Bookish Ramblings: Should bloggers charge authors for reviews?

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?

email

68 Responses to “Bookish Ramblings: Should bloggers charge authors for reviews?”

  1. Yikes! Thanks for covering this topic, Vicky. It’s one thing to participate in a tour where a prize is offered, but to straight charge for reviews. Indie authors are leery enough of Kirkus, why would we shell out $100 for a relatively unknown entity? Some bloggers just aren’t in it for the right reasons, and eventually they’ll go away. Glad there are still bloggers like you out there. You rock my world, Vickster ;-)

  2. Sorry I caused your head to hit your hands with my article this morning, Vicky :-) My jaw hit my desk when I read the email. I’m glad you’ve posted this here, so that readers can start talking about this important issue.

    Playing devil’s advocate, perhaps it is okay to charge for honest reviews. After all, bloggers do spend a lot of time writing reviews which work as marketing for a writer’s book. Is it ever okay to get paid for that? And if so, how much is fair?

    Also, is the main issue in the fact that it’s happening, or that a favourable review is being promised in exchange for money? Kirkus, for example, also charges for indie books (as opposed to traditionally published books) through its “author services” which is clearly displayed on the website. Within this service it writes an unbiased review that gets sent to the writer to post wherever he/she likes (including Kirkus’ website). If it is a stinky review (those are my words, Kirkus is more eloquent) then the writer doesn’t have to post the review.

    I’m very interested in what readers think about this. Is there a line? And if so, where is it?

    • Vicky says:

      It’s okay! :) I was quite shocked when I read it this afternoon. If you ask me, the main issue here is that a favourable review is being promised in exchange for money. I don’t know how many people actually charge authors for honest reviews but I know I couldn’t do that.

      I mean, I live in the middle of nowhere and still, there are always people who are willing to send me review copies from overseas and for completely free. Plus, I’ve never thought I’d be working with publishers and authors one day so I think that’s more than enough. :) Most of us are doing this because we love reading, not because we want to make money.

      I’m looking forward to reading what everyone else thinks but I guess we’ll see! :) x

      • jeanie caillie says:

        Vicky,
        I’m with you. I’d certainly review books for free!! and a book club that must “think about it first” not sure if they’ll like
        it first, doesn’t appear to be a very open minded book club. We
        try everything.
        jeanie

    • Carrie says:

      How can it be assumed that the review WILL be honest? Whenever money is involved, it changes things. If I know that a site requires money before they review a book, I really won’t want to read it. I cannot believe that I will be receiving an honest review. Money makes everything shady.
      Carrie recently posted..MOMumental by Jennifer GrantMy Profile

  3. Okay I am actually shocked!
    Who charges for reviews?

    And something I want to point out. It says it includes a nice review. How can you know if the review will e positive before you’ve read the book. That isn’t an HONEST review.

    I am so sad that there are bloggers out there who do that
    Kayleigh @ K-Books recently posted..Cover Reveal: Inbetween by Tara FullerMy Profile

  4. Theresa says:

    I think it is completely bogus to charge $95.00 for a book review. On the other hand… blogging takes a huge amount of time and I would see nothing wrong with someone charging $5-$10 to cover their time formatting the posts. I can’t imaging $5-$10 being enough to sway anyone’s view of a book, and would hope that most people in the blogging community would understand that the blogger is simply trying to get by. (I don’t charge for reviews, btw) :)
    Theresa recently posted..It’s My Birthday!My Profile

    • Thanks Theresa, I’m inclined to agree with you, that there’s a threshold for payment which, if a blogger were to charge, would be accepted by writers and readers. And, as you point out, $5 is unlikely to sway a review.

      What say readers? Would you be happy to read reviews (and trust them) for which bloggers charge a small amount to cover formatting time etc?

      • I think maybe a little small fee would be acceptable, however I know that if ever get to the stage in blogging where I’m receiving books for review (though my main and primary purpose is to share my love of books), then I would only ever ask for a donation at most, to support the upkeep of my blog.
        Charr @ charrandthebookshelf recently posted..Meanwhile Monday #2My Profile

  5. Alissa says:

    This …. is an actual THING? That’s REALLY happening? If I EVER thought to charge for reviews, I’d have to walk around with a bag on my head. I’d be so ashamed.
    Alissa recently posted..Whip it Up Mondays! {12} – truffles.My Profile

  6. Jim Wright says:

    Granted, I’m not a professional book reviewer, in fact I’m only just reviewing my second book. However, I cannot imagine for the life of me charging an author for a review. When I posted my review of the first book, the author offered to send me a free signed copy. Well, I was just tickled to death to think she’d make such a generous offer! Even if she hadn’t, her words of gratitude would have been more than sufficient. If I can ever get anyone to review mine (without paying nearly 100 bucks) I hope I will be as graceful and grateful as she was. Shocked I tell you, just shocked and more than a little pissed!
    Jim Wright recently posted..A Visit With Eugene TowerMy Profile

  7. Wow!!! I didn’t know people did this! My first thought when I read the title of this post was, NO!! Why would I charge? I want to give an honest review of the book! And sometimes I already feel bad if it’s not a glowing review when I’ve gotten a free copy or an ARC. Just wow.
    Lisa Loves Literature recently posted..Rift (Nightshade Prequel #1) by Andrea CremerMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Exactly!! I feel so bad when I get an ARC and I don’t like it as much as other people or as much as I thought I would. Yep.. just wow!

  8. Alex :) says:

    Hi Vicky! :)

    I have missed your bookish ramblings so much! Thank you for coming back with such a meaty/dangerous topic.

    The fact that some sites charge for reviews is absolutely disgusting! If someone sent me a FREE copy of their book to do a 100% honest and unbiased review i would be honored! It wouldn’t even cross my mind to ask for a single penny. I couldn’t agree with you more that this is not what blogging is about. Last time i checked blogging was about sharing book opinions and finding great new reads. It leaves me a bit dumbfounded to be honest.

    There are so many great book blogs out there (ie you!). If i were Michelle i would just forget about the whole fiasco and just send her book out to people who want to review it and give an honest opinion rather than pay people for a biased lie.

    And who do they think they are saying it was harassment? Bit dramatic!

    Sorry mini rant there! :P

    Can’t wait for the next bookish ramblings :)!

    • Thanks Alex, that’s exactly what I’m doing.

      Luckily I’m an experienced writer who has published books both traditionally and independently, so I know how reviewers generally work (queue big, bouncy kisses here!).

      My concern is for a) the writers who are new to the market and may think that this is the way things are normally done and b) readers, who may not realise that they are reading paid-for reviews. Even though there are disclosures on blog sites saying they accept cash for reviews (I believe it is a US requirement to say so), the disclosure may not be prominent enough for a reader to notice it.

      • Alex :) says:

        Good! Glad that you are okay now :):) Your concerns are so true. If i went to a site and then found out that they were getting paid large amounts of money (for me anyway!) to review i would simply stop reading it. It’s horrible how some people are trying to make money from 1) New authors and 2) what people do all over the world for free as a sort of labor of love! :)
        I couldn’t agree more with what everyone is saying! :)

  9. I don’t agree with what they’re doing at all! I started my blog for me, so I could chronicle my thoughts on the books I was reading. When I started getting some books for review, I reviewed them — sometimes I like the book, sometimes I don’t, but just because the book comes for free doesn’t change my thoughts on the book.

    The problem with charging for reviews is the fact that now the reviewer feels obligated to put at positive spin on the book, even if the book sucks. And that’s not right!

    There’s a place for paid reviews and the blogging world just isn’t it.
    Kristilyn (Reading in Winter) recently posted..Read-A-Long: Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon (WEEK FIVE)My Profile

  10. I have missed the ‘Bookish Rambling’. My mouth fell open :o I can’t believe it! I’ve started to blog, because of my love for books. I don’t receive books, because I live international, and if I would: I would be grateful to get the opportunity. It is wonderful that there are authors and publishers out there who are willing to give you a free book. And you should always be honest about that book. A nice review, because you get paid for it? Ugh, disgusting!
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted..Review 33. Zoë Marriott – The swan kingdom.My Profile

  11. OMG! Thanks for posting about this. I’m stunned. Now I’m wondering how many book blogs there are charging for reviews!

    Honestly, I don’t see how this could ever work fairly, especially at such a high price. The author would essentially be paying them to write a ‘good/favourable’ review, since, like you mentioned, they’re agreeing to this before even reading the book. If they were to charge AFTER reading and liking the book, using the argument that a positive review = good publicity, it’s still not guaranteed that they aren’t faking a positive reaction to make money.

    I think that I would find it so hard to draw the line that I wouldn’t even attempt to charge people. While $5-10 is a reasonable amount, I’d feel awkward putting a price on the time it takes me to make a post. I’d have a hard time quantifying my efforts like that because it varies so much. And like you said, we should be doing this for the love of it! Great post!
    The Headless Owl recently posted..Review: The Last Guardian by Eoin ColferMy Profile

  12. Sina says:

    Wow, this is ridiculous. When I saw the price they’re charging my jaw dropped!

  13. I prefer an honest review for my work, good, bad, or in between. The FTC has disclosure rules on reviews vs. endorsements. Very interesting info. Kirkus charges indie authors $425 for a review. Pretty steep. Will many follow?

    http://ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf

  14. Giselle says:

    Wow this makes me sad because you know what? It makes bloggers look dishonest. If they do it, what stops people from thinking we ALL accept money for reviews – making our reviews futile. I’d hate for people to stop trusting bloggers’ reviews. Bloggers who actually do it because we love it and actually enjoy reviewing books and reading.
    Giselle recently posted..Review: Before You Go by James PrellerMy Profile

  15. Thanks for bringing this to our attention Vicky. I was certainly shocked at first, but after thinking about it, quite a lot of publications now to ‘advertorials’, which are clearly marked and paid for advertising written in the style of the magazine or outlet it’s published in.

    That said, these are always clearly marked. If each of thier reviews that were paid for mentioned something clearly to that effect, then I wouldn’t have anything against it. Sure, the policy on the website says something to that effect, but it’s quite buried.

    Granted, if there is a market for something, I don’t see why people shouldn’t be paid. After all, as a lot of other people on this blog have said, it takes up a lot of time to read, review, post, sync it to other social media outlets, etc. I guess what I’m saying it, I don’t mind the idea of people getting paid to write reviews (like in newspapers or magazines), but the idea that someone is paying for a positive review is a very hard pill to swallow.
    Daphne @ Winged Reviews recently posted..The Selection by Kiera CassMy Profile

  16. Jenna says:

    Whoa! I am utterly and am purely shocked by this. Wow, just wow. When i read the $95 charge part, I basically did what u did. Anywy, i’ve been blogging for more than a year now and that’s the first time i’ve heard of that issue. I know blog tour sites charge for tour packages, and that’s quite understandable because that is a real work, but for just a review? I mean , i totally agree with you that book blogging was supposed to be just sharing to the world the books you’ve read and your honest opinions about it. And i, like you, read reviews of bloggers to know if a certain book is really good or not.

    I guess it all falls to different choices..

  17. Charr @ charrandthebookshelf says:

    Personally, I think that’s entirely unreasonable. At the end of the day, I find blogging to be volunteer work, a passion that I wish to share with others and I did not go into it to make money.

    If authors and publishers are sending you the book for free anyway, when they could easily not, and make you buy the book upon it’s release anyway, I think it’s very rude to charge for the service. You are volunteering a service, out of the kindness of your heart.

    I think it’s worse that they’re charging for an HONEST review. The whole point is to be honest about the book, to share your honest thoughts on the book, so people can find books that are for them. And to lie about those reviews, well… I think it goes against everything we stand for.

    I’m all for asking for an optional donation though, towards the upkeep of you blog, but other than that, I do not think that making money off the authors we review should be how we work.

    Thank you for raising this for discussion.

  18. WHAT?!?!?!?! OH. EM. GEE. I’m so out of the loop. I had no idea this was happening. Quite interesting actually. I wonder if they are actually making money. If so, shameful. It’s also sad the people who would pay for a good review. Really sad. One bunch ruins the whole batch.
    Mary-Sweet Bookshelf recently posted..Blog Tour: Shackled by Angela CarlingMy Profile

  19. Nafiza says:

    The only time it’s okay to be paid for a review is when the people paying you are not at all connected the author. For example, a magazine you write for or a newspaper. And to promise a “nice review” is even worse.
    Nafiza recently posted..Book Art by Guy LarameeMy Profile

  20. This has left me with a very bad taste in my mouth. To me, charging for a review is automatically guaranteeing a favorable one because who wants to pay for a negative one. Where’s the credibility? Can we really take any of their reviews seriously now? Not that I read their site anyway, but I don’t think I could trust a site that is paid for their reviews.

  21. OMG who does that? I am speechless. I mean who finds it fair to ask money for a review copy and so much for that matter… And all that for a 5 start review. If I was a writer I would be furious(I am furious actually and I am a simple blogger).
    Veronica Morfi recently posted..Unpack This [July 9 - July 15]My Profile

  22. What!? No no no no no! I was so gobsmacked at this I had to read it outloud to my boyfriend, who was equally shocked.

    It’s not even the audacity of asking for payment that shocked me – it’s the horrible e-mails they send afterwards. Michele Gorman did absolutely nothing wrong and the fact that they ‘notified their attorney’ is clearly untrue as it’s in no way illegal.

    THAT’S what shocked me – their reaction.
    Hanna @ Booking In Heels recently posted..Review: Feast of Fools (Morganville Vampires #4) by Rachel CaineMy Profile

  23. Ick. I can’t believe bloggers would charge for reviews! Especially for false good reviews! That makes me want to take a million showers. NO THANK YOU. I blog because I want to share the love of books, not make money (although that would be nice! but no thank you.)
    ashelynn hetland recently posted..review: Don’t You Wish by Roxanne St. ClaireMy Profile

  24. laura thomas says:

    Oh No! When I read the post title I thought, No Way! I am like a kid in a candy store when asked to review a book. When an author takes the time to contact me, send me their book for free, I wouldn’t dream of asking for money. My review would feel dirty then.
    I also do beta reads and was recently asked to do one. The author wanted to know what I charged. I Do Not charge for this either.
    If my opinion is asked for, that alone is enough for me.
    laura thomas recently posted..A “Tapestry” of WordsMy Profile

  25. Disincentive says:

    Sorry, I laughed. Did they really want 95$ for a review? I would be freaking rich that way, but, hey….
    It’s stupid. IT’S A HOBBY NOT A WORK I’M SAYING OVER AND OVER AND I’S SCARY OH MY GOD.

    I understand paid blog tours (but prices are crazy). But paid reviews seems like… Em, hey, you got paid already. WITH A FREAKING BOOK.

    I’m angry.
    Disincentive recently posted..[35] NEVER TOO FAR by Thomas Christopher | Promo Blitz + excerptMy Profile

  26. Zoe @ Bookhi says:

    I definitely agree. It’s outrageous! :/ Although, I admit, getting paid for reading would be ideal, but book blogging is purely for this love of it. If we added prices, more people would join without being passionate about it. One of the things I love about book blogging is the people and the atmosphere.
    I also agree about the honesty of book reviews – I couldn’t lie to my readers.
    Thanks for posting! x
    Zoe @ Bookhi recently posted..Discussion: Should book bloggers get paid?My Profile

  27. Graeme Ing says:

    I definitely not going to disagree with all the fine comments here about NOT charging for reviews. I often wonder if the reviews we read in magazines and literary journals are not paid for by the publisher.

    My reasoning… when I worked in the computer games industry, it was a daily occurrence for reviews to be swayed by money. Not on a direct “here’s money to review my game” contract, but in the sense that magazines did not like to give bad reviews to prominent game publishers who also spent considerable money advertising in the magazine. I know for a fact that backhand deals went on that promised a renewed advertising contract for a favorable review.

    Does this happen in the book industry? I don’t know. I honestly don’t.

    Now, of course it is very different in the blogosphere where 99% of sites do not carry ads for publishers. The very spirit of the blogosphere was content for free. If I were a book reviewer and I couldn’t get through the material submitted to me, I think I’d just be honest about that and review what I could, I wouldn’t charge.

    As my example above illustrates… even if you are not directly paying for a good review… money WILL sway opinions.

    As a reader, I’m not sure I would read any reviews by someone that even charged only $5 per review. It’s the principle of the thing.
    Graeme Ing recently posted..Where the Hell is Matt?My Profile

  28. Kat B says:

    Am I shocked about this? Yes. Surprised? Unfortunately not. There are other sites out there (the DARK side I must add!), that do charge for reviews – I’ve seen them before.

    Personally I consider the fact that I’m receiving a book for free for review purposes payment enough. If we wanted to, we could never actually buy a book again, just keep accepting review requests, but that would drive me completely bananas!

    The biggest thing I disagree with here is payment for a favourable review – what does that achieve, apart from stroking someone’s ego? And if I was an author, there’s no way I’d ever go down that route – why would any reader believe ANY reviews of the book if there is at least one ‘paid’ review?

    Great post V – I’m glad your Ramblings are back!
    Kat B recently posted..Review Copy Clean Up – AugustMy Profile

  29. DannyBookworm says:

    Wow.. I am actually shocked!! And no, I do NOT think we should get paid! Paid as in real money! I think personally we get “paid” by getting a free book to read! But, that’s not actually payment so it’s sometime else.
    Charging for a review? And.. even more so promising it will be a 4-5 star otherwise the book would not be accepted for review?
    You can NEVER know before. Even though you know the author, read her work before and that you are super excited you can still end up not liking the book. And then?

    Kirkus is something else – they are not “bloggers” like you and me, so that they charge does not count in my opinion. And a blogger can make money to cover “running” cost, by advertisement – this I think is fair and Ok. But this, makes bloggers look bad!
    DannyBookworm recently posted..Defiance by C.J. Redwine – ReviewMy Profile

  30. Jayla | LadyBlueJay says:

    I am fairly new to the book blogging game. I LOVE to read. I find it a privilege and reward of sorts. With that being said, I couldn’t imagine exchanging monetary gain for a review — especially if that book has yet to be released. The fact of the matter is the author is giving you this book for free and your opinion of the book should not be swayed by money. If you like the book, you like the book. If not…well that is not your fault, nor is it the authors.

    Granted there are bloggers out there who get paid for sponsored posts, but those are usually from medium to large sized companies. They usually always ask for an HONEST review. To be paid for a false opinion is ludicrous.

  31. Sophie says:

    The way I see it, YOU read MY review policy, agree to MY terms, give ME a free book and I give my two cents worth. Thats just.. fun. I never really think of it as PR work, I’m just helping an author out and because I love doing, thats the only reward I really need. When money starts changing hands I honestly think it can cause problems.
    http://www.dogearedandcoffeestained.blogspot.com

  32. Jenna says:

    In response to Jayla just above – I feel a sponsored post shouldn’t include a review. Perhaps plug the item or book, but don’t review it. That to me is a paid review.

    I don’t feel book reviewers should ask for payment ever. Now selling ad space… sure.

    Another thought – book tour hosts/coordinators can charge to pull things together but I feel that person should not review the title.

    Just my thoughts. :)

    Jenna

  33. Rebecca says:

    I’m not even sure how to react o: I mean personally, I so not agree on the paying-for-reviews thing, but I guess when they state it as they do, they’re allowed to…

    I’d be nice to get money out of this wonderful hobby, but I read and review for me as well as my reviewers first hand! I also wouldn’t want it to change anything when it comes to honesty, etc.

    I agree with the article though and hope it doesn’t become something “normal” in the blogoverse. I think it can be bad enough to start blogging for free books only in some cases.

    There seems to be way too much drama going on these days… ;o
    Rebecca recently posted..Review: The Weepers by Susanne WinnackerMy Profile

  34. I’m probably the only one who doesn’t think there is anything wrong with it. Why shouldn’t they “try” to charge for whatever they want – I don’t think there is any universal reason that people started blogging or “should” start blogging. Who says they didn’t start out trying to make some cash? Or that’s even a wrong goal? As long as the review is clearly marked as an advertorial, which is the law, then it doesn’t bother me. I’ll skip over those thank you very much – but I can’t hate on them for trying to leverage their popularity.
    Tanya Patrice recently posted..Weekly Reading With Ship Breaker And The Knife of Never Letting GoMy Profile

  35. As an author, I would never pay for a review simply because, as a reader, I’d be less inclined to read and believe any review given by someone who was paid for it. Knowing that other readers will feel the same, what is my inclination, then, to pay for a review I know won’t be read/believed? None, I’m afraid.

    I have absolutely no problem with bloggers charging for advertising space on their blog, or for additional services such as arranging blog tours, or even a donation button on their blog, but paying for a review? Not going to happen, not for me anyway.

    I recently received an email from a reader asking if I’d send her a copy of my book in exchange for a nice review on Amazon. I told her absolutely not; however, I’d be more than happy to send her a book if she promised to leave me an HONEST review, whether she loved, liked, or yes, hated the book.

    Bloggers are seriously the bread and butter of any successful writer, which we are well aware of an grateful for (hugs and kisses to you all!). However, if blogging becomes a paid vocation, I’m afraid it will no longer carry the charm and magic it does now. Authors will find much better places to spend their advertising money that putting it in the pocket of a paid amateur reviewer. Book bloggers will no longer carry the weight and importance they do now because they’ll be paid for their words, rather than reviewing out of a genuine love for reading.

    I read that book bloggers have more power to sell a book than a review in the NY Times. I believe it. Why? Because we all know the book blogger is being honest. We all know the NY Times writer is paid for their review, and is likely getting kickbacks from the publisher. Their review can’t hold a candle to the power of a review from one of you amazing book bloggers.
    Cindy C Bennett recently posted..Red and the WolfMy Profile

  36. How sad. Authors do not pay…this will shut them down. I review to share my passion for reading.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted..Don’t Call Me Angel by Alicia Wright Brewster ~ExcerptMy Profile

  37. Ara says:

    Hi Vicky. Wow, I am so shocked. It’s so sad to hear this. I agree with you completely. When an author gives you review copies – for FREE- you should really feel lucky (and thankful), that you were given the chance and opportunity to read what they have to say, what they have to tell their readers, and the story they want to share with everyone. That’s what I feel.

    Now, after reading, you owe it to your readers and viewers to publish honest reviews. A book reviewer’s integrity is very important. That’s why we (most of us, from my understanding) shouldn’t accept fees.
    Ara recently posted..Liebster Blog Award ~ from LauraMy Profile

  38. I completely disagree with charging to do reviews. I know a few blogs who charge to host blog tours as well. I host tours and write reviews and I don’t think that’s something I’ll charge for anytime soon. Reason, I love blogging about books and being given the opportunity to read books in advance before release. I don’t know how many do this but I actually cherish my ARCs whether or not they have a ton of uncorrected stuff. I love and keep them safe as i would the actual book. I just love books (printed or digital) in general. So charging would tarnish why i started blogging in the first place. Receiving books from authors and publishers, FOR FREE, is not an obligation but a gift. Appreciate don’t take advantage.

  39. Ah! I had no idea that there were bloggers charging money for reviews. I feel lucky enough just being asked to review someone’s book, so i couldn’t imagine asking for money. I mean I get that it takes time to write and format a review, but isn’t that part of what’s fun about blogging. Well it is for me. And if I was an author I wouldn’t want to pay for a review because let’s face it. There are plenty of bloggers willing to do it for free. And then there’s the fact that adding money into the equation could affect how honest a review is. AH! There are so many reasons why I’m not a fan of this.

    Great topic!
    Tabitha @ Tabitha’s Book Blog recently posted..Top Ten Books for Fans of Beautiful DisasterMy Profile

  40. Wow! That’s just terrible. I’m really in shock that a blogger would even consider charging for a review, let alone a “nice review”. It’s pretty much buying good publicity. I started my blog to express my opinions and when I started getting offered books for review I was really happy. I’d never consider charging for it though – you’re already getting a book for free!
    Claire @ Project to be Read recently posted..Once Upon a Read-a-Thon – Final UpdateMy Profile

  41. I can’t believe that there are bloggers that a.) Do this and b.) Think it is ok to do this. Who cares if Kirkus charges for reviews? They are a PROFESSIONAL review service where as bloggers are not. (Not saying bloggers don’t matter because we DO!) I think this is gross that they are offering a “nice” review in exchange for money. And they still make it seem like the author should feel privileged that they are supposed to pay for a review when there are hundreds of other bloggers who would love to do it for free. And $95 is just plain ridiculous! Yes, blogging takes time but nobody is making you do it. If you have so many books to review then don’t take on any more. Plain and simple. For a blogger, having the privilege of being giving a copy of a book (especially if it is an advanced copy) is payment enough. Plus, not only are you helping the author you are also getting more publicity for your blog so it is a win-win. Missed your bookish ramblings!

  42. Lianne says:

    Wow. That’s crazy! If I get a free review copy of a book I’m jumping up and down with glee. To think that there are people who would actually demand money in addition to that!

    And seriously, bloggers doing this are defeating the purpose of reviews. A review that’s been bought is useless to me as a reader, becuase why should I believe it?
    Lianne recently posted..My TBR shelf by pages – 6 months laterMy Profile

  43. Melissa says:

    Gosh..I could be making $100 a review?? Who knew?? LOL

    Seriously though, I can not imagine how a reviewer being paid by the author can maintain any level of credibility. I am not a professional, I “review” as a hobby and could not imagine accepting payment. The perks are the great books and sometimes swag that we receive. Were I to work for a professional third party (ie a newspaper or magazine etc.) and receive compensation (a paycheck) from them that would be a different story.
    Melissa recently posted..Teaser Tuesdays – The Snow Child by Eowyn IveyMy Profile

  44. Wow, I don’t even know what to say. I think it’s wrong to charge authors for positive reviews. Yes, bloggers DO spend a lot of time writing reviews and reading books, but that’s what blogging is about, just like you said. If the person doesn’t like it, then stop doing it o.O

    Man, I’m shocked that bloggers do this kind of thing… it’s their choice, sure, but it looks so abusive, in a way.
    Beatriz @ AWWIP recently posted..Seraphina, by Rachel HartmanMy Profile

  45. I would never want to be paid for reviews – unless it was my job, you know? But then it wouldn’t be the author/publicist paying me, so it would be different. I want to write honest thoughts about the books I read, and because of this I already rarely accept arcs or review copies.

    Plus, like you said, as a reader I don’t want to read “paid for” reviews that will only rave without any honest thought to it. I would not follow a blog/website like this.
    kay – Infiniteshelf recently posted..Seasons of Reading : the High Summer Read-a-ThonMy Profile

  46. KarenG says:

    Totally disagree with this policy! Book bloggers was one of the best resources for authors to go for fair reviews. I’ve never paid for a review and don’t intend to start. This reminds me of when a fellow author went in to a bookstore near where he lives and asked to do a signing. They told him they now charge $500 for author events!!!!!
    KarenG recently posted..Silly ReviewsMy Profile

  47. Kimberly says:

    Great post!
    I do not agree with charging for reviews. It’s different if you are being paid by a third party, such as a newspaper or magazine etc. for your writing services. That is totally different.
    I don’t believe it’s right to charge for reviews on blogs. As many others have said-
    It changes the way you may review/appreciate the book. If money is being exchanged directly then how is this review unbiased and truthful?
    I’d rather read and write honest reviews than charge.
    IMO.
    :)
    Kimberly recently posted..High Summer Read a Thon! July 16th- July 22ndMy Profile

  48. [...] This post is filed under: Discussion, News • TweetImagine my surprise when I came across this post – “Should bloggers charge authors for [...]

  49. Wow, just .. wow..

    I review books because I like to read.. a lot. And sometimes I forget what a certain book was about so it helps to be able to just go back and see why I liked it. I also like to share my thoughts with others on books. Since starting blogging, I’ve met so many wonderful people and yes, it is time consuming but I would never dream of charging for my opinion.

    Every single time I get an author asking me to review their book I feel grateful that they are even considering me. I’m also grateful for every arc I receive.

    Flat out charging to review is rediculous. Especially so much!

    Great post, it’s definitely an interesting topic.
    Jenn@OwlReadIt recently posted..St. Vladimir’s Summer SchoolMy Profile

  50. Kelsey says:

    I honestly don’t think that if someone is getting free books to read, that they should be charging anyone to write a review. And it should be an honest one, not a “nice” one. If you can’t handle all the books you have in the time you’ve allotted for the website/blog, then just say you can’t accept anymore until you catch up, or get another person to help out.
    I’m usually jumping of the walls if I get sent a book, I couldn’t imagine asking for more let alone money.
    Kelsey recently posted..Review: Before I Wake by Rachel VincentMy Profile

  51. Thanks for bringing this issue to light. It’s disheartening to know that there are some greedy bloggers out there who are willing to mislead readers just to make a buck. In my opinion, it totally defeats the purpose of blogging. Just like you, I do it for the sheer love of reading. Plus the free books are a major perk!
    Jessica@ Chick Lit Cafe recently posted..Introducing Jessica’s Cranky Corner: Dirty BloggersMy Profile

  52. I had no idea that there were people out there charging for blog reviews. That is absolutely not what the blogging community is about, and I’d be appalled if an author agreed to pay that much for just one review, when so many bloggers would be more than happy with a free book!
    Blogging is about honest reviews that other readers can trust, not about false praise and making money.

    Dani xxx
    Dani (Pen to Paper) recently posted..Musing Mondays #17My Profile

  53. [...] Bookish Ramblings: Should bloggers charge authors for reviews? (booksbiscuitsandtea.co.uk) [...]

  54. [...] think ‘Should bloggers charge authors for reviews?’ would be one of them. It was basically a response to all the craziness that was going on on [...]

  55. I had NO idea this has happened! Wow, this is shocking and seriously, it’s just plain appalling and disappointing especially because we do it out of love for reading. Sigh.

    Also, I can’t find their website. I think they decided to drop out of blogging or something.
    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile recently posted..End of Year Book Survey 2012My Profile

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is in use. If your comment doesn't show up right away, don't worry - it will be visible after approval.

CommentLuv badge