Friday, July 12, 2013

Do Paid Book Reviews Increase Book Sales?

The story is always the same.  You pour your heart and soul into your latest work.  You publish it and wait for the sales, but you don’t realize that one of the most important aspects is missing –


You ask yourself, can a book review make or break you?  Think about the last time that you purchased something online, did you read the reviews before making a choice?

In today’s fast paced world, where time is money and money is time, a review or lack there of can be the difference between bringing a sack lunch to work or going out for lunch.

The Dilemma

You work hard to write, proof, and make your book(s) available for sale.  You market your works the best way you know how.  But when it comes to the bottom line, it’s just that, a line with nothing underneath.

If you publish your works anywhere, would it help your sales if you paid someone to write reviews for you?  Your fear is that you might get fleeced, but you desperately want the sales?  What do you do?

The Competitors and the Cost

There are thousands of reviewers who can write a review for you, but do you want to pay their costs.  From the frugal to the absorbent, I feel that any review will get more hits to your book(s), but will spending $2,699 assure you will recoup your loses the very same day?  No. 

Credentials may be the very key to assessing whether the review you will receive will be bad, outstanding, or sensational, but don’t rely on them alone. 
Other important factors I seek are:
  1. Has the reviewer has written or edited any books?
  2. If they do have books for sale, what are their sales like?
  3. Do they hold any degrees, such as a Master of Fine Arts, English, or other Writing degrees?
  4. Has the reviewer written for a magazine or newspaper?
  5. Is the reviewer an editor or do they work at a publishing firm?

Nearly half of all book reviews are fake but it is impossible to tell the fake ones from the real ones.  The Federal Trade Commission (US) states that all online endorsements must make a clear distinction when money is evolved, but often times, this rule goes unnoticed on the internet.

Below is a very, very short list of paid book review services that promise to write you a positive review and post it on a couple of sites for the stated price, but is it worth it to you?

  1. -- $335 ea., 6 to 8 weeks for completion, pre-publication.
  2. -- $97 ea., 3 weeks for completion, posted to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and iBookstore.
  3. -- $195 up to $395, 3 weeks for completion, 10 postings of review. 
  4. -- $499 up to $2,699. 10 days to completion, posted on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, up to 20 reviews.

What Other Choices Exists

There are free book review services, although they may not be as great as the paid services.  They will increase the exposure to your book(s).  Like anything free or paid, shop around first!

Below are two free book review services:
  • – Offers free and paid services ($9.99), 5 days to a few weeks for completion, reviews posted to twitter to thousands, only links to  I currently use this service, and it does increase the numbers of views to a particular page.
  • – Offers a free no fee basic book review on a limited basis.  Visit website for complete details.

There are many free book review services available today, but you have to be aware.  Normally if a service such as a book review is free, it may be a gimmick to get you to spend money or a monthly give-a-way or prize.

In Closing

The simple fact remains that book reviews are very, very powerful even though they are bought and sold on the Internet like a common commodity and nine times out of ten, a book review does equal sales.

Whether you choose to use a paid or free book review service, ask for references.  A reputable business will give you both good and bad references so you can make up your own mind.

Do your due diligence and research.  Then ask yourself if it is a right fit for you.

the New York Times, David Streitfeld, article; Book Reviewers for Hire Meet Demand for Online Raves

No comments:

Post a Comment