assume you have written the appraisal yourself.

You might even be talked about in the forums so much so that
your review is replied to with destructive results. They might even tag your
book with “sock puppet”, “ fictitious review”, “do not buy”.

I’ve seen it happen.

But who are these Frustrated Authors?

They are usually first-timers impatient for success, and
they are fixated on NOW. They aren’t looking to the future and seeing the
problems they are heaping onto themselves and other writers. They don’t
understand that it isn’t the first book that brings in the readers it’s the
second, or in some cases, the third. Of course, having a book that is typo-free with
an excellent story helps sales.

As an indie writer myself I know how hard it is to get seen
when there are so many other books out there. The trick is to build an Author
Platform BEFORE you publish. It isn’t too late if you have published already,
but build NOW. That means connecting with PEOPLE.

LISTEN to what they have to say, interact. Google book
reviewers/bloggers and ask them if you can gift them a copy of your book. Don’t
expect an excellent review in exchange; a good review is the icing and a light
fluffy sponge. A bad review is a rather stale cake (better than nothing). And if you get a bad review DON’T respond

It’s a slow process. The cogs turn verrry slowly in Writer
Land, and if you try to speed up the progression, you’re going to get trapped
in the spokes.
Article by Louise Wise