This Shit Won't Stop
Who knew Amazon.com was this susceptible to shenanigans?
I told you on Friday about the slime job on my little book, Florida Pulp Nonfiction, on the Amazon site. A half-dozen fake customer reviews were posted slamming and misrepresenting my book (as a novel rather than the true crime book that it is, for one). Well, I left a complaint at Amazon about it and they scrubbed five of the six reviews off the site. Good. But the one they left on there was that touted the book Miami Psychic as "the bomb" -- the most obvious fake of all.
Now the No. 1 suspect in the sliming of Florida Pulp is, of course, the good people behind Miami Psychic, a book I've exposed as a sham. And the funny thing? At the very time the negative reviews popped up there, I was doing a follow-up to my original story showing that the Hollywood Police Department has pinned a grand theft of jewelry on author "Regina Milbourne," whose real name is Gina Marie Marks -- who police now tell me is a lifelong swindler.
The State Attorney's Office hasn't issued a warrant yet, but spokesman Ron Ishoy claims the office if "actively investigating" the case. I also was contacted by a new victim who claims that Marks, even while she was promoting her sham book, was conning her out of thousands of dollars after convincing her there was a curse on her family. The Plantation Police Department is investigating that one right now (I got a call from the detective just today). So it's true: HarperCollins and publishing titan Judith Regan are still out there marketing an oft-accused criminal as a woman with "God-given" gift who is trying to help people. It's absolutely shameless. I'll link the story as soon as its on the NT website.
Anyway, I didn't care that Miami Psychic was still named on the Florida Pulp page, as long as five of the six bogus reviews were removed. But then today I notice that ... all the customer reviews were suddenly scrubbed (there were two legitimate reviews from actual living and breathing human beings). And it says my book hasn't been released yet and isn't available. All untrue. And ridiculous.
So I call Amazon and they say they have no idea how it happened and that I have to send them a detailed e-mail about the problems. I suspect it's further sabatoge, at a higher and more insidious level, but I don't want to jump the gun. Maybe it was a clerical error, as weird as that would be.
At the same time, book ranking is stuck on 600,000-something for "yesterday's ranking" while the current ranking is correct. I don't know why. And freaking Amazon for some reason won't put up blurbs on the book from Joe McGinniss and Aphrodite Jones among other authors who were good enough to say kind words about it. So I'm linked all over the place with this idiotic fraud of a book and I can't get the real information out to save my life. Let me tell you, the book business is a cesspool that makes newsrooms seem like monasteries. And the real curse, it seems, is on the wholly innocent Florida Pulp Nonfiction.
UPDATE: The call to Amazon apparently did some good. They just reinstituted the page back to the way it was. So now you can see the idiotic review they left up there and it rightly says my book is available. If you want to get a kick, go the Miami Psychic page, which I refuse to link at the moment, to see the fake reviews up there. They're raves.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.