Do you know “junk books”? This is a term introduced by Jan Höpker in his blog. He defines it like this:
Scrap books are how-to books written by cheap ghostwriters with no professional expertise. Fake reviews, pseudonyms with fictitious qualifications and other lies are used in their marketing, creating the false impression that these are high-quality books by real experts, which thousands of readers are enthusiastic about.Jan Höpker, blog post on “HabitGym”
And indeed, such books are not only available as life guides or financial guides, they are also available as nutrition guides. I bought a few of these guides last year, believing at the time that they might be serious books. Even if it seemed strange to me that an author could publish ten books within a few months… When I had the copies in front of me, everything was clear after a few pages of reading. There are no experts behind it. And the reviews were also suspicious. Over 50 5-star reviews within a few days. As an author, I know how difficult it is to get so many reviews.
I have tried to contact Amazon. But without success. At some point, I stopped my research and wrote a general blog about it in April 2021. To be honest, the legal situation was too unclear for me and the evidence collected was also too meagre. And then, a few days ago, I came across this ARD report and thus Jan Höpker’s blog. He had collected more evidence, documented everything well and, above all, had the courage to publish and make visible what was going on in the book market.
Here are the links for you again
Attention also with nutrition guides
Please also pay attention to the tips Jan gives in his blog when reading nutrition guides. This not only saves you money, it also means you don’t have any pseudo-guides at home that may contain incorrect or inadequate information about your intolerances.
Jan, for example, recommended the website ReviewMeta.com. I think this site is really great. Simply copy the Amazon product link, click on “Run Report” and wait for the analysis. The website removes all fake reviews and shows how many reviews are bought or faked and how many stars the real reviews would be. I checked two books as a test. First my last book “Fructose? No thanks!“:
And then there’s a junk book on the subject of fructose intolerance, although I’m hiding the author here.