Hello and welcome to this week’s Bookish Ramblings here on Books, Biscuits, and Tea. Today’s post is a short response to this insanity that I keep seeing on my Twitter timeline today, namely this article. If you know me then you will also know that I try to do my best to stay out of any kind of blogger drama that is going on. Today, however, I really am in shock and I just couldn’t let it go.
Long story short, author Michele Gorman sent an email to a group of bloggers called ChickLitGirls to consider reviewing her book, Misfortune Cookie. In their reply, the Chick Lit girls stated that they’re very selective when it comes to review copies and they always make sure they’re interested in the story before they accept such a request. Fair enough, that’s what all of us do, right? There’s no point in accepting review books that are not your cup of tea, since you couldn’t do them justice anyway. This is all very well, until we get to the following part:
“Currently, we have so many requests for book reviews and promotion help, that we do have about a 3-4 week wait list. Because we have such a large amount of book review requests, we have had to start charging for them . So now we are now charging a fee of $95.00 per review and subsequent postings. That includes a nice review with the short synopsis that comes with your book, a picture of the book with a link to purchase it from Amazon.”
And this is where I literally buried my face in my hands. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming them. I’m sure there are a lot more blogs out there who charge authors for their reviews – it just makes me really, really sad that there are people who are actually willing to pay for this. Why?
1, Because this is not what blogging is about. You -hopefully- started your blog because you want to keep track of the books you read, because you love books and you like talking about them, not because you want to make money. As a book blogger you might be contacted by authors and publishers who might offer you review copies for free. And if they do, you should be grateful and consider yourself very, very lucky. Not everyone has the opportunity to work with these publishers, not to mention review copies and the fact that you’re reading them months before they’re actually released.
2, Because as a reader, I want to know what you really think about the book and not how flattering you can be. Everyone can say nice things about a book but what’s the point in lying? I’d rather read mixed reviews of a book that are true and built on constructive criticism than a bunch of 5 star reviews that are completely made up. I usually read other people’s blogs because I’m looking for book recommendations – but why would I care if I know that your reviews are all made up anyway? I don’t know about you, but I just hope this is not going to be the new trend.
What do you think about bloggers charging authors for favourable reviews?