I admit I would love to know what people think of my books; but right now I’m still trying to figure out how to get people to read my books. So I was playing around with the idea of giving away some copies of my books in exchange for reviews. That lead me to doing some Google research which lead me to the discovery that you can actually pay to get your books reviewed. I was intrigued by this idea so I clicked on a link to find out more. Imagine my shock to discover that a simple book review could cost me hundreds of dollars.
I don’t mind the idea of paying someone to read and review my book (not a fake paid for glowing review but their honest opinion). Although, let’s face it, the way things usually work authors are the ones who get paid when people read their books. They don’t usually have to pay people to read their books; but when you self publish and you’re starting from the very bottom with limited resources for growing a reader base you sometimes have to consider things like paying people to read your book, provided of course there will be a benefit to doing that such as getting an honest review about the book from someone who isn’t a family member or a friend.
But the idea of paying upwards of $500 for a book review doesn’t excite me. I’d be a rich woman if I was paid $500 for every book I’ve ever read in my life–paid for the time spent reading and for giving my opinion of the book after reading it. I understand that time is money; and this is a service being offered and people can charge whatever they want for their time. But I wouldn’t pay $500 to get someone to read and review my book under any circumstance.
Surely there are writer to writer networks out there where writers who are in the same boat team up to help each other? I would definitely buy a copy of another writers book and read it and provide my honest opinion in a review in exchange for that writer doing the same favor for me.
I did come across a very extensive article written by a Kimberley Grabas back in February 2014 titled “How to Get Reviews For Your Book (Without Begging, Bribing or Resorting to Subterfuge)” You can find the full article at yourwriterplatform.com. Below is an excerpt from the article that provides food for thought as to whether paying for a review is a good or bad idea:
Should I Pay For Book Reviews?
Thanks to the self-publishing revolution, many of the walls have come down, allowing authors greater access and opportunities than ever before.power
But, “with great power comes great responsibility”, and there have been reports of rather dubious wielding of power.
Authors are now also expected to carry more–if not all–of the weight of decisions that were previously left in the hands of the publisher.
It would be naive to think that book reviews procured by a publisher for its author were free, unbiased and unculled (have you seen a bad review on a dust jacket?). But, the issue now is the perception of impropriety when an author pays for a review, often regardless of its legitimacy.
With book review authenticity already in jeopardy, it’s easy to see how paid reviews can further taint consumer perception.
Obviously, it is up to the individual to determine if paid reviews crosses any ethical or moral boundaries, but since there are other valid (and free) options available, it may be prudent to just skip the paid review minefield. (Read full article at yourwriterplatform.com.)
For me the idea was never to pay someone to write a fake glowing review; but to pay someone to read my book and write an honest review for better or worse. I would of course prefer not to have to pay people to read my book. That’s kind of desperate I guess; but it could be useful to a writer to get opinions on their work from people who are not biased in one way or another or just afraid to tell them the truth for whatever reason.