I did a similar post to this back when there was some talk about blog tours. Compensation for Book Bloggers. The concept is back again but this time specifically on being paid for reviews and I’ve posted some thoughts on Twitter. Waffling really because I am someone that takes in what others say and try and see how it fits in with my brain to formulate my opinion. There were a lot of good points made by those that believe that there is nothing wrong with being paid for reviews.
So I wanted to go into a little detail about how I’m feeling on the subject as a Book Blogger myself and why I think that standards really need to change when it comes to this community as a whole.
So the first thing that I’d like to talk about is that someone compared book bloggers reviewing books to YouTubers that review well anything and how they are paid for their reviews and I don’t believe that to be accurate. As far as I’ve always been aware, in terms of the level on transparency that is given, the YouTubers are sent products for free to review. They are not specifically paid to review the product that they are sent.
A quick comparison for me would be make up YouTubers are put on PR lists by large makeup companies. They are sent the new palettes and such automatically just for being on the list and then that YouTuber of their own free will and with nothing in return but the product to review itself reviews it.
That is different than someone that gets a sponsor that pays them to do a video on their product or a quick ad in the beginning, middle or end of their video.
I think this is where the biggest change needs to happen. If we got sponsorships from publishers or even companies that make book related products, ie: Booklights, ebook readers, audiobook apps etc, then we wouldn’t even be questioning the need for payment on reviews because ultimately a review shouldn’t be paid for. It’s why you see a lot of reviewers on YouTube always clearly specify that they weren’t paid for their review and were given the product.
For us, the product is an ARC, so logically to read and review it shouldn’t be a paid for service and it wouldn’t matter if we got opportunities in other ways to be paid for what we do. The fact is that we do work hard on our blogs and reviews aren’t the only thing that we all do so for me, I’d rather get paid for other things than just reviews. I think it’s easy for this argument to always fall to being paid for reviews but really it’s so much more than that.
One argument that I just don’t agree with is that because NY Times reviewers get paid to review books than Book Bloggers should too and that’s just not the same thing at all. Those reviewers are not being paid by the publisher or the author or even for one specific book. They are paid by the NY Times to write reviews. I would also believe that they either pay out of pocket for books, are given money from the newspaper to buy books or are given books by their boss that are on the NY Times list.
That would be like, if I owned a book blog, and then paid people to post reviews on my blog. I’m paying them to do a job, the post itself, I’m not paying them specifically for the review of which they’d have to buy the book to review or get a review copy. That is not the author paying for a review or the publisher paying for a review which is completely different and seems to be what most people are arguing for.
And despite sites that are around that charge for reviews, and charge ridiculous prices at that, I don’t think that makes it okay. That doesn’t mean that I would take issue with someone else charging for a review if they wanted or even with an author paying for a review if they wanted. I think this should be more about giving us the same chances to make money that YouTubers get in order to promote products for various companies.
However after all that, at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what we all think about it because each blogger is different and runs their blog differently so why bash those that are on the other side of this argument at all? What good will it do to talk about how someone wanting to be paid for what they do is entitlement, or how ignorant someone is for not agreeing with being paid for reviews? It just causes unnecessary discord between as all.
I think that if you are a book blogger and you want to charge for reviews, that is your choice. If you are an author that wants to pay for reviews, that is your choice. If you are against either of those, that is also your choice. We all love books and we all want to share that love with as many people as possible, whatever we get back for that should be our choice.
I’d love to hear more of your thoughts on compensation for book bloggers but let’s be nice to each other even if we disagree! I can understand that my stance isn’t perfect and some would argue against it. Regardless I appreciate the visit and I respect all opinions even those that do not align with my own.