Should You Pay For Book Reviews

by Accessory To Success February 06, 2022

Should You Pay For Book Reviews

Power of Buying Book Reviews To Sell Books

It seems like everyone goes online for everything today, from finding the best restaurant or recipes to paying bills. So, it is no surprise that online book reviews now play a central role in convincing people to purchase a book – hardbacks, paperbacks, audio books, eBooks – you name it. Quality book reviews can generate a lot of sales, but the key word is “quality.” What makes a quality book review, and should you pay for it? A poorly written book review is damaging to an author’s reputation and will certainly discourage sales. A well-written book review brings value to the author and the book, so paying for a quality book review makes strategic sense in that it brings current and long-term benefits.

Book Review Industry

The book review industry is flourishing. As a guide for potential book buyers, the book review provides a concise summary of the content and often an opinion as to whether the book succeeds in its plot, characterization, knowledge transfer or supporting a particular theme or theory in areas like business and science. Book reviews apply to fiction and non-fiction books and all genres.

Who reads book reviews? Answer: Just about everyone. The reviews are read by librarians, teachers, publishers, booksellers, other writers and the general reading public. Of course, they are also read by authors who want to know the opinion of those who read their book.

There are different types of book reviews.
  • General public comments made on various online websites, like Amazon
  • Bloggers periodically writing book reviews or devoting the blog to book reviews
  • Endorsements by people of influence or possessing a particular expertise, like other recognized authors and business executives and entrepreneurs with name recognition, with quotes frequently appearing on the front or back book covers
  • Book reviews published by magazines, newspapers, etc.
  • Pre-publication reviews by trade book publishers
  • Online book reviews by professional book review services


Paying the general public to post positive comments is not considered ethical. Two-sentence online reviews written by readers, family and friends are often not helpful because they are too brief and lack content or are poorly worded. Endorsements by influential people are also too brief, and frankly a bit suspicious at times because they seem more like sales ad than a review. They do little to market the book.

This discussion concerns paying a professional book review writing service to build readership, grow sales and strengthen author name recognition. Book reviews are essential to books published by major publishing houses, independent or indie book publishers and self-published books, a continually growing industry segment.

To Pay or Not to Pay? That is the Question!

Since you can solicit general public reviews or perhaps convince some bloggers to review or mention your book, should you pay for a book review? The answer is a resounding “yes” because you can buy true quality in addition to a variety of marketing services. What makes a quality book review?
  • Concise summary of the content
  • Comments on the style of writing
  • Focus on the storyline and character development if fiction
  • Focus on facts, research and supporting arguments for theories, proposals and innovative approaches if nonfiction
  • Significant description of thoughts about the book which includes a thoughtful opinion
  • Opinion on how the book contributes value to the reader and industry book segment, like business leadership, personal motivation, mystery, etc.


The one thing you do not want to do is pay for a review that discourages people from buying the book, and that is where it takes an experienced book reviewer. A quality book review finds balance in writing an honest review, expressing an opinion and delivering essential information about the content.

How Do You Get a Professional Book Review?

With an understanding you need a quality book review written by a professional to attract book buyers, the next step is finding a professional book review service. There are different approaches, but the goal is to maximize the value received over time from the book review. Value is measured in a number of ways.
  • Name recognition is increased
  • Author gets noticed by other people, publishers and agents who mention the book online
  • Credibility of the author is strengthened
  • Book sales grow
  • Contribution made to optimized SEO
  • Contribution made to marketing success

One strategy is getting one or more bloggers to read the book, write a brief book review or make a book mention and then refer their readers via a link to a book review website for a longer book review, always with a goal in mind of getting the readers to buy the book. Bloggers have an established community of regular readers, so there are trusting relationships already formed. Tapping into these communities makes sense.

How do you get bloggers to read your book? That is the challenge. It is easier said than done, which is another value a professional book review company offers. You could send a free copy of the book, along with a series of emails, to bloggers that seem like a good match and hope for the best. The blogs could be dedicated to discussing books or blogs with content most closely aligned to the book genre or topics of the book. For example, an author who writes books on leadership could target bloggers who are consultants and entrepreneurs.

To convince bloggers to read your book, mention the book in a blog and ideally backlink to a full-length book review, a book review service could pique interest by:
  • Optimizing SEO of the book review so the search engines find book mentions on their blogs which grows their communities
  • Making the book review accessible in different forms, including as an eBook and audiobook
  • Filtering images on social media to gather and share links
  • Mentioning in-depth marketing of the book to the book review company’s community


You want plenty of reader reviews wherever you are selling your book, and that means helping readers find your book. The ultimate goal of the online book review is to attract book readers and comments via SEO strategies in order to generate sales.

SEO optimization today is a science in so many ways because it relies on maintaining an understanding of how the algorithms of top search engines work, like Google and Bing. For example, some of the points that matter include the number of times a keyword (book title) is mentioned, the number of internal links for SEO, the reading level, header image contains keyword, position of keywords in the review and more.

A quality book review that is well-written and SEO optimized is much more likely to get social attention, including bloggers. Organic search then becomes a passive traffic source. However, you do not want to rely only on locating bloggers to gain readers. You want bloggers, social media users, website owners and others to read your book reviews. That is why paying for book reviews is a commonplace practice. Book review writing services fill online marketing knowledge gaps.

Note that book reviews can be written for books yet to be published too. Posting book reviews pre-publication can generate excitement about the book that will come up for sale, giving you a head start on creating a community of readers who could eventually become public commenters or reviewers. You should also have the right to tell a reviewing service to not publish or market the review if you do not like what you read, if the service posts the book review for you.

How much does it cost for a book review?

When authors pay for book reviews, they want to consider the quality of the review and the marketing aspect. There are many book review services available and each has its own unique offering. However, there are major differences between them as to the length of the book review and the marketing services included.

How much it costs for a book review, and how much should you pay someone to write a book review are two different questions. As mentioned, there are a number of professional book review writing services and most are very expensive. They include:
  • ForeWord, ($295 - $695)
  • Kirkus, ($425 - $575)
  • BookLife by Publishers Weekly ($399)
  • BlueInk Reviews ($295 - $695)
Most of the book review services only offer 300-450 word reviews plus some additional services like mention of the book review in a newsletter. However, it is difficult to write a true quality book review in so few words. The most you will get is a one or two sentence opinion after a brief content summary, turning the book review into a long reader comment. You need more if you sincerely want to demonstrate quality while attracting readers.

At $199, Accessory to Success offers the best price in the market. The book review service includes things like audio narration which is extremely expensive when secured as a separate service. We also include image creation and many other features that will get your book review noticed online. For $199 you get:
  • 1,200 Word Onsite Review and Author Bio
  • Audio Narration posted on the Website, Podcast and YouTube
  • Custom Book Mockup for Header Image
  • 4 Curated Social Images with Quotes
  • 3 Internal Links for SEO
  • Emails sent to the Accessory to Success Audience
  • Amazon Review – Editorial
Writing book reviews as a marketing strategy makes sense. However, you need to make sure you are getting what you need to grow your readership without spending a small fortune.

Accessory To Success
Accessory To Success



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