UNPOPULAR OPINION: Should book bloggers get paid for reviews?

I’ve always wondered why there is such a negative connotation towards book bloggers who get paid for reviews. I understand that many people think that being paid then ensures (read: bribes) the blogger to write a good review, but honestly, let’s start to move away from that kind of understanding.

Let’s be honest, unless you dedicate yourself to your blog full-time; i.e. pumping out blog posts daily, having an almost constant presence on twitter, instagram and pinterest, making money off just WordPress ads is next to nothing. And the prospect of gaining revenue off Google Ads means your blog needs Plugins but you need to pay for a Business plan and no.Although services like Netgalley and the graciousness of publishing companies and authors means that we do sometimes get free copies of ARCS or books, we really do what we do for no great monetary reward.

In saying that though, I didn’t start this journey because I wanted to make money; and honestly, I don’t think many people do especially in the book blogging community. I continue to be a book blogger mainly because of the community and friends I have found on here, and could not give an absolute fuck about making an income. Because this is what I adore.

But is it fair?

Booktubers make money off their videos. They’re not technically paid for reviews, but they are able to get sponsored by companies like SCRIBD or AUDIBLE, or even publishing houses and/or create an income via ad revenue, views etc. We do the same thing as booktubers, but instead of a camera we have a blog.

I remember once reading a Twitter thread talking about how it came out that a book blogger was charging people for reviews and other bloggers were talking about how ridiculous it was and selfish. But, like, people need to make money. Books are bloody expensive and WordPress is bloody expensive. So I understand why but I don’t entirely understand the negative connotation. Is it purely because if a book blogger is paid for a review, people seem to understand that as a bribe? Book bloggers provide a service so shouldn’t we be able to gain something to help ourselves to do what we love?

I’ve been thinking of setting up like a Ko-Fi or something, because any help is always appreciated, and I think from that mindset, I understand why this question has been bugging book bloggers for years.

I just find it interesting, personally, and I wanted to see what you guys think? Am I seeing this from a weird perspective? Let me know your own experiences and thoughts.

That’s it for today, friends! Until next time, happy reading!

All the love,

Allie

xx


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8 thoughts on “UNPOPULAR OPINION: Should book bloggers get paid for reviews?

  1. This topic is a minefield. There are so many book bloggers out there but I think it is still seen as only a small market place for potential customers.

    Outside of my book blogging friends I don’t know anyone who actively seeks out a review, about a book that they intend to buy, on a book review blog site. Some go to Amazon and a few might have heard of Goodreads. Perhaps it’s just me?

    I think it would also be even harder for the small publishing houses, indie and self-published authors if they had to also pay to get book reviews. So perhaps only those authors with a large budget from the big 5 publishers could afford it? But then they probably don’t need to pay for book reviews in the first place!

    Currently with so few bloggers charging for reviews, I am wary of the honesty in those reviews, so many authors fear a mediocre review and behave badly when they get one, that bloggers wanting to make an income from reviews may easily be persauded to write only good things. It’s a bit like blog tours. I can count on one hand the number of review sites where I trust a review of a book from a blog tour now, they can’t all be wonderful books!

    Ultimately I think Amazon holds a large key to paid book reviews. Their review policy would need to be changed and at the moment they wield a lot of power in the online book sales world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you for this!! this is the most thought out comment and i agree with everything you have said! so thank you again! i do also believe that Amazon holds a large key to paid book reviews and it would be so interesting to see how the book community and the publishing world would react to such a transformation! xx

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  2. I do not receive money for my reviews, and my blog is not remunerated in any way. I review books because I am an avid reader and love to share my thoughts about the books I read. My blog is a labor of love. I feel that the lack of remuneration for my reviews holds the key to their honesty. I would not like to be paid to do this hobby of mine, as I would then feel beholden to always review positively.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. From both a reader and writer point of view I see nothing wrong in setting up patreon or Ko-fi at all. Reviewing is also an art and is no different than artist doodling and getting support fund and of course booktubers as you said. It’s really unfair to judge a reviewer this way.
    But then again all these negative views is because of unserious reviewers who skimmed books and make a glorified review that screams “I’m doing this review because I was paid!” they give other serious and honest paid reviewers a bad name.
    Bottom line is for me it’s fine to get donation from people who enjoy reading your post. I see nothing wrong with earning income while having fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’d love to be paid for book reviews!! I guess it’s nice that we’re not, though, because it means that everybody is here because we’re passionate about it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this! It would be so nice to be able to actually make even a little money off of my blog. Most bloggers put a lot of time into their content and social medias. And unless we all want to become booktubers (which I know I don’t) it seems like there’s no way to make money off this work

    Liked by 1 person

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