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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Is this the same thing as paying for a review? (Poll)


The following is a continuation of this post where I offered my opinion about why paid book reviews aren't necessarily a bad thing. If you haven't checked it out, I encourage you to do just that.

Regardless of what you think of paying reviewers for their time and effort, I believe the following is not the same thing. (What do you think? I really want to know.)

It all started with this post where I introduced the replacement for the sales blast, namely the Reader Round Up program. The purpose of the program is to line up readers for a particular book. Part of the sponsor's fee would go into a community giveaway pot. Those that review books in the program could earn a chance at a giftcard.

The question is simple. 

Is this the same thing as paying reviewers?


As is obvious from the previous post, I don't have a problem with actually paying reviewers for their time and effort. The only reason why I don't try it now is it would leave such a bad taste in most people's mouths. I believe the industry has room for paid reviewers—but not necessarily in the current climate.

Because of that, I didn't bat an eyelash when I designed the Reader Round Up program. I didn't see anything wrong with it at its core, and I still don't.

Despite the rude tone of the comment which started this discussion, I do listen to differing opinions, adjusting my course of action when necessary, and even occasionally changing my personal opinion when the debate is properly persuasive. 

For example, the commenter made a good point about Amazon. By linking a review posted on Amazon to any kind of financial incentive is like being on thin ice—a place I don't want to be. So, if the program continues basically as is, no chances at a giftcard will be earned for a review posted on Amazon. 

That doesn't mean I couldn't link a chance with the giftcard for reviews posted on personal blogs, Facebook statuses, and possibly Goodreads (though owned by Amazon, the rules are different). I've seen this done on other blogs, though it is rare.

What is common is offering a chance at a giftcard to participating bloggers in a blog tour, and many of these review the book for their tour stop, and it is also common for these tours to be review only tours. If a blogger enters the giveaway, is this the same as paying the reviewers? (Most would say no, I think)

What some bloggers do is include a giveaway entry option for adding a book to Goodreads (such as a to-read shelf). My idea is just taking it one step further. So, the question remains...

Is this the same thing as paying reviewers?


If this is murky ground, would it make it any better if a review isn't required to win the giftcard? For example, there could be other entry options, such as following the author on Twitter, tweeting about your review, and the like.

As I stated earlier, I really want to know your opinion. If enough of our readers either agree with the commenter or at least have some issues with this program, I will make changes accordingly.

With that in mind, please vote in the following poll.


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