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We probably all know someone who gets their partner to write a mouth-watering review of their book on Amazon (handy that he’s got a different surname!) to boost their sales. Maybe we’d be tempted to do the same – but hopefully not on an industrial scale.

Amazon, the world’s largest online marketplace, has apparently filed papers in the U.S. against more than 1,000 people it claims offered to write glowing reviews on behalf of unscrupulous authors. This includes a network of freelance forgers operating as so-called ‘optimisers’ who produce batches of favourable write-ups to order for a fee.

Legal experts say that although the Amazon case will rely on U.S. law, this could signal similar moves in Britain to track down perpetrators.

It’s hard enough to get promotion for your work without cheats muddying the water.