Now you know the perks of a review and what to look for in a reviewer or a review service. You’re armed with the tools needed to knock this decision out. There are pros and cons for a pay for review and a non-pay review. But the guidelines in selecting one or the other don’t change.
For instance, majority of authors garner reviews from family and friends. It’s a great start. If you choose to use their review make sure you don’t list it as “Reviewed by Aunt Sally.” List as Sally J or anonymous. Some writers note the state after the review to show the different markets and demographics their book has reached. There are lots of free reviewers but…they’re free. This means they get hundreds, if not thousands, of requests. There is a good chance that your book may not get reviewed or even seen. If it’s reviewed, this can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to months.
Ultimately, if the review listed on your website or back cover was paid for or not will not determine the success or failure of your book. What will determine how far your book will go is the content between the front and back cover. We all agree that reviews are a great addition to any product. Just make sure you have a good product to begin with and you’ll do just fine.
I’ll leave you with my response to a review discussion:
What we're talking about is similar to reviews that I see on hotel reviews sites. It’s inevitable that providers of services will find a way to promote their product or service in a positive light. That is where the "informed" consumer comes in. I feel that if people want to pay for reviews, no matter the reason or goal that is up to them and a right. For me, I seek out reviewers that have zero investment in my work. So, I feel confident that I'm getting an objective review. It's not hard to tell the "real" reviewers (paid or unpaid) from those that are just posting anything for an online presence or to promote friends and family. The utilization of reviews by an author should be one of the tools used in creating an effective marketing strategy. Remember the cardinal rule. Be nice. Even if you receive a not so positive review, be sure to send the reviewer a thank you note via mail, email or phone.
TOOLBOX GOODIES – List of pay for and non-pay review sites. This is not an all-inclusive list. There are many review sites and individuals out there. Do your research and be sure to adhere to their book review guidelines.
· Publishers Weekly
· Black Issues Book Review
· Philadelphia Inquirer
· Atlanta Journal Constitution
· Midwest book review
· The Raleigh News and Observer
· San Francisco Bay View
Cause for Discussion
- As a reader, do you pass books over that have pay for reviews?
- As an author, have you ever paid for a review? What was your experience?
- Would you pay for a review?
- Is pay for reviews ethical or just another way to scam hard working authors out of their money with promises of increased promotion and maybe sales?
Thanks for reading!