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Just in time for the new year, Sunflower has ‘arrived’. We’ve joined the ranks of the famous, with our very own troll!
Over the Christmas holidays, the troll (called ‘European Traveller’) posted identical reviews of almost all our titles on Amazon – proving, if nothing else, that he/she is even-handed and a prodigious hiker!
Each ‘review’ has 2 stars, is headed ‘beware good reviews’, and reads, ‘If you go to the publisher’s website, Sunflower Books, you will find that you can get their books for free if you post a 5 star review on Amazon. So all Sunflower Books get great Amazon reviews because if you give them a good, 5 star, review you get a free guide book.’
So in addition to possibly not having read or used the actual book, the troll hasn’t even read our website, which reads (ever since we started this scheme): A free pdf Sunflower guide… in exchange for a few minutes of your time!
Have you used any of our guides while on holiday? And are you a customer of amazon.co.uk? If so, you’ll know that product reviews are a key part of the Amazon service and of great importance to buyers. Sunflower Books is keen to encourage users of the Landscapes series, the Walk & Eat series and the Sunflower Complete series, to submit more reviews to amazon.co.uk. (We don’t mind whether they are complimentary or critical — it’s individuals’ viewpoints that trigger discussion and more reviews.)
The troll is probably doing us a favour by calling attention to the free book offer, which many people may not even see.
The offer on our website makes clear why we run this system: back when we first started publishing, travel guides were widely reviewed in the press. (The Sunday Times gave us an ‘Oscar’ for Madeira and Mallorca and called our books the ‘little blue bibles’.) But for many years guides are no longer even mentioned, no less reviewed, in most travel articles. So how do you know which book might suit you personally, and why?
In fact only a very small percentage of the reviews on Amazon come from those taking up the offer. (And, much to our amusement, those who do take it up bend over backwards to be impartial – typically giving only a 4-star review to a book which they then go on to rave about!)
Sunflower were the first to publish walking guides for southern Europe and the first to offer an Update service. Then we were the first to do something positive to encourage reviews on Amazon.
All our guides are updated regularly. We wish you happy hiking for many years to come!