Why Authors Shouldn’t Pay for Book Reviews

why authors shouldnt pay for book reviews
Comments (21)
  1. Book reviews are just like sponsored posts for the bloggers. I agree on this one because it’s just the same as blogging a sponsored entry. That’s why I’d rather make a review about a product or a service voluntarily because I get to say what I really think about them.

  2. ROBERT LEE says:

    Spot on, Ana. For a blog, paying for review or comments is unfathomable, what more books? Reviews are meant to be a reflection of how people feel about your book and as an author, treating books as a source of income, negativity could have an impact on sales, but the same negativity can also be a positive because that is how you know where to go from there. In the end, it is better. I commend you for your values and readers appreciate that.

  3. Michelle says:

    Excellent advice. I was recently approached to do a review for pay. I couldn’t believe they actually exist and without any kind of disclosure! I had to add a note on to my submission guidelines that I never will review for money so please don’t ask.

  4. Sabine says:

    Yes I agree. The fact is that if you’re interested in a book, you would read it anyways. Also without getting paid. However if you like so many books, that you can’t decide, getting paid for it make the choice easier haha!

  5. Lester says:

    I’m familiar with sponsored posts but I didn’t these things also happen with books. This could sure be tempting for a lot of writers but I do agree with you. GENUINE reviews are better because they are legit, honest and unbiased. Thanks for sharing! ;0

  6. Great post. I watched a video where another indie author talked about this same topic. She said someone who is known to be a paid reviewer had posted a review on her Goodreads page and Goodreads admin deleted most of her genuine reviews as a result because they were suspicious.
    In the long run, it doesn’t pay to buy something you should come by naturally.
    That said, I am looking for more honest reviews of my book. If anyone reading is interested in reviewing my book, please let me know.

  7. A very controversial topic for it’s similar to product reviews. Should brand pay bloggers? I know there are still bloggers who don’t ask for payment. When it comes to reader reviews, don’t think authors will benefit much…

    1. Nya says:

      I think the main issue here is that there is a thin line between “promotion” and actual “review”. Should brands pay to be promoted? Definitely. Should brands pay for advertising space? Definitely. Should brands or authors pay for a positive opinion / review? No. Opinions shouldn’t be bought. Reviews should be genuine.

  8. Agreed! That’s straight up bribery! I don’t know why an author would feel the need to do that to be honest- there are plenty of reviewers that will be happy just to review for free books- I don’t even do that- but I respect people that do it and it’s a good way to publicise new or indie books.

  9. I agree that reviews should not be paid or even so the pr should allow the reviewer to give a honest feedback. The reader of the blog or article will suffer by buying things that they shouldn’t have and the writer as well because his or her credibility will be affected.

  10. Shayne says:

    One form of marketing in the film industry is having advance screenings for bloggers/reviewers and that is their incentive more often than not. Sometimes they also give some little extra freebies. The giveaways doesn’t guarantee a positive review. I think it should work similarly for book reviewers. You give them a book and they review it, no payments necessary, like you said.

  11. Shai Habon says:

    I agree that authors should not pay book reviewers. I’ve read so many interesting books and most of them are on my blog-review list not because they paid me but because I’d just like to share my reading experience. Can’t wait for your other posts 🙂


  12. I agree to this. If you had to pay someone to read your book, it beats the purpose. You didn’t put your art there just so it could sell. You put it so it could touch people’s lives. Giving preview would be a better option.

  13. As both a book blogger and editor I couldn’t agree more. I’ve seen authors buying reviews thinking it’s going to help them rise to the top but it’s usually glaringly obvious. The writing should speak for itself.

  14. Maria says:

    This post is just so accurate in so many ways. I totally agree with this not only because that I’m a book lover as well but also, when you do reviews, you raise awareness. You share what you felt when you read it. You let them feel what you felt when you were reading. Plus, would you read a book with “fake” reviews? 😐

  15. Zwitsy says:

    I certainly agree that authors and publishers can pay the reviewers but certainly not the reviews. As for those services who offer positive reviews, it is so common today which is quite difficult to trust reviews posted online.

  16. Yan says:

    True! While I totally don’t agree with this method of buying good feedback, I feel like for some authors it’s the only way to get their book out there. Maybe they could bear with the lack of integrity of the initial reviews but it could be that what they’re really paying for is the numbers effect: the stats, publicity, reviews, everything that could lead to real sales, in which case I couldn’t blame them. 😉

  17. Alan Gore says:

    Honestly, all I think a review does is provide visibility of the specific book and author. I don’t read any reviews before deciding on a book, and it wouldn’t make any difference. There was a novel that was getting a lot of five stars from people (a best selling author), but my response to the book was “Meh.” The book wasn’t for me. Reviews are very much animals of personal taste.

  18. I totally agree with this post! Reviews should come from the customer’s (in this case, readers) heart. It should be genuine, and not anything sugarcoated. And on the author’s part, isn’t it more motivating if the reviews are something that you never asked for? something that came up because the readers loved your craft? I guess this should be applied to all businesses too. Just saying though. ^_^

  19. Bluedreamer says:

    i completely agree with this.. I do prefer reading those honest and unbias book reviews rather than a review that is merely like a promotion only.
    however, it is a sad reality that authors get a very small amount of book reviews and this is why paid reviews emerged in the system…

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