Look at this example, Dragonsoul by Kayl Karadijan. The book was released in October 2016, around the time I published An Ominous Book and the book "magically" jumped to rank #1 of Sword and Sorcery in Fantasy and #28 all-around Amazon in 24 hours!!!
The book was hovering around the 300,000-500,000 range, better than my books but this doesn't make any sense.
This isn't butt-hurt envy, the guy obviously hired a company where 200 bogus Amazon accounts rented KU copies of the book at the exact same time and artificially inflated his ranking to top seller status in a really short amount of time. Seems like he isn't alone.
Tim I Guring's rankings for The broken people from god's land magically boosted to the top 2000 in Amazon USA.
Looking at the blurb and preview of both books, while neither book is atrocious, neither reached this mark on their own merits. Do a search and neither book launched huge publicity or author newsletter swaps. No awards from writing contests either.
It's authors like these that make readers think all indie authors suck and are con artists. I know a few authors and have made online friendships with them. They don't seem like this sort of ilk, just ordinary people that love to write stories and share them with the world. While there are people out there that stoop down to these bad practices to place their name out there, I would never do such a thing.
If people give bad reviews to An Ominous Book because they hate the ending or how I write, I will accept the criticism with a smile and thank them. Will my books ever reach bestseller status someday from their own merits? I don't know the answer, but you are free to read my books and see for yourself.
If you read my books, write an honest review and suggest your friends to read them.
As for these authors, please don't imitate them giving all indie writers a bad name. Tell people about buyers beware and discourage this practice.