Wednesday, September 12, 2012

People Pay For Reviews?

by Linda Robertson

I guess I'm naive, or too complacent. I never thought about this topic until this week.

Okay, until about ten minutes ago. (Tuck, your title this week cracked me up.)

I dunno what to say about paid reviews. I never paid anyone to review my books. Seems like I have a shit ton of reviews. Mostly positive ones. (Except for that one I discovered was newly posted about VICIOUS CIRCLE on someone's blog about 4 years after the book came out. Discovered it on my birthday. It opened with, "This book is utter shit." I read on. Learned that this person was clearly not looking for an Urban Fantasy book to read. Wasn't sure what they were looking for, but my book wasn't it. -shrugs-  That's okay, ain't gonna please everybody, I know. But I wouldn't ne able to finish a book I thought was utter shit. Just sayin'.)

Anyway, paying for reviews seems, in a knee-jerk reaction kind of way, to be like those paid advertisements on TV or, worse, those ones in the paper that try to look like real newspaper stories. On the surface it just seems fake.

I've never gotten a book because of reviews. Never because I read about it in a magazine or online. I buy books my friends have recommended, and ones that I've read the back of in the books store and thought, "Gotta read that."

That said, maybe those folks spouting the wonders of the (insert product name here) really do think it's the best thing since sliced bread. BUT the bottom line is those TV paid advertisements use paid professionals, from the lights and camera operators to the announcers on screen. They are being paid to tell you it's great. Or, if it's an infomercial trying to sway you to boycott something, they are being paid and putting money into telling you not to buy something. (Sometimes it's the controversy that makes sales...)

Does it happen? Yeah.
Does it seem shady? Yeah.
Have I done it? No.
Do I care right now?


Nope. I'm busy writing. I don't have the time nor the inclination to worry about who might have the money and the motive to pay for reviews. I'm gonna get back to work now, and write the best damn books I can, and hope that the people who read and enjoy them are compelled to, like me, recommend them to all their friends.


  1. I'm constantly amazed at what people will write as a review. Sorry some dorkwad said that about your book, Linda. And I hope you know that he/she/it had their head up their... armpit.

    I don't really buy books based on reviews either. Sometimes, if I'm already on the fence, I'll let a negative review - if it seems rational - sway me away from a book, but the good ones don't sway me toward. :shrug:

  2. If there is a book I want to read because of the blurb or cover (yes, cover will make me want to read) I will check out what the reviews say (good and bad). I look for info on the elements of the book. If a reviewer rates it low because of the heavy world building...Hello! I love world buidling. I stick to reviewers that have the same tastes as me and weigh what they say versus what I want. But, if a blurb really hits me I will read it no matter what the reviews say.

  3. Ack! Finding that review on your b-day.