With the flooding of self-published work there comes another flood -- paid reviews. It seems there are a few well-known reviewers climbing aboard to take advantage of a new opportunity to make money, i.e. charging for their reviews. And I'm talking big dollars to fork out. Well, at least for some folks like myself with limited income it is a bit steep. Kirkus Indie charges $425 to $575 for a 250-350 word review. This option is geared toward self-pubbed, indie pubbed, POD, etc. authors. Okay, so on their webpage they do state that you will receive "a fair and unbiased assessment of your work" and that the rating can be anywhere from positive with stars down to negative.
Can you imagine? Fork out a few hundred, hard-earned dollars and get back a negative review? Ouch! At the same time, isn't this what really should happen? An unbiased, honest-to-goodness review of your work. I'd imagine that's what everyone should expect, but it's a pot-pourri of feedback out there. Friends and relatives who only want to give you a pat on the back and a leg up, persuading potential readers to buy your book. And of course, there are many others out there who would probably say all sorts of nice things, warranted or not, if you shoved some green under their noses.
I say this. Getting reviews, paid for or not, will always bring some bias along with them. In other words, it's not a perfect system. I, for one, from the reader's POV tend to ignore book reviews. If something strikes my interest, I buy it and read it to gather my own conclusions. But that's just me. As an author with a few books out there, both adult and teen fiction, I haven't really gotten much of anything in the review department. My books are selling okay, nothing worth writing home about, and I often wonder ... if I paid people to review ... hmm....
So, what's your take on it? Are paid reviews okay? Do you read reviews and let them influence your book-buying habits?
Whips, Cuffs, and Little Brown Boxes
Not So Snow White