Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Writer's Thoughts On Paying People to Review Books

Book reviews are important. 

Back in my younger days I didn't realize how important they were. I really didn't care what others thought of a book. My opinion only mattered. I cared if I liked the back description of the book enough to purchase it and I cared about my own thoughts on the book after reading it. Unless I was reading the book for a class assignment, I usually just moved on to the next book. I didn't have a blog to discuss the book on. I didn't even have my own email address until I went off the college, but that's another story. My parents gave me money to purchase books, I read them, formed my own opinion, and then moved on. Fast forward to 2016.

One lesson I didn't realize in my youth was how important it was for people to pay for the books. It is very important to invest your money in buying a book. Purchasing the book is a part of an author's survival. I've also realized that there is no way possible most authors are surviving on book sales. The market isn't like it used to be. $9.99 books from long ago are now $3.00 on kindle. If a paperback book is $9.99 on Amazon, that author is essentially making $3.00 for every book sale. 

Just think about how much money that is for a self published author. On top of it, the author has to pay someone to edit their book. Well, that is unless they think they can come out as successful as E. L. James. Depending on how that author wants to promote, they are always looking at paying someone in the business to promote for them. Promoting in this post means putting the work in front of the faces of people who will buy the book.

Wait, maybe 10 or 15 years ago authors were supposed to use promoters to help them reach the correct audiences. Now people reach out to The Shade Room ( it's really not a good spot to get your book noticed) or other blogs they notice have high numbers of followers. There is nothing wrong with that. However, in order to get these blogs to read the books, you have to pay them. 

Wait.... don't pay them to read your book. I'm a blogger who expects people to buy my book, so I'm not charging the next person to read their book and talk about it. When we become authors, we become entrepreneurs. Just like the people taking the time out to read our books, we are taking out the time to write good stories for others to read. So they need to respect the game and buy the damn book. If you google my book Woman Manifested: A Poetic Tale,  you will also notice there are no blog reviews. I reached out to some in the beginning, but I've learned my lesson.

Now there are book blogs designed for the purpose of helping you sell your book. They are run by PR agencies and you should pay them at your own risk. Just read this article.  The author talked about a man who worked for a PR agency. His job was to encourage bloggers to write about the books that went through his company, but he decided to get rid of the third party by writing reviews himself. He eventually had his own successful company and some of the books getting reviewed weren't actually getting read. I used to want the job of reviewing books before they were exposed to the general audiences, so it's sad to know people have those jobs and don't actually read the books. See you just have to know who you can trust. 

Or you can just wait for someone to mention your book in a book club where others might like it and actually purchase it and spread the word that way. It's wishful thinking, but a possible way of getting sales. 

Side Note: Did you see where Zane tried to shade Target for not carrying her books? She claimed she was boycotting Target because she's an author with 30 + books and they carry authors with only one or two books out. She forgot the fact that she's a successful author that is also a publisher with authors under her. She doesn't need her books on Target shelves to sell like those authors with one or two books need. 

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