What do you think about paying for reviews of your book? I just paid for a review of my children's book and received a very nice, helpful 5-Star review which I posted on FB. However, when I clicked on the link like my friends and family would, it goes to the review team's website that shows that they are a PAID reviewer and that embarrassed me a little because I wrote the link on my FB post "that a professional view was in". Should I feel a bit like a fraud?
It's not that they give good reviews undeservedly, I believe. If they DON'T have a good review for your book (4 or 5 stars), they won't post it. So I don't think they just go about giving 4's and 5's all the time.
What's your opinion?
Sounds like your gut is telling you it's a bad idea. Go with your gut and avoid paid reviews from now on, but don't fret too much over this one instance. Just consider it a lesson learned, a mistake you now know not to repeat.
Calculus-Geometry, Thanks. Lately, I don't know if my gut is on the right track (or tract Part of me is really happy with the nice review, but part of me fears I'm being "found out" (tee hee) as not getting genuine positives - sort of the story of my life - maybe all of our lives. Hopefully, this was their honest appraisal and it DID match one from a contest I entered so I might just do what I do when changing lanes in LA traffic - I just close my eyes and go.....
I agree. A one time mistake, now move on.
Paid reviews are just that - paying someone to say something nice about your book or other product. Would they say something nice about it if they weren't paid? Probably not. Whether or not they like your book/product/etc, these folks are in the BUSINESS of getting paid for positive reviews.
You'll get forgiven once or twice at most, but if your reader base finds out that you're paying for positive reviews, prepare for trouble.
Now is it okay to send out free copies of your book to folks who write reviews in the hopes they'll do a positive one? Definitely.
If you are willing to receive an "honest" review while paying for it, there is nothing unethical about that. If a person pays for a review expecting only positive feedback, well... need I say more.
I have over 400 quality reviews I have given on books, stories, poems, underwear, essential oils, diet supplements, and so on. I do get a lot of free e-books for which I try to return the favor by giving an honest review on GoodReads, other sites I contribute to, or on my blog.
Recently, the requests for my reviews have increased to the point where I am either going to have to have some compensation, or pass them up, as they are cutting into my own creative and money-making time.
This is a good topic, question and answers.
Lily..., Thanks. You're right. I really didn't know if I would get the 4 or 5 stars required to be posted. I could easily have gotten 3 stars and an email telling me why I didn't and then no one would have known since they only post 4 or 5 starred books. The writer of the review was, himself, left-handed by chance, so he could relate to this children's story. I don't know, however, know the percentage of books reviewed that don't get the required number of stars. Thank you for your comment. I certainly would be glad to send an ebook version to anyone here who would like to review my ebook. I also have a hidden url of the book as an .exe narrated book. That version is for Windows and is available on CD, but the story is the same as the ebook and book version. Just email me if anyone is interested.
I will keep that in mind, I have about 27 reviews backed up, and currently reading about four different novels. Starting November 1st I will be doing NANO, so will be a ghost for a month. Thank you for the offer. I love to review. I will bookmark this for the future.
I've reviewed fiction, non-fiction, textbooks, and most types of books since 1995 and worked for several companies posting reviews and author interviews online. The large companies provided a free book for an honest review from its pool of readers, but the company was paid itself by authors - about $25 per book. I've seen authors pay up to $50 for a review from an experienced critic, but that is the high end in my experience and only in USA.
One of the best companies for reviews and interviews, Armchair Interviews, changed ownership and severely declined and stayed on the downhill steadily. I sort of gave up on online book review companies after that.
Best success with your book!
If I could find someone paying in dark chocolate, we may have a deal. I love the free books, but most are e-books, or ARC and cannot be passed on or shared. Patty Inglish, MS you are a professional, and I respect your input tremendously.
Thanks for the kind words!
I think we need a website like movies' Rotten Tomatoes for books. It would be helpful to see newspaper critics and well-read fans review the same books and supply several reviews. I see that a few critics with the major media give bad reviews for nearly everything though, which would discourage authors.
GoodReads is a favorite spot of mine to read reviews when searching for content when considering adding new books to our Y/A genre books at the public library, and when posting my NetGalley & Edelweiss Reviews. They can easily be copied / moved by the reviewer to their own blog or website using HTML code.
Patty Inglish MS, Thank you so much for your comment and resource input. There's so much information that is coming in that I'll have to set some time aside and look at all of these suggestions Again, my thanks.
First of all, a lot of people do this. I've written reviews for books, products, restaurants, etc. Most of them pay you to give a review of four or five stars. But then again, I also review things all the time simply because I've been there, bought the product and such. If you would like to pay someone a quick ten bucks for an authentic looking review, check out Peopleperhour.com. And I'd take off that one review. In regards to your question though, paid reviews are simply something people do to gain more business and promote their product in modern times. It doesn't make you a fraud. It makes you motivated to sell your book. Just my opinion though. I'm sure there are others that would think you're a fraud. It just depends on how you look at it.
Angel, Thank you for your comforting comment. I'll check out the website. You MUST be an angel to review products you just plain like. Recently my friend passed away and I had had no idea of her pinterest page which was FILLED with repostings of beautiful quotes, etc. just to pass on to other people. Now nice it is when we all hold hands and help each other along. Cheers, Billie
I receive free books from publishers. (I've written a hub about it: How to Get New Books for Free) In return, they ask that we write reviews of it. The law requires that we note in the review that we received the book for free, even though we are freely allowed to state our opinion. So I imagine that getting cash would be something that should definitely get disclosed.
It is only fair, as it is truth in advertising. The review could be more negative if I had to use my hard earned cash for the book. And if I got paid cash for the review, I would feel even better about it.
I was certain I replied to you yesterday, but can't see it here, so I'll give it another go. I was saying that your comment stating that, legally, if you receive book in exchange for a review, you're required to reveal that fact that makes me feel a bit better about my review being at a website that advertises that reviews are paid for. I would imagine that that is the reason the review links to that page - for transparency. Thanks for your comments!
Normally, in my experience, reviews of books are requested by the author of the book and they send me a review copy. That is the accepted way of payment. I have written many reviews over the years and the only payment received is the book. To pay someone to write a review may not give you a sincere and honest review.
sounds logical - I was attracted to this website because it was recommended by the company through which I published my ebook. It was one of several. They posted the review automatically on the various websites that sell my book. I have to track them down and now get my author profile up on these places. I just wanted to write the sequel to my little children's book but I'm finally understanding "the promotion is everything thing." If it's good enough for Robert Downey, Jr., I guess it's good enough for me (if only). Now all I need is a guest appearance on Jimmy Fallon (tee hee).
Personally, I would never do a paid review on a product. It's always best to have genuine, authentic reviews. It goes so much further establishing you as a credible author or any other product you may be promoting.
Many authors use paid reviewing sites to garner stars for their books... I don't see anything wrong with it and as a person who writes reviews regularly, I always give an honest assessment no matter how I've come by the book since my integrity is also on the line... so be happy with your accomplishment!
Right on lafleurdeplume, I agree. If someone offered me any sum for an honest review, they will get that. If something is horrid, or obviously plagiarized I would refuse to review it, and send them back their $$.
I do feel this was an review with integrity. Thanks for this, L
If a fee was paid this has to be disclosed in the review and I think it can make people disregard the review. Spontaneous customer review are the best followed by ARC reviews IMHO.
Well...anyone want to join in a book review exchange?
Is that fair? Legal? Ethical?
If so, I'd be up for it.
A Book review exchange is a great idea Lionrhod... I am totally swamped with reading material right now, but perhaps in the future? What is your preferred genre?
It's possible that we could even form a group or round-robin where we take turns reviewing a number of submitted works. Anyone got a plan/format/system that we could work out so that everyone who "joins" gets reviewed by someone, but not necessarily the person who they review?
My published works include metaphysical how-to, a YA novel about Wiccan witches vs faeries, and a (free) dark fantasy novella.
I'd be willing/able to review on biography, mystery, romance, nature science, plus my own genres.
I'd be willing. Could we classify according to genre? I'm the slowest reader in the world. I would be happy to do a children's book or young adult review, but if that would't be feasible, I'd love to join anyway.
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