Paid Book Reviews: Should You Buy?

Authors, especially self-published authors, often ask if paid book reviews are worth the fees.

A number of places offer paid reviews of books. These include:

Some authors choose to use these services because they are desperate for a professional review of their book to use in their book marketing campaign.

I believe that, for the most part, your money is better used elsewhere.Money

With the proliferation of online book review sites (including blogs) that review books, most authors should have no trouble tracking down some free book reviews with a little persistence. For example, the Midwest Book Review provides an extensive list of book review sources on its website.

Even if you are in dire need of reviews for your books, you still may not need to dish out money for a review. Ask the people you know to review your book. Friends are often more than willing to review a book.

Fellow authors are another good source for book reviews. If you are a member of an authors’ or writers’ group, place a request before your group asking for some reviews. Remember to repay the favor by reading and writing a review for a book by another member of the group when asked to do so.

Another option to make the best use of your book promotion dollars is to hire a writer or an aspiring writer to read and write a review of your book. If a writer has not written a professional book review and needs some direction, there are a number of places where you can learn how to write one. One good place is an article on eHow.com titled “How to Write a Paid Book Review.”

If you hire a writer to review your book, besides using the review in your book promotion campaign, make sure to have the writer post the review on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and any other online bookstores where your book is listed. The writer can also submit their written review of your book to a number of print and online publications that accept articles that review a book. Your writer could even garner some additional funds from the publications that accept their written review.

If you need a list of Christian magazines geared toward your target market to submit book reviews to, a good place to start is with the Christian Writers’ Market Guide by Sally E. Stuart. Her website also hosts a list of Christian magazines.

There is rarely a need to purchase a paid review for a book. Just follow my advice and send me the money instead!


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4 thoughts on “Paid Book Reviews: Should You Buy?

  1. I like the article. There is something about paying for a review that just doesn’t sit well with me. I feel as though you won’t get an objective review if you pay for it. I’m an idealist and an avid book reviewer, and I tend to review every book I read because I enjoy doing so without any prompting. I always hope that those who read my books will do the same.

    Anyway, a great, helpful topic worthy of much discussion!

    Like

  2. Excellent article. I’ve started writing book reviews on my blog, but never knew some of these other options even existed. Don’t know why someone would pay for a book review when so many people would gladly do it for free (or perhaps a free book).

    Like

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