Paid Book Reviews on Amazon? Yes, If You do the Paying

Once again, digressing from my original blogging plans and adding more and more to my nearly 200 drafts, this one needed to be spoken about.  Thanks to Michelle’s post, a reblog of the original post from Barb for bringing this to my attention.

Battle of Greeks and Amazons. Marble sarcophagus. Pio Clementino Museum; Octagonal Court. Vatican Museums.

Rarely do I bother with Amazon, only going there to add the odd book review but now it appears that that won’t be happening; unless I want to fork out £40 a calendar year for the .co.uk, or $50 minimum for the .com sites.  That’s what it takes to be eligible to give your opinion on books (or anything else you wish to review). It will go some way to stopping fake or biased reviews but will put off the honest reviewers but you can still post biased or fake reviews if you like but now you have to pay Amazon for it.  It renders the drive for honesty a bit pointless. Here’s the fine print from the .co.uk site in full:

Eligibility

To contribute to Community Features (for example, Customer Reviews, Customer Answers), you must have spent at least £40 on Amazon.co.uk using a valid payment card in the past 12 months. Promotional discounts don’t qualify towards the £40 minimum. You do not need to meet this requirement to post Customer Questions, create or modify Profile pages, Lists, or Registries, or to read content posted by other customers.

We’re all familiar with the mix of reviews on the site, from the one star one, one word review, or the one blaming the supplier. The badly written rant that just attacks the author or makes clear to the reader they haven’t read or understood the book; and then at the other end of the scale the blatantly biased and/or overly gushing writes ups.  Rare is the well written, thoughtful review, with which to base your buying on and now it will be as rare as a coelacanth in Slough bus station.
Continue reading “Paid Book Reviews on Amazon? Yes, If You do the Paying”

On Author Requests

I don’t get lots of offers to review books, which is fine as time is rare these days but perhaps I am in a position to be able to suggest a few simple things that I think would generally help the author and the reviewer when contact is made about a book review or indeed any general interaction.  Although each blogger has their own unique ways of going about things, I think of myself as probably a typical example and having done this sort of thing for years, I may as well chuck a few ideas out there.

Photo from https://pixabay.com/en/photos/old%20books/
Photo from https://pixabay.com/en/photos/old%20books/

There are two camps of reviewers I would say, those that accept anything that is free and those, myself included who are a bit more picky in what we choose to take on, owing to many factors, not least time and sheer choice.  Here are a few suggestions though which could certainly aid authors looking for sites with which to have their book looked at and may appeal to bloggers also:

Firstly research your blogger, spend a bit of time reading their reviews of books in your genre, do they like your type of book or are they rabidly against it?  Is the blogger well placed to appreciate that type of book and is their writing of quality, do they get to the soul of a book or just skim the surface.  It should be common sense but I have found myself bewildered by offers of books that I clearly have no intention of ever considering.

Get some initial interaction going, comments on a post or two before sending that email or if you do start in with an email, please avoid that identikit mailing list feel to your words.  The personal touch always elicits a more positive response as we like to feel a bit special,  Perhaps mention why you are picking their particular blog or talk about you, it needn’t feel awkward, make it informal and relaxed.  I’m always happy to chat and to send short emails back and forth and keep an author updated on my reading progress. Continue reading “On Author Requests”