Blog Tour Scams

See title.

Looking back to my last post, it’s taken me longer than I hoped to get here. I spent some weekends away from home, got busy… Fell asleep editing so many times I couldn’t tell you. I figured I’d lose time editing because of my new work hours, but I didn’t realize how much I’d lose on the quality time I planned for. My biological rhythms are totally out of whack waking up at 5AM – and I’ve been doing it for so long now, I know I’m not going to get used to it. It just is what it is, and I have to rely on caffeine and Blink 182 playlists to get me through. Whenever I find myself drifting off while editing, I have to shut the whole operation down. I’ve been dedicating myself to it, though. I have a deadline to prepare for. I probably won’t write another post until I’m 3/4 of the way through.

As part of my quest for a blog tour, I’m keeping an eye out on my messages.
So the other day, I got a message from someone asking if she could PLEASE review my book. She linked to her site. Each post had dozens of comments, people saying they purchased the books she was reviewing… Her site looked great. Not exactly around for long, but pretty solid. I was excited that she wanted to review my book. The way she worded her message sounded so genuine.

I responded to it.

$75 for a review, plus an advanced reading copy. For a blog with 12 posts. I saw it coming…

My scam alarms started going off. In usual form, I took the question to Twitter.

Is it normal to charge fees to review books?

Verdict: NO.

1.) It reduces an author’s credibility. Who is to say the blogger won’t give the book a favorable review even if it’s a steaming pile?

Hell, the book might not even get a good review. Then you’ve got negativity about your book on your hands and you’re out $75.

2.) It’s more common to guest post, trade books to review, or *shock* offer an opinion on a book for the benefit of readers.

3.) Some websites penalize you for paid reviews.

4.) There are a lot of people out there who promise reviews and will rob you blind. It’s hard out there for new authors and we’re easy to take advantage of.

That said? I’d be willing to pay for publicity – maybe $50 for a post on a popular blog or something similar. I’d much rather stay true to indie fashion and not pay up hundreds of dollars to questionable blogs, though. Someone recently asked me to be on their YouTube channel (thanks!) and although I’d have a really hard time making it work right now, I’m considering it.

To other authors out there, be careful about who you choose to work with. Dreamers are great targets for scams. Don’t have your head so high in the clouds that you forget what the ground looks like.