Flash forward 3 years. You receive an email from one of these reviewers who tells you: Hi, just wanted to let you know that I got your cheesecake a while back, I licked it but just didn't like it, so I won't be writing a review or even eating a full piece of it.
Would you be upset?
You paid the reviewing company hundreds of dollars. It cost you 8.00 for a cake, and another 3.50 to ship it.
Now lets talk about it from a different point of view. I am an independent author. I have a couple books published traditionally and a couple I personally published. You may ask why, and I will get into that a bit later. Now I used the cheesecake as an example because for some reason, when it comes to art, people suddenly forget that work and money are involved.
So let us talk about hired reviewers. One can pay a company that has taken the time to find blogs, commenters, and professional reviewers. These reviewers get free copies of whatever they are going to review, why? They get a free product, plus make money off their blogs by writing about these products, all in all it is a win-win for all those involved. The reviewing company gets paid. The blogger gets free stuff plus makes money off blog posts, and the author, if the review is good, will get noticed. (some bloggers, or reviewers actually take it even further and have the author pay between $25.00 to a few hundred dollars for a review)
Why was I upset? This lady didn't write a bad review, she simply said to me: I started reading it, got a few pages in, I couldn't get into it, so I won't be writing a review. I was upset because one: she was given a free product, for better or worse, she was in a sense promising to deliver a product, a review...because unfortunately no reviews is sometimes seen as worse than a bad review (And waiting 3-years was simply wrong). Two, she didn't even bother to read it and surprise, I write because I want someone to read what I write, I am just like most human beings and would like someone to understand what is beneath the facade . And three, after I went to her blog I wondered why she would accept the book in the first place when it is clear that she writes about romance novels, self-help, and mommy books. In a sense, it was like sending a cheesecake to someone who only likes chocolate cake. If you know you don't like cheesecake, why take a free one?
Honestly Castigate My Sins is a very dark book, not everyone can get into it. It has murder, death, limbo, child abuse, child prostitution, drugs, and a sense of a world gone mad. It questions the Devil's motives. I fully expected some bad reviews, but no reviews that is almost worse, because it is like I am nothing, not even worth an hour or two or reading time. Ugh, that hurt the most.
Now this Review Company didn't deliver the product. They promised that their reviewers delivered. I already severed ties with them. I actually am to a place where I question: Is it wise to pay for a review? Doesn't it somehow taint the artistic processes? Possibly. We are now in a time where companies are teaching authors how to trick people into buying a piece of crap book. And I don't want that. I want people to keep their hard earned money and to only buy my book if they think they will enjoy it. This puts me in a strange place because we know, money makes the world go round. (I live under the hope that one day people will understand that it is love and friendship that makes the world go round.)
So what can I do? I obviously need reviews, and comments, and people talking about my books. There must be an honest way to do it. And I believe, word of mouth is probably the most honest way, but like all things, it does take a bit more time.
All right. Thank you for visiting and thank you for listening to me complain about being invisible. As always have a beautiful day!!! Oh, and if you have a moment, please take a look at my books: HERE. ;-)