Author Publishing Tips

Should Authors Pay For Book Reviews & How Many Authors Pay To Have Their Books Reviewed?

Paying for book reviews1

It’s a question that’s courted more than a little controversy over the years, but there’s a significant difference between paying for a book review with no influence over the resulting review and paying for a review that is guaranteed to be overwhelmingly favourable, Aka those commonly found on the likes of Fiverr. Unfortunately, the distinction is often lost and in doing so a powerful marketing opportunity may be overlooked for the sake of allowing prejudice to influence thinking.

Let’s be honest, every author hopes his or her book will receive glowing reviews, but a handful of two-line reviews from friends and family or poorly worded reviews from someone who’s been paid $5 to read and write a review for your book, simply doesn’t cut it. Now, before you take umbrage with that last sentence, we certainly aren’t demeaning the support an author gets from friends and family, in fact, it often proves a godsend, but the truth of the matter is that a positive review from a widely known, professional and trusted reviewer is worth its weight in gold. Every book, whether it be by a known or unknown author publishing for the first time stands a chance of becoming a best-seller, the deciding factor is often how quick it can build momentum and professionally written, insightful and compelling reviews are a major part of the success factor. The problem for most authors is that they sit on the fence, unsure which side of the argument to come down on.

At BookViral we believe that information is the foundation of success and we wanted to offer something more substantial than hearsay and conjecture. Now before we do, and for those reading this who are unfamiliar with the services we provide, let’s be absolutely clear and say we don’t provide paid reviews. We commission reviews as part of our promotions, providing exactly the same service as Kirkus or Publishers Weekly. The difference is that whereas those esteemed bodies will take an author’s money and are quite happy to return a bad review, we screen the books we promote and if our commissioned reviewers return a bad review we return the authors money and we don’t publish it. Life is hard enough in modern publishing without paying good money for a bad review!

Now it’s clear that we all have ‘skin in the game’, so simply asking the authors we’ve worked with if they favour paying for professional reviews would add little value. We wanted to dig a little deeper and find a correlation between paid book reviews and increased book sales. We’ve worked with over 1800 authors in a little under two years and have an ever-growing author mailing list of over 25,000 so we are reasonably well placed to ask the most pertinent questions.

Whilst any information collected can be presented with a bias we wanted to keep our survey as succinct as possible. Now keep in mind that paying for reviews is a commonplace practice and when it comes to professional reviews they aren’t cheap. You’re paying for professional insight garnered over many years, often decades, and you can be confident that a highly experienced reviewer will read your entire book in full and follow clear guidelines in writing your review. The costs vary but on the date this post was first published typical fees were Kirkus, (standard service $425, express service $575), Blue Ink Reviews ($495 for the review to be completed in 4-5 weeks), and BookViral ($152 for review to be delivered in 12 working days).

Our survey was responded to by 1,237 authors and the questions we asked were:-

1: How many times have you paid for a book review?
2: How much have you paid for professional book reviews?
3: Do you believe paid reviews have had a positive impact upon your book sells?


So, should authors pay for book reviews? We would rather you cast an eye over the responses from our latest survey and draw your own conclusions, but it does still seem that a five star review from a top book review site still carries a great deal of kudos. In our first blog post titled The Secret Of Viral Book Sales we shared a formula for creating viral book sells and it should be remembered that compelling, professional reviews are one of the most powerful forms of publicity you can get.

Enemy of the Gods

Unbeknownst to most humans, there is a place where our consciousness drifts when we sleep. An ancient alien race of self-proclaimed “gods” calls this realm Pangea. For millennia, they needed no intervention from us. Until now.

Read More »

Trusted Book Reviews

We work with both traditionally published and “indie” authors who have self or independently published books and our mission is simple. It’s to discover new and talented authors and help them give their work the attention and awareness it deserves. We do this by providing professional and credible reviews which are respected by our readers. Our primary focus is on fiction across all genres, non – fiction with broad appeal and selected poetry.

  • Over 8000 Book Reviews And Counting
  • All Book Genres Reviewed
  • Books Reviewed In 14 Days Or Less
  • The Only Book Review Site To Offer A Book Review Guarantee
Is self=publishing worth it?

Is Self-publishing really worth it?

Let me let you into a secret. You are unlikely to become a rich writer. And before you start waving Harry Potter and Game of Thrones under my nose, please scroll back to the word ‘unlikely’.

Read More »
Books Of Enchantment

Books Of Enchantment

As the years advance, I have lost count of how many books I’ve read but on reflection, it hardly seems relevant. What is truly noteworthy is how many leave a lasting impression on us.

Read More »

Publishing Tips For Authors & Recommended Book Reviews

Bestselling books about war and redemption
Book Reviews
Editorial Team

Gripping Historical Fiction Novels

Mason’s evocative writing captures the emotional depth and atmospheric settings, from the North African desert to post-war civilian life. This powerful tale challenges readers to confront the darker aspects of human nature.

Read More »
Exploring self-discovery, conflict, and redemption in biographical literary fiction.
Book Reviews
Editorial Team

Biographical Literary Fiction

Dive into an in-depth review of this biographical literary fiction, exploring themes of self-discovery, inner conflict, and redemption. Discover the intricate journey of manhood and psychological growth through a compelling character analysis and introspective reflections.

Read More »

Book Reviews That Readers Trust.

From humble beginnings in 2002 as a book review club BookViral has grown to become the first choice in book reviews for authors around the world and one of the biggest book review sites on the web. BookViral reaches millions of potential readers through best practice SEO and a trusted social media presence ensuring readers get unbiased, critical recommendations they can trust. 

BookViral also offers a full suite of author services, including, book editing services for unpublished and self-published authors, website design and bespoke SEO that help authors get discovered by more potential readers as well as industry influencers, such as publishers, agents and film executives. 

© Copyright 2019 BookViral Reviews. All Rights Reserved.