To Pay or Not to Pay – for Book Reviews

Yesterday,in her post, Kari showed you why Book Reviews are Important. Today we’re going to briefly discuss where to find those reviews and whether or not you should you pay for them. Finding reviewers for your books can be challenging. One trick is to identify books similar to yours, find out who reviewed those books, and ask those reviewers to review your book. Check out blogs, Amazon reviews, Barnes & Noble reviews, or Goodreads reviews to find reviews in genres similar to yours. In our Webinar, The Cornerstone of Marketing your Self Published Book,you’ll find a list of possible reviewers. Under a board called Book Reviewers,I’ve been collecting book reviewer sites on our Pinterest page. If you’re not already on Pinterest, I’d suggest you create your own board so you can collect the names of book reviewers you may want to contact later when you are close to finishing your book.


While it’s customary to give a reviewer a copy of your book, in whatever format is best for the reviewer, it has not been customary to pay for book reviews. However, as with anything, there are people who have decided to make this a writing niche for themselves. I’m not going to judge. Do what you love…right? And if you love to read and you like to write, being a book reviewer is an awesome job and to be paid for it is a bonus. However, as a writer, do you want to pay for a book review? Do you feel it’s honest to pay for someone’s opinion; if the opinion is paid for, how honest will it be? From the blog titled Book Designer, Joel Friedlander talks about whether or not authors should pay for book reviews (See Should Authors Pay for Book Reviews. He’s a no. His main points are that it is dishonest and it cheapens the process. In her blog post, Should You Pay for Reviews, Kristen Sheppard states that self-published or indie authors may need to pay for book reviews because very few people willl review self-published books without incentive. If you do a Google search on the subject, the opinions of the top sites seems to be not to purchase reviews. This is not a scientific search of evidence but just an observation. BookFuel’s opinion is that you do NOT pay for book reviews. We agree that it cheapens the process and is disingenuous. Again – I’m not going to judge. I would suggest, however, if you DO pay for reviews, make sure it’s a reviewer with integrity, one who will actually give you an honest review.


Good news – if you don’t want to do the research to find reviewers on your own, we can do it for you – and we’ll do it specifically for your genre. You can find out more about this service on our Marketing Page.





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