Business Resources for Authors

Should Authors Pay for Reviews?

Is there a time when authors should pay for a review of their book?

As the publishing landscape changes, many people are trying to calculate ways to earn more money from it. Not just authors, publishers and retailers, but freelance editors, formatters, virtual assistants and reviewers.

We’ll go on the record and say that every professional deserves to be paid for their time and effort.

But it does beg the question, is there a time when authors should pay for a review of their book?

Traditionally, reviews have been written free-of-charge. At most, the reviewer would request a free copy or ARC (advanced reading copy) from the author or publisher. But the exchange of money was frowned upon, as if buying the service would somehow taint the honesty of the review.

Now, with so many books being released, reviewers are finding it difficult to keep up with the mountain of requests they get for reviews.  Some publications and reviewers now offer reviews for a fee.

Best selling debut author of The Mill River Recluse Darcie Chan paid for review from the prestigious Kirkus Reviews. That investment of $575 contributed to her hundreds of thousands of e-book sales as explained on GalleyCat (also follow their link to The Wall Street Journal article.

Indie authors with an ISBN can pay $149 to participate in Publisher Weekly’s PW Select program. Each quarter the program reviews at least 25 of the accepted books.

Amazon has guidelines about reviews.  Paid or professional reviews are permitted in the Editorial Reviews section of your book page. Authors can update this portion of the book page via the Books tab in Author Central. Reviewers posting in the Customer Reviews section should not receive any form of compensation other than a free copy of the book.

Read more information on Amazon’s Customer Review Guidelines and Amazon’s Editorial Reviews. 

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