This article disturbs me.
I think that this practice needs to be seriously looked at! How on earth can new Publishing Houses compete with those kind of shenanigans?
As a writer that is going to Self-Publish, how can I get my book into those shops? The answer is, I can't.
My book may not make the Best Sellers lists but would it have made it there if this kind of thing wasn't happening?
How many really great books are not getting a fair crack of the whip just because the Publisher simply cannot afford to purchase this kind of advertising - and that's exactly what it is - Advertising!
It's like the 'Infomercials' on TV - They should be clearly labelled that they are NOT independently reviewed but bought and paid for!
The public are being shepherded into buying books that are 'great reads' and 'unputdownable page-turners' when in reality they haven't even been read in some cases!
How many times have you bought a book on a store recommendation or because the author is well-known and published lots and then read it, and thought "What a load of rubbish! I could do better!"? I know I have - I did!
It's WRONG and it should be stopped!
Rant over... more later.