Paid Reviews: Are They Worth Your Money? .
Paid Editorial Reviews… Are Paid Reviews worth Your Hard Earned dollar? Are these paid reviews blowing your money in the wind? Most people balk at the thought, of such as I did when I released my first novel Who Am I? The Chronicles of Cain (many more are coming).
Having asked numerous friends of mine to, “Please, read my book”, and to “Help a brother out” seemed to fall on death ears for the most part. Having no reviews in the beginning, I felt distraught. Although many had shown me receipts of their purchases, along with many others who wanted a free copy just to have it sitting on their shelves; they are what I call a, Just in case my friend gets famous copy were of no help. For telling someone you have read their book in no way helps their case in becoming an established author.
Therefore, I began searching out the web looking for reviews from others; namely sites catering at least somewhat to the genre, UrbanFictionNews.com, Gorilla Convict.com, UBS, Streetfiction.org, Raw Sistaz, Streetwise Urban Fiction, only to either be ignored, or told they weren’t doing reviews (except for the first two). Some like Urban Fictive failed to follow through. I even thought of going to some of the mainstream reviewer sites like ALA, Kirkus Reviews, and Publisher’s Weekly who offered a host of amenities but their prices were very steep. However Kirkus will get one into the mainstream for albeit 400 dollars or so which will leave most struggling authors broke.
Out of desperation, I tried several avenues, such as social media which turned out to be a tiredness effort. Facebook, Twitter, etc. can be a vicious battleground when you have group pages full of promoters, etc. gathering like cockroaches at a barnyard feast within an uncontrolled traffic environment. Many readers including myself are often overwhelmed with the mass of information presented. Exhausted and frustrated I turned to my old manager, Bruce T. Dugan who offered me to build my own sites (dioncheese.com and iUrban.org). With that said, I chose to help others who may be in my situation by having these sites created. However, after doing this for several months now, I have an admirable respect for those whom I disdained in the beginning; paid reviewers.
I have come to learn that Paid-Review doesn’t necessarily mean that the person selling the services mean that their professional opinions are for sale. At least, not in my case, and any author who thinks that he/she isn’t going to get a bad review along the way is deceiving only themselves. The fear of a bad review is contagious when in truthfulness; it can and will often make one a better writer if the critique is done honestly, thoroughly, and constructively.
The advantages of a paid professional review is far more advantageous than just a personal review from a friend who may, or may
not like your book, but, will be reluctant to tell you outright due to the fear of wrecking your relationship or hurting your feelings.
Most friends will not publicly state that, “My friend Author Jay Roderick III sucks! His book should be burned and pissed on!”
As an author who loves the art of storytelling, I believe a review should always be genuine no matter what avenues one has to take to procure one. One should always desire the truth be told about their book; especially from a professional who not only is willing to objectively critique an author’s work but also put their reputation on the line as well in addition to promoting the author’s novel through various media connections. Those who do so deserve to be rewarded for their services.
On the contrary, there is the Free-Review Avenue in which a person merely writes, “A great book indeed!” But I would be the first to say, “WTF! Does this mean?”
As a purchaser of Urban Fiction myself, I’d like to hear a lot more than just “A great book indeed! I gave it 5 stars.” Especially, when the review is coming from a stranger, whom I don’t know.
Many urban fiction authors often balk at the notion of having to pay someone to read and critique their work, but if one were to search the web. They would see many companies offer these services. Believe it or not, many big named authors, and publishing companies often pay for such services because they understand that opinions are a valuable asset. And, unless you already have a big name such as Tamika Newhouse, K’wan, or Whahida Clarke (who all continue to use review services)you will have to come out your pockets in order to move above the swarms of wiggling authors trying to get through the cracks.
Just remember one thing, if you are not willing to invest in yourself, why should others whom you desire to purchase your book? In life you get what you pay for.
Also, remember websites are never free. Someone has to pay for services at the end of the day, and while some authors believe they have the world’s bestseller on deck. Most won’t blink an eye if they never see you coming.
If you are an author contemplating a professional review compare prices, and such by looking at the links below… And remember, real reviews take time. They are well written, formulated, and informative about yourself the author, as well as your book. As an author, I understand that at the end of the day we all want our novels to be a number one bestseller. But the truth is writing a novel is only one of many steps towards success. I wish each and everyone of you the best and I’m right here if you need me. Feel free to contact me here at dioncheese.com, or just leave a comment and i’ll get back to you asap.