Thursday, July 7, 2016

Is it Ethical to Pay for a Book Review?

Some of your best loved books you found high-ranking on Amazon or the New York Times Best Sellers list actually paid for their reviews. What do you think about that? Is it ethical to pay for a book review?

Yes.

And no.

First off, just so you know, I've never paid for any reviews of my books. Not that my stance makes me a saint. It's just where I, personally, land on the issue. Now that we've got that little disclaimer out of the way, let's explore this issue . . .

When It's Ethical

Top book reviewers are super swamped with authors and publishers clamoring for them to please-please-pulleazzzz read and review their book. These reviewers are sought after because they do a great job explaining the pros and cons of a particular tale. Readers trust them, and consequently, books they recommend sell well.

But reading books takes time. Hours. And writing a credible review takes even longer. Is it too much to ask a publisher or author to finance that time spent reading their book? I think not. Paying a top reviewer for an honest and expedited review is no more schmaltzy than sending out personalized thank you gifts as a promo for your new book.

When It's NOT Ethical

Paying for a guaranteed 5-star review is just wrong, plain and simple. It devalues the "real" fantastic reviews and it's a flat-out lie if the book is a stinker. The real problem isn't that a reviewer receives money to write a review; it's when that money causes the reviewer to lie about the book.

Here are some ways to spot a fake "great" review on Amazon . . .
    - the copy is short
    - the copy is vague
    - the author of the review has very few if any other reviews

Besides buying an author's books, writing a review is the best way to support that starving artist. Unless you want to send them a money order. Or chocolate.

Or both.

2 comments:

MaryLu Tyndall said...

Hey girl! Couldn't agree more. I rarely pay for a review but when I do it's only on the promise of honesty from the reviewer. By they way, I'd review your books for free anytime. They are that good!

chappydebbie said...

Well, I think that if you don't like a book, you simply write an honest review or no review at all. I've been given books to read and review, but that doesn't mean I will give a 5 star review if that particular book stinks. I have to live with myself, so honesty is the only way to go. And let me just say that I have on more than one occasion just not written a review. I usually give those books away or they just sit on my shelf. So, you can trust each and every review that I write for your books.

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