Positive Review Swap? Whaa?

Hmm. I really tried to find the post I read about this topic. Like I seriously just sat here for ten minutes trying to find it on Google and Bing. But I guess the person who wrote it doesn’t use tags or something. I don’t know. I tried to give him credit.

Anyway, the post I read was not 100 percent surprising to me even though I’ve never actually heard of this happening. It was basically two self-published authors communicating with each other about reviewing each other’s books. But one guy thought it would just be your regular review and the other author thought they should swap positive reviews. Hm. Interesting.

Now, do I know indie authors review books for each other? Yes. Do I think they hesitate to be overly negative in their reviews? Yes. But I hadn’t heard of an author explicitly express that the reviews of both works be positive. Might as well just ask your boyfriend to write it and you tell him what to say. See, this is one of those instances in which indie authors get a bad rep and they actually deserve it. I know every author wants their books to have so many reviews, but going about it like this is just stupid. Imagine JK Rowling going to another author and asking for a positive review. It’s laughable is what it is. Sure I’m comparing two complete opposite ends of the spectrum here, but I’ve read that more well known authors hate being asked to write blurbs for other books. There was one author, who of course I can’t remember the name of right now, who would get hundreds of requests every month from other authors and publishers and who would not write a blurb for a single one. Because her philosophy was to treat every other author the same. No favorites.

Imagine how many requests the super authors of today get. Just to read the book and write a few short words. It’s probably ridiculous. And they’re tasked with picking and choosing who to help.

So we have major authors who are essentially indifferent to reading other books for the sake of writing reviews and/or blurbs, but then we have this indie author demanding that you exchange positive reviews. It’s a joke.

Have you ever participated in a positive review swap? Be honest.

16 thoughts on “Positive Review Swap? Whaa?

  1. I’ve heard there are places you can buy positive reviews, too. None of it is surprising since the system sets us up as competitors and achievers rather than people expressing themselves creatively, which is a good thing in and of itself. But if the book doesn’t sell, we must be failures. It’s hard to send your book/child out there and stand back to see if it’s a swimmer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have had a writer I reviewed ask that I take a review down that was negative. He said that indie writers and reviewers should ‘support one another’, essentially implying that I should either give him a positive review or post no review at all. I told him it was against my ethics and kept the review up.

    So, yeah, I hate to say it, but this happens. This is a real thing and even expected by default in some circles.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree John. In fact the whole review thing has not gotten good reviews of late. Abuse, abused, and over used (hey that rhymes). Yes I use reviews but not book reviews. I think it works well with other products but not books. Has anyone told writers that readers are just plain turned off. This is the message I’m getting, but maybe I’m tuned in to the wrong frequency.

    Liked by 1 person

      • That’s a great question. Wish I knew the answer because I’d be rich beyond my wildest dreams if I did. Money made these days is not from writing but from finding a marketing tool that really, really works 100% of the time and selling that expertise to authors hungry to find some way to sell what they’ve written. I think the problem is too many bad books. Bad books turn readers off and you can imagine why. I know I get them constantly, the only difference is that those who send them want me to publish them. If I don’t, you can guess where they go next.


      • There’s such an incredible plethora of new authors out there–it’s like a huge bubble. Will it burst, do you think, or are they here to stay? I wonder if it’s some kind of phase that will even out. Their desperation to sell is palpable.


  4. Letting a child read a book is a pretty good way to know whether it’s good or not. If it’s total crap, it won’t stay in their hand very long. (Of course, if it goes way over their heads, that’s another issue.)


  5. I’ve never been part of a positive review swap and would prefer not to. As a writer, I appreciate any review, good or bad. I especially value bad reviews that speak honestly about what was not liked about my work so I can use that information as a resource to improve, should I find it helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t have a problem with review swaps, if there are no conditions attached. I don’t believe the author(s) must give positive reviews in the swap. In fact, I wouldn’t dare tell the reviewers what to rate or what to write in reviews; it’s unethical in a sense.


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