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Charging for reviews?

Jul
18

10 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Discussion, News

Imagine my surprise when I came across this post – “Should bloggers charge authors for reviews?”

My exact comment was “This …. is an actual THING? That’s REALLY happening? If I EVER thought to charge for reviews, I’d have to walk around with a bag on my head. I’d be so ashamed.” And I’m still sticking by it. I would be ashamed, as a book blogger. I understand the situation would differ if I were working for a magazine or newspaper or other publication, but I don’t blog for money. I blog because I love reading, writing and supporting all the awesome authors out there.

I feel terrible that authors would even consider paying bloggers to write book reviews. We’re awesome marketing tools, but we’re certainly not all reputable sources, writers or even readers. And the fact that “nice reviews” are being promised for the payments makes this sitatuon all the more disheartening. How can any blogger promise a “nice” review? What is “nice” to them? Positive? Or tactful and respectful? When I think “nice,” I think positive. As a blogger, do you like everything you read? Would you say you provide a “nice” review for those books you dislike? I wouldn’t. I would say I provide an honest review.

But I don’t take issue only with the “nice review” notion. I’m also shocked by the pricing. How can you charge $95 for a review? How do you determine such a price? That certainly covers more than the cost of the book to review.

I realize this is a very sticky situation, one that has far too many variables that can sway opinions. But I think at the heart of the matter, bloggers shouldn’t be charging for reviews. If you’re going to charge for reviews, then you’re not merely a blogger. You’re a paid advertiser.

What do you think?

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