Though I’ve touched on this subject before on this blog I think it warrants repeating. I will never pay someone to read and review one of my books. Period! Most paid reviewers give glowing reviews on the books they read even if the book is not up to par. Why? Because they want your money and repeat business. Think about it. Would you pay someone a second time if they gave your book a bad review the first time? Of course not. Would you publish the book anyway? Would you be in denial and blame the bad review on that person’s particular taste? That they just didn’t understand the story you were trying to communicate?
Fake reviews are one of the main reasons why indie books have been getting a bad rap. For sometimes enormous fees an author can get several good reviews based solely on what they paid for the review and not the content of the book. These bad books with so many good reviews hit the virtual bookshelf like a bait-and-switch sale at an appliance shop. The reader buys the book because so many other “readers” said it’s great and then is horribly disappointed by the content inside. They feel cheated and angry and become biased against indie authors.
I truly believe a good, honest review is a large part of garnering interest in the book and making it successful. You can only fake worth for so long before word gets out that something is amiss with all the praise for a crappy novel. Real reviews have passion for the story that comes across in the way the review was written. It takes time and effort for a fan of the novel to post a review, done lovingly and without reimbursement.