Charging for book reviews???!!!

June 6, 2009

Okay, please don’t run off, I’m not charging anyone for book reviews, I just thought this would be an interesting topic to bring up…


I’ve heard about people doing this before and my questions is… why?!

When a publishing company and/or author is willing to send you a book to review – which can range anywhere between $2.oo-$25.00 or maybe even more – why would you want to charge them for a book review when you’re already getting the book for free? Even if it’s an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) it still costs them money to print the book and ship the book to you.

Now I’m not here to trash talk any book reviewers who charge people for book reviews, that’s just not my thing. I just don’t understand why anyone would want to do this? I know some do it as a job, but I think that if the publishing company and/or author is willing to send you a book for free, you should at least do the book review for free.

Isn’t that the main reason why some people are book reviewers? To volunteer our time to get our opinions out about an authors’ book? I think so and it’s also because we love doing it, we love supporting authors and telling people about them and giving people recommendations. It’s just what we love doing. 🙂

So, tell me… what do you think about people charging publishing companies/authors for book reviews? What’s your opinion? I’d love to hear it whether you agree or disagree with me.


     Dani ~ aka The Romance Book Addict



  1. Personally, I wouldn’t want to ever be put in the position of being paid for a review for the simple fact, if you are getting paid…doesn’t that, in a sense, color the objectivity of the review? At least in the eyes of the readership. If I knew a reviewer was getting paid by the author or publisher, I wouldn’t put a lot of stock into positive reviews…because who wants to bite the hand that feeds them?

    Now, a reviewer paid by a magazine or a newspaper…that’s different.

    Just my .02 worth.

  2. Wow, I couldn’t imagine charging to review a book. I feel like that might sway a person to give a more positive review than if they were just reviewing it on their own. I also agree that you are already getting a free book, most likely in a genre you are already interested in so that in itself seems like a good payment.

  3. I don’t get someone charging for a book review either. I would feel that I would have to give a good review regardless of what I thought. People working for newspapers or magazines where that is their job is fine though. That is what they were hired to do for that company. They weren’t hired by the author or publisher.

  4. A reviewer could try to charge authors and publishers any fees they like to their heart’s content but it also depends on the author/publisher, too, whether they are willing to pay the reviewer. So it can be broken down to simple economics: supply-and-demand.

    The “reviewer credibility” can come into the equation. The bigger a name a reviewer has, the more likely the authors/publishers would want to have you review their book.

    Reality is: there are too many reviewers out there and publishers are too thrifty to pay.

    The reviewer could charge all he/she likes but I do not think many authors/publishers will bite. Charging will only likely result in a reviewer having a bad reputation. Now, what kind of a reviewer would want to do that? So, it is unlikely for anybody to do that. Unless you have been hired by a company to do that, i.e., magazines.

    So: Reviewer fee is not likely to be lucrative enough to happen, by law of supply-and-demand, unless you are company-hired or you already have an established customer-base. But what one can do is throw in a “free review” as a sales-pitch to draw in more customers.

    In other words, it’s a dog-eating-dog business, though we don’t like to think about it like that.

    So people, can someone please call the police, just to stop me rambling…

  5. Well, reviewing books *is* a form of journalism and for some a profession. The advent of blogging has made it easy for tons of amateurs to throw out their 2 cents…

    Usually though, a reviewer would be paid by a publication like a newspaper or a magazine, a news source whose goal is to provide information to the public, NOT by the book publisher whose goal is to promote a specific book. The latter would generally be a conflict of interest, in my completely not-a-legal-professional-opinion.

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