You Can Buy Book Reviews to Promote Your Ebook Online!

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Book reviews are essential to anyone who is trying to establish him or her self as a credible industry expert in any field. There are two different types of book reviews you can utilize to achieve this purpose...

Unpaid Traditional Book Reviews (Publicity): I already discussed how traditional book reviews are a fantastic form of publicity in an earlier thread I started on this site with the title Advertising vs. Publicity: Social Media Marketing for Authors. I encourage you to search for that thread and read it because it discusses the difference between advertising and publicity, and how authors can (and should!) use both to their advantage for best results.

Paid Online Book Reviews (Advertising): A faster and more certain way to have your book reviewed is by buying that review. If it's completed by a reputable company, it will still be an unbiased and respectable review. And one of the greatest advantages is that the approved review will be posted on that reviewer's high-traffic website for all to see which opens you up to an additional audience/readership you may not have had before. Another advantage is that many of these book review sites will attach a link to the e-commerce site where your book is sold directly beside the review.

Here's the disclaimer: these companies won't review crap. They will only review properly produced books. So, do yourself a favor and ensure you have your book properly edited/proofread and designed!

Here is a short list of reviewers you can purchase online reviews from:
- Foreword Reviews
- Kirkus Reviews
- Palmetto Review
- Pacific Book Review
- Penn Book Review
- Inkspand
- The BookBag
- Hollywood Book Reviews

I'm sure there are many more, but this is a great start. Check them out and see for yourself. Some are more expensive than others, so you can choose the ones that best match your advertising budget.
#advertising #book #book reviews #buy #ebook #online #online advertising #promote #promotion #publicity #reviews
  • Profile picture of the author salegurus
    Originally Posted by Best Seller View Post


    Paid Online Book Reviews (Advertising): A faster and more certain way to have your book reviewed is by buying that review. If it's completed by a reputable company, it will still be an unbiased and respectable review. And one of the greatest advantages is that the approved review will be posted on that reviewer's high-traffic website for all to see which opens you up to an additional audience/readership you may not have had before. Another advantage is that many of these book review sites will attach a link to the e-commerce site where your book is sold directly beside the review.

    Here's the disclaimer: these companies won't review crap. They will only review properly produced books. So, do yourself a favor and ensure you have your book properly edited/proofread and designed!

    Here is a short list of reviewers you can purchase online reviews from:
    - Foreword Reviews
    - Kirkus Reviews
    - Palmetto Review
    - Pacific Book Review
    - Penn Book Review
    - Inkspand
    - The BookBag
    - Hollywood Book Reviews

    I'm sure there are many more, but this is a great start. Check them out and see for yourself. Some are more expensive than others, so you can choose the ones that best match your advertising budget.

    Maybe i misread but how is the review completely "unbiased" if you are paying them???
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    • Profile picture of the author Best Seller
      Originally Posted by salegurus View Post

      Maybe i misread but how is the review completely "unbiased" if you are paying them???
      That's a valid question. This may help to clarify things...

      With traditional unpaid reviews, you send a book to a reviewer in the hopes they'll review it. But there is no guarantee they'll even look at it, never mind review it.

      With paid online reviews, what you're paying for is the guarantee that the book will be reviewed. But they never guarantee it will be a good review--only that it will be reviewed. Once it has been reviewed, you get to read the review and decide whether or not you want them to post it online. If it's a good review that you know you can use in your marketing materials, you can "approve" it for online sharing. If it's a bad review, you can tell them to keep it private. You won't get your money back either way, but you can prevent them from sharing bad reviews publicly.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnkelvin
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  • Profile picture of the author DGabeNJ
    Reviews are absolutely essential to book sales but man, sites like this where it's "pay for reviews" sure does scare me. One fell swoop from Amazon and people can be greatly affected, even it all abides by the TOS as it exists.
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    • Profile picture of the author Best Seller
      Originally Posted by DGabeNJ View Post

      Reviews are absolutely essential to book sales but man, sites like this where it's "pay for reviews" sure does scare me. One fell swoop from Amazon and people can be greatly affected, even it all abides by the TOS as it exists.
      You're referring to the "fake reviews" that Amazon will absolutely delete from their website--and rightfully so! These are something different. These are reputable book reviewers, and they are posting your review on their own high-ranking websites. Sometimes, they'll also post them to various other e-commerce sites if you ask them to, but that's not limited to Amazon. There are TONS of other reputable booksellers out there, too ... Barnes & Noble, Chapters Indigo, KoboBooks, et cetera.
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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    how does the fact that amazon is cracking down on paid reviews play into this. Especially since they are now leaning towards "Verified Purchase" reviews. I would imagine it will only be a matter of time before amazon only accepts reviews from verified purchasers

    al
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    • Profile picture of the author Best Seller
      Originally Posted by agmccall View Post

      how does the fact that amazon is cracking down on paid reviews play into this. Especially since they are now leaning towards "Verified Purchase" reviews. I would imagine it will only be a matter of time before amazon only accepts reviews from verified purchasers

      al
      To clarify, Amazon isn't cracking down on paid reviews. They are cracking down on fake reviews. There is a difference.

      With traditional unpaid reviews, you send a book to a reviewer in the hopes they'll review it. But there is no guarantee they'll even look at it, never mind review it.

      With the reputable paid online reviews, what you're paying for is the guarantee that the book will be reviewed. But they never guarantee it will be a good review--only that it will be reviewed. Once it has been reviewed, you get to read the review and decide whether or not you want them to post it online. If it's a good review that you know you can use in your marketing materials, you can "approve" it for online sharing. If it's a bad review, you can tell them to keep it private. You won't get your money back either way, but you can prevent them from sharing bad reviews publicly.
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    The problem with any sort of payment for reviewers to read books for POSSIBLE reviews is that Amazon already has a rule covering people who take payment or freebies for reviews.

    While that rule applies to the Amazon associates program, this is not exactly an encouraging starting position for Kindle publishers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Best Seller
      Originally Posted by writeaway View Post

      The problem with any sort of payment for reviewers to read books for POSSIBLE reviews is that Amazon already has a rule covering people who take payment or freebies for reviews.

      While that rule applies to the Amazon associates program, this is not exactly an encouraging starting position for Kindle publishers.
      To clarify again, Amazon isn't cracking down on paid reviews. What they are cracking down on is fake reviews. As they should!

      With traditional unpaid reviews, you send a book to a reviewer in the hopes they'll review it. But there is no guarantee they'll even look at it, never mind review it.

      With the reputable paid online reviews, what you're paying for is the guarantee that the book will be reviewed. But they never guarantee it will be a good review--only that it will be reviewed. Once it has been reviewed, you get to read the review and decide whether or not you want them to post it online (which, to clarify, is usually posted on their own high-traffic websites, not on Amazon). If it's a good review that you know you can use in your marketing materials, you can "approve" it for online sharing. If it's a bad review, you can tell them to keep it private. You won't get your money back either way, but you can prevent them from sharing bad reviews publicly.
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      • Profile picture of the author Steve B
        Originally Posted by Best Seller View Post

        If it's a good review that you know you can use in your marketing materials, you can "approve" it for online sharing. If it's a bad review, you can tell them to keep it private. You won't get your money back either way, but you can prevent them from sharing bad reviews publicly.

        Best Seller,

        It doesn't matter how you spin it . . . if you want to read an objective book review, you've got to have equal access to all the reviews that actual readers of the book have offered, not just the ones that the writer chooses to publish. How is that objective? How is that in the best interest of potential readers that want to see what others think of the book . . . if they only have access to the author censored positive reviews?

        Steve
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        • Profile picture of the author Best Seller
          Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

          Best Seller,

          It doesn't matter how you spin it . . . if you want to read an objective book review, you've got to have equal access to all the reviews that actual readers of the book have offered, not just the ones that the writer chooses to publish. How is that objective? How is that in the best interest of potential readers that want to see what others think of the book . . . if they only have access to the author censored positive reviews?

          Steve
          Hi Steve,

          I don't know if this helps explain it a bit better, but I've copied this "disclaimer" from one of the most reputable of the paid review sites. Underneath each review, it reads:
          Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
          So, they are upfront about it being a paid review. There's nothing secretive about it.

          Again, I liken unpaid reviews to publicity and paid reviews to advertising. Both are legitimate forms of promotion for a book in their own ways.
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          • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
            Originally Posted by Best Seller View Post

            Hi Steve,

            I don't know if this helps explain it a bit better, but I've copied this "disclaimer" from one of the most reputable of the paid review sites. Underneath each review, it reads:
            Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
            So, they are upfront about it being a paid review. There's nothing secretive about it.

            Again, I liken unpaid reviews to publicity and paid reviews to advertising. Both are legitimate forms of promotion for a book in their own ways.
            I noticed that the disclosure failed to mention anything about the author having a say in which reviews are published. It may not be "secretive" but it's incomplete and just a hair away from being deceptive.

            If it's an ad, identify it as an ad.
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            • Profile picture of the author Best Seller
              Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

              I noticed that the disclosure failed to mention anything about the author having a say in which reviews are published. It may not be "secretive" but it's incomplete and just a hair away from being deceptive.

              If it's an ad, identify it as an ad.
              It's a book review.
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              • Profile picture of the author quadagon
                Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

                If it's an ad, identify it as an ad.
                Originally Posted by Best Seller View Post

                It's a book review.
                That's not what you said earlier

                Originally Posted by Best Seller View Post


                I liken unpaid reviews to publicity and paid reviews to advertising.
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                • Profile picture of the author Best Seller
                  Originally Posted by quadagon View Post

                  That's not what you said earlier
                  Allow me to clarify what I said earlier...

                  It is a book review. I've always said that. Re-read the OP again and you'll see that.

                  In response to that OP, someone asked a legitimate question: 'Maybe i misread but how is the review completely "unbiased" if you are paying them???'

                  To which I replied: 'With traditional unpaid reviews, you send a book to a reviewer in the hopes they'll review it. But there is no guarantee they'll even look at it, never mind review it. With paid online reviews, what you're paying for is the guarantee that the book will be reviewed. But they never guarantee it will be a good review--only that it will be reviewed. Once it has been reviewed, you get to read the review and decide whether or not you want them to post it online. If it's a good review that you know you can use in your marketing materials, you can "approve" it for online sharing. If it's a bad review, you can tell them to keep it private. You won't get your money back either way, but you can prevent them from sharing bad reviews publicly.'

                  At which point someone else came back with: 'Using only good reviews and burying the bad ones is still a cheat to me....but I'm picky that way.'

                  To which I replied: 'This is why I differentiate things above and refer to the traditional reviews as "publicity" whereas the paid reviews can be characterized more as "advertising." You can't control publicity, but you can control advertising. And that's okay. Both are still legitimate forms of promotion for your book.'

                  So, to clarify, it is still an unbiased book review. But I compare it more to "advertising" than "publicity" in the sense that you can control whether or not it is shown publicly. You can't control whether or not publicity is shown publicly, but you can control whether or not advertising is shown publicly.

                  Hope that helps to clarify what I meant.
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                  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                    Originally Posted by Best Seller View Post


                    Hope that helps to clarify what I meant.
                    Yep, it says you missed your calling. You really should be in politics.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Best Seller
                      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

                      Yep, it says you missed your calling. You really should be in politics.
                      There's no pleasing you, is there?

                      That's okay. If you ever publish a book, I would recommend you stick with the traditional reviews then. You have to do what feels best to you.
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                      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                        Originally Posted by Best Seller View Post

                        There's no pleasing you, is there?

                        That's okay. If you ever publish a book, I would recommend you stick with the traditional reviews then. You have to do what feels best to you.
                        Sure there is.

                        All you'd have to do to make things clear would be to add a line like "the following review has been compensated and approved by the author."

                        Easy peasy.
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                        • Profile picture of the author quadagon
                          Originally Posted by jthom804 View Post

                          I hear people do this with Amazon products all of the time
                          Although it's not been made clear the OP isn't talking about customer reviews but rather editorial reviews.

                          These are the type of quotes that you see on the back of a book or a movie poster. They often look like '.....amazing I couldn't put it down....' (NYT).

                          They form part of the promotional material and no one really believes they are impartial In truth despite being paid they really are impartial -they do give out bad reviews.

                          Where I disagree with the service is that the paying customer can censor the outcome. If this is the case then there should still be a public record that the book was reviewed in my opinion.

                          On an Amazon listing editorial reviews have a separate section so they shouldn't be getting placed into customer reviews

                          For most authors editorial reviews are a waste of money - a couple of exceptions would be:
                          • If they form a small part of your marketing mix and you have a significant budget.
                          • You want your book to be seen by trade
                          • It'll make you feel good and you're not bothered about the money.

                          If you are legit expert in your field or have developed the right relationships you can get the same kind of coverage for free.

                          If you have the money you'll get more sales from traditional advertising than by spending fortunes on reviews.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I would imagine it will only be a matter of time before amazon only accepts reviews from verified purchasers
    I hope so - they are the only reviews I pay attention to when buying Kindle books.

    If you paid these companies to review and ALL the reviews were used - I'd say not a bad idea. Using only good reviews and burying the bad ones is still a cheat to me....but I'm picky that way.
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    • Profile picture of the author Best Seller
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      If you paid these companies to review and ALL the reviews were used - I'd say not a bad idea. Using only good reviews and burying the bad ones is still a cheat to me....but I'm picky that way.
      This is why I differentiate things above and refer to the traditional reviews as "publicity" whereas the paid reviews can be characterized more as "advertising." You can't control publicity, but you can control advertising. And that's okay. Both are still legitimate forms of promotion for your book.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Banned
    Yeah, I think anything other than an organic review will qualify:

    The suit names three defendants, Chris Embry, operator of Amazonverifiedreviews.com; Jane John-Nwankwo, operator of Paidbookreviews.org; and John Does 1-5 who run Amazonreviewstar.com, Buyamazonreviews.info, and reviewconnections.com. (Amazon couldn’t identify the site owners in this latter case, which is why they’re only identified in the filing as John Does.)

    The sites offer verified reviews and top star ratings in some cases, while in Embry’s case, they promise “honest” reviews that “might not always be positive” but are still paid for and therefore falsified. https://techcrunch.com/2016/04/26/am...other-lawsuit/
    Have you gotten any opt-ins for your "FREE book publishing guide?"
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    • Profile picture of the author Best Seller
      Originally Posted by Brent Stangel View Post

      Have you gotten any opt-ins for your "FREE book publishing guide?"
      Yes. I'm actually pleasantly surprised by the results.
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    • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
      Originally Posted by Brent Stangel View Post

      Have you gotten any opt-ins for your "FREE book publishing guide?"
      Here is a link to a thread where the 13 post stated somebody clicked the OP "Best Sellers" link. http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...s-authors.html If that helps anyone here. The rest of thread is very interesting to read.
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  • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
    When buying from amazon you can run your book or other product through: Fakespot | Analyze and identify fake reviews (not an affiliate link) This will give you an idea about the authenticity of the reviews.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Too bad the work around for the "verified buyer" tag is so easy. Just add $3 (or the price of the book) to the cost of the review and have the reviewer buy it. Or do a special "free day" for reviewers - it still counts as a verified buyer, if memory serves.

    I'd be okay with paid reviews on the reviewers own sites, under the condition that they be labelled like all other ads. Since the review buyer can quash unfavorable reviews, the ones that do get published are indeed "biased", and the picture given to the reader is not a reflection of reality.
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  • Profile picture of the author Best Seller
    I just came across this webpage that provides a linked list of book reviewers: Author E.M.S. | List of Book Reviewers. I hope everyone reading this thread finds it helpful.
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  • Profile picture of the author Best Seller
    Here's another page with links to where you can have your book(s) reviewed for free: 6 Places Indie Authors Can Get Their Books Reviewed
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  • Profile picture of the author Best Seller
    I've just found another site filled with all types of bloggers and other reviewers, some of whom will review your books for free and others for a charge: The Book Review Directory.
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  • Profile picture of the author jthom804
    I hear people do this with Amazon products all of the time
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    • Profile picture of the author Best Seller
      Originally Posted by jthom804 View Post

      I hear people do this with Amazon products all of the time
      A while back, Amazon deleted a whole bunch of reviews from the books on their group of sites. They're sticklers about making sure there are only legitimate reviews on their site now rather than the fake reviews of the past.

      When reviews come from the above-mentioned paid reviewers (see OP) or from verified purchases, they are generally accepted as legitimate reviews.
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  • Profile picture of the author voltaireross
    Isn't it considered spamming? It's unnatural, right?
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