By Lisa Maliga, copyright 2015
I’ve never been sought after as a book reviewer until I began posting on some Facebook book promotion groups. I’ve written book reviews in the past, but I don’t mention that on my website, blog or Facebook page. I also joined some groups where readers gave reviews. Soon I learned that 99% of those readers were also authors who needed their books reviewed. I was sent requests to swap reviews several times a day.
“Hi, are you interested for a review exchange? My book is FREE on Kindle.”
“Hi Lisa, can we swap for your book? let me know. thanks”
“Hi Lisa, are you up for an honest review exchange? I have downloaded your book and if you’ll give me a go signal then ill leave a positive review for your book. I have two books for free right now and ill appreciate if you”ll choose one for this.”
“Hi Lisa, I just downloaded your book.My book is also free today. Would you like to trade reviews?”
“Hey There, Would you be interested in doing an honest review exchange for some free books? I have 4 free books.”
“Hey would you be interested in an honest review swap? I have two free books today. Please download 1 or 2 and send me over your book (s) Free Books Only Today”
“Hi Lisa . Do you have 99c books for exchange reviews? Please let me know . Thanks! Here’s my book :”
This is my latest request that I had to include as it’s so blatant. “Hi Lisa, I saw that you have an ebook available on Amazon – . I have one too, and I want to ask you if you want to exchange some reviews? I’ll buy your ebook and review it on Amazon with a 5 star and you’ll do the same with mine? Let me know if you are interested”
Going by the casually written email examples, many of the free eBooks offered for review were of the same caliber. Worse than that, much of the information contained within the mercifully brief nonfiction titles could be found on Wikipedia and other online reference sites.
I’m not saying that all nonfiction titles are scams, but the way you can tell if they are is to see if the author is an expert in their field. Have they written a soap making book and make and sell soap? If the book is about dieting and weight loss, have they utilized the diet plan they write about? I’ve discussed it in this post about shopping for soap making or bath & body products eBooks, but it applies to all nonfiction titles.
What made me stop this quid pro quo review shenanigans? 1. I felt like I was at a certain vanity publisher’s message boards circa 2005 reading about authors asking other authors to buy and review their books. 2. Review swaps aren’t appreciated at Amazon.
So, I’m officially done with swapping, trading or exchanging eBook reviews.
If you want to put a stop to review swaps, feel free to share this photo!