Self-published authors have to resort to paid reviews in order to sell books. If that is the case then the traditional publishers should stop paying national newspapers and magazines to review their latest product. Self-published authors do not have the privilege of being accepted by a critic for a national newspaper. If the media supported self-published authors then maybe there would be no reason for paid reviews but are paid reviews as bad as people make it out to be?
Paying for reviews is not particularly an unethical thing unless you are buying your stars or rating. I do not find it bad or unethical to pay for reviews as long as they are unbiased and you are ready to be bashed. The fact is that published authors have the backing of their publishers and their editors along with their agents who must pay critics in some form to review their books. So there is no difference in ethics.
What needs to change is the attitude of the critic. The critic needs to accept all art if they are going to be given the status of a critic. Infact, nowadays with indie films that come out, movie critics end up reviewing them. So should book critics be the same with self-published authors? The only problem here is how to define what is a good book or a bad book and that will be something that can be debated all night and day for years on end. If a book has come from a publishing house then the critics are sure that the book will be half-decent (not always the case). So how can self-published authors get recognition and receive reviews from the traditional critics? Well…like every publishing house does, every self-published author is allowed to send their synopsis and then the critic picks whether they would give it a review. This could be proposed or we ask for more critics to be on the field.
I am more than happy to get paid reviews as long as they are unbiased. One review for my book said they did not understand some of my poems and that was a fair point and I expected that from some people. They named certain poems and that shows me that they have read the book. I am happy to give a free book to anyone who wants to write me a review on amazon or on their blog. In fact, they have took out time to read it and are not obliged to be favourable to the book. It depends on your outlook.
I am against people wanting 5 star reviews and this is misleading not only other people but yourself. Your book should be marked for its credit and if paid reviews help sales then why not pay for some reviews? A review has to be a risk, an investment because remember that you may be paying them but you are costing them time. Time will always be more valuable than money itself.
Critics need to realise that the power is not in their hands but it is in the pockets and hands of the reader. If the critic objects to a book being a bestseller due to unreliable reviews then they should read the book and let that speak for itself.
The fact remains is that a book is a form of art. No one can judge art correctly but the only criteria is that the story must connect with the reader and if it does that then no matter what the critic says, the book has made an impact.
So all this so-called controversy is a silly game. Paid reviews are fine until mainstream critics accept self-published work. They can start off with mine!
P.S. John Locke – you have my support!
Confidence is something that grows with time. When we look at the situation we are in, we think of many faults and we think of how we do not deserve things, we have an inner hierarchy and we lose out on living in each moment.
For example, we all may believe in a higher being, we can call it God or Truth or a True Master (Satguru) and we always seem to feel smaller than these beings. I find this common in mainly religion and find it seeping in to spirituality. We belittle ourselves instead of looking at that which is higher and then attaining to it. We praise the highest order but we make ourselves at the bottom.
Now, there is a fine line here because one can turn around and say it is humility hence we say we are at the bottom. Humility simply means you see all things as One and Equal and you serve ALL in the same manner. That is humility. Humility isn’t when you put things in an hierarchy. However, the ones who have realised the Truth continue to tell us that we are Truth seeking the Truth and that is the Truth.
So today, what I am trying to say in this blog message is that you can realise your potential, which is God, which is Truth, which is the Satguru. Once you realise it then you are IT.
Confidence is something that builds up when we can be truly humble and be as strong as Truth. We can be as stable as Truth. The way to Truth may be chaos but once you go through all the trials and tribulations, you find silence, bliss and peace!
Attain it! It is Yours.
Call it enlightenment or whatever pleases you, you are all here to have a mystical Truth to lead a spiritual life that defines in words what religion truly is. This path may be for the few but the few can be made up into millions.
Let me put it in another way, Truth is an expression (Mysticism), Truth is a way of life (Spirituality) and Truth is an experience (Religion). You need all of this, so it is best to find your way to religion. Most people who claim to be religious or belong to a religion may not fit in my paradigm here but they now know the way to be religious!