The admittedly tiny and incestuous world of book criticism turned on itself this month, with a series of articles about whether book reviewers are too nice, whether book reviewers should be less nice, or whether book reviewers are just nice enough.

Now along comes the New York Times with an elegant solution for authors: Just buy yourself a few good reviews, and cut out those pesky critics altogether!

He was part of the marketing department of a company that provided services to self-published writers — services that included persuading traditional media and blogs to review the books. It was uphill work. He could churn out press releases all day long, trying to be noticed, but there is only so much space for the umpteenth vampire novel or yet another self-improvement manifesto or one more homespun recollection of times gone by. There were not enough reviewers to go around.

Suddenly it hit him. Instead of trying to cajole others to review a client’s work, why not cut out the middleman and write the review himself? Then it would say exactly what the client wanted — that it was a terrific book. A shattering novel. A classic memoir. Will change your life. Lyrical and gripping, Stunning and compelling. Or words to that effect.

Read the whole thing.