Paying for Reviews

I’m interrupting my string of guest posts because I’m unsatisfied with how they’ve performed. Every post I write is written in a manner that is meant to start a discussion. Sometimes I get 100 comments and other times I get 10. I have no issue with that because it’s just the nature of blogging. But I’d rather it be me causing the fluctuation than someone else. I may or may not post the four remaining guest posts I have pending next week. If you’re one of the four post authors and you’d rather just keep the post for your own blog, then just say the word and I’ll delete it.

Everyone knows that getting people to review your book can be tough. Maybe it’s self-published. Maybe it’s traditionally published by a tiny press that no one knows about. Maybe it’s published by a major publisher but has been marketed minimally. It can be difficult for anyone. I’ve seen bestsellers with less than 100 reviews on Amazon.

So, couple that with the onset of self-publishing and you have yourself a market for paid reviews. Some people have no problem with this and others do, like me. Every blogger or organization always claims that the payment isn’t necessarily for a positive review, it’s for the service of reviewing the book. OKAY. If you keep popping out bad reviews, then you’ve eliminated your paying customers. AND they straight up lie about things. One blogger from WordPress says she accepts $5 for her reviews because she has a social media reach in the millions and heavily markets her reviews. HA! This was a comment on a blog I read on here! The worst part is that she convinced ALLLLLL the other commenters that it was well worth it for an author to pay her for her review because of her massive reach. They’d all been talking about how bad paid reviews are and then one lady starts talking about her millions of followers and they’ve all bought in.

I didn’t try to verify what she was saying, but I did click her name to find your typical blog. Erratic posts. Single digit Likes and comments. (But her reach is in the millions. Mhm.) I’d put her in a worse category than Kirkus. At least we know exactly what they’re after when it comes to reviewing books. They charge, take a deep breath, $425-$575 to review your book! I’ve known about this forever, but that’s simply a damn joke. Their express option takes 4-6 weeks.

Paying for reviews is never about the service or the social media reach or ANYTHING other than money. And what’s the easiest way to keep people coming back for them? Positive reviews. The end.

I’d like to know what you think of paying someone to review your work. Would you do it? And I’d also like to know if you think it’s any better or worse than positive review swaps.

On this day in 2014 I published Why are Protagonists Always Damaged in Some Way?.