Paid book reviews have been around for as long as books have been published. But, the knowledge hasn’t been public for quite as long. In fact, quite a few authors and publishers were quite embarrassed when the idea became very public due to “The Publishing Guru” Todd Rutherford publically talking about his six-figure business selling book reviews to authors.
What Exactly Is a Book Review?
Essentially, someone reads your book and then writes a review about it and publishes that review online, in newspapers and other places. The review should be true and if it’s a good one the author can use it on their website, blog, and even on their book cover to sell more books. The review can give the author some “street cred” and make the person perusing the books the idea that someone else liked the book.
Should You Pay for Reviews?
Paying someone to provide a review is usually a bad idea. However, it has been common practice for many years as mentioned previously. It can be worth it to start book sales, but it can also be bad if people find out that the review was paid for – especially if you paid for a particularly positive review. Ensure that you use a well-respected review service if you go this route.
How Much Do They Cost?
You can pay upwards of 500 dollars for a book review from major book reviewers like Kirkus. However, if you’re going to pay for a review, make sure that you are paying people who will provide a real review, good or bad, to you – without prejudice due to being paid. If you stick to well-known and respected reviewers you can overcome any stigma that may be attached to a paid review.
Where Can I Find a Reviewer?
A quick Google Search will result in hundreds of people who will promise to review your book. But first, try sending your manuscript to the people you’d like to review your book, for free (or the cost of the book) to see if that can help you get some traction. Any website that markets to your audience is a good place to ask about doing a review. In addition, some of the author marketing websites like Goodreads.com might be a good place to find a reviewer.
Whether the review is worth the money or not is questionable. It really depends on your goals regarding your book. If you want to invest in multiple publicity services for your book that also includes book reviews, it’s worth a try if you want to outsource this aspect of book marketing. It might be worth it to spend the money to kick off reader reviews, especially if you have a large audience.