As a self-publisher I have to do my own marketing on a limited budget. Now I face the option of paying someone to review my book. The question is: Is it nobler to sink or swim with no-one watching, or should I cough up good money and run the risk of sinking anyway – and in full view of anyone who happens to be watching? The thing is, with my sales figures sitting at the grand total of “Nil” (that can’t possibly include the Kindle books because even I’ve bought one of them), how else do I tell people (besides my mom) that my book’s out there?
A superficial google indicates that a favourable (and there’s no guarantee that it will be favourable) review only increases sales by between 130 and 300 (plus-minus) books over a year. As one writer estimated, even with a profit of $1 per book it would take forever to recoup the costs of a $450 review. I don’t dispute the price. A friend painstakingly pointed out that it takes time to read the book (that’s assuming I get a “genuine” reviewer) as well as considerable thought and skill to write the review, depending on the length required – and then there’s the borrowed prestige of the newspaper or magazine. I’m not saying that reviewers don’t deserve their money. I’m only wondering if the end result is worth it.
Maybe I’ve just got to take a deep breath and pay up. After all, even if I do sink, the chances are that no-one’s watching anyway.