Saturday, July 15, 2017

Should An Author Ever Pay for a Book Review? It All Depends....

Ah-book reviews! Where would an author be without them? Or readers, for that matter. But should you, as an author ever pay for one? I pondered paying for one, then decided against it. Then, a fellow author friend mentioned about the OnlineBookClub. She had good success with hers so I figured, why not? Why not indeed? I should have listened to my gut. I signed up to get a Professional Book Review. A fair and honest one, or so I thought. Unfortunately, that isn’t what I received.                                   
     First, I had to sign up for the website, post my book cover image and book description. Then I had to choose an option for my book review. A free one took the longest. I opted for the one that took “about” four weeks. After waiting the designated time, I received a note from the reviewer ahead of her book review, which said, simply, “I wish I had known about the lesbian storyline before I read the book.” That should have been a red flag, but it wasn’t. Perhaps, if I had complained to the website owner when I had received that note, perhaps, Scott the owner would have cared about my dissatisfaction with the resulting review. The review I received was a two star review out of 4 possible stars. I guess two stars on that site isn’t good or bad, but the red flag was what concerned me. Of course, I complained to Scott, the website owner, who lauds that he is “committed to client satisfaction”. If you’re on his mailing list, you’ll receive periodic emails that remind you of that. However, in our email exchange that followed, he more or less blamed me for my book description. He also reminded me that a two star review wasn’t bad. It was in itself a form of criticism. ARRGH! What? Of course a review, any review is a form of criticism. He couldn’t see that his professional reviewer was biased. As a result, I didn’t get a fair and honest review. Of course, the complaint went in one ear and out the other, as far as Scott was concerned.

     Lesson learned. I shall never, ever again pay for a book review, or any other review. It just isn’t worth the headache. Any author can get bad reviews without even trying. Forget about having to pay for the privilege. When you’re a writer, a published one seeking reviews or promotion for your book, lots of predators come out of the woodwork. Some are in the guise of writing groups (that is the subject of another post) while others come in the guise of helping you promote. Perhaps, for readers and authors or books free of homosexuality, etc., OnlineBookClub may be a good thing, but for me, for my book where two of my characters just happened to be Lesbians, this site wasn’t worth the visit or the $149.00 fee I paid for a “Professional Book Reviewer”. Just a quick addition, while we’re talking about book reviews: With the age of technology, computers and free books galore, anyone out there can call themselves a “Professional Book Reviewer”. I know. OnlineBookClub offered me a chance to become one for them. For $10.00 a book, I could become a reviewer for them. Despite the fact that I am a long-time published writer and write book reviews for several review sites, I’ve never considered myself a “Professional Book Reviewer”. But when I do review a book, I review the book, the writing, the cover, the theme et al. I don’t let my personal beliefs cloud the review because quite simply, that isn’t fair. Not to the author. Not to the reader. 

     Should you ever pay for a book review? Truthfully, that is really up to you. Based on my experience and those I’ve heard from others, I don’t advise it. Oh, and the demand for OnlineBookClub reviews has been growing so much, according to emails from Scott that the price for book reviews has now doubled. Interesting, huh?

     That's it for now. Thank you all for visiting. It’s always a pleasure to meet readers and authors. Until next month, every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, elephant or monkey. One person, one voice can make a difference. Read a book and pass it on. Leave a review. Reviews are important for authors. Believe me. I know. Thank you!

S. J. Francis, Writing is my passion, but animals are my world. 
Advocate for the underdog, and cat, and supporting writers, et al.

In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family." Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at all on-line retailers and independent booksellers. "Some secrets should remain that way."

                     Shattered Lies is a Finalist in the 2016 Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards.

                     Shattered Lies is a winner in the Fall 2016 NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Book Awards for Women's Fiction. 

                     Shattered Lies is a runner-up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Indie Best Book Award Competition.
                     Shattered Lies is a 2016 Reader's Favorite Honorable Mention in the Fiction - Women’s category.  

                     Shattered Lies was a Finalist in the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards.

                     Shattered Lies was chosen as General Fiction Official Selection in the 2015 New Apple Book Awards.

                     The 2nd, new book cover design for Shattered Lies was a Finalist in the 2016 Authors dB Best Cover Contest. 

                     The first, original book cover design for Shattered Lies was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Authors dB Best Cover Contest. 

My Black Opal Books Author Page:
       A Book Review 4 U:
      A Consumer's View:
                  One for the Animals:


             Good Reads:

And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2017 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and the guest author and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.

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