Elizabeth Parker Books

Elizabeth Parker Books
Author of books about dogs and thrillers

Monday, November 5, 2012

What? People Buying Reviews?


Do people really do this?  Since becoming an author, one thing I've noticed in forums, on comments, in the news and even on reviews is that there is 'hype' that some authors— indie or traditional—buy reviews.  Even worse, there are also rumors that some authors will PAY to have bad reviews put on OTHER author's books or purposely write bad reviews on another's book to bring that book's ratings down! 

I sincerely hope that is not true, but had to comment.

My question is this- WHY?!!  As an indie author, I can say either you'll like my books or you won't.  There's no need to buy reviews and I certainly wouldn't stoop to buy reviews that badmouth another author.   That is simply awful!

In the wide world of books while, yes, there are competitors, I don't know anyone who will ONLY read books from ONE author.  If  you like thrillers, wouldn't you read any author's thriller as long as it looked appealing?  Is the general public just going to sit around and wait for their one favorite author to write another book without checking out other authors?  As an avid reader, I can tell you that there is no way I would just sit and wait. I'll read books by other writers without a problem, as long as I like their style.  There's no need to crush a fellow author. 

So, that being said, I find it important enough to repeat.  There's no need to smash the competition.  Since I've been writing, I've met other authors who write of the same genre I do and their work is amazing.  You can bet that I've given them a great review if I enjoyed their books. I would never badmouth them just to direct readers my way.  

And buy reviews? I don't know any author who does this and if this truly happens, then that is just too bad.  Either someone is going to like your work or they won't.  I'll be honest- I love getting a good review, (and sometimes sulk a little over the bad), but I read them, try to learn from them and move on.  It's just bad sportsmanship, for lack of a better term, to sabotage another author or falsely build yourself up.

Do friends and relatives write reviews?  Of course, some might and why shouldn't they if they are honest?  And most that I know are pretty candid.  They can also be pretty straightforward when a book has mistakes.  I've had other authors send me painful (but necessary) lists of edits that needed to be made to my books.  It's just the way it is—especially in the beginning.  Without an editor, errors can easily happen.

So one promise I can make is that I'll never buy reviews- good or bad.  If you're another author and I love your book, I'm giving a review!  And if you're receptive to constructive criticism, I'm happy to forward you any errors I've come across.

Thanks for listening!

Copyright 2012 © Elizabeth Parker



  1. Elizabeth, I totally agree with you — I want honest reviews, as painful as it might be. As any writer knows, there are occasional reviews that make you wonder if the person ever read the book; for the most part, I believe that readers are sincere and give reviews and ratings based on their personal taste. For this reason, I appreciate reviews that are from other writers who may have a different criteria from the average reader.

    On my website, I list how I rate reviews and often refer back to this list to insure consistency in ratings. I feel that it is my responsibility as writer to do so.

    At first I was appalled that indie authors would pay for reviews. Then, I decided that paying for reviews was okay as long as one did not offer payment in exchange for a glowing review. Paying someone for their time to read and write the review, in my opinion, is a viable way for new authors to get reviews. A book that is reviewed sells better than one that isn't.

  2. Jane, I enjoyed your website and your info on reviews. You opened my eyes to something; you're right- I think paying for reviews is fine, as long as they are legit, meaning they can be one star or five star. That is a very good point!!

  3. I know you're an honest person and would never do anything to intentionally harm another author. I hold to the same set of morals (if that's the correct word to use). It goes against everything I believe to write a bad review if the book is good and vice versa. I'm not going to start a war with author's buy bashing their books. I'd also never pay to have someone write a good review. I think my books deserve them, but ... Let's say the review is great and not really what I deserve. When people find out it's a paid review (which will happen eventually), I'd look like a fraud and no one would ever trust that review source again.

    You failed to mention one type of review. I've heard and read blogs, etc that mention that people review books without even reading them. I asked myself how this is possible? The answer is simple. Instead of paying someone to write a review, the author simply asks the person to write a review on the entire book based on nothing more than a short synopsis or a sample chapter. This is just as bad as the other types.

    What it comes down to is, as an author, I want people to be fully open and honest with their opinions of my books.

  4. I didn't even know people write reviews without reading the books. I don't even know why they would do it. I hope the world of self-publishing (and traditional publishing) doesn't become so cut-throat that it's no longer enjoyable. There's no reason for it! And yes, I agree that people should be honest w/ reviews. I love your books- I think anyone who reads them will love them too!