Book reviews for sale?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Book reviews for sale?
Tue, 08-28-2012 - 12:02pm

I just read this article about how one guy started a business writing book reviews for a fee. It's definitely made me take a different look at book reviews on sites like Amazon.

From the article...

"At first, he advertised that he would review a book for $99. But some clients wanted a chorus proclaiming their excellence. So, for $499, Mr. Rutherford would do 20 online reviews. A few people needed a whole orchestra. For $999, he would do 50.

Mr. Rutherford’s insight was that reviews had lost their traditional function. They were no longer there to evaluate the book or even to describe it but simply to vouch for its credibility, the way doctors put their diplomas on examination room walls. A reader hears about a book because an author is promoting it, and then checks it out on Amazon. The reader sees favorable reviews and is reassured that he is not wasting his time.

“I was creating reviews that pointed out the positive things, not the negative things,” Mr. Rutherford said. “These were marketing reviews, not editorial reviews.”

Ok, so I understand that with the advent of self publishing, authors want to get their books noticed and talked about. But ... wow! I tend to grab a lot of free Kindle books and admit that I've downloaded a number of them based on reading positive reviews. Sometimes I've discovered some true gems... but even when I got some I didn't like, it didn't bother me much because they were free. But... I have to say, if I'd paid money for them and found out the reviews were "marketing reviews", I'd be pretty darn hacked off! He can dress it up by calling them marketing reviews, but to me, they're just faked reviews!

What do you think?



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2012
Tue, 08-28-2012 - 12:19pm

I've actually been angry lately with so called reviews. Not only with books but with movies. Things that have gotten great reviews are absolutely horrible yet great, well written and entertaining books have no reviews or expert endorsements. It is not right and you don't know what to believe anymore.