You would think indie authors, knowing the hurdles and challenges we face in writing and self-publishing our works, would be more supportive of each other. You'd think they would, at the very least, have respect for the work other indie authors have gone through and not seek to sabotage another author's sales.
Unfortunately, that apparently happens out there in the indie author world, especially as it comes to e-books.
I will preface this by saying I believe most indie authors are ethical individuals who don't engage in this sort of childish behavior. Also, I have not personally been subject to it, yet, but I feel it's something important to comment on. Also, I'd like to stress the importance of book reviews to readers everywhere, especially in light of what I'm about to discuss.
There are authors out there who apparently seek to deliberately sabotage another author's works by giving one-star reviews. These authors have even set up multiple dummy accounts in order to appear to be posting as different people. If they notice a book by another author in their genre is doing well, they intentionally give bad reviews in order to damage another author's success.
Not every book is everyone's cup of tea. I get that. People who don't like your book are out there, and authors will get bad reviews based on what people honestly think of their book. But this isn't what we're talking about here. We're talking about people with the mentality of toddlers who intentionally work to tear down a fellow author.
This practice is disgusting, juvenile, and, at its heart, representative of the kind of person the bad-review author is. If your work can't stand on its own, then maybe you need to learn how to better write, market, and/or edit your work. If you can't accept that sometimes your work will do well, and sometimes it won't, then you need to go back to your parents for some lessons on the reality of life and how to deal with it.
So readers, understand this--not only do indie authors appreciate your honest reviews of their work, it also helps to offset any deliberate and malicious reviews from those indie authors who have decided to be children. And in the case of Amazon, pay attention to whether the review states it's an "Amazon verified purchase." That at least lets you know that the reviewer in question actually purchased and read the book. Those authors that try to sabotage others aren't going to buy hundreds of copies of an e-book just so they can have the "Amazon verified purchase" on their reviews.
So please, for whatever authors you read, taking a few moments to give an honest opinion of their work is one of the most appreciated things you can do. Even constructive criticism is helpful--no author can improve if they don't know what they could do better. We see what we've written so many times that any flaws just fly right past us.
Just keep in mind that you, dear readers, are the ones who drive us, the authors, to tell the best stories we can for you. And as I've stated, you are the ones who can make all the difference just by giving your opinion on what you've read. Believe me, as an indie author, you have my undying thanks and appreciation for doing so!