SHOULD I PAY FOR A BOOK REVIEW
Debate rages on whether a paid book review can benefit an author. Opinions go both ways. More experienced writers shy away from paid reviews because they attract sufficient publicity when they release a work. Another mindset which encompassed a majority of people I canvassed on this subject believed paid reviews are beneficial for them. The latter reference is supported by a vast array of people advertising themselves and or their companies which perform reviews on a fee for service basis. Kirkus is one of the best know companies performing book reviews in nearly every genre, whether fiction or nonfiction. The need appears more expansive than large companies can handle. Enter the multitudes who now review for a fraction of the costs requested by their big brothers. One or more good reviews can ignite sales especially on a platform like Amazon which leans heavily on these written advertisements. With these facts in mind unpaid reviewers still perform a majority of the work.
Book clubs and groups on social media sites offer free reviews with a caveat. I will review your work if you review mine. More frequently authors will give a free book in return for a review. Novel Blog Community requires reviewers to purchase a book in the hope more paid work will be generated from the author. The latter model is risky and not utilized by many people. The question arises: What is the quality of the unpaid review? There is no difficulty ferreting out the professional reviews from the rest. Amazon’s open book forums display commentary after each book they have for sale. Superficial nondescript reviews entice no one to purchase a book. While paid reviews generally are introspective, descriptive and usually more extensive than their counterparts and literally jump off the page. Who should obtain paid reviews?
Named authors are not likely to benefit from a paid review. Their fame generates sales. In this category there is a small contingent of people. For the larger group, including this writer, a well-designed and introspective review or reviews can generate sales and place the author on the literary map. For those who just put a pen to paper for the first time good publicity in the form of a paid review may help distinguish his or her work from the hundreds of thousands who publish yearly.
Digital electronics has opened up new means of reading books and other literature. With the introduction of the Kindle, Nook and other devices larger audiences have access to your works. Discerning which books to read may be enhanced by a summary utilized by Amazon or other sellers. This service is accomplished by a paid reviewer who discusses the gist of the book on sale and hopefully places it in the best light. My argument is there is a wide spectrum of uses for commercial paid reviews which are available from very competent people. Before purchasing a paid reviewer’s service review some of his or her work. Excellent reviews stand out flat reviews fail to attract readers. Careful selection of a reviewer will go a long way to promote your book.
Mark Davis, MD
Manager of Best Book Reviews and Editing Services