Articles & Discussions

Book Reviewers/Book Bloggers – I need your help

This is a quick post to ask for some help particularly from anyone who reviews books.  I want to create another post about the aftermath of what happened when my previous blog post ‘Respect the Reviewer 2’ was shared but I won’t go into details of what happened right now.  However I DO want your help and your opinion on these things so I can help write a better post using more than just my own opinion.  So here are the points and I welcome any viewpoint.  I’m open to comments from everyone but I’m especially keen to hear from book reviewers.

  1. Should book reviewers pay a contribution towards the cost of a book?  Even a small one such $0.99 or £0.99?
  2. Should authors hand over a copy of their book months ahead of review or only when a reviewer is ready to read it (bearing in mind the reviewer will have to contact the author again to get the book copy at that time).
  3. Who are the most important people in the entire book industry.  Who makes the industry, one group or many?  The authors, publishers, readers, reviewers, etc

As strange as these questions sound it will become clear when I explain what happened in my next ‘Respect the Reviewer’ post.  In the meantime please give me your input I would very much like your opinions and if you haven’t read it already and would like to comment on the last post I did here is the link: Respect the Reviewer 2

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30 thoughts on “Book Reviewers/Book Bloggers – I need your help

  1. The truth is, the answer to your first question depends. Many readers don’t get ARCs and review books anyway, without prompt from the author or publisher at all. They have paid for the book they read. However, I would say in regards to professional reviewers and the system of ARCs in general, I do believe that the act of reviewing is a form of payment. The author is getting a service from the reviewer in place of giving them a free copy. I don’t think it would be right or fair to change this system, one that already works rather well.

    I’m not sure I fully understand your second question, though assuming you mean a reviewer isn’t ready because they are reading another book, it is then up to the author to decide whether or not to send a copy to that reviewer while they are otherwise occupied or to wait. More often than not, I would suggest sending it anyway for the reviewer to get to unless the reviewer has specifically stated that they will not have the time.

    I dislike this question on the basis that it implies many of the hardworking people who put a book together and get it published are not equally important somehow. Some may be more important than others in small ways, but the fact of the matter remains that if there is no author, there is no book. If there is no reader, the book achieves very little. If there is no editor/publisher/etc, the book is unlikely to go far. If there are no reviewers to discuss it, the chances of the book being passed over increase. Everyone is important in this industry, in some respect. And if you look at the differences between self-published novels and typical mainstream published novels, you’ll understand why many of these facets are extremely important.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your very helpful reply. I agree with you that a review is a form of payment. Especially when the book on offer for review is an electronic one. A reviewer takes a lot of time to read the book and write up a review for no personal payment other than that book as a copy, I think it’s far to have it as a form of payment.
      The second question I asked because an author had approached me and asked me to review her book but then wouldn’t hand over the digital file until I was finished with my other books. She kept asking me whether I was ready to read hers – knowing full well I would read her book before a deadline I had promised but she insited on only handing me a digital copy when I had nothing else to read. I personally was annoyed at this idea as I often start reading in the evenings when nobody is contactable and I’d rather have that copy of a book ready on my reading device (or nearby if a physical copy) in case I feel like beginning it earlier than planned.
      I like your answer to the last question. I’m glad other people can see how important everyone is. I certainly think a reader is as important as the writer, for the author would have no audience without its readers. And of course publishers and reviewers are important too. Thank you again for such a wonderful and detailed answer 🙂

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    1. Not at all. I had trouble when I shared my own post to a fb group. The author who took offense was one who I had had problems with. All is good tho, and I do want the post shared to help make things easier between authors and reviewers 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Cat.

    Firstly, I thought your original article was really well written and thought out. It’s just my humble opinion. I really enjoyed it and thought you made a lot of valid points. I hope you don’t mind me answering your questions?

    1. No, someone who is giving a review should not have to pay for it. If you have found a reviewer and have asked them for a review you have asked them for a service – business dictates that to recieve a service that is not provides freely by a government then you will need to pay for it. A reviewers service is paid for with a said copy of the book. If a reviewer seeks out a book and offers to review it for a copy then a writer is within their rights to tell the reviewing to pay for the copy, be it full costs or partial.
    2. I would say this should be left up to work out between the reviewer and the writer in question. Different writers/reviewers means different people means different ideas on this. I personally don’t mind if a writer wants to send me the book now – I usually let them know more or less how many books I have left to read and if they are happy to send me the copy and wait then awesome. If not, I am happy to make a note of the book I will be done with before I am ready to read theirs (in case I get others in the meantime) and once I am done that book I will let them know that I am ready if they are still interested.
    3. Both writers and readers are equally important. Readers need books to read. Writers need readers to read their books (otherwise what’s the point?) However, writer’s should realise that while there are readers, there are also reviewers. Reviewers market their book for FREE. They post blogs like we do. Or they post their reviews up on amazon; goodreads etc. IT IS GOOD PR. So while both are important – within the readers group: reviewers should be considered slightly more important because they play a part in boosting the writer.
    Hope you are well
    Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course I don’t mind you answering the questions and thank you for the follow 🙂 <3. Thank you for your input I think it should be a free copy of a book to review, I know of some review sites who actually charge writers for reviews so to find a reviewer willing to do it for free should be seen as a good thing.
      I am fine though my profile and page are no more. Is there any other way I can be friends with you such as goodreads? I'm not sure when or if I can come back to B&E group in the future :(.

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  3. I don`t think reviewers should contribute to the cost of the book at all. I haven`t as yet received any reviews but I have done one, I`m a newbie. lol But I am learning and reading your posts with much enthusiasm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you :). Yes I believe reviews should be for a free copy of a book. I really enjoy writing reviews, it should always be fun. I hope you’ll enjoy reviewing more if you like. I write really long ones but everyone’s different and it’s all about telling people how much you did or didn’t like the book. If you need reviews for anything let me know I can review something or there’s plenty of other places and people I could put you in touch with 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. sorry for the late reply. and thank you yes i would love to come and ask you for a review of my work when published. I feel better approaching someone I`m familiar with and is in my blogging family. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I believe that without readers writers would be sitting around their house reading their own material. I think reviewers are important to help facilitate readers. I also think the authors are very important or we would all be standing around with nothing to do. I believe the industry of publishing needs all parts in order to succeed. Each position is important in the process. That is why publishing firms send out free books to reviewers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True. Publishers are always giving away free books. Even those top name publishers will have reviews / endorsments from well known people how else could they get that other than giving it away for free. I think it’s all about finding the right reviewers.
      Authors are of course important I like your comment that we’d all be standing around doing nothing lol 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. 1. I would never pay someone so they let me review their book? This just sounds ridiculous. I sent out many copies of my book in exchange for a review, some I got, some I did not, but I would never ask those people who volunteered to also pay for the book.
    2. I should receive the book right away. I don’t think I give anyone the right to decide on my To read pile. I likewise, never promised a review and not delivered it. That does not however mean that I will start reading a book as soon as I receive it and not stop until I finish + write the review.
    3. I haven’t the slightest, but I think it should be everyone together. I think so, because when I see it happen, I enjoy it much more, the whole industry as multiple aspects (as opposed to just enjoying one, me buying a book, reading it and that’s it, letting it collect dust on my shelf.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your input, I agree I always deliver on reviews (I will still review your book promise 🙂 ) but I never thought any reviewer should pay for a book it’s like a return service the payment for getting the book is the review and with good professional (though not paid for) reviewers will deliver. I also agree with you about the tbr pile. I try to read things in the order I get them but occasionally you just feel like a certain book and it jumps ahead :).
      Everyone is important, the writer needs their readers and the readers need a writer, a publisher is needed to spread that book to the readers (amazon can be considered a putblisher in this case too) and reviewers matter as they help show off those books and encourage other readers to buy. I don’t know why this person saw reviewers as being so down on the list, long before the days of the internet there were newspaper adverts of certain books and reviews in there too. Columnists would give their take on books and that is a review as many would then buy it. there are reviews everywhere, tv, radio, magazines and yet when it comes to online and reviewers are actually not charging a fee (I hate the ones who do) they are somehow downgraded as if they don’t matter. Glad we have the same viewpoint on things and thank you for your help 🙂

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  6. I don’t think reviewers should have to pay because their contribution is the review. Especially for indie writers the review and publicity is what matters, so I’m happy to offer my book for free and I’ve also received books for free.

    If someone asks me to review a book for free, I also expect them to offer the book then and there. My schedule can be busy and I always tell it to the person, but I’m not going to ask after a book later either. Of course here the difference between physical copies and ebooks matters. Sending out an ebook probably costs the author nothing but if you send out several physical copies and never receive the promised reviews, it’s bad. So you should try to find trustworthy reviewers.

    As for the most important people in the industry, there’s none, kind of. Without authors there’d be no books but without readers there’d be no reason for books. Publishers matter for traditional publishing but not for self-publishing, and while reviews help drive sales, books can sell without hundreds of reviews too. It’s a group effort all the way, but the groups vary a bit depending on the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for commenting, I agree completely with all points. I was originally told that the author is the only one who matters but without a reader an author would merely be writing for themselves. There are many in the industry and I like the fact you summed up the fact that they are all important.
      I too agree with getting free copies to review, and to send them out straight away though I do understand the idea that some reviewers won’t review. It’s a problem with reviewers but if you search for a good while I think it’s possible to spot the honest and trustworthy reviewer who will stay true and promise the review, against the ‘bad’ reviewer. Thanks again for commenting and for the follow 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t think we (I’m classing my humble blog as a reviewer) should pay that’s the whole reason for ARC’s to get reviews and publicity, same for when authors contact you. You read the book in exchange for a review, reading takes time, that time you take to read and then write a review shouldbe payment enough. You get a free book and the author/publisher get publicity and a review so everyone gets something out of the deal.

    Well, I definitely think the author is the most important person in the industry, if there was no author then there’d be no books for publishers to publish and thus no readers as there’d be no books to read, no books! 😖😔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I agree about not paying for books the review itself is a form of payment and because most reviewers don’t charge (I don’t like review sites that do) they’re not getting much out of it other than a book.
      I think authors are important too, but what if there were no readers, an author would just be a writer for themselves? I personally think both are equally important but that’s just my opinion 😀

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  8. I as a reviewer appreciate a digital copy at no charge from the author. As a writer, I willingly pass out free digital copies of my book in order to hopefully get a review. Some readers do not review, others do. It is something I am willing to take a chance with.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I can understand that :). I felt that thrill when people say they like my poetry, I keep thinking – eh, really !? lol. But to write a novel is a bigger thing than poetry and I’m glad people give you that buzz, I hope you’ll get more readers who will give you good praise in the future too 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I understand :). Sorry I’m trying to reply to so many ppl at once and I’ve got goodreads, email and this open all at the same time! lol Thank you btw I just read your message on goodreads, I will come back whatever I may be lol. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi, I think that 1) you should not have to pay to review. Taking the time to review (and then doing it) is payment enough. However, have said that, I do try to send a thank you note by snail mail to any author or publisher as I know how little most authors, especially indie, actually make. 2) I’d say send it and the reviewer (speaking only for myself here) will get to the book as soon as he/she can do it. I must admit that I have received ARCs or books that I haven’t yet read and reviewed, but I try to read them in the order received (yes I date them when I receive them) and depending on my other reading so the earlier I receive a book, the sooner I will review it after I finish those ahead. 3) Although the publishers have the upper hand, especially in traditional publishing, it is the writer who determines whether there is a book to be read. ~nan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for commenting, very valid points, I too try to review books in the order I receive them and keep a dedicated book with dates of when received and when due if it’s an ARC :). I personally think that readers are important too as they are the audience to writers and without them a writer would just be writing for themselves, but that’s just my opinion :).

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  10. I’m new to the industry but I’ll give you my opinion anyway. 1) the reviewer does not need to make a monetary contribution. Their contribution is reading the book and talking about the book. That is exactly what an author wants and needs. 2) the author should send a copy (hard or PDF) when the reviewer agrees to read it. I don’t see any need to wait. 3) and as for who is the most important part of the industry – the writer. Without the writer no one else in the industry would have a job.

    Hope that helps.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your opinion I agree with the first two although I personally think readers are equally important, after all a writer with no audience is simply a writer for themselves? That’s my take on it but thank you for commenting 🙂

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