There has been much talk lately on Twitter and other places about book bloggers getting paid to review books. I totally disagree I’m afraid.
I don’t know much about the publishing industry but I’m fairly sure they don’t have the budget of say, a fashion house or beauty product company, to be able to afford to pay bloggers for reviewing. As things stand we book bloggers; and I am proud to be one, get sent fabulous books, for free and which we are allowed to keep forever. This is in return for a review or some kind of publicity for this book. I think that’s a fair deal. A win win for all.
Imagine if publishers were to pay bloggers. The amount of people requesting books would go through the roof but if only say 20% of those were to be chosen for a paid review the other 80% would be up in arms and quite likely very jealous. If they were offered a copy to review anyway but without pay I reckon a large percentage would refuse. I’m not saying all bloggers would feel like this of course but money can make some people change and not for the better.
How would it even work? Would you get paid more if the book were a 600 page epic rather than a slimmer 200 page novel?
Would you get more for a hardback than a paperback?
What about eBooks?
Greed would set in and formerly happy book bloggers, who at one time loved just getting an early copy of a book to read would turn away from doing so unless the money was there. The level of reviews and publicity would diminish which in turn would damage the publishing companies and the authors as less reviews out there may mean fewer sales etc. etc. It would be very bad for everyone.
Smaller more independent publishers would certainly suffer as they might not have the budget to pay anyone as opposed to larger more well established ones. They would be ignored totally by bloggers who, once money was added to the mix, would shy away from anyone who couldn’t or wouldn’t pay them.
I think blogger reviews may possibly influence potential buyers in a very small way but its a little arrogant to think they actually help sell books on any kind of large scale resulting in the need for payment.
I hear bloggers say that the spend a lot of time online writing reviews and spreading the word about amazing books. Its their blog, their hobby and you shouldnt spend any more time than you can sensibly spare unless you want to. Unless you really enjoy it. And if you do then I dont see its a chore which needs recompense.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to be paid for doing something I enjoy but I can only see it working as part of a paid job in a company, not as a casual employee.
When I first began book blogging back in 2014 I was horrified at the levels of jealousy between bloggers about who got a place on certain high profile book blog tours, so imagine how much worse it would be if money was involved!
That’s not even mentioning whether we liked the book or not. I have disliked books i’ve been sent on many occasions. What would we do then? Review it and lie through our teeth just to get the money? How many would not review at all as they felt it would be unfair? Would Publishers who did pay still want us to be fair and honest? You wouldn’t pay someone to slag off your book would you?
All honesty and trust would be gone and that would be sad.
The relationship between book bloggers, authors and publishers is such a special one and right now feels like a golden time for us all to work together towards promoting the things we all love. Books! So lets not rock the boat (no pun intended)
What do you think?
Do you agree or disagree with me?