The art of reviewing a book is very interesting. Recently, on Linkend I proposed the idea that book reviewers should be paid for their services. WOW!!!! I did not realise how much people, rather how little people thought about reviewing books. This is interesting to me because almost every author I know, electronic, website, app, etc., want someone to review their book honestly. What they don’t want to do is pay that person for that review. Some want you to pay for the book at a reduced price. Most of the books I review are galley or unfinished copies of the book. Publishing companies not only want you to provide a review, but post it your blog, link it to one or two social networks and post it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble type websites.
Before I go any further, I should point out that any book reviews that you may have read on this site have not be paid for, in other words no money exchanged hands. I have received most of the books gratis with the understanding that I will review the book honestly and provide a well written book review on that book. In addition, I try to play fair and write a nice review to books that I do not like.
Now that my disclaimer is out of the way, the first and foremost reason that I review books is because I like to read, LOVE TO READ! In elementary school I would put my book inside the text book and read during class. Yes, I did get busted, but it did not stop me from continuing the practice. When Amazon first marketed the Kindle eReader, it was on my Christmas list that year. While I went through Chemo, I brought the Kindle with me to almost every treatment, doctor’s appointment and procedure. I actually wore out my Kindle from use. The technical people at Amazon were astonished and I like to think that the survey I filled out for them helped them to improve the next generation of a Kindle. Currently, I have two Kindle eReaders ( a Kindle keyboard 3G and a Kindle Paper lite) and a iPad. They are always in my purse, which I bought based on the fact that I could put all of them plus my writing notebooks and organiser. Apparently I like to read and I like to write about what I read.
The other reason that I like to review books is because I often get a book that I would not normally read for whatever reason. More often than not I get a book from a new author and I am pleasantly surprised how well the book is written. Not only that, but a new concept in writing or twist on an old idea. Sometimes I get a book and it is very difficult get through that book and believe me those are the hardest. Regardless, I try to find something good about the book.
Reviewing book takes time, energy (physical and electrical), software, etc. Personally, I think that I should be monetarily compensated for reviewing the books. I do know some reviewers who do receive up to $200.00 for a review. I am not there yet. I require the book, galley, pdf, something. I will not pay for the book. I used to do that, just because I wanted to have book reviews on my site and publishers weren’t sending me anything.
IN addition, the profession of reviewing books (yes, you read that correctly) reminds me of the profession of teaching. Both of very low paying, if at all. Both are treated with some contempt. Finally, people want other people to do these services because “anyone can teach” or “anyone can review a book”. Not true, and a very insulting viewpoint. I have a hard time with someone who views any profession or service in this manner. Just because you don’t want to do it, doesn’t mean someone else should do it for free.