Book reviews, e-book reader, e-reader app, ebook reviews, ebooks, free e-books, Kbuuk, online publishing, Online reviews, Paid Book Reviews, paying for book reviews, problems in publishing, publishing, Reading, Rotten Tomatoes Reviews, self-publishing, writing
A few weeks ago I read this article on Forbes entitled Fake Reviews: Amazon’s Rotten Core which is pretty self-explanatory, but I encourage everyone to read it if you have not already. Then yesterday I find a blog post from Ditchwalk about Revisiting the Book Review Problem, which also references a piece written in the New York Times. And then there was another article I read from Forbes entitled Publishing Is Broken, We’re Drowning In Indie Books – And That’s A Good Thing. In this article, author David Vinjamuri also talks about how the self-publishing industry needs something like a Rotten Tomatoes. And then today I go to see what our lovely Christina Ledbetter has written for us this week, and this is her post title: Paying for (Glowing) Book Reviews, and Other Atrocities.
There are a few things I would like to say about the review issue. As a marketer, I am trained to listen to the market, and, market, we’re listening at Kbuuk. We hear you. This is a problem, and we want to try to figure it out. We want your opinions and feedback on the issue. How important are reviews to you as a reader and/or as an author? Given the opportunity, what would you do to implement a change in the current system? If you have answers to these questions, we want to hear them, so feel free to leave comments and suggestions below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Secondly, I don’t know if paying for reviews is inherently bad. I think there are certain caveats and expectations on both the author’s side and the reviewer’s side, but I’ll save those for another day. For now, I’ll just let you read Christina’s take on the issue.
Paying for (Glowing) Book Reviews, and Other Atrocities
Remember in Clueless when Cher sent herself flowers so that her crush would think, “Hey, everybody else likes this chick. Maybe I should like her, too?” Sally’s BFF in When Harry Met Sally did the same thing, though sadly her beau never saw the roses because he was gallivanting with his wife. Whether you’ve done it yourself or not, you’re at least aware that people spend money to puff themselves up using artificial means.
Which brings us to the issue of paying folks to write positive book reviews. Eww! This ranks right up there with lying on a resume to me. Come on, people. Let your writing stand on its own. It does bring up an interesting issue with e-books these days. Most people (including me) don’t want to read something that nobody in the entire universe has ever read, and reviews are our peek into whether or not anybody else has laid eyes on a new novel.
I’ve noticed a lot of books on Amazon lately with around fifteen reviews, all five stars. Fishy, I say. I’m not claiming they’re all paid for (well, I’m kind of claiming that) but I do think that chances are, the author’s BFFs and mother are doing the reviewing.
That said, I’m sure that when I stop writing articles one day and find myself finally polishing off my first memoir about my love for cats, I’ll walk my own mother through the entire review process (“Now click that ‘Be the first to review’ icon. See it? Now click the FIFTH star on the right, okay?”). But paying for positive book reviews? Please hold me accountable on this one, dear readers. It was kind of cute when Cher did the whole spray of flowers scheme, but if you find me trolling the Internet someday offering fifty bucks to the first person who’ll write a glowing review of my prose, I give you permission to write a glaring expose of my atrocities in your next tell-all, published by Kbuuk.