The other day I saw an article that was almost certainly a shot at my personal policy as Editor-in-Chief of The Deepening World of Books (see this link).
Let me bring you up to date: Earlier this year I decided to start charging a minimal rate for the work that goes into a review on The Deepening. There isn’t a publisher around who will pay me $135 per hour, which is my professional rate. But maybe, just maybe, they’ll pay my reviewers $100 for a professional review, $50 for a poetry review, $25 for a children’s book, $7.99 to have your book featured, and – if an author is in a big hurry for a review - $150 gets the novel reviewed and posted within 14 days.
What was the shot? That people who charge for reviews can’t be trusted, that they have no principles, that a mere $100 is going to suddenly cause them to like books and authors they have hated for years. And under no circumstance can a person be fair-minded if paid the big bucks for a two week review.
Oh how easily we are swayed.
If I‘ve managed to work in sales for close to 25 years without getting jaded, and have also managed to sell on the basis that the customer must receive fair value for my products, then this little business of reviewing for money is laughable.
Every single reviewer everywhere deserves to be paid for their time. Shame on the government and publishers and authors and competing reviewers for suggesting different. Shame. Shame. Shame. Good Lord, I feel like I’ve stepped into an Ayn Rand novel. You know, I can’t think of any reason I would write a dishonest or “influenced” review. I review because I like to do it. And because my words belong to me — in my country they are copyrighted the moment they are set to paper — I can also do whatever pleases me with those words. Like… charge a publisher $100 to review his new release.
Get a grip, people. Reviewing is not a charitable undertaking. It never was.
Copyright © 2012 Clayton Clifford Bye