What’s your take on ‘Paid for Book Reviews’

If you haven’t been over to the World Literary Café’s Facebook page you’ve been missing out on some good conversations.  The latest’s being a post about “Paid for Reviews.”  A FB friend found this New York Times’ Article (Look over to the right under my Tweets), The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy,  from the Business Day section and started a conversation at WLC’s FB page. Here’s my opinion of the news.

Here we are the self publishing, indie authors, who have either been shunned by or haven’t tried the traditional publishing route. We go at it alone, without the backing of major advertisers. In this piece it discusses five star reviews, the paid kind, and how there are  paid reviewers out there giving five stars reviews and they haven’t read the books.

Wait did I just write that right. It was the part of the article that stuck out for me. You mean I’d be paying someone to give  false reviews of my baby. Wow what does that do for customers? I’ll tell you what it does, it harms the reputation of all indies. They won’t come back and buy another, possibly from any indie author if the review falsely gives it five stars. This is not fiction.

Just imagine that you’re the one with the most fascinating, well written novel capable of being the number one best seller of all time and you can’t get the attention because some self serving person(s) out there saw a way to make a buck and thought it was a good idea to post bogus reviews, not seeing the bigger picture, that eventually led to the abomination of all indies. Our credibility. It feels very close.

I’ve been a part of writers groups and have read some extraordinary works, stories I had to finish reading right then and there. Seriously could not get off my laptop pieces that I would, without second guessing,  give a five star rating. Novels of such should not be overlooked because the author took the self publishing route.  We’ve come to a new age in publishing.

In self publishing infancy, where we are now, we need a program or a plan that assure indie’s are getting recognition without destroying the overall reputation.  False reviews isn’t going to do.  Ask yourself seriously is this the route you want? Wouldn’t it be better, more satisfying to have an honest review and then if need be, improve on your skills, perhaps take some writing courses, become a master of fiction with great reviews and recognition a hundred years from now?

We have fan pages, FB pages, author websites, and so on that reach, for the most part, us. We need to reach the everyday consumers out there, readers who by word of mouth can recommend our novels.  We need well written, edited works, with  great book covers, that knock the consumers off their butts, stories they can’t resist or stop talking about—and we need to advertise. I encourage authors out there to start looking into this avenue. Me, I’m going to take my local library up on offers of giving them a copy of my book, and if they love it…

Yes they will take and review indie books! They’ll know if its suitable for their shelves.

Once accepted I can then start my own little advertising campaign.  What’s your thought? There’s more to the article than what I picked up on, where should indies go from here? How do we assure our spot as an equal to the traditionals?

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About Ann Simpson
Ann Simpson lives in Falmouth, Virginia near the Civil War Battlegrounds of Historic Fredericksburg. Most of her paranormal writing takes place in the early morning before the family wakes and the spirits rest. She loves to write and read paranormal mysteries, suspense and drama. Book one of the Dark Guests Series, The Genealogist's Guests, was published in October 2013. Ann is currently writing book two, of which she may title, Megan's Heritage, sounds great...I just came up with it. I think I'll keep it!

2 Responses to What’s your take on ‘Paid for Book Reviews’

  1. I think the only way to secure our spot as equal to the traditionally-published is to, above all, maintain our integrity. The only way to be taken seriously is to play the game properly, and that doesn’t work if you’re buying fake reviews left and right.

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