Getting Book Reviews – The Dirty Way

August 27, 2012 — Leave a comment

Taking a break from Dieselpunk work-blogging. I more or less finished the copy for the cover, but figured I’d go into this topic while it was fresh.

Read an article over the weekend about the “rave reviews for hire industry.” It’s available over at NYT.com.

Here’s a quote from “The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy”:

Instead of trying to cajole others to review a client’s work, why not cut out the middleman and write the review himself? Then it would say exactly what the client wanted — that it was a terrific book. A shattering novel. A classic memoir. Will change your life. Lyrical and gripping, Stunning and compelling. Or words to that effect.

Now, let me state in advance: I’m a free-market guy. Exchanges of goods and services, barter or otherwise, works (we’re not going to talk about massive corporations, because that’s neither here nor there in this case). I think that, if there’s a much needed niche (Marketing in this case), somebody’s going to fill it. In the words of one commenter, “This is America.”

But, once you get into this realm of guerilla marketing, where you’re PAYING someone for a 5-star rave review, you start getting into the same arena as people getting paid to buy you drinks at a bar. Remember that free market thing, and about how I’m for it? I am, but only when the market place is full of honest actors. Lying to people, using chicanery and misrepresentation, completely screws the system. I mean screws the system. You end up destabilizing the trust factor between buyers and sellers, even if those parties were never involved in the original dishonest act.

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