Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Little More About Reviews

Wow, when the WTFery abounds, it really abounds. What is going on in the world to create such absolute, idiotic, crazy? Is there something in the water? In the air? Am I being punked? Are we all being punked? Because it's getting to the point where we're about all filled up withe crazy.

It all started with the nimrods wanting to out so-called bullies (who, we've discovered, aren't bullies. They simply have a different opinion than the nimrods would like them to have.) And then somewhere, someone sipped their cup of crazy and decided they simply could not live unless they outdid the nimrods.

Which brings me to a second post about reviews.

So we all know I'm shameless. I read my reviews. I will on occasion Google to see if there are any new ones (Gasp! Cough! Gasp!) And I'm not going to apologize, either, so there. Meh. :D


But what I would never do, (aside from attack someone who gave one of my books a less than glowing review - yanno, because she hated the heroine and wished the hero had killed her or something like that) is pay for a review.

Let me say that again.

I would NEVER pay for a review.


There are two reasons why (well, there are more, actually, but these are my top two) -

1. If I paid and got a crappy review, I'd be pissed. Why the hell did I pay you when I can get someone who hates the heroine and wants the hero to kill her for free?

2. If I paid and received a glowing review, I'd be suspicious. I paid them, right? So they damn well better say how golden my wurdz are, right?

So, apparently, there is a certain blog that charges $95 for a review. $95???? Really?? Egads, I must be cheap because I wouldn't even consider paying that for a review. I'm not crazy about coughing up the $$ for ad space on really well known and respected romance review sites (I do it, but man, I'm so cheap it really stings. Even though, I do recoup the costs in sales/exposure, so it's all worth it in the end.) And in some cases, it costs a lot less than $95 for that advertising space.

And really, considering there are so many well-known, well-respected review sites that don't charge for reviews, why on earth would you even consider paying for a review? True, a lot of them are backlogged, so your book might not be reviews, but at least if it is, you can be fairly certain there is no amount of bias involved.

Now, this review blog states that it only accepts books it thinks will garner 4 or 5 stars to begin with, but I still fail to see how that justifies charging for a review. And really, what good is any review blog that refuses to post less than stellar reviews? What's the point? If a book doesn't work for a reviewer, that reviewer owes it to the reader to say why, doesn't s/he?

And that brings me to my next point. This blog states that it is there to "help authors, not destroy them."

Um, reviews are not for authors. They are for readers.

Let me say that again (and I think I said it in my previous post as well, but I'm not above repeating myself)


Ahem. So really, while a glowing review (especially an honest glowing review) can be a massive ego-stroke for an author, it's really not about the author at all. They are for the people who are considering which book to buy. The reader.

Now, while I was doing a little bit of research for this post, I noticed that the site in question has nothing on it about charging a fee for their reviews and I can't say for certain if it ever appeared on their site, or if that little tidbit only comes to light after an author submits a request for a review. I do know of two authors who did not learn about the fee until after they submitted the review request. I did look at Kirkus Indie Reviews, and they very clearly state right on their Indie page what they charge for a review. Now although this is Kirkus, which is extremely well-known and highly respected, the Indie Review is a different arm. You don't pay for a Kirkus Review review (Department of Redundancy Department??)

And then there was what happened with author Michele Gorman. She is one of those two authors. When she blogged about whether or not reviewers should charge to their reviews, the site in question responded by threatening a lawsuit. So Ms Gorman went and removed all references to the site (although, one cannot be guilty of defamation if what one claims is true. Dear Author did a nice little summary of it yesterday.)

But the point still remains the same - I don't believe in paying for reviews and it isn't something I would ever do.

Note: This post was originally written on 7/18, but due to a power failure in my neck of the woods, it's only being posted on 7/19.


Maria Zannini said...

I don't read my reviews unless someone points them out to me. Like you said, reviews are for readers, not authors.

And paying for reviews? Sheesh. Not only wouldn't I do it, I'd be suspect of any book that got a review from them.

Kim said...

Exactly, I would, too. One writer friend told me she read one of their reviews and the book (in her opinion) wasn't good at all, never mind 5-star-good.

And even if it was a legit review, knowing the author paid for it would color my view on the validity of it as well.