Should I Pay For A Review?

Discussion in 'Indie Writing, Publishing & Marketing Discussion' started by Samantha Fury, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Samantha Fury

    Samantha Fury Active Member

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    Here is an poll and a thread that we started on a face book group. It's a great discussion from some of my Christian Indie's Group. I was looking for a way for a friend to make some money by working at home. Boy did I get a shock about what people said. You'll have to join the group to read all of this, but some of the most important posts are below.



    https://www.facebook...tal_comments=29

    I sure learned a great lesson I will never pay for a review.
     
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  2. Samantha Fury

    Samantha Fury Active Member

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    Also what do you think is the importance of a good review? I find them useful but I must say my Novel that only has one review out sales the book with 12 reviews. :)
     
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  3. Indie Authors

    Indie Authors Administrator
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    I'm very interested to see, but it looks like the post is locked unless you're a member of the group. Any way to make it visible? :)
     
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  4. Samantha Fury

    Samantha Fury Active Member

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    I'm trying. :)
     
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  5. Indie Authors

    Indie Authors Administrator
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    Awesome! Looking forward to reading it. :)
     
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  6. Samantha Fury

    Samantha Fury Active Member

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    Here are some of the best comments. :)


    Member Said
    This is actually not cool and there is a big scandal going around Joe Konrath because people found out he paid for reviews. Midwest Book Review, Book Rooster, and anyone doing paid reviews through fiver, are immediately taken down.
    Amazon wants reviews only for receiving a complimentary book, max. No paid reviews.
    You also run the risk that if the Amazon forums people find out, they'll blast your books with 1* reviews.
    If she wants to work from home, can she learn editing? That is a necessary skill.



    Member Said

    Here is a link showing what a bad idea it is to pay for reviews. They're considered fake and misleading.
    Especially as Christians, it's something we should avoid as an integrity issue. http://www.kindleboa...c,126009.0.html
    I agree formatting is another viable honorable way to build a business.
    Kindleboards
    www.kindleboards.com
    Kindle Boards - Index



    Member said

    It's the law according to the FTC :(quote) 1. The FTC can fine both the blogger and the company for not disclosing an arrangement where the company compensates the blogger for a review, positive mention, or sponsored post. Wouldn’t that be a bummer, to not mention your arrangement in the post and then find it costs you a new client? So not worth it.

    First, let’s define an “arrangement.” According to the FTC, compensation happens when you:
    ■Receive a free product and review it
    ■Link to the product’s website and receive a commission (called an affiliate program)
    ■Receive money, product or services for posting about a product
    ■Review a product or service that comes from an advertiser on your site.

    The FTC does not require you to disclose the relationship if you:
    ■Use a coupon for a more expensive brand of a company’s product than what you would normally buy, and blog about the product
    ■Review products from a swag bag at a conference.

    2. The definition of “disclosure” is more specific. It’s not enough to make a general disclosure on your About page anymore. The discloser must be contained in the post itself. “So long as the disclosure clearly and conspicuously conveys to the reader the relationship between the blogger and the advertiser, the disclosure will be adequate,” states the article. That means you can write something as simple as, “Company ABC gave me this product to review” and you’re done.

    And, it’s not enough to disclose the relationship just on your blog post. If you tweet about your post, or you tweet about a product for which you have been compensated, Sack suggests you add #paid ad, #paid or #ad at the end. I can’t say as I’ve seen any of those monikers yet, including during presentations at IACP from marketers who want to work with food bloggers. I have seen #spon, though. (end quote from http://diannej.com/b...ponsored-posts/)




    Member said
    The FTC passed laws against receiving compensation without disclosing it in the actual post back in 2009. Book bloggers were upset because now they must disclose if they were paid, and then Amazon went to great lengths to take down all paid reviews from these bloggers.
    If you weren't publishing back in 2009, you may not be aware of what a big deal it now is.
    All those people posting Kirkus reviews that paid $600 for them are actually breaking FTC rules if they do not disclose it is a paid review in every add mentioning it.

    Another Member
    Never never never! You debase your work. If your readers ever find out, you're dead. I used to read Name Removed, but never again!


    William said
    The problem with paid reviews is that the give the appearance of impropriety. It's always been acceptable and expected that you would give the reviewer a free copy of your book, but nothing more. Paid reviews create the impression that the reviewer isn't being honest about his/her opinion, just delivering a glowing review in exchange for money. No reputable review site does paid reviews, for that very reason. It's a conflict of interest. I find it almost impossible to believe that Kirkus has stooped to that level. There are plenty of free review sites, without needing to use one of the paid ones. Not all of them accept indie work, but some of them do.
    Midwest Book Review is really good. So is the Christian Review of Books and sometimes the Christian Fantasy Review (but that one depends on how she's feeling that day, I think). They all want paperbacks, though. No ebooks.
     
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  7. Indie Authors

    Indie Authors Administrator
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    Very good info. Thanks for posting this!
     
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  8. Samantha Fury

    Samantha Fury Active Member

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    I started this out in trying to find work for a sick friend that can do nothing more than read, and so I had no idea there would be
    such a good reason not to start out in this adventure. :)
     
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  9. ravendta

    ravendta New Member

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    I was crushed when I got my first 1-star review. I never really expected to get glowing reviews from everyone and anyone who picked up my work, but that didn’t take away the sting that came with being told the book I spent so many hours imagining, writing, changing, editing, deleting, rewriting, publishing, and promoting was so terrible in the eyes of a reader that they gave it the lowest possible score. Granted, it is only one rating. And the person didn’t leave an actual review to go with it. Not even a name, for that matter. It simply says, “Anonymous, 1 out of 5 Stars. No text was provided with this review.” But that was all it took to send me into a weekend-long review hunt, sending promotional copies of Key to the Stars to as many book review websites as I could find, hoping a few more good reviews might offset the damage done to the book’s overall score by that single star. After all, there are plenty of readers and websites out there who are more than happy to give honest reviews for free.

    Then I found a website (which shall remain nameless) that offered book reviews for fifty dollars each.

    I am not a supporter of paid reviews. Considering many corporations are employing people within their organizations to post fake 5-star reviews on their products and some are even giving customers free products in exchange for positive reviews (as reported by The Consumerist), I refuse to take part in any of that kind of nonsense. I want my reviews to be honest, legitimate, and from real readers with nothing to gain or lose from reviewing my book. I want to know what they thought, how they felt, and whether or not the book was worth the money.

    Shortly after discovering this website, I found myself in a conversation with a paid reviewer. This person referred to herself as a “Professional Reviewer” and felt that the both the cost and the title added extra credibility to the reviews she wrote. Additionally, a book review from this website came with an in-depth analysis of the author’s writing ability which points out where the book fails and where it can improve. Her argument was that newspapers like the New York Times pay their book reviewers, so why would this be any different?

    But there’s a fundamental difference in ideology there. A book reviewer for the New York Times is paid directly by their employer, not the author. It doesn’t matter whether the review is good or bad, they will still be paid. And, provided they do the job to the satisfaction of their employer, they will be given more books to review. The authors themselves have zero input. It doesn’t matter whether or not he or she likes the review; such feelings have no bearing on whether or not the reviewer will get more work, and thus, continue to receive a paycheck. Therefore, there’s no reason for them to feel swayed one way or the other.

    On the other hand, paid reviews inevitably come with a stigma because the reviewer is making money. Think of it this way. Reviewers are well aware that most authors are not going to write, edit, publish, and promote just one book. They’re going to make at least two, if not more. That means an opportunity for repeat business. If the author is happy with the first review, it’s reasonable to expect they’ll go back to the same reviewer for the next. So, a positive review serves the financial interest of the reviewer.

    In other words, I don’t trust paid reviews.

    I know that there are plenty of people out there who just want good reviews on their products regardless of how they get them. Whether it’s a book or an album or a wrench or a stove, many sellers are happy to forge reviews in exchange for profit. The problem, aside from the fact that it’s immoral and dishonest, is that people feel betrayed when the reality of the false review comes to light. Honestly, how would it make you feel as a customer of Amazon.com to see a report that employees of a product’s manufacturer have paid for fake reviews to influence your purchases like this: Belkin Apologized for Paid Reviews

    I know I’d feel betrayed. And you know what? I’d rather have a thousand one-star reviews than betray my readers.

    God bless,
    Kevin
     
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  10. Samantha Fury

    Samantha Fury Active Member

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    That's really good an very helpful. I hope lots of people read this because you are so right, we don't want our readers to feel betrayed in the end. Thanks for the reply!!!
     
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