Steven Spatz is an author, marketer, and the President of BookBaby. He writes the bookbaby Blog at http://blog.bookbaby.com/
It's a thinly veiled promotional blog that encourages self-published authors to use the services of BookBaby to prepare and publish their manuscripts. I compare it to the weekly newsletter I get from a local realtor where despite rising interest rates, falling house prices and any other economic calamity that might be happening "it's always a good time to buy or sell property".
Here's my response to his most recent blog entitle "Book Reviews: The Ultimate Word Of Mouth Promotion".
Let's crunch some numbers shall we. You shouldn't mind because they're ones you provided.
You write in your recent BookBaby blog that book reviews are critical to promoting my book. I agree. You write " "There are literally thousands of book reviewers and bloggers online, and most of them review books even though they aren’t paid."
I'd be doing a little more research before making a statement like that if I were you. I'll bet you'll find the majority of these bloggers and reviewers though online aren't active.
After making this unqualified claim about thousands of bloggers and reviewers who want to review my work at no charge you then "recommend the following sites:
Midwest Book Review that charges $50 a review;
The Indie Reader at $255 a review: and,
The Self-Publishing Review at $119 a review.
If I was to "purchase" one review from each site it would cost a total of $394.
What happened to the thousands of unpaid book reviewers and bloggers? Why didn't you list a few of them?
You can purchase an e-book of mine from Amazon for $3.99 of which I get 35% royalty or $1.35. I'd need to sell about 291 books to pay for these three reviews.
And what if they're bad reviews?
According to your 2017 Self-Publishing Survey
of the 4300 authors who took part only 5%, or about 215 authors, made $5000 a year from their writing. The other category you draw comparisons from which is obviously significantly larger, is the one you call lower earning authors who earn less than $100 a year from their writing.
The inherent conflict of interest of "paid for reviews" aside, how in good conscience can you recommend to the majority of indie authors, making less than $100 a year from their writing as indicated by your own research, that they spend that kind of money on reviews?
So which is it, Steven? Are either totally out of touch with your own research and our plight, or part of the pack who prey on naive and delusional new indie authors who are prepared to throw money away chasing that elusive dream?