BookLife by Publishers Weekly Launches Paid Review Service for Self-Published Authors

From No Shelf Required:

Remember when Kirkus introduced paid reviews over a decade or more ago? And how badly the book industry took it? We’ve come a long way since then. Below a press release from PW on its own paid review service for self-published authors.

“BookLife, Publishers Weekly‘s website and monthly supplement dedicated to self-publishing, is pleased to announce the launch of BookLife Reviews, a new reviews service open exclusively to self-published authors. BookLife Reviews provides authors with skillful, detailed reviews that include a variety of marketing insights and critical assessments, crafted by professional Publishers Weekly reviewers with genre-specific expertise.

. . . .

BookLife Reviews differ from Publishers Weekly reviews in that BookLife Reviews are longer—approximately 300 words, compared to 200  250 words for a Publishers Weekly review—and more focused on reaching readers rather than booksellers and librarians. Because they are paid reviews, costing $399  $499 each, they are guaranteed; submissions will not be rejected. Participants will receive their reviews within four to six weeks of submission. Authors will also have the option at no additional cost of seeing their reviews published in the monthly BookLife supplement, which is bound into the print copy of Publishers Weekly.”

Link to the rest at No Shelf Required

PG suggests this demonstrates a growing understanding that successful indie authors are earning good money and spending part of that money on marketing and advertising campaigns for their new books.

The strategy reflected in the OP may also demonstrate some concern about the future financial picture for traditional publishers.

2 thoughts on “BookLife by Publishers Weekly Launches Paid Review Service for Self-Published Authors”

  1. There must be something wrong here, because I clearly recall PW offering pay to play reviews years ago at about the same time as Kirkus. Never no mind, it’s a shameless scam to fleece self-published writers desperate for attention but which will not help them achieve their goal. The reviews are in a ghetto so that agents and traditional publishers can safely ignore them with minimal effort.

  2. Or this demonstrates a growing understanding that successful indie authors are earning good money – that PW has no control over and aren’t getting any cut of …

    As more self-published authors publish more books Publishing Weakly means less and less to those that are on the search for the next good book to read.

    So convince the riffraff that buying reviews is the way to be ‘found’ by their readers (just how many of their readers have even heard of PW much less read it?) Then there’s the minor bit about many of us (and our readers) not trusting ‘paid’ reviews.

    And at $399 – $499 each, of course the reviews are guaranteed – guaranteed to be good or accurate wasn’t mentioned.

    Hmm, one other money-making bit for PW in there, PW could always see if any of their trad-pub friends are interested if they think they’re reviewing the next ‘man left behind on Mars’ …

    (Sorry, the devil in me sees so many ways this could be played against the overly trusting writer. 😉 )


    Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage. — Ambrose Bierce

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