There’s some hubub going around today about paying for reviews (and I’m gleefully immersing myself in that to distract myself from a major personal disaster going on at Lee Kiota). I’ve talked about about it before. I think it’s gaming the system. Not stupid, per se, but playing dirty.
I’m not sure how much of an impact it has because fake reviews =/= word of mouth with is still the primary way books sell (it’s just some mouths, like those that appear on TV, are bigger than others.) In my own experience my best selling, by a HUGE amount, self published work is the one that still has
zero reviews (holy hell, it does have one! When did that happen?) And the books I have with the best sales period? The ones that came out through KHP.
Trying to find a logic in buying readers’ habits is a Lovecraftian task. You’ll go mad.
Point: I’m not sure reviews sell books anymore than anything else. Why pay for them? If you buy reviews of a shit book to sell it people will point out it’s a shit book and your sales will sputter. Also, there are loads of ways to get reviews for free, like GoodReads’ Giveaways, or, you know, networking with authors and reviewers and offering review copies. Or just asking people who email you praise to post it someplace other people can see it.
Furthermore, these sites popping up naming names…aren’t completely verifiable. I mean, it’s a shit business that makes public the names of their clients when no legal wrongdoing is happening. Grain of salt is all I’m saying.
Personally, I’ve never paid for reviews, unless you count buying copies at cost, or postage to send them out. And I HAVE been paid for reviews, but I was paid by a third party as a contributing author to a webzine, NOT by the author or publisher.
I have no plans to do so when I can buy stuff like beads and promo stickers, and, you know, Taco Bell, instead.
Edited: Oh, right. Linkage.