Just when I thought I'd heard it all, in comes the "Paid" reviews.
Of course, many of us suspected this was happening in the traditional publishing world all along. How else could a book have over 300 reviews before it is even released? And another thing, do publishers pay to get the NYT to review a book? I have always wondered, for surely the paper doesn't have hundreds of reviewers looking for books to review without some sort of notification from publishers. Does that notification come with a "donation?" Who knows, I don't.
Nevertheless, we are learning there are reviewers out their happy to get their hands on as much as $1,000.00 for as many as 50 bogus reviews. You have to know the right people, I guess. Furthermore, it is possible to pay said reviewers to buy the book as well? Yes, it appears it is.
While some may think this is smart marketing, authors doing it the old-fashioned, honest way are gasping. How can a reader possibly rely on reviews now? Apparently, they can't.
The NYT article is happy to "out" authors who have used this service. One such author claims to have made a million dollars in a few short months, but one must wonder how much that cost him? He even wrote a book on how to do it and somehow failed to mention that particular marketing device.
Just what we need -- another scam! It is bad enough that authors trade tags, likes and reviews among themselves, but this scam might bring the review benefit readers depend on to a grinding halt.
Marti Talbott is the author of the Marti Talbott's Highlander Series, the Carson Series and The Marblestone Mansion series. Visit her website at www.firstchaptproject.com