Though I’ve touched on this subject before on my blog I think it warrants repeating. I will never pay someone to read and review one of my books. Period! Most paid reviewers give glowing reviews on the books they read even if the book is not up to par. Why? Because they want your repeat business. Think about it. Would you pay someone a second time if they gave your book a bad review the first time? Of course not. Would you publish the book anyway? Would you be in denial and blame the bad review on that person’s particular taste? That they just didn’t understand the story you were trying to communicate?
Fake reviews are one of the main reasons why indie books have been getting a bad rap. For sometimes enormous fees an author can get several good reviews based solely on what they paid for the review and not the content of the book. These bad books with so many good reviews hit the virtual bookshelf like a bait-and-switch sale at an appliance shop. The reader buys the book because so many other “readers” said it’s great and then is horribly disappointed by the content inside. They feel cheated and angry and become biased against indie authors.
I truly believe a good, honest review is a large part of garnering interest in the book and making it successful. You can only fake worth for so long before word gets out that something is amiss with all the praise for a crappy novel. Real reviews have passion for the story that comes across in the way the review was written. It takes time and effort for a fan of the novel to post a review, done lovingly and without reimbursement.
Many of my nine published novels have reviews from readers and my one novel, DROP OUT just received its 19th five-star. The reviews for my novels come from all over the world, from real readers, real people, and without a price tag attached. Check them out and then decide if my stories ignite interest. One thing is for sure, my reviewers don’t lie.
To read more about me and my books please check out my blog: ALWAYS WRITING
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Agreed! I am disgusted by bloggers who charge for reviews. It is supposed to be an honest exchange of material for reviews and publicity. Congrats to you for refusing to pay for what so many are happy to do for free.
I just saw one the other day who charges to "move your book to the top of her to be read"
So true I just saw someone ask for people to review on Amazon and give ratings. It cheapens the hard work a true and decent author does. I think sadly if you buy it on Amazon you review it, if you didnt buy it there they should let you review the book. So many dishonest people. I feel the same about my blog, I dont advertise and I dont do paid tours either for that reason.
I actually run my own tour company but I do not make any guarantee of positive reviews. Authors know when they book a tour through my company that they are going to receive reviews but that they may be all positive, all negative or a combination of both. I can't guarantee that someone will enjoy a book and I will never ask my tour hosts to be dishonest about a book. It's the risk of creating art.
I blogged with several blogs over last 4 years and they wont post a review when you are on their tour for anything 3.5 rating or below. So I would love to get your tour info for the indie authors I know
I stopped hosting tours for a lot of other companies because I hated being restricted. If I disliked a book I wanted to be able to tell my readers that I disliked it. When I had the tour companies telling me I could only share reviews that were 3.5 stars or higher I quit hosting them. It just wasn't honest or fair.
I even try to tell authors that bad reviews can help sell a book. Honestly, if I see a book with nothing but positive reviews I question how genuine the reviews are and I'm less likely to buy the book. I do allow my hosts to share guest posts and excerpts as well. I have even partnered with a radio show that specializes in indie authors so we coordinate a radio interview to air during the tour. That's always fun!
Here is the link to my tour page: http://www.closedthecover.com/virtual-book-tours.html
Heh, I had opposite experience. Two reviewers I had hired (almost) said they would post only honest review even if it is bad lol! I canceled both orders, saying that I don't need to PAY for honest reviews, I will get them for free anyway!
After that, I am now tired of finding people who would actually READ and review my FREE ebook. True that my ebook is not something everyone would like, and I do know as a matter of fact that people ARE downloading my ebooks, but it's been more than a month since I published it and not yet ONE review on smashwords: good or bad. Now I think that maybe I should have purchased those 'honest reviews' after all - better than nothing at all. :(
It normally takes me about six weeks to publish a review just because of the sheer quantity of books and requests I receive. I also typically post only to my own site, GoodReads and Amazon. I will post to Barnes & Noble or Smashwords but only if I'm specifically asked to do so. Did you ask these people to publish their review there and did they agree to do so?
I assume you are asking for the two paid reviewers I rejected? Well they were advertising something 'I will review your ebook cover to cover, be it on Amazon or Smashwords' on fiverr. Yeah I know I am a cheapo that's why I am on fiverr else I would be buying from Helix lol! So I bought their gigs and asked both of them to do the same thing: read my ebook, and post a nice review on Amazon (if they are prime members, because my ebook is free for prime members) or smashwords. :-)
I feel the need to respond here.
I am a book reviewer. I ONLY do honest book reviews. Period. My review process includes "negativity". That is, I write what I like about a book as well as what I don't like. I do write in a way that is conscientious there is a human that wrote the book I am reviewing. So, I am not being horribly mean. I would like to think I am being constructive. I would also like to think I am giving an accurate picture of the experience of reading that book. I have been blogging since January. (http://ravenreviewer.tumblr.com) Just to give you an idea of the book volume I have, I had nearly 3000 requests in the month of September. It is truly overwhelming. If you check me out on Goodreads, you will see only 2 indie books to which I have given 5 stars. The other 5-star books are mainstream and published by bestselling authors from traditional publishers. Yeah, I am a tough reviewer. (Conversely, I have not come across too many books on the other end of the spectrum: only one 1-star, and three 2-star books. Thank God!)
I have taken part in "positive-only" book tours before. Yes, I had to be removed before because my review was NOT going to be glowing. And I just waited until the tour is over and then I posted my review anyway.
By June, I was picked up by BTS emag. This is the direction I would like to go: to become a professional reviewer. And writing for a magazine seems like a step in the right direction. Now, I would like to start getting paid and be a real professional reviewer. Yes, this means getting paid for reviewing books. Let me repeat that: getting paid for REVIEWING books. Not blowing smoke up someone's rear. Not producing 100% glowing reviews 24/7. Not marketing for anyone's book. Getting paid for reading books and writing my opinion - whatever my opinion is. I refuse to change my opinion or my style based upon someone's willingness to pay me.
Because of my style of review-writing and my desire to get paid for this, I have also been scooped up by an indie book reviewing company. Here's how it works and why I agreed to be a part of it:
I am sent a link to the book on Amazon by the company. I am asked if I would like to purchase the book, read it, and review it. If so, I buy the book (to prove I am serious), and then I have one month to read and review the book. So, if I don't follow-through, well, the author just increased sales. I read the book and write up my review. I send my review to the company who reimburses me for the book plus pays me for the review. The company then will get back to me on when I can post my review. Behind the scenes: The company sends my review to the author and the author determines when I will post it. Not if. When. If my review is negative (which all of them typically include some criticism because that's how I write reviews), the author can ask me to hold off until some promotional period is over. Here's the thing. I get paid no matter what. That's the reason I am doing it.
I have now three books to be reviewed this way. I am done with one (which was horrible - I am polishing that review now), I am beginning the second now, and just purchased the third last night. I am definitely curious to see how the negative one is handled. Truly, that will be my litmus test.If you are an author and are curious about paid reviews like this, this is the company:
http://www.lrpbookreviews.com/ btw, I don't get paid by BTS emag. And if I have time I still review books for free. For example, on 11/4/13, I will post my review for a book tour for which the tour organizer got paid, but I, the reviewer, did not.If you would like to be featured on my blog, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I am open to guest posts, interviews, character interviews, playlists/soundtracks, character dream casts, sneak peeks, and cover reveals. Preferred genres include: romance (no erotica please), thrillers, YA, paranormal, adventures, mystery, contemporary fiction, horror, fantasy, science fiction, and children's books. All others are really on a case-by-case basis.
I'm not saying I agree or disagree, but what about things like Kirkus reviews?
As a book blogger, I received many wonderful books from indie authors. I do these in exchange of my honest review. Although, I do charge for ads (as banners listed on the sidebar of my blog). After reading this post, I wonder if this is inappropriate? Book bloggers, what do you think?