Should you pay for book reviews

If you’re about to publish your first book, you may not have thought about paying for reviews. I paid for my first review on Reedsy Discovery which went rather well, but I had no intention of regularly paying for reviews.

Over the course of 2020 I was contacted by reviewers that were eager to review my book, but they wanted to be paid (fee + book price). I tried a couple, which led to more reviewers contacting me. I was swayed and agreed to pay for about a handful. You might think it sounds like a scam (which it most of the time is) but I fell into the trap of laziness. It’s easy to pay for someone to review your book. It’s easy to just throw money out and then think this will somehow lead to sales. They all promise you lots of sales and having no prior experience, I gave it a try.

But I noticed that some reviews contained significant misrepresentation of the plot line, mistakes you would not make if you had read the book. I also noticed that some reviewers only posted their reviews on one platform, but not on others even though we had agreed on it. Some promised a review by a certain date, and a month later it was still not done.

*So to all new authors, self-published authors or soon-to-be self-published authors; be very very careful when someone asks you to pay them to review your book. Be very selective and if you do still choose to pay, find a reviewer you trust, or do it through a reputable middle-man (like Reedsy for example).*

Some paid reviewers I’ve worked with are really great, but those have almost exclusively been contacted by myself, not the other way around. I have decided to no longer pay for book reviews. Even if it costs me more time to find reviewers because I have to actively seek them out rather than waiting to be contacted by them, I prefer providing a free copy to someone who really likes to review books and will do so honestly.

Important side note on ratings: Handing out free copies does not guarantee or entitle you to a positive review. You need reviews for your book to sell it, and the reviewer needs to be impartial if he/she wants to continue reviewing books. You can build great relationships with reviewers (and therefore your audience), especially if you intend on publishing more than one book. Long-lasting co-operation is not built on threats or demands (from either side). And feedback on your work, even negative feedback, can always be constructive.

What is your experience with paid reviews?

*NOW CLOSED* Free ebook!* Download Now!

Ready, set, GO!

My ebook When Colour Became Grey is available for free NOW in all Amazon stores! Download it anytime between Thursday 26th November 8am UK time // 9am CET and Saturday 28th November 7.59am UK time // 8.59am CET. Click on the country-specific links below, or head over to Amazon and add it to your cart!

*Note; the paperback is still at the standard price, but the ebook is available for free. Just click on the format type on Amazon to get the free Kindle version*

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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Happy reading! 🙂 And yes, there will be a sequel!

[If you liked the book, please leave a review online. 🙂 ]

Using your emotions to write

*ebook promotion reminder!* My ebook When Colour Became Grey will be available FOR FREE to download from Thursday 26th November 8am UK time // 9am CET until Saturday 28th November 7.59am UK time // 8.59am CET. Get ready to download in just a few days! 🙂

Whatever you’re feeling, you can use your emotions to write and let yourself be inspired by them. Depending on what genre you write, there will be emotions communicated in your writing. If your book is a horror story, the emotions may be mostly sinister, but there are still a multitude of emotions you can explore within that dark setting.

Sometimes writing is used to escape your current life situation. But what if your feelings are just too present? What if you cannot dissociate from them? As they say, if you cannot beat them, join them. In that sense, if you are having trouble connecting to your book and characters, then focus on parts of the book that are similar emotionally to your current state of mind.

Right now, I’m in lockdown, it’s cold and dark outside. I’m feeling depressed, lonely, annoyed, restless, angry. So when I write I will focus on parts of the book that are centered around betrayal, heartbreak, loneliness and despair. It will be harder for me to describe a summer wedding right now, unless I can completely disconnect from my current surrounding. And while I often can disconnect, sometimes the things in my personal life are just too present. But this doesn’t mean you cannot utilize what you feel. That way you’re not limited to writing only when you’re in a particular state of mind that fits the plot line.

What are you currently feeling? How is your writing going this winter season?

[Disclaimer: I’m working on the sequel of When Colour Became Grey, but any scenes described in this blog are always just examples. There are no spoilers in my description above. 😉 ]

How to find time to write

*ebook promotion reminder!* My ebook When Colour Became Grey will be available FOR FREE to download from Thursday 26th November 8am UK time // 9am CET until Saturday 28th November 7.59am UK time // 8.59am CET. Remember to mark your calendars and tell your friends & family!

There is a difference between finding the time to write, and finding the motivation to write. Or is there?

We all have 24 hours in the day. No more and no less. Look at your average day and quantify how much time you actually spend indulging. Look at your average weekend, your work week, your month, and have a rough idea of how much time you spend relaxing, watching tv, scrolling on your phone, talking on the phone with friends/family, going out to socialize [pre-lockdown obviously…], etc. There is now a focus on how much time we spend endlessly scrolling through feeds without really doing anything productive. And I’m guilty of it too. I often catch myself doing something completely mindlessly and wasting my time doodling around.

You will realize you have lots of time, but you do other things. If you really want to dedicate time to your craft, be it writing, or building a boat, or whatever it may be, you have to compromise and choose to sit down and work on your craft instead of doing something else.

Look into if you can save time by organizing yourself. Don’t go shopping and wander through the aisles looking for inspiration for dinner. Have a plan, have a shopping list, make it your goal to reduce your time. Look at utilizing the time that is basically “lost” in your daily life, like commuting/driving while doing errands. Maybe you can’t write when you’re standing in a crowded train, but you can read. You can read books in your genre, or read educational books on whatever it is you want to learn or improve in. If you’re in a car, there are audible books, podcasts and many more tools to not let that time go to waste.

The answer to both finding the time to write, and finding the motivation to write, is the same (in my opinion). Because the “magic” trick is to simply take the decision to carve that time out of your daily or weekly time and sit down and do it. How do you motivate yourself to write? Sit down and don’t let yourself get distracted and remind yourself what your goal is. Do you want to write a book? Master a new skill? Learn a new language? Then take it one day at a time and work on it little by little. And keep at it.