Not unusual in the contents--these were review copies of New Age CDs--but what came with it: a label, on each CD, saying (in red) Submit your review to (email address) and receive $25. Thank you!"
I was floored.
This is a respected music company I've reviewed for for years. Yeah, I get the occassional desperate self-published author or deck creator wanting to pay me for a review (which I always decline) but...a publisher?
Fast forward to today, when I was visiting a professional LinkedIn group for book publicity. Another (desperate) self-published author wanted to know where he could get his book reviewed. A few replied to the author, and he said he considered those who review for money "a practice that I consider unethical from a writing and journalistic standpoint".
Some reviewers piped up, saying "I never accept money for reviews." One member, though, remarked: "Professional book reviewers (aka not your relatives) deserve to get paid, just like any other type of professional. Why would you think otherwise?"
What do YOU say, dear readers? Should reviewers be paid for their reviews (and time and/or influence)? If so, how much? If you think this will affect the quality of the review (increased tendency to write a positive review), how come?
What about Kirkus Reviews, who have staff (paid) reviewers? Or, the Kirkus Discoveries reviews, in which self-published AUTHORS pay THEM to review their work? Or staff writers like the wonderful Ron Charles of the Washington Post?
I really want to hear your thoughts on this one, readers!
-- Janet Boyer, Amazon Top/Vine Reviewer, author of Back in Time Tarot, Tarot in Reverse (Schiffer 2012) and the Snowland Tarot (Schiffer 2013). Featured in Tales of the Revolution: True Stories of People Who Are Poking the Box and Making a Difference (A Domino Project eBook edited by Seth Godin)