Thursday, January 14, 2010

Conflict of Interest?




I like book reviews; from time to time I read them, and I often base my book buying on the recommendations. But, I am somewhat selective about the places I read book reviews.


Recently, I read an entertaining article on the publishing biz, and the author points out that some book reviewers are paid for those reviews, and that does present a conflict of interest. Some review websites make their money by selling "services" to authors, and that too, can lead to great reviews for mediocre books. After all, what review site wants to make paying customers angry? There are now one stop shops for purchasing press releases, book reviews, and so forth, as long as the cash holds out.


Not everyone is going to be reviewed by the New York Times, so there must be other places to read book reviews. Some local and regional magazines review books. I have been reviewed by Living Jackson magazine, as well as by such internet review sites as The Midwest Book Review, Fallen Angel Reviews, The Romance Studio and CK2S Kwips and Kritiques, and I did not pay for those reviews, beyond furnishing a copy of my books. Since they are not being paid by authors, any of those venues for book reviews are more reliable. In short; if the author or publisher is offered paid services, then I don't trust the reviews.


For reader reviews, I enjoy Shelfari; some times authors are slammed on Amazon.com, but Shelfari seems to be more geared to readers, and I've published two books, but I've read thousands, so I am much more of a reader than an author!

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