I ran across an article about paying for reviews about a year ago. My first thought was ‘seriously. That is so sad.’ At the time I just shrugged and continued on without putting anymore thought into it, figuring it had to be rare. Because how could paying for a few reviews actually do anything other than harm your writing career.
Fast forward a few months, and boom, I ran into two another bloggers talking about the great sin of paying for reviews and its slightly less evil twin—using the ‘friends and family plan’. Okay, I admit I laughed at the ‘friends and family plan’ part. My sister did write a review for one of my stories, and no, it wasn’t a glowing five star review. She comes from the school of tough love. LOL. But I value that review because it was honest. And to the best of my knowledge, no other friends or family reviewed any of my stuff. (fantasy romance is not their genre of choice.)
All the rest of the reviews are from total strangers or other authors/bloggers I’ve ran across in my cyber travels. Stone’s Kiss is my most reviewed novel. It’s FREE (shameless self promotion) and has 25 reviews on Amazon, 111 ratings on Goodreads, and 73 ratings on Barnes and Noble (which is not very useful, because anyone can review with or without an account, and kids seem to use it like it’s a forum, chatting about strange things and give you 5 stars while they did it. .::shrugs::
As for the reviews on the more honest sites, they vary from 5 star to 1 star reviews. And like my sister’s review, I value all of them. Yep, even those painful 1 star reviews. Because, for the most part, there was also some useful bit of information that inspired me to do better. I’m one of those authors who needs fire-under-butt to make me strive to do better/keep writing/become more professional.
Don’t get me wrong, I love writing, but am also guilty of viewing it as a hobby at times. ::Bad Author::
But back to the topic of paying for reviews. I don’t understand how a few authors think paying for reviews is actually going to help them long term. Yes, it might trick readers into buying one of your books, but are they going to buy the next? Ah…let me think…hmm…NO. Because you’ve just landed on their ‘I’m Never Buying Anything By That Horrid Author Again’ list. And if they feel they’ve been outright duped, you’ll likely see a return and probably a really bad review.
So IMHO if you want to pay for reviews…go ahead…shoot yourself in the foot.