How do you feel about paid reviews? I'm not talking about editorial reviews, which is a different animal entirely. I'm talking about the bloggers, and such. The ones who profess they do reviews for the love of reading, and are willing to invest their time in finding good, new authors.
Philosophically, I'm not opposed to paid reviews. The opposing camp believes that paying these blogger reviewers somehow cheapens the process, and that payment will only encourage good reviews. And that people who pay reviewers are scum. Well, if I'm scum, so be it. I think that as long as both parties understand that the review will be honest (i.e., not necessarily good), I can't see where money makes a difference. Maybe it's really because in the opposer's mind, payment will turn amateur reviewers into professionals. But amateurs compete in sports events featuring prize money. Why shouldn't bloggers be paid for their time and effort?
Don't get me wrong--someone might be able to convince me otherwise. But when I ask, I get these visceral reactions and a lot of vitriol. I want to have a calm, intelligent conversation with one or more people about this issue. And it is an important one. Look at what Amazon has done with the reviewers on Fiverr. Sued their behinds.
Have I ever paid for a review? No. I've checked out some of these sites (they don't post to Amazon, of course) and they are EXPENSIVE. Much too much for the likes of me.
So what brought this up? On my last radio show, which you can access from the "News" tab, the host and I talked about paid reviews. I put my thoughts about it into words, and it became "real." But like I said, I can't talk to anyone about it. So whenever the issue surfaces with my writer friends, who are vehemently opposed to paid reviews, I just keep my mouth shut. Maybe one day I'll be able to have a rational conversation. But it looks like that day isn't coming anytime soon.