Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Should you pay for book reviews?

I've just come across a TechH2o.com blog entry titled "The Power of Book Reviewers in Book Marketing" The article calls book reviews an "investment" that authors can make in their books.

Since TechH2o.com is a technical blog, I wouldn't expect its writer to know that which should be obvious to authors, publishers, book publicists, and other book publishing professionals: one doesn't pay for legitimate book reviews.

Unpaid book reviews can be part of a successful book promotion campaign (although it's true that book reviews are becoming increasingly difficult to get, even for well-known authors and publishers). That is why so many authors and publishers are switching to blog tours and Amazon book review campaigns as part of their book promotion efforts.

But to buy a book review isn't going to help an author's (or a publisher's) credibility. In fact, in the opinion of this book publicist, buying a book review (and, worse, boasting about it by incorporating into a media kit) marks the buyer as an amateur.

The money you may be tempted to spend on buying book reviews can be either saved or spent in other aspects of your book promotion campaign. In any case, book reviews aren't an investment. They're simply reflect a failure to understand how book promotion works.