Performancing Metrics

There's A Book

So, recently there has been a lot of talk about paid reviews. A recent New York Times article focused primarily on one “book review mill” that is no longer in business as well as the experience of one best-selling author who chose to use the service. This has brought this topic to the forefront of many discussions of late. Sadly this isn’t my first discovery of “book review mills.” A few months ago someone tweeted a link to a similar organization and I was appalled to see people charging as little as five dollars for a basic one hundred word review. The seller was obviously doing well and ironically enough had received a number of five star reviews himself, none of which disclosed actual people just user id’s.

Why I bring this up now is because I’d like to bring a couple of things to my reader’s attention. First of all, I don’t get paid for any of the reviews I write here at There’s A Book. In fact, I have yet to figure out how to make enough money off of advertising to even pay for my web-hosting service. I quite literally do this because I love it. Which is another reason I rarely post negative reviews, it’s my site and I can choose what and when to post. But each and every reader who reads There’s A Book should know I do not receive payment from authors/publishers/publicists in exchange for reviews. If I ever lose my marbles and decide differently, I’ll let you know.

Secondly, to all of the authors stumbling upon my site looking for reviews. I’d highly recommend this post from a very good friend, Anne R. Allen. She has some incredibly valid points as well as some of my very own suggestions on how to get reviews and where to find them. Honest reviews. Reviews that matter. Reviews that come from established well-known book review bloggers that take their personal time to fully read and review books in a way that could garner you a wonderful new readership.

Another good friend of mine, Pam van Hylckama Vlieg recently spoke out about this as well and authors, it’s certainly worth the time reading over it. Authors shouldn’t feel they need to invest their personal finances in reviews, outside of the cost of a book here and there to a responsible reviewer. Sure, it may take some time to get the attention of that right reviewer, but in the end I’m certain it would be worth every second spent. And who knows? In the end you may find you’ve found a few friends and champions of your work along the way.

Lastly, I also bring this up because if you’d like to learn more about approaching book review bloggers and getting your “foot in the door” so to speak then I’d love to see you at the Central Coast Writer’s Conference! The conference is happening from September 21st-22nd at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo with a schedule full of incredible authors, agents and publishing people from all varieties of genres. I’ve participated the last two years and it’s been phenomenal. This year you can catch me on the closing panel for the conference along with Amy Riley from the blog My Friend Amy as well as the founder of Book Blogger Appreciation Week and Pam van Hylckama Vlieg from Bookalicious.org as well as an agent at Larsen-Pomada. We’ll be discussing more about this very topic and I’d love to see you there!

7 Responses to Just Floating In: Book Reviews and the Central Coast Writer’s Conference

  1. “I quite literally do this because I love it.” <– That right there is one of the things I love about you, my dear friend. And why I heart book bloggers so much. Their HEARTS are in it. And maybe it's just me, but I think you can spot a "paid book advertisement (because really that's all it is)" pretty quick. In which case, it ends up being negative advertisement. And that's when I want to encourage authors to let their writing speak for itself. If they give it time (and hard effort), it will.

    Also, I'm sad to miss out on the writers' conference this year. But, of course, you're going to rock that blogger panel!!!

    ;0)

    • You are so so sweet! Thank you!!!

      I completely agree. Those “positive” paid reviews always flip for the worst for me. I’m definitely more for letting an authors work speak for itself. In most cases it’s those that work hard and put in the effort to reach out that make the biggest impact. <3

      I’m sad you’ll miss the conference too! :( But. It’s for a great great reason, truly! You’re going to have an amazing time and it’s so worth going! I can’t wait to hear about your adventure! :)

  2. Pam says:

    This is why we are friends.

  3. Wow. I had no idea. Unbelievable. Great links too. I love the post by Anne Allen. That was awesome.

  4. Great post Danielle, and thanks for the shout-out. I look forward to spending some time together at the CCWC! (Consider this a virtual hug.)

    I should point out that paid reviews are not just a self-publishing phenomenon. More than 1/3 of all online reviews are paid for and most of those are paid for by corporations. It’s massive industry. We just need to learn how to be discerning customers and pay attention to the tell-tale signs of the phonies.

    Yes, and go to real reviewers like you for the honest skinny.

  5. Mundie Moms says:

    LOVE this! I do not get paid for my reviews either, and quite honestly I would never want to. It would take away all the fun in reading/reviewing a book, because I want to. The reason why I review is because I LOVE reading and I want to spread the news about what I’m reading to others.

    I really wish I could make it to this conference.

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