Monday, 13 November 2017

Paid for reviews

I've received the following email - "I just found out on Goodreads that you are looking for reviews for your book. If you are still looking for reviews, please do contact me. I have an extremely affordable review tour service available for authors. With the help of my service, you can reach out to more than 14,000 readers and 2,000 book bloggers. Only SERIOUS inquires will receive a response, thanks. "

In common with all writers, I really, really want reviews on my books (If you're read one of mine please, please pretty please, leave a review on Amazon/Goodreads) and I totally understand the temptation to resort to unethical ways of getting them, but please don't. When you get found out, it'll undermine all credibility in your own writing – and tarnish the reputation of other indy authors, even those who don't cheat in this way. 

Not A Drop To Drink is still free and reviews for that will be just as welcome as those for my other books.

26 comments:

  1. I'd never pay for a review. Not ethical. Besides, you're already giving away a book for a review - pay for it on top of that? Crazy.

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    1. I wasn't tempted by this particular offer, Alex.

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  2. I agree with Alex. Pay for review? No way. It isn't going to help your sales, it's only going to diminish your credibility.
    Now giving a book away for free – that's probably a good idea, if you can afford it. I guess as long as it's not your only book, and assuming that freebie will get the takers to buy your other books, it's a very good idea.
    Good post!

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    1. I don't know if the free book is helping me gain readers of my other books, but that's my hope, Debi.

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  3. I can understand why writers might be tempted, but the unethical behaviour here comes primarily from the individual offering this service, in my view. I'd report them. A paid-for review is essentially an advert, and undeclared ads surely fall foul of the CAP code? Also - the last line is rude. The unsolicited approach was theirs, and they've the gall to put conditions on your response? I'm so worked up at this point that choice expressions terminating in 'off' are all I can suggest ...

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    1. Yes, it's rude. Both the message itself and the asumption that I'd involve myself in this.

      I would report them, but all I have is a (probably) fake first name and the email address.

      Delete
  4. How long has traditional authors been using Kirkus? Meh. The whole selling business stinks. I think I'll just hide and write, and no one has to know who I am.

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    1. It seems they actually read the book at least, and they're probably more legit than the offer I got, but I'm still sceptical about them being totally unbiased towards a person paying them hundreds of dollars for a review.

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  5. I would never pay for review because I can only imagine they wouldn't be honest in their review - and like Alex says, you've already paid by giving them a book.

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    1. Some of them don't need to see the book to write a review, Nick.

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  6. I agree with you, Patsy. I won't pay for reviews even though I could use some more!

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    1. You're wise to give it a miss I think, Fay.

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  7. Apart from agreeing that paying for a review would be unethical, I loathe these people who jump on the bandwagon of trying to make money out of others' hard work. Charging for reviews, that are probably flattering but not much else, isn't exactly difficult is it.

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    Replies
    1. Yep, it's just another attempt to get money from writers.

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  8. Your article is so concise and puts the point across well, Patsy. Let's hope that a well-written story will grow in popularity, even if it doesn't get any reviews. There are so many reviews- not just for books, but for everything - floating around everywhere, they're becoming a turn-off.

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    1. It would be great if the popularity of a story depended entirely on its quality, but sadly I think a famous name and big marketing budget are always going to play a bigger part.

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  9. Reviews are so, so important for authors, but paying for them is unethical at best.

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  10. Bloggers were talking about this and making a point of saying that they don't charge for reviews. We/I often review advanced reader copies which I get from Netgalley. And books bought. You don't need to pay for reviews as long as people who have your books get around to reading them and reviewing them .. guilty :/

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    1. I review all the books I finish reading* – but I'm over ambitious with the number of books I download, so it can take me a long time to get to round to doing that.

      *If I'm struggling to read a book I usually give up and it doesn't seem fair to review it if I've note read it all.

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  11. Yet another scam, in the sense that some might fall for it. Ask for reviews, by all means, because sometimes people need reminding, but never pay for them - that's dishonest, surely?

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    1. In theory a paid for review could give the reviewers true and unbiased opinion, but I'm doubtful that's what usually happens.

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  12. They actually emailed you-cold called- and then said only serious enquiries would get response? They emailed. You didn't inquire. I would write back pointing this out but no...you don't want to engage and open further dialogue with them.

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    1. I did briefly consider replying and telling them what I thought of their 'service' but decided my time was better spent bringing this to the attention of those who might not realise the full cost of doing this.

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  13. Paying someone to review your book seems unethical to me and I wouldn't dream of doing it.
    The bottom line is how important reviews actually are anyway!
    I've never bought a book because of good reviews. In fact, I rarely read reviews because I'm not interested in reading the opinions of strangers whose tastes might be different from mine.

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  14. The content of reviews doesn't influence everyone, it's true, but having largish numbers of them does seem to help reader confidence and mean that the book becomes more visible on Amazon.

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Thanks so much for commenting!