Getting Paid to Post Book Reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble
The business of recruiting writers and paying for online book reviews may not be ethical, but it does exist. Here is an ad on New York City's Craigslist seeking "professional book reviewers" to post 50-word or more reviews of assigned books on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. The pay is lousy. Those hired only get $10 for reading the book, filling out a questionnaire designed by the author, and creating the review.
Of course, generating contrived book reviews is nothing new. It's the more commercial application of asking those in your network to submit a review, hopefully positive, of a book by you or your client. Instead of paying cash, you pay through what's known as "The Favor Bank", where your deposits should never exceed your withdrawals.
In his own book 'Power and Influence', published in 1991, public relations expert Bob Dilenschneider explained in detail the dynamics of The Favor Bank, and the web of relationships that underlines how the professional world operates. Shrewd networkers tap their reservoirs of influence strategically.
When savvy networkers calculate the cost and value of both approaches, it might just be that for many authors, paying for a review is more cost effective than asking for the favor. Perhaps that's why the business of the paid book review persists.