I recently accepted an eBook from a PR company to review. After accepting the eBook, I was requested not to post my review on Amazon if the book receives a rating of less than 4 stars from me as it will not "benefit the author". I have not yet written my review, but it will definitely be a mainly negative review. I can't believe how incoherent the story was in the beginning...
I checked the Amazon page for the book, and all I see are 4-star ratings. It's unbelievable since this is one of the worst books I've had to review. I have not yet replied to the email from the publicist. But what should I do? The reviews on Amazon are giving a false impression of the book. Personally, I don't know why, but I don't feel right not posting my review in Amazon... What should I do? If this were you, how would you reply the publicist?
Personally I've always stuck to my guns and been honest. Ive put negative reviews up but had the authors "followers" vote it off. It doesn't offend me as I know that I stuck with what I thought and remained true to myself. Thats all you can do.
The point is, if all the author ever see's is positives, they won't improve thier skill. That's key and to be honest this PR Company sounds like they're not doing the author any favours and if they choose not to send any other titles to you, if this is the quality of the stock that they represent, then you're not losing anything.
Have you thought of posting a negative review with an anonymous name. I know it doesn't sound correct but at least the others will be aware that the book isn't great plus you wouldn't get into a conflict with the publicist. Its a bit like hiding, but you at least you will have done the other readers a service.
I don't usually post on Amazon, so my opinion probably isn't the most relevant :) But if you've stated your review policy, whether on your blog or in your initial communication with the publicist and that policy is to post reviews on Amazon, regardless of whether or not they're positive, the publicist has attempted to change your "contract" after it has been agreed upon. That's pretty dodgy behaviour, IMO!
If you want to work with that publicist's clients again, you'll probably have to do as she requests. Personally, I think I would probably post a review anyway, because I dislike those kind of promotional tactics (and those kinds of business ethics) and would be happy to not be receiving any more requests from her!
» » » Tara @ Agrippina Legit
I don't understand why you were asked not to post anything below 4 stars. I see reviews on many products, books included, on Amazon with low ratings. It's called feedback. Personally, I would want to know if my book was not up to par. Sure, it would be embarrassing but the truth is the truth. And not to mention, a writer grows and develops his/her craft from positive or negative reviews...or at least I do.
Okay, after reading the other replies and your explanation of what has transpired between you and the publicist, I'd say not to post anything until after the tour. If they keep hounding you for a review before the tour ends, stick to your guns. Write what you believe to be true. Sure they're going to be upset, but in the end, I'd feel grateful for someone who told me the truth about my book.
That's something I don't understand either. I've worked with many publicity companies and none of them have posed this type of problem before. Maybe it's because this author is a young author (17 or 18 years old)... Still, I don't feel this is right.
I don't think they will ask me to post the review. In fact, she offered for a guest post instead of a review when she heard that it was going to be a mainly negative review.
Thank you for replying. :)
I agree with everything RYCJ posted. I also think your gut agrees.
There was a posting yesterday from a reviewer on Kindleboards who wrote to an indie writer to tell him she loved certain aspects of his book, but only posted reviews that were three stars and above and couldn't give him one unless he cleaned up some of the typos and grammar issues. He replied by stating that he couldn't "afford" a proofreader (there are bazillions of people panting to be beta readers in exchange for getting their names in the Acknowledgments of a book - money isn't an issue). In short, he wouldn't budge.
The reviewer was thrown off balance by this. Why wouldn't he want to fix his book? That was her primary question. How could he know his book was fixable - yet bad in its current state - and not want to address it? Everyone pretty much agreed that getting your work in its best possible form should be the first priority of every writer - particularly indies - and that she should simply not post the review. The writer made his choice.
I think you should be honest. Tell the PR company what you think, and give them the choice to post the review or not. Don't let people bully or guilt you into being dishonest. Is this teenage author backed by a publisher, or did the parents pay for the PR? Just wondering... someone is setting unrealistic expectations for this kid.