April 03, 2013

C: Clarification, Conscience And Confidence - IWSG

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day for participating blog owners who may be professional or amateur writers. (All you need is the passion and output, published or not). Started by Alex Cavanaugh the author of the sci-fi space opera CassaStar and sequel CassaFire, it is a means for writers to talk about their fears big and small. It is also an opportunity to connect to other writers who may have conquered these or are sailing in the same insecure boat as you.

I ddin't join the A-Z bandwagon this year, not with the temperatures up in the 100s (37 C) and climbing. But, if I had, this would have been my entry for C. It could also fall under P:Paid reviewer.

C: Clarification Now, before you rush to the comment tab to bombard me with your opinions, hear me out, especially if your thoughts are in sync with this gentleman.

To read more on this, read this link 

Yes, I have recently joined a company that pays me for reviewing books. And, no, it doesn't mean I will never review books for free as I won't be getting more than one or two assignments a month.
I will continue to do 4-5 free reviews every month, a review a week. I will stop reviewing for the said company the day they they ask me to pad up my reviews. I have been honest all my life and I am not going to sell my conscience for a few dollars.

C: Conscience
Those who have been with me on this blogging journey know me fairly well. Those who have read my reviews know that they are detailed analysis of the book in question with my inputs as a reader. When I joined this book review group, I had some questions twirling in my mind.

My checklist was :
Will I be allowed to post honest, unbiased reviews? Yes.
Will I be expected to bluff and fluff up my review? No.
Will my review be worth the money? Yes. The authors may differ on this, but my reviews are as detailed and honest as before and long ones too.

The Company's FAQ

What do you guarantee?

We are going to monitor the site and we randomly select reviewers to monitor and track their jobs and check quality of reviewers if they don't get the reviews in a timely fashion.
We want to be clear that we do not guarantee a positive review. In no way will we tell the reviewer what to write. We want our reviewers to have the freedom to be honest and xxxxx will not work under unethical conditions. Also, we can't guarantee a 5 star review. We ask the reviewer to give their own personal thoughts and opinions of what they read. Remember, it may not be exactly what you wanted or expected but it will be from your reading audience. Honest reviews go much further with the readers than a fluffy, raving review. You can earn our "seal" of approval on your book when the reviewer rates it with 5 stars. Our seal can be used on the author's site or blog or be posted directly on your review.
We do not assign books to the reviewers; you choose the reviewer to review your book(s). Carefully evaluate the reviewers, look at their prior reviews and check out what they like to read to ensure it's a perfect match. If you have questions, you can send them a message on the portal. Reviewers have been encouraged to keep an unbiased outlook on all reviews.
xxxxx highly recommends you ensure the reviewer will be a "good fit" for your book by reading their bios and looking at their samples thoroughly.

C: Confidence

What are the benefits of entering a controversial arena? 
Kirkus's paid freelance reviewers and paid newspaper reviewers are respected but not an individual reviewer who  rarely finds opportunities to be compensated for  the time and effort spent reading books, and some really bad ones at times.

I get paid for doing something I like, something that keeps me mentally stimulated.
I get a entire day off from writing blog posts and web articles for money - to read other books  and my own collection - and provide free reviews for bloggers, indie authors who can't pay, with two such reviews - as an Indian earning in dollars.

It may not be Kirkus or Publishers Weekly that I am working with; it isn't even 1/10 th of what they charge an indie author for a negative, bashing blurb they call reviews. What it does is supplement my income, and keeps my insomniac mind at ease knowing that neither am I a generic five-stars-for-all-books kind of reviewer nor a sock-puppet for an author bashing up another's book.

Don't believe that honest paid reviews are possible, just wait till my review gets posted.

The only thing I can guarantee with both types of reviews is that the book will be read without any bias. Free reviews of three stars and above will  continue to get posted within one-three months on this blog, and I will continue to beta read when asked to and have no time constraints. 

PS: Did you know which one of my review samples got me this assignment - my review on CassaStar.

If you choose to unfollow me or stop visiting my blog, you are free to do so.


A said...

When one pays for an honest review, one is not paying for love.

Karen S. said...

Well to pay or not to pay is well up to the payee I imagine, but paying attention to what works is really the key. Your three words here are a great road map to success. We shouldn't get carried away in our fame though, like the last moments I caught on Dancing with the Stars. Her comment when her team lost and she the fact that she said she misses and will return to her fave country music fans was kind of hitting all the other folks below the belt. Sometimes we ace some things more than others, she can sing and gets paid well for it, but she was new to dancing, and we must not give in to we can't do it...sometimes we just have to work harder at something, longer. When there's a will there is a way!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If you are encouraged to be honest, that's what's important.
And whoa - that's awesome that your review of my book landed you the job!

michelle said...

Hi Rek.
I admire and applaud your candid viewpoint!
Be true to yourself... that's all that matters!
Hope you are well!

Writer In Transit

Misha Gericke said...

Good on you to make a decision based on what you want. It's not something I'd see myself do, but I don't see why you shouldn't be paid for doing something you love.

As long as you do stay neutral about everything you're paid to review.

Best of luck!

Haddock said...

Honest reviews are few and far inbetween.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Congratulations, Rekha. They picked a great person for the job. Being hired by a legit company is very different than having an author make an arrangement with you to pay you for a positive review. Do people really do that? That's kind of pathetic. Now that I said that, I better not stoop to that down the road.

I've missed you. It seems to get harder and harder to make blog visits these days.
Take good care.

Donna Hole said...

I think it would be cool to be paid for reviews - as long as I was able to be honest as a reader.

I hope the job is going well Rekha.


michelle said...

Hi Rekha!
Just popping in to see that you're okay!
Keep in touch...
Michelle. XXXX

Writer In Transit

Jenny said...

Congratulations! You'll be great for this! Do people really take the time to belittle other bloggers and writers for things like this?

What the heck?

I find that really amazing that anyone would have so much spare time on their hands and not use it to build and praise!

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Glad you made it this far...would love to hear your take on the words scribbled. A comment every now and then keeps the blues away. :D

Since, crazy Mr. Blogspot won't let me reply to the comments here (is upset with the water ladies ever since they refused to verify visitors)...will do the next best thing, drop in to your blog to say my Vanakkam/Namaste/Salaam/Hello.

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