My Musings

Some Musings On Paid For Book Reviews. #BookBlogger #BookBloggers #Blogger #Bloggers

paidrev

I’ve seen an increase in the debate about book bloggers both charging for and getting paid for reviews recently. It seems to be the hot commodity in the book blogging community and as such, I thought I’d take the opportunity to muse (ramble, babble and theorise) about and write a blog post on the subject.

So, book bloggers charging for reviews. I’m presuming that this has come about (again) because some book bloggers have seen that beauty, fashion and lifestyle and other types of bloggers get paid for reviews of products.

Honestly, I’m not up on beauty, fashion or lifestyle blogging and I admittedly have only limited knowledge but I thought that to get paid and/or to work with the bigger brands that you had to have a good DA score, a certain amount of followers, etc? Surely that means that only certain bloggers in that area get paid for reviews? And, apart from in rare cases, surely before you consider charging for product reviews you first need to build-up your following and reputation?

Again, I’m not up on this form of blogging (I presume that smaller companies and brands are happy to pay for and work with smaller bloggers) and maybe it’s just me but I can’t see a company paying the same amount for a product review from a blogger with 10,000 followers, who’s been blogging for years, is known in the community and gets 1,000’s of page views as for a review (for the exact same product) from a newer blogger with only a couple of hundred followers, who no-one knows and who gets 50 views per post?!?

Surely if book bloggers started charging for reviews then it’d be the same? The big publishers would pay for reviews from the well-known, respected and big or established blogs and that would leave both the small and new bloggers out in the cold and still not getting paid for their reviews?!

Yes, the smaller publishers would (probably) work with the smaller bloggers but if all the bloggers wanted the hyped and popular latest ARC’s by the big publishers then those ARC’s would go to the bloggers with reach who could promote the book to the widest audience and not any and every blogger out there?!

Would a book blogger with 200 followers, 50 views per post and who is new to the blogging world but sees it as a way to make money expect and demand to be paid the same for a review as an established and respected blogger with 1,000’s of followers and who gets 1,000’s of views per post? Would that really happen?

How would it work? Would there be a blanket charge for reviews by a publisher where regardless of reputation and following each blogger gets paid the same amount? How would that be fair? That would mean that someone within a week of starting a blog would get the same as someone who has built up their blog over years?

Maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree but wouldn’t (shouldn’t) something like that take time and effort on the bloggers part and would those who want to charge and be paid to review be prepared to put in that time, effort and wait until they got to that level?!

If getting paid for reviews actually became a thing then would it not (like getting your first ARC, etc) be something to aim towards and not something to expect straight away?!

Oh look, I iz made a blog, I like dis book, dis ma revuuuu now gimme moneee! Sigh!

Would there be a sliding scale for the amount publishers paid bloggers based on blog following, page views, blog reputation, etc? And then, would the same ones who want to get paid for reviews then moan because they are lower down the scale than other bloggers? Honestly, I could see that happening cos bloggers can be a jealous bunch. You only have to look at the ARC envy that takes place to see that!

There’s this too. There are usually only a limited number of ARC’s available of each book for people and often you see bloggers miss out because there just aren’t any left. My point is that those who want to be paid for their reviews must surely realise that if there are only limited ARC’s available now then if it came to pass that publishers paid for reviews then there would obviously only be a limited amount of paid reviews available!

So, I ask, would the same bloggers who lament and moan about not getting ARC’s now then complain about not getting paid for their reviews?! It would just be the same old song that lots currently sing only with the lyrics changed!

You often see publicists post on Twitter that they have a few ARC’s for a book left and if anyone wants one to review to give them a shout and reply to the tweet. Do all of you who want to charge for your reviews expect that with paid reviews that you’d then get publicists tweeting on Twitter that instead of ARC’s left that they have a few paid review spots available! Crazy!

I have to say that if publishers started paying for reviews by bloggers then it’d only (in my opinion and obviously because of the monetary situation, money talks people) be the few and not the many. Those ‘top‘ blogs who have garnered a reputation and following and who would reach an audience with their review NOT every blogger out there. It would be those who could influence sales of the book. If this was the case then what makes you think that you, a new blogger or a small blogger who no-one knows and who has no audience would be one of the few to then get paid?!

I’ve been doing this for over two years, no-one knows who I am, I’m a nobody and I know that I wouldn’t (or would hardly ever) get a look in, that’s fine, I wouldn’t want to be included anyway and I know that there would be many other tremendous bloggers out there who would hardly ever get a look in either and I’ll add, because I know, because we do this for the book love that they wouldn’t want a look in any way! My point is this, if publishers did start paying for reviews from bloggers then you only think that you’d be included, worthy and chosen to be selected as a paid reviewer for any specific book.

I think, for some that you are crazy and that delusions of grandeur about your own blog are flying around in your head if you think that you would and should get paid for your book reviews.

What makes those of you who want to charge for and get paid for your reviews think that you are more deserving and any better than those of us who don’t?!

Yes, blogging is or at least can be hard (that’s the same as life, nothing is easy) and reading a book takes up your time but reading isn’t a job it is a hobby which we (most of us) would be doing even if we didn’t have a book blog. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be blogging, many don’t as you never know what to expect from life but! Before I had a book blog, I was a reader and after I have a book blog I’ll still be a reader. I’m not a reader simply due to having a book blog, it’s the other way around and I’m a book blogger due to being a reader. I guess it’s as simple as this would you still be reading if you didn’t have a book blog?! If yes then why charge for a hobby that you love and that brings you countless hours of escapism and enjoyment?!

Publishers print books not money! Is it even feasible to expect publishers to pay?! We’d be taking money out of the authors and publishers hands (less money for the publisher because they have to pay for blogger reviews would mean less money for other things, maybe less money to sign authors and buy the rights to their books) for something (reading) that we supposedly love to do just to increase our own pockets and where would the budget for charging come from anyway?! I guess that publishers could produce less tree ARC’s and then use the cost saved on them to pay for reviews but with that I’m totally spitballing (like with most of this post) and then there’d be the case of supply and demand and less ARC’s to cover the cost of reviews……then you’d be moaning about the lack of ARC’s! It’s a no-win situation!

Are publishers and for that matter indie authors to going to have to increase the price of a book merely so that they can achieve the desired profit margins and have the money to pay bloggers for their reviews, such book love from book lovers there!

And the big question. Do you want bloggers to start charging for reviews and publishers to start paying for reviews because you truly see it as the way forward for book blogging and the community on a whole or is it simply due to this…….YOU want to be paid for YOUR reviews?!

Also, what if the publishers put specific guidelines on the type of reviews that they are willing to pay for and created an industry standard that you had to comply with and adhere to? Perhaps that’s going too far but what if publishers created their own set of guidelines that they would want to see met in a review?! Yes, it’s purely conjectured on my part but bear with me. Let’s say that publishers were happy to pay for reviews or at least certain types of reviews. Would you then be prepared to subsequently change how you review (we all have our own style of reviewing) to meet the guidelines for the review (length, content, etc) to fit either the industry standard or for that specific publisher? Boring! Yawn! Snorefest!

Who would want that! It’d be the same review over and over again just by a different blogger and on a different blog. You’d also lose your voice and often what makes a blog unique is the blogger behind the blog and how they write their posts. I certainly wouldn’t change how I review just to get paid (imagine if that to get paid I couldn’t swear, what a fucking nightmare that would be) as I’d lose what makes a post on my blog mine, losing my voice and we all know (well, the ten or so people who read my posts anyway) that I have a slight issue with conforming as it is, in that I don’t.πŸ˜±πŸ˜‚πŸ˜

What about indie authors? Are you happy to get free books from publishers but will try and make money by charging the indie authors for reviews and expecting them to pay?

I know that some bloggers already do charge (that’s your choice) and I know that some numpty (meant in the nicest way possible because, really, silly authors paying when there are countless other fantastic bloggers out there who don’t charge) authors actually pay them. I question though, you can’t post a paid for review on Amazon or Goodreads (well, you shouldn’t but I’m sure that the dishonest do) so how does that help the author? Does your blog have more of a reach than those two sites? Really? Wow, congratulations on that!

Full disclosure people and no, I don’t mean stripping off and fully disclosing your appendages to the world!πŸ˜±πŸ˜‚πŸ˜ If you are going to charge for reviews then make sure that you tell the author that you won’t be able to add the review to Amazon and Goodreads because they paid for it!

If publishers did start paying for reviews then the above applies to those reviews too as they wouldn’t be able to be added to Amazon or Goodreads either meaning that there would be fewer reviews on those sites for the author and their book and less exposure.

I have to say that I really don’t agree with charging indie authors for reviews. For most of us, we blog as a hobby and have jobs, families, etc doing this in our spare time and most indie authors are very similar having jobs, families, etc too and writing in their spare time as it’s their hobby (no disrespect meant with using that term) and passion.

Yes, I’m aware that many traditionally published authors have jobs too but if they are published by a publisher then the publisher would pay for the reviews whereas with an indie author they will have to fork out and pay for the reviews themselves.

Think of it this way, if you charge Β£50 for a book review and the author sells their book for Β£5 then before they can even make a profit from your review they need to sell 10 books! Can you feel the book love!

As I’ve just mentioned, we blog as a hobby. If we started charging for reviews would that then turn our hobby into a job? Surely that would lead to extra pressure to put out high standard and top quality reviews and posts and really, who wants that added pressure?!

Personally, I already think that my reviews suck and if I was paid (yes, I know that the book is the payment, I mean wonga, the dollar, the pound, moolah, dough, bones, readies, spondoolies) then I’d worry even more about the quality of them! Or, maybe, as you are getting paid anyway you’d just turn out any old shit and call it a review. But be warned folks no matter what label you stick on it or how much you shine it up and polish it a turd is still just a turd.

It would be remiss of me if I didn’t also throw in a quick mention of the integrity of paid for reviews. I’m not going to call people out on their lack of integrity if they do charge for reviews or want publishers to start paying for reviews as at the end of the day, it’s their choice and their view. However, when money is taken into account along with a personal opinion then you can’t help but question the legitimacy of that view and will find yourself wondering if the review is honest or not.

I can understand wanting to make (or at least try to) money from your blog and through blogging and I wish you luck with that but on the flip side and with all the sincerity that I can muster for book blogging, I really don’t think that charging for book reviews and expecting publishers to pay for them is the correct avenue for it or the way forward.

If you intend to make blogging your job then I can’t see you doing that with paid book reviews. I also think that it is wrong and I want none of it, that’s only my opinion but, ya know, my blog, my rules, my voice. I’ll buy my books, receive my (few) ARC’s and keep reviewing and blogging for me and for free.

For most of us, it’s as simple as this! We blog because we love reading and want to share that love of books in the form of our blog and as an extension of our aforementioned love of reading!


Thoughts?? Agree?? Disagree??

Please note that for anyone who comments on this post you can voice your opinion on my blog in a constructive way regardless of your view. After all, a discussion post is about various different views and discussing those views but don’t get personal and don’t troll.


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129 thoughts on “Some Musings On Paid For Book Reviews. #BookBlogger #BookBloggers #Blogger #Bloggers

  1. As far as I’m concerned, if an author was to give me something for reviewing their book – AWESOME! But it’s not a requirement, not will it help their review at all. My reviews are honest, take it or leave it. I feel like I get paid when I receive an ARC or when an author likes, shares or comments on my review/post of their book. Simply being recognized means a lot to me.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Hear, hear! The thought of charging for reviews puts me right off because how honest could you be if you were paid I also think specific guidelines would kill blogging for me as I like to write what I though in my own style. Some people obviously don’t understand the whole blogging for the love of books thing do they!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I must be out of the loop because I’ve never seen bloggers complain about not getting paid for reviews. If you want someone to pay you, go to one of the trade magazines like Publishers Weekly or Kirkus and APPLY for a job writing reviews. Why would publishers bother to pay bloggers when so many of them post free reviews?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I have no idea! Exactly, get a job where you are paid to review not simply blog.

      It’s been doing the rounds on twitter and facebook recently that bloggers should be paid, part of me thinks it is certain bloggers who want to be paid for their reviews and nothing more but really I think they are crazy when some of the huge sites don’t charge to think that they can charge for their reviews.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m in the middle about it. I don’t want to knock anyone’s hussle, and I don’t think it’s horrible to make money on something you enjoy doing. But I can see how charging for reviews can affect the integrity of a person’s blog. At the same time, I’m optimistic and I think it’s possible to be honest in reviews and charge to review books. The person just has to set their standards and not sway from them. I mean publications* like Kirkus Reviews and Publisher’s Weekly do pay for reviews. The former shares some opinions on the quality of the book whereas the former mostly gives an overview of the book.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, that’s true about the person and their standards, it is very much down to the individual to not be swayed by the prospect of money and being paid.

      That’s true about Kirkus and Publishers Weekly but they are far more like websites than normal blogs, granted I think their reviews occasionally suck and aren’t the money, I read one from publishers weekly that was awful recently, not awful that they didn’t like the book but awful in the quality of the actual review.

      There are ways to make money though without charging for reviews and a couple of bloggers out there were getting free books from both Uk and US publishers and at the same time charging Indie authors for a review and I also question how some can expect to be paid when they don’t have any reputation, following, etc and not gonna say it’s not fair to others but where is the line that some bloggers say that they deserve to be paid whilst others don’t?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s true. There is a difference between Kirkus/PubWeekly and blogs though they both do similar things. I only mention them to show that it’s possible to charge for reviews and retain some integrity.

        But I do think it unfair for bloggers to charge only a select group for reviews. I think that immediately diminishes their integrity because already they are showing preference toward a particular group.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. While it would be cool to be paid for book reviews because, more money for books, I didn’t know it was even a thing. I’m just super excited when I get accepted for an ARC request because, free book and reading is fun! Honestly, I think I’d be less excited if I was making money because then it’d feel more like a job. “Must….read….this….book….to…get…paid.”

    Liked by 8 people

  6. Brilliant post. You’ve summed up what I think about being paid for book reviews. It would be great, sure, but I do think your opinion would be affected. I don’t think many people would not finish a book that they were paid to read, but I feel you can do that with books you get for free. A lot to think about!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you.πŸ˜€

      Yeah, that’s very true and a great point about not finishing a book! Lots seem to worry about DNF’ing ARC’s as it is, that’s for free, if they were paid then the expectations and pressure to finish would be even higher.

      Like

  7. I definitely feel like there are a lot of bloggers who are rushing into trying to make money off what their doing. At about 400 followers I’m perfectly happy with getting a truck load of free books for my hard work. I’ve been seeing a lot more people at very few followers trying to make money, either off reviews or through things like “buy me a coffee” or “patreon”.. Shouldn’t you build up your following and have some solid backing before asking people for money?? Although, I have a problem with that in general… Even when I’m spreading myself super thin and working myself to the bone, I feel like there are so many authors out there who need help promoting their awesome books and aren’t making much money of their own who deserve to be helped. I don’t know much about all of this as I’ve only been blogging for about 6 months, but I’m DEFINITELY not ready to be asking people for money! (although, Alcohol is REALLY expensive people!! Remember that when you read my stuff!) πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ»πŸ»πŸ˜²

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Lol! there is a simple solution to alcohol being expensive don’t drink as much! πŸ˜‰

      Exactly, you should build up a following, etc before doing those things but more and more are trying it on straight away and it sucks.

      I’m on the fence about the buy me a coffee thing, etc, I have nothing against it, if someone wants to do it then it is their choice but I have to admit that it amuses me when people then decide to write a post telling their followers that they were unsure about doing it, didn’t want to draw attention to it, etc but that they have decided to add a patreon or coffee link! If you didn’t want to draw attention to it then you wouldn’t have posted about it!

      Yeah, I am happy with my free books too, I’d like to get the ones I want at times but I’m happy and wouldn’t consider being paid for doing this.

      Yeah, that’s true about authors and I definitely don’t agree with charging indie authors and some seem to do that, get free books from publishers and then charge indie authors, crazy and wrong.

      There are huge sites out there that don’t charge for reviews, huge sites and yet some small bloggers seem to think that they deserve to be charged, crazy!

      Like

      1. …. Don’t. Drink. As. Much…… I don’t comprehend your statement…. 😞😰 It’s hard to not drink as much when you’re posting at least 3 reviews a week and they’re all paired with drinks!! πŸ˜‹

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve seen a person become popular and well known in the Aussie YA blogging and event world and she has said that if a publisher or author expects her to put specific things in an Insta post at a specific time then she should get paid for it, Which I kind of get. But being paid for a blog review is a different thing and I don’t see it as possible or really even a way of making money. Don’t you need to sell advertising space to make money.
    Some people put in a lot of effort and time and kudo’s to those, and if you want to try and make money off it, fine. But what I really can’t stand is when that person puts themselves on a pedestal and demands people acknowledge how special they are and when that doesn’t happen demands to be paid, for what she has been doing for the last few years free.
    I’m tired and grumpy, so I got a tad ranty. I liked your thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hhhmmm……I wish for my specialness to be acknowledged! πŸ˜‰

      Yeah, I get what you mean though, some people seriously have delusions of grandeur about themselves and their blog and really, no-one blogger is better than an other, yes, some might put in more work than others but those who want charging well, for most what is to say that they deserve to be charged ad that they have put in any more effort than others, I think lots just want to make a quick buck from it and don’t get how it isn’t possible or even why people would pay then when there are huge sites out there who don’t charge.

      Nothing wrong with ranty at all! I like ranty, I rant on occasion too! πŸ™‚

      I’m not up on the YA community and don’t really know what an insta post is! #clueless

      But, yeah, I guess I can see that point though YA isn’t as clean as it thinks it is, look at the ARC’s being sold on eBay, lots of YA books!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Insta post is me being to lazy to type Instagram post. I think publishers or authors were asking her to post specific things, which I can maybe understand asking to be paid for, but why would they when there are so many others who would do it for free.

        But when it comes to blogs, there are some amazing blogs out there, yet the YA centred blogs, they all seem very similar to me. Opinions are similar, set ups are similar. Why would someone pay you when there is 100 other people doing exactly the same thing.

        Holy shit, the amount of ARC’s you have being posting from ebay is insane. Some people have no fucking shame. I totally understand trading them, a lot of people do that, but selling them.. Hell no.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh no, did you just imply that lots of YA blogs are the same?!?!? Can you hear that, they are all getting ready to defend their community against you and your comment! πŸ˜‰ Though, yeah, I generally don’t do YA but a lot of the blogs all look very similar to each other.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Charging for such an Instagram post makes sense to me because if they’re asking you to post specific content at a specific time, they’re basically asking you to post an advertisement for them because they want exposure to your network of followers whom YOU have done all the hard work for to get and maintain. Demanding to advertise to your followers for free (you do all the work, they get all the benefit) sounds really off-putting to me.

      But, yes, I see this as different from the current review model, where the publisher sends a book and you review it how you want when you want, and if you never review it because you just forget or whatever, that’s cool too.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh bother… what a topic! You make a lot of really great points! I agree that the pricing should be different depending on how much work is put into it. From the authors standpoint, you wouldn’t wait to pay for a review for a blogger that posts only a few sentences about the book; you’d want something more in depth.

    Charging for reviews makes me too nervous, personally. I don’t think I would ever do it. But who knows! Maybe someday. But for today, my blog is simply my hobby. I’m more than happy to work with authors in exchange for access to their book. πŸ™‚

    Erica | Erica Robyn Reads

    Liked by 2 people

  10. You touched on the idea that a publisher may make certain demands, but also do you fear that paying for the review may also cause bias?

    Also, thanks for looking at it from the indie authors point of view! It was nice to see.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. A great topic of conversation! I have no interest in charging because that implies a transaction which comes with requirements etc and I like to do things my way πŸ˜‚. You’re right about people setting the book business back by charging money for reviews, it is not helping anyone in the long run. Honest, hobby based blogging is all that is necessary. An ARC or a mention here or there will do me. I am not condemning paid book reviewers, each to their own, I just hope the authors are getting their money’s worth πŸ€”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Damn right, ARC’s and a mention are awesome and are a nice extra to blogging but like you, I’d rather do things my own way and really that’s what blogging is about, your hobby, your blog, your way. If people wanted to read a paid for review then they wouldn’t be searching for blogs in the first place they’d be reading websites.

      Like

  12. I don’t know how paid reviews work, so can’t say much on that.
    I know that nobody has tried throwing money at me. I must be doing something wrong πŸ˜‚
    That said, I’d love to have a job at some magazine or newspaper or something where i get a salary and also get to read and review stuff. 😊 One can dream.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I believe paid for reviews are this, on the review policy of the blogger they state that they charge for reviews and then if sensible the author runs away and if dumb they pony up the money. Or, as was the case last year a blogger went seeking out authors, offered to review their book and then after accepting the book hit them with the charge.πŸ™„

      I know! That’d be awesome, no people, free stuff and paid to review.πŸ‘Œ

      Liked by 1 person

  13. The insanity… Just getting ARCs is HUGE enough. To want money for the review you’re going to write up? Come on… More power to anyone who gets $$ for doing it, but to actively seek it just seems like they aren’t blogging with the right intentions. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Yeah, getting ARC’s is great and yeah, I agree, it does seem like they aren’t blogging for the right reasons and also, getting ARC’s, a following, etc all takes time, these want to be paid as soon as they start blogging. If it did become a thing then it shouldn’t be something that you expect and demand straight away but something to aim towards.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m already happy I can read a free book. I do hope the people who get paid have or will get the obligation to mention it at the beginning or end of their review so I know not to pay too much attention to it. You can’t be unbiased if you’re paid.. I already don’t do a lot of review book tours because I don’t want to feel any pressure into liking a book so that’s even worse. I hope they’ll know there are still enough bloggers out there who don’t ask to get paid and their reviews will sound more true and hoenst than the paid ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I think most of us are happy just to get a free book and yeah, hopefully they would. We are supposed to say that we got the book from the publisher to review for disclosure so you would hope that those who do charge for reviews would state that they have been paid.

      Like

  15. Agree with you wholeheartedly on this subject!

    For me, I see that receiving an arc well before the publication date as payment enough! I would never dream of charging for my reviews.

    What’s next? Charging Maccas for your feedback of your drunken burger purchase?!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Lol I didn’t know charging for reviews was a thing! Like, why would a publisher/author pay for a review they can get for free from many established bloggers? πŸ€” I think getting arcs is enough of an award, and I’ve been only blogging for three months, but I’m getting more and more arcs approved, and I got a first offical review request through my email in my second month, I was happy as a child πŸ˜‚That’s payment enough for me lol πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Okay, maybe I’m just too old and I skipped the fact that reviewers, booktubers and youtubers became legit professions. πŸ˜‚ I wonder if they’ll open colleges for that now too. πŸ€” I mean, wasn’t reviewing a hobby, and a fairly simple one? Maybe I’ll become a professional origamist lol. πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lol, I intend to become a professional sarcastic ass.😝

        Ah, yeah, well, a few seem to call themselves professional even though they only have a blog like many others, then there’s blogger or reviewer too but professional, sigh, maybe I should add that to my blog.πŸ‘

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Great post Drew.
    I love doing what I do for the love of books. It’s a hobby and blogging is an offshoot of my hobby. I cannot imagine charging an author for what are my thoughts, I also think it would take the pleasure out of reading if it became a job, this is not something I am willing to do. Reading is an escape and enjoyment for me. I am so grateful to be sent an arc of a book and that will do me just fine xx

    Liked by 1 person

  18. So I have a number of thoughts on this subject and I figure it’s easier to just list them out:

    1. The moment you agree to be paid to write a review is the moment you lose your independence. If you write a positive review of a book because you genuinely enjoyed it, people are going to believe you wrote it because you were paid for it. If you write a negative review, that’s going to impact on your relationship with the person paying you for the review (and let’s not be naive here – no publicist or publisher or author is going to pay and be happy with a negative review of their product). Some book bloggers may be okay with that – I’m not judging, it’s up to them – but it is going to impact on how people view your reviewers.

    2. If you want to be paid for reviews, then I agree with you Drew that it’s only going to work if you have the figures to show that you’re an influencer. If you’re like me and don’t have a huge number of followers or hits, then you’re not going to be worth paying. That’s tough but it’s the industry. That then creates a dilemma for you – how do you raise your profile and what happens when you then “sell out” by selling your space?

    3. I am not against book bloggers making money from their blog. I understand why people sell advertising on their blog or set up Amazon affiliate accounts because these things can be expensive to run (it costs me a couple of hundred quid to pay for the blog accounts I use and even though I get a lot of ARCs – mainly courtesy of Amazon Vine – I still spend a couple of hundred quid a year on books). I don’t have a problem with that. But selling advertising is different from selling reviews.

    4. If you’re making money from your blog then you need to declare it as it’s taxable. In the UK if you’re on PAYE then it means you have to do an extra self-assessment form by the declaration date (end of January), which is a hell of a faff – especially if you’re not making a lot of money. I’d query if it’s worth that hassle but again, it’s up to you.

    5. In the EU, publishers/publicists/authors have to be very careful about paying for reviews. The Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 prevent publishers/publicists/authors from paying or making inducements for positive reviews of their products. As a book reviewer, it’s not currently illegal to take payment although I know that the UK keeps raising the spectre of trying to regulate it.

    6. If you cross-post reviews to Amazon and you’re being paid for reviews, then you risk being thrown off their platform as it’s against their internal rules. Ultimately, that may not bother you if you’re making a lot of money from it but given Amazon’s strength, it’s worth considering.(Note in Amazon UK it’s fine to post a review if you got an ARC/review copy but you are supposed to declare it).

    7. Finally, if you are getting paid for a review then the one thing you owe your reviewers is a statement that it’s been paid for. It’s the ethical thing to do.

    Anyway – this is a really interesting topic and I’m interested in seeing what people have to say about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree! Sadly I think that some people are naive and wouldn’t consider that those paying for the review if negative would be unhappy and that’s true about the independence too.

      Oh definitely, if people want to make money from their blog then OK, cool, go for it but it’s different to charging for reviews and that goes back to the influencer bit too as I’m not sure how some of those who want paying think firstly, that they above others deserve to be paid and secondly, that they would even be one of the blogs to get paid.

      I wouldn’t trust that all bloggers in the UK declare money from their blog, I might be being cynical but I just can’t see it.

      Honestly, I would hope that if someone was charging for reviews that they would declare it at the start of the review. We are supposed to declare ARC’s so if the review was paid for then really, it should be declared too.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. It seems to me that most of the passion would go out the window once you tried to charge and turn it into a job. I will never presume to tell anyone what is right or wrong, but there are certainly more viable and legit options for making money in the book community if you are seeking to earn an income. And it is possible to monetize blogs without charging for reviews or compromising your integrity. I cringe every time this topic surface, so I will just be polite and exit now πŸ˜‰

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  20. I don’t want paying for a review thank you. I want to spread the booklove for books I have enjoyed and quietly forget those I don’t like. I do not want to feel obliged to write something that might compromise my integrity simply because I got a fee!

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  21. In a lifestyle blog, I think it’s probably less of an intrusion. If they’re sponsored by a table company and have a table to promote, they can just incorporate that table into their room design or whatever. They’re just showcasing a product.

    Writing about books is much more subjective. I wouldn’t personally take the time to read a review of a sponsored book. It’s just a marketing write-up at that point.

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  22. Excellent post and topic. I never thought this would happen. Author’s/publishers could stop sending ARCs. I think receiving a book is more than enough. I don’t think I would ever sell a book I’d recieved.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Like you said in your post as long as there’s buyers people are going to sell them. I just feel for the author putting in all that time and effort/money into their book, they won’t even see a penny of that money. If I was an author I’d think it would be quite off putting to write more books.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Quite interesting post! I had never heard of bloggers being paid to write reviews…
    I know that BookTubers with a significant number of followers and views are sometimes paid to film certain videos (not specifically reviews), but it is usually the publishers who approach them and not the other way around.
    Also if a blogger is being paid to write a review or to write any other type of post, it has to be identified as an Ad. It’s not the same as a reviewer being paid to write for a magazine or a newspaper, because in that case they are not being paid by the publishers of the book, but by the media company they work for. If a publisher wanted to pay a media company for a review, it would have to be identified as an Ad as well.
    I don’t have a problem with people monetising their blogs via Adsense, or whatever other ways there are to put ads on blogs (my blog is so small that I’ve never looked into it), after all it takes a lot of time and effort to manage a blog.
    However, a bookblogger expecting to be paid to write a review is a bit insane!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I don’t have a problem with bloggers trying to get money through their blog either by ads, affiliate links, or other ways but reviews, nope, don’t agree with that.

      I bet the review wouldn’t be classed as an ad though even it it should be. Likewise, we have to say that we got the ARC in exchange for an honest review but lots don’t so I’d guess charging would be the same and people would neglect to mention it.

      There’s a few bloggers who charge for reviews, they get free books from publishers and then try and charge indie authors to review their work.

      A few have been mentioning recently though that we (they) should be paid for their reviews. I’m not sure how they think that they would deserve to be paid though if it did happen as it would only be the blogs with a huge following who can influence and not the small hobby blogs out there.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I think a lot of people think that if a person is paid for a review then their opinion is coloured. The biggest problem I can see is that if you don’t like a book you’re paid to review then the publisher could refuse to pay you, which is unfair. I’ve seen it happening with people who make beauty videos, one bad review can end your relationship with a certain company.

    I also think you’re right that it is only the large bloggers who would benefit. No-one is going to want to pay a nobody like me for my largely unread opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, one bad review and it’s done. Same with authors or it would be. Would the indie author be happy to pay if the review is negative, I think not.

      Yeah, blogs like yours or mine wouldn’t benefit and that’s the issue I can see. Small blogs wouldn’t and it’s these small and new blogs who want to be paid. They can want but I don’t see how will get when the huge blogs don’t charge.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Yeah I was pretty shocked at the Twitter storm over the past few days. Not so much that some people expect to be paid for reviewing (think of all the work they put in and all the money the publisher is going to rake in from the one person who reads said review and buys the bookπŸ˜‚) but that they have a go at long time bloggers who don’t charge and are apparently responsible for them not being able to make a living from a book blog.

    Some people need a reality check. Do they honestly believe their blog is so special publishers and authors should pay them? There are literally thousands of book blogs and only a handful with any real reach. Do they genuinely think publishers will be falling over themselves to pay them if everyone charged. Does anyone even want to read a paid for review? It’s really just an advert and can’t be trusted. Bloggers get enough of a hard time around impartiality.

    Personally I’m still stunned and overjoyed to get free books before they’re published. That’s more than enough for me. Getting paid would be way too much pressure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think lots of us put in a lot of work though. Obviously, some more than others but blogging for all takes time and effort and can also be hard they just seem to make out that the work they put in is worth more.πŸ™„

      I know, I read that too and it really annoyed me. It’s crazy to state that, complaining about longtime bloggers not charging. The thing is though, if getting paid for reviews came in then long time bloggers might get paid, like long time bloggers get ARC’s, something to strive too not to happen straight away which they seem to think.

      I think that boils down to delusions about their own blog and blogging skills, meant in the politest way possible that they think with so many blogs out there that they would get paid, sigh, there are huge blogs out there that get 50,000 views a month and don’t charge and yet a small blog wants and expects too.πŸ˜‚

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  26. “…you are crazy and that delusions of grandeur about your own blog are flying around in your head…” These are the best words I will read this week! Love this post. For most of us it’s a calling and not a career. πŸ™‚

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  27. I’ve never considered getting paid for my book reviews! I’m lucky enough to be sent books from publishers and to be honest this makes me very happy! I think getting paid for a review would make the blogger feel they can’t be truly honest about how they feel about a book.

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  28. Yup- I personally agree with you 100%- I want none of this! I think there are better ways for people to make money from a blog/otherwise without resorting to charging for things that should be free- especially as people get an ARC for a review- isn’t that enough?!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Completely agree and as with beauty bloggers I would question the authenticity of a review if it was paid tbh, it’s basically an ad, so how truthful and honest is it being when the cash will have been touted before the book was even read? I see a lot of hype about products on beauty blogs that don’t deliver in real life, because they are paid to promote it or even given very simar pre-written content to post which I don’t really agree with. I prefer bloggers to magazines because I know a lot of products featured in mags have huge PR and publicity behind them paying for the products to be featured and plugged positively, so I feel often the recommendations aren’t genuine. I’d hate for that to become more of the norm for bloggers.

    I feel really uncomfortable begging for an ARC and don’t do it unless I see them offered, when you see how difficult publishing and being an author is I don’t ever expect freebies and am always genuinely grateful to be given arcs. It isn’t a right no matter how big your influence and many people forget that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that’s true, most are greatful just to be given ARC’s some do seem to think though that they are deserving of all the ARC’s and then complain when they don’t get a certain book. Sure, some blogs get more, those with reach and influence, etc but none have a right to them. I think that is the issue with paid reviews, some would think it’s a right and that’s just wrong.

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      1. Oh yes, I left a FB book club because the admin regularly had hissy fits if another member got granted an ARC but they didn’t, too much entitlement. I am all for people recognising the hard work that bloggers do and the benefits that positive reviews can have, but I think paid reviews for book bloggers is a slippery slope, but lets be honest there are a lot of book bloggers and if some start demanding payment there’s plenty out there happy to review for free, I can’t see it becoming the norm

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Some do demand payment though and it’s the poor indie authors who suffer as they pay them! But yeah, if some demand payment then definitely, move on and find another out of the hundreds of thousands of other bloggers around.

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  30. A few authors have asked me to review books for free, they usually locate me on facebook. I do comment that I could take a while to get to their book, but I do take personal review requests seriously and always write a review (I don’t guarantee a positive one though, it will be honest based on my biased opinion and usually long). I velieve I have finished all of the personally requested books but there is a book I won at librarything that is the last one I haven’t read. When I nab one of those freebies, I always put a higher priority for them. I hope the author can wait another few weeks because I have been busy. Nonetheless, just because I accept review requests for free, I don’t accept everything either. The book has to interest me, and with that, I usually only stick to fantasy novels. I will read other genres here and there though. I also read & review books in Spanish. Spanish language books have avid readers, but they seldom (if ever) write reviews on Amazon which is where the review carries the most weight. I don’t know if its because they register on the regional Spain and Mexico sites or can’t afford the 50 USD minimum purchase to review in the US site like I can.

    If the book just doesn’t sound up my alley, I do politely tell the author that it would be best that I don’t make a compromise. I wouldn’t like to give a 2 star review to an otherwise good book just because it’s not my cup of tea. I think they usually don’t mind my honesty.

    Would I create my own reviewing blog? I dunno, I already have a blod focused on my own books and haven’t updated it. I get bored with blogging and there are only a number of topics related to my books I’d like to write about that aren’t character profiles, and for that, I’d prefer to create a regular website to make it look prettier. I just need cash to rent a domain and code the html… Hrmmm. I am planning on writing some comments about my recent trip to China on my blog. Got some good tips!

    Would I ever charge cash to review? I could really use the cash. I can’t believe new and upcoming blogs with just 2 random posts that could have been written in 10 minutes want to charge 30 usd for 1 review. I know some really reputable reviewers that do charge cash for honest reviews, but lots of people follow them and they do get the publicity push. Not even those amateur reviewers charge that much per book unless its expedited.

    Now, I doubt I’ll be charging cash to review, my blog doesn’t get a lot of viewers anyways. But this was a fun topic!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Why do people assume that payment means the review is biased I don’t understand. I know a lot of bloggers with integrity, that would not give a positive review because money were involved.

    I’m a new book blogger and it’s unlikely I will ever charge for book reviews, considering that most of the books I’m reading aren’t new and, usually non-fiction. But, I also have two other blogs and I work with brands. I’ve had sponsored posts, reviews, and even paid reviews. The latter don’t have that often, but it doesn’t matter, my style is the same. I usually refuse the offers I get from brands because I don’t agree with what they are offering, and only work with a few that agree to my terms. I’m not alone in this, many bloggers are in the same situation as I am, saying no again and again to offers because they don’t fit, regardless of the payment amount.

    Should book bloggers get paid? Why not? If they are happy with the fee, if the publishers/authors are happy with the fee, is none of my business. Blogging is a hobby, but it can be a part-time/full-time job too. I think everybody would expect journalists to be paid, bloggers are a type of journalists too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Integrity when money is involved is an issue which is why I mentioned it but I only briefly mention it as it isn’t what the post is about, it deserved a mention but you get honest and dishonest people regardless of whether money is involved.

      Publishers don’t pay for reviews though even from the huge blogs out there. Sites like kirkus, yes, sure, but blogs, no. I think you also have to bring in influence, stats, etc as some people want to and do charge and have no reach.

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    2. For me, it’s not so much that I think someone who was being paid would give a book they hated five stars. I think it’s more of a risk that they were considering three stars but now might bump it up to four, or something more subtle like that. They might not even be consciously thinking “I will rate it higher to keep my good relationship and make money,” but it does seem like there is some pressure involved that wouldn’t be if they weren’t being paid to review the book. Of course, some bloggers wouldn’t do this, but how can you tell which reviewers are being slightly more generous than they normally would be and which ones are not? (I mean, I may be projecting here because I honestly do think I would feel pressured to be more positive if I were being paid. I wouldn’t go overboard, but I think I would have more of an incentive to look for silver linings or reasons other people might like the book, even if I didn’t.)

      Liked by 1 person

  32. I’ve commented on your blog about my thoughts on paid reviews before and YES! I keep trying to tell people who are kind of excited about the idea of making money from their blog (which I am not inherently opposed to) that it is so, so likely only the top bloggers would be offered this option anyway. No one is going to pay a blogger who has 2000 followers for a review. That’s a low number in terms of the Internet. (There are reasons Booktubers have more paid opportunities and get more ARCs, and it’s that they have much larger audiences!)

    Also, I don’t think people would be paid for reviews anyway. No one wants to give you money ad end up with a negative review. In a hypothetical world where book bloggers were being paid, it would be for content the author or publisher has more control over.

    And good catch from that commenter about having to declare income from your blog for taxes. I’ve never seen someone mention that before (likely because most of us aren’t actually making money!).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also just want to agree with the point about “standards” for reviews. When I posted about paid book reviews a while ago, someone commented that they used to review music for a web publication and the reality of reviewing as a job is very different from reviewing as a hobby in terms of required length, required tone, strict schedules, etc. Bloggers complain now about being stressed and behind. But if you’re being paid to write a 350-400 word review by June 9, you have no wiggle room. You deliver, or you will never get a paid gig from the publisher again. Your freedom disappears.

      Obviously, this wouldn’t bother everyone, but I think the illusion that you would be paid to do exactly what you are doing now has to disappear. You will not be getting paid to do a hobby that you were having fun doing anyway. You will be getting paid to do a job in the way and on the schedule that someone else demands, and you will need to be ok with making that change.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. 2,000 followers, that’s around my amount and yeah, it’s true, a very small number but a lot of the bloggers who want to get paid haven’t even got that far yet and have way less. As I mention in the post and as you say if people did pay for reviews then it would only be the top blogs with a huge reach which people don’t seem to understand.πŸ™„

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      1. I realized when I said 2000 it was going to sound like a lot because for book bloggers, it kind of is. But compared to the beauty or lifestyle bloggers they’re talking about? 2000 is nothing. That’s part of why they’re paid and we’re not…. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Also, I have about 4000 followers now (some from seven years ago who probably aren’t actually still following me, but that’s the listed number) and Penguin Random House and HarperCollins still won’t even even me ARCs. I don’t know who’s going to pay me! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  33. As a small (very small) blogger, I strongly believe that having the opportunity to read books before they hit the stands is enough of a privilege – especially if the book in question was written by one of my favorite authors – that asking for money for a review would look like…. robbery! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I agree with all you say, and from the look of all the comments here, your blog is far from insignificant! I love what Jill (Book Cafe) said to a book blogger who was moaning about not getting paid for it and had kids to support, etc – get a job, then!!! Very few people earn money from their hobbies. And I’d question the authenticity of paid for book reviews. What if you read the book and think it’s a heap of crap? Do you lie, in order to guarantee payment???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, thanks, it only get comments though on posts like this. Usually it’s tumbleweeds but honestly, I’d rather think that my blog is insignificant and that my posts are crap than be one of those bloggers who wants paying for their reviews, has 20 followers and thinks that every post they write is the best thing ever.

      Jill’s post was fantastic and I totally agreed with everything she said, so well put and so true too and get a job was spot on.

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  35. I personally think that one should not charge for reviews but they can charge for blog promotions and things like that. But then again those bloggers are at the top of their game will have to do so because of the amount of time and effort they put into making their blog a top blog. For promos I mean. Not reviews or interviews.

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  36. Wonderfully written, Sir! As I wade into the quagmire that is publishing a novel, the pressure’s on to get strong reviews and blurbs. I can see the temptation to buy good words so that my words sell. Would I? No. But I do see where that temptation comes from.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.

      Ah, but the question is, would they be strong reviews and good words? Not in the positive or negative review sense but in the sense that is the review of sufficient quality and strength to justify the cost? Especially as the paid for review won’t appear on either Amazon or Goodreads.

      And what are strong reviews? Not all bloggers write indepth or detailed reviews, I don’t, it’s not really my style and I can’t do it preferring the more informal and chatty approach whereas others write an indepth (occasionally to indepth) analysis of the story telling the review reader everything that happens. It doesn’t mean that either is stronger or better than the other just different.πŸ‘

      I would ask, how do you know that the words you paid for would make your work sell? Sure, websites like Kirkus and for fantasy, if booknest, fantasy faction or fantasy book review charged then, yeah, you’d expect your words to sell as they are absolutely huge blogs/websites but some of these that charge or want to charge, nah, delusions of grandeur on their part and craziness when people pay them.πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Excellent points, and I think those are the points authors either choose to ignore or just can’t comprehend. “I just need people to talk about the book, and then it’ll sell.” I’ve seen this with some friends and the whole “freebie” style of marketing–“If I give enough of my books away, more people will find out about it and BUY my books!”
        Me: Or, people will just wait until you give them away for free again…
        So in regards to your questions, I would hope a *logical* person would take your questions into account. I’ve certainly read my quite the eclectic blogosphere mix of amazing reviews, scatter-brained reviews, polite reviews, vague reviews, and so on. I don’t think I could bring myself to pay for reviews on them.
        Kirkus…hmmm. This makes me think of one of the many Star Wars conspiracy theories out there (some of which I buy into, but anyway) about The Last Jedi buying reviewers to give positive reviews of the film. By the sounds of the dvd sales, all those positive reviews are NOT resulting in strong profits. Thoughts?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I merely used Kirkus as an example because I know they charge, I could have used Publisher’s Weekly instead and I have to say that I’m often not a fan of either of their reviews.

        I constantly think my reviews and blog for that matter suck but damn, some of the recent one’s I’ve read on both those sites whether positive or negative were awful in quality!

        Can’t really pass judgement on those Star Wars reviews,…….I haven’t seen the film! I guess even if you pay for reviews it comes down to whether or not the paid for review actually sells the product (book, film, etc) as something someone will read and think ‘yeah, I want to read/see/buy that’ or if it just puts a positive spin on the product.

        Also, I guess, at least for blogging, if you know the review has been paid for (when there are so many bloggers out there who will review for free and are possibly better and have more reach than the one who charges) the question would be, do readers of the review trust the review and blogger? I know that’s a very debatable subject and brings up the persons integrity but you know, if you know the review is paid for then do you trust it? I think, for me, if I read a review on a blog and saw it was paid for I’d search out reviews that weren’t paid for to see other views on the book and then, say others did the same, see a paid for review and then go and check out free reviews, you would have to ask what was the point of the initial paid for review?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh, the big folk do make it tough. While of course there’s the dream of being a New York Times bestseller, at the same time you make the fine point that so often these reviews do NOT speak to the majority of readers. Amazon reviews–for all the controversy there–at least have both the 5 star and the 1 star reviews to read. Right there you’ll see that something one reader adored was loathed by another. Time and again we writers are left to shrug and go, “not everyone’s gonna like it. righto, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing.”
        Which, I guess, is okay, but there’s still that need for exposure. Maybe THAT is what reviews can be good for, if nothing else: exposure. Any time one’s book pops up on a blog, that means at least a few people are going to spot it.
        Is this a bad time to ask if YOU would review my book? πŸ™‚
        Ah, just kidding.
        Partly.
        But this is horribly unprofessional, so I’ll stay on the “just kidding” side of the question. πŸ™‚
        PS–The Star Wars Solo movie is an interesting situation with critics/profits. All sorts of kudos from people, right? Yet the movie is BOMBING. Its first week was mediocre, and then ticket sales dropped by, like, 60% the second week. But any time I’m filling the car with gas the gas pump tv is telling me how hot the Solo movie is, and how awesome it is, etc.
        Mmmmmmhmm…

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That’s very true about exposure regardless of whether the review is good or bad. I also think that negative reviews can be beneficial, bit of a weird opinion perhaps but there’s been a bit of debate recently (mainly with thriller bloggers) over posting negative reviews or not. Now, I’m a firm believer in that a blogger should blog how they want, obviously, cos I sure do.πŸ˜‚ Lots just want to spread the book love and not bother with books they don’t like, fair enough, as I said, their blog, they should do what they want. But I do think that if a negative review is constructive, obviously not just ‘this book is sh#t’ but explains why the person didn’t like it and ultimately why the book wasn’t for them then you might get people who think ‘well, it sounds interesting, I’ll give it a go’ likewise, what that person disliked about the book could be the same aspects that another person looks for in books.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yes! those negative reviews can invite some good insight into the story. Of course I dread seeing negative reviews on my own stuff, but so long as people actually say why, I can consider their ideas and see if they fit. I learned this in graduate school: some people are going to shred your work because they’re assholes, but then some people are shredding your work to separate the GOOD scraps so you can pieces those together.

        Liked by 1 person

  37. First of all, I wouldn’t want to get paid for reviews. It would just needlessly complicate my life in the form of figuring out taxes. German income tax is enough of a hassle to learn about already.
    And I think that reviews on general shouldn’t be paid for. For me it raises serious concerns about credibility. How much can I trust a review that is paid for in money? How much influence do publishers and authors have on that review? I’d rather not have to think about that when reading reviews.
    Then again reviews aren’t the only way bloggers collaborate with publishers and authors and I do think it’s legit to ask to be paid for those. Publishers pay when they run ads for their books in any kind of medium, so why shouldn’t they pay bloggers for what’s essentially advertising? Besides, there are publishers who already pay booktubers to do certain videos, so once again… why shouldn’t they pay bloggers to do certain blog posts as well?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that’s similar to the UK, you’d have to declare any money you make from your blog even if it is a pittance.

      Yeah, that’s very true about the other types of post and as you aren’t being paid for your opinion, there’s no question of integrity over your view and you are advertising the author and book for free and it is something that perhaps needs debating further in the community. It wouldn’t be a massive amount of money, in my opinion and I don’t think but perhaps a small token amount for having interviews, guest posts or excerpts on blogs is viable and an idea.

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  38. I love this post! Not only is it well written, it’s also balanced. I wasn’t aware of bloggers charging for reviews, it’s new to me. However, I think I can see both sides. Lots of people who blog would love to monetize it, as hard as that is. And to be able to make any kind of money, the blogger needs to have a fair amount of views, visits, high CTR etc, and in order to get that, you’ve got to have a lot of followers/readers which would suggest that they’re putting out great content. BUT charging for reviews would perhaps muddy the waters with regards to the honesty within the review. After all, it would take someone with serious cojones to receive money for a review and then give it a terrible rating. But similarly, lots of bloggers from other fields (you mentioned lifestyle, beauty etc) get paid for reviews, and they do extremely well and manage to keep their credibility despite the fact they’re being paid (and presumably, honest).
    There’s also the view that, as a blogger who is in direct contact with authors requesting reviews, it could be similarly awkward explaining to them that you didn’t like/hated their book. So would that also muddy the waters? I don’t know.
    People blog for very different reasons, and sometimes those reasons can change over time. My reason has remained the same; like you, I am a reader who likes blogging, not a blogger who likes reading, and so I will remain. If someone can make money from reviewing then fair play to them. If someone is willing to pay for their thoughts and pinons, they’re clearly doing something right and I feel no animosity towards them .It’s those that have the entitlement that ruin it. Like you say, for self-published and indie authors, paying for a review is not viable. But that’s where I come in; I’ll provide an honest review and I’ll promote the hell out of it, good or bad. I may not have the reach that other bloggers have, and I know I am the first rung on the ladder but I’m happy with that; I know where I stand in the food chain.
    Ultimately I enjoy blogging and chatting to other bloggers and authors, the other bullshit doesn’t touch me.
    This was a really evocative post Drew, bloody well done sir!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks.πŸ‘ Always a shock when someone describes one of my posts as well written!😱😝

      Yeah, I tried to make it balanced, glad it came out that way. I’m firmly in the disagree with charging camp but I didn’t want the post to be a rant on the subject and more a look at if its feasible or not and how it would work if it did happen.

      Yeah, there are a few out there. One, last year used to contact authors and offer to review their book for them and then after they had accepted the offer, informed them that they had ‘forgot’ to mention that there was a charge.πŸ™„ It’s sneaky sh#t like that that is bad and gives bloggers a bad name. Sad thing is, the blogger was getting ARC’s from both the UK and the US and then charging indie authors!πŸ™„

      I think mostly though, from what I’ve read recently on twitter that whilst there are a few out there who do charge it is new bloggers who want to charge and think that they should be paid.

      I’ve seen them state that lifestyle and beauty bloggers get paid, which is why I mentioned them as it’s true, they get paid sure, but it’s still only the top ones who get any decent amount of money and get paid not every single blogger.

      If book bloggers did get paid then it would only be certain ones with huge reach, etc like lifestyle and beauty and not every blogger but these new bloggers seem to think that if it did become a thing or they do charge that they would get paid.πŸ™„

      I guess it’s easy to put it like this, for us, we are fantasy fans. If publishers did start paying for book reviews then you’d expect them to pay sites like booknest, the fantasy hive and fantasy faction who are huge and have massive reach getting more views per post than we get in a whole year and we wouldn’t get a look in with our tiny blogs. There’s huge sites for every genre and yet a new blog with 100 followers and 20 page views thinks that they should be paid, craziness.

      Like

  39. Personally, if I got paid for a review I would feel obliged to sugar-coat and be less than honest. It is for that reason that I would NEVER receive remuneration for my reviews. I want to have the freedom to remain unbiased and honest in my opinions. Somehow being paid for a review would feel as though I was beholden and would – for me – corrupt the reviewing experience and its purpose. Readers want honest, unbiased reviews so as to make an informed decision on prospective reading. If all the reviews were slanted toward the favourable, they would be useless.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. I agree. It sounds cool, but you would be feeling guilty if you ended up writing a bad review. Plus I get most of my books on Overdrive which free through my local library. I also get books through OPen LIbrary which are free too.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Excellent post, Wolfy! I honestly don’t care whether someone is being paid for a review or not. That’s their business. If they can make money doing what they love, more power to them.

    I have noticed about myself though that once I know someone is paid to review x product, be it a book or makeup or anything in between, their stated opinion of that specific product loses all weight with me. So like if a book blogger I follow reviews a book and is paid for that book, I’ll generally disregard their review of that book while still enjoying the rest of their content and reviews. It’s likely the cynic in me refusing to accept that someone can give a full and honest review of something while being paid to give it good publicity. πŸ˜‚

    Like

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