Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Paying For Reviews

Someone asked me the other day if I paid for my review in Kirkus. I did not. But the review was very good and the assumption was that I did pay for it. Which brings up the whole thing of paying for reviews. Lets face it the dam has been opened and we are now awash in authors willing to pay for just about anything to get their books noticed. You cannot blame them but these type of reviews along with the people who pop up with hundreds of Amazon reviews do not really help the cause. The truth is books are still sold by word of mouth or word of internet.

Lets start here with this. People envy money but they admire talent. Money can get you a lot of things and people want those things. We do envy the guy with the Porche or the guy with the nice house or nice boat or nice anything. We want those things too. But we don't admire the person. In fact we might detest the rich person. Look at the way the one percent is treated. We certainly don't admire the rich people but we sure envy them. So it is in the literary world.

We envy bestsellers. Who would not. But we admire a talented writer. We admire them when we read their books and we know that only a few people can do this. It is the way we feel when we read Fitzgerald or Faulkner or David Foster Wallace. There is something there has nothing to do with money. Since Fitzgerald died broke it must be something beyond the monetary. It is talent. And all the paid for reviews and ads and shoutouts and blitzing will not give us that admiration.

There are some things believe it or not that money cannot buy.

Books by William Hazelgrove