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text 2017-09-21 07:10
BookBaby prez says thousands want to review your book free - then suggest three that would cost $394

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".



Hi Steven,
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?





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text 2015-09-08 05:05
So, it's now so okay for fivver paid reviewers to have accounts on goodreads they show it proudly on their profiles?


I'm not identifying that particular profile since they only had one review and I'm not trying to start some sort of shitstorm on someone over something that may or may not be a commercial (paid) review.  (Not all fivver accounts and services are for review writing.)


I also am not trying to get the profile flagged because I suspect all that might happen is that they remove the website link to fivver.  It's better it's there, in my opinion, so you know they are a paid reviewer.  I'm not sure I care enough anymore to click the link to see if their one review was a paid one or one with material connection such as being the editor/promoter/proofreader/ghostwriter so should be flagged (I'm not sure that wouldn't also just make them remove "fivver" from their profile—might be better just to file FTC complaint if the review was a paid one not disclosing payment or some sort of material connection also not disclosed).

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url 2014-08-16 18:59
Goodreads says about paid reviews…

Goodreads issued a reminder about paid reviews in the Authors Feedback group:

"… everyone that commercial reviews -- meaning reviews you paid to receive -- are strictly prohibited on Goodreads. This includes reviews purchased on pay-for-services sites like Fiverr. Not only will we remove any commercial reviews we find, but as an author, you may be removed from the site for purchasing reviews…"

The thread could get interesting, particularly if staff join the discussion versus just issuing the note and disappearing.  Personally, I had to ask:

"...does goodreads, like the FTC, consider exchange/assigned/return author reviews "paid" because paid with return services?

If so, provided properly disclosed like free-for-honest-review books, does goodreads allow them?"


(Not sure what percentage of goodreads authors belong to or how many goodreads ornon-goodreads  authors will see; just thought I would share in case anyone missed or was interested in the thread.)

Source: www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1959419-a-note-about-commercial-reviews?page=1#comment_form
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url 2014-08-02 02:43
Another paid review company reviewing on amazon

I just hit the "give feedback" menu choice on this profile on amazon and sent an email which said:   

The profile at http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/AM09IO8QXEB1B/ref=cm_aya_bb_pdp is not an individual, unpaid consumer giving his/her product opinion but rather a business entity publicly stating was a group of reviewers and "...accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation" according to the website linked on the profile itself (source: http://www.mybookaddictionandmore.com/home/disclosure-policy/ )" – while the blog sort of discloses (not in a manner acceptable to FTC which requires it be seen when review is seen) payment accepted, none of the reviews on amazon disclose that these are paid reviews.  And yet they mix in with the consumer product opinions hosted by your site.

At least the reviews are not all 5-star reviews (almost all 4-stars with a few 3 and 5 mixed in) but there sure are a lot of them.

Source: www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/AM09IO8QXEB1B/ref=cm_aya_bb_pdp
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