Sock Puppets, Contests, and You

Hey! It’s Monday! Sun is shining. Kids are getting ready for school. And I have my coffee!

So, last week I got invited to submit a short story to a contest. I’m proud to say that ‘Ralph the Jinn’ is doing well! It’s currently sitting at #5, with voting open until May 5th.

Yes…I need votes. Lots and lots if I want to win. Easy to do…go to the link, log in with FB or create an account, click on the heart next to ‘Ralph the Jinn’, and you’re done. Reviews are a bonus, and I’ll get to why in a moment. First off, the contest link!

There’s something that comes up every now and then in writing, and I’ve been hit for the first time in this contest. It’s called sock puppets. That’s when an author creates alternate accounts, leaves rave reviews about their own work…and trashes whatever they feel is ‘competition’. My short story has been targeted by one of these individuals.

First off, the reviews have no merit and I’ve discounted them. They’re not bringing up valid points, complain about my grammar (when the review itself is poorly written), and get personal. It’s not about the story, but aimed at the author. They’re trying to get under my skin so I’ll quit talking about the contest. I’ll stop asking for votes.

Do I know for certain who’s doing this? No, not for certain. However, when the reviewers who trashed my story are trashing most of the others in the top 20…except for 1. And that one gets lengthy, rave reviews. Yeah. It’s easy to put two and two together.

As an author, I see this as unethical. It’s not a matter of competing with other authors for sales. Because the reader decides what they want to read. You’re only going to get people to look at your review and laugh. A good author, one who knows it for what it is, will shrug it off. Maybe laugh a little that you’d feel threatened enough by a short, 600 word story to react in this way. And move on.

Which is precisely what I’m doing. Moving on.

So, please, go vote. I’d like to win, yes. But there is part of me that’d be happy with making it higher on the list than this particular individual.


One thought on “Sock Puppets, Contests, and You

  1. Sorry to hear that someone has nothing better to do than trash you and the other writers. To say that this kind of behavior is offensive is a gross understatement…but, then, so is the behavior. “I always take the high road,” says Carl in “Mike and Molly,” “– there’s less traffic.” You are definitely on the less-traveled road.

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