Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Book Tours Demanding Good Reviews

I opened my email the other day, and was surprised to find a letter from one of the book tours that I work with. The letter told of the new changes and requirements that they are implementing... A tour host is REQUIRED to give a GOOD review or they are not allowed to post, but are required to contact them instead and they will work with the reviewer to come up with a reasonable solution/review.

Another tour that I had worked with in the past not only required good reviews, but if you couldn't post a good review, you were required to leave that tour and send the book on (at your expense!) to another person that agreed they would post a glowing review.

The reasons that are given for this requirement is that these groups/individuals that arrange the tours are paid to promote the books and the authors want (some even demand!) good feedback on those tours. Does this mean that when you visit a site that is hosting a tour, you can no longer trust the review that's posted? Sadly - it is possible. It seems like this may be the route that more are going.

Personally, I was livid when I read the new requirements. I don't get a cent for doing reviews and working with tours. Yes, I get a book, but if you consider how much time it takes to schedule things, read the book,  post the review, and run a giveaway, it would be so much easier and economical to buy the book outright. In fact, some tours I've worked with supply the books from NetGalley, so they expired - like a library book.

I try to pick my books wisely - books that I would enjoy reading. I don't post many reviews stating that the book wasn't worth my time. Usually I like the book, and my reviews state that, however, don't ever REQUIRE me to post a good review. I didn't monetize my blog for a reason - so I don't feel obligated to post a good review for anything. I am honest about how I feel about a book and no one is going to tell me how post. I post because I'm a book lover and want to share my experiences with other book lovers. I will not be bullied to post a good review!

11 comments:

  1. That's terrible that they're making that a requirement, but good for you! I have a lot of respect for book reviewers that give a truly honest opinion.

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  2. Wow, it's disappointing that a blog tour would require a good review. I accept review requests only for books that I would want to read anyway so a book would have to be pretty bad for me to give an unfavorable review - but I would do it. What's the point of reviews if you can't be honest?!

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  3. wow just wow...I read one book for a tour and didn't finish it because to me it was bad. I would rather have an honest review than a fake honest review.

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  4. Wow. I just got a book that I started out absolutely hating but it had some redeeming qualities. I plan on stating all of that because for I need to be honest for my readers.

    Good for you!

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  5. I don't like that they are requiring good reviews. I want to know the truth about a book, but a forced good review.

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  6. My policy is if I can give it 3 stars or more I post whatever the hell I want. If I bought it with my own money, I post whatever the hell I want. If it's 1-2 stars I do offer the author to either have me not review or do something else. I think we all have to walk the ethical line with book blogging about what we feel is right, but to REQUIRE a good review is nutso. I hope you told the organizers so.

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  7. Good for you! I read an economic paper years ago (I know, lame) that actually proved that neither the 1-star nor 5-star reviews (they were looking at Amazon) impacted a book's sales at all although the 2, 3 and 4-star reviews did. So a little honesty actually helps! Those 5 star reviews, people discmiss them, figure they were written by the author's sister or best friend. 4 star reviews had a much bigger influence (as did 3 star!), largely becuase since there were caveats in the review, the customers figured they were likely honest.

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  8. What? Are you kidding me? I can't guarantee a glowing review for any book until I read it. I have given books that I was part of the tour less than glowing reviews and I will continue to give the review I feel the book deserves. If that means I'm not part of a tour, so be it.

    Valerie
    StuckInBooks.com

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  9. You...ROCK!

    What is one of the biggest thorns in the side of an author...censorship? And they still demand to force this upon others? Eesh! The nerve!

    I know it's not all authors, but for those very few who've tried to censor me? Didn't work! I may not ever be asked to promote that author's work again. But, who are we kidding, I probably would never read that author again, anyway.

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  10. I find this scandalous. When bloggers are coerced, everyone loses. Readers ultimately lose confidence in those bloggers. The reading public at large loses confidence in the concept of bloggers' reviews in general. The appeal of bloggers as reviewers resides precisely in their presumed independence from the publishing / hype machine. Authors lose, as well, especially those who refuse to take part in such deceptions. Kudos for your integrity and for exposing this problem.

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  11. My mouth dropped open when I read your post. Thankfully none of the book tours that I've worked with have required this of me, but if they did? Buh-bye! I review because I love books and want to share what I did and didn't love about them, but because I'm not compensated financially ever, I will not falsely write a glowing review. In fact, once I had to write a polite but not great review for a book that I was on a book tour for and when I apologized to the co-ordinator for not being able to write a glowing review she thanked me for my honesty and said that it helped keep the integrity of her tours high.

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