BookLife Reviews – Reach the Right Readers

From Booklife from Publishers Weekly:

A Guaranteed Review by a Publishers Weekly Reviewer Designed to Help You Market Your Book

A BookLife Review is a respectful, knowledgeable 300-word review that includes information designed to help in the marketing of your book, all crafted by a professional Publishers Weekly reviewer who’s an expert in your genre or field.


Because a BookLife Review is a paid review ($399; $499 for books over 100,000 words), you are guaranteed to receive a review of your book (as long as you can provide a digital version of your book). BookLife Reviews are delivered in six weeks–four weeks if you purchase expedited service ($150). And with your approval, your review will run in the BookLife section of Publishers Weekly magazine at no extra charge. 

. . . .


It’s easy to get a BookLife Review! If you’re a BookLife member, just log in and go to the project page for the book you’d like reviewed.

Link to the rest at Booklife from Publishers Weekly

PG recalls not long ago that paid-for book reviews were among the worst violations of the Iron Code of traditional publishing.

In an earlier post today, we read how Amazon tracked down shady Chinese sellers of paid-for/fake reviews and helped send them to prison.

PG would love to see comments regarding the Publishers’ Weekly “Guaranteed Reviews” program and whether it materially differs from Chinese selling fake reviews.

For those not familiar with the publication, Publishers’ Weekly, which first appeared in 1872, is among the bluest of blue-blood publications covering traditional publishing. Being mentioned in or reviewed on Publishers’ Weekly was formerly a recognition that established an author as a rising star.

Additionally, if anyone is familiar with any reaction Amazon has had to the PW program, PG would love to hear about it, either in the comments or via the Contact PG link at the top of the La Blogge.

4 thoughts on “BookLife Reviews – Reach the Right Readers”

  1. Hypothetically, a “critical review” is one done without any external influence on its contents, and pretty much guaranteed to be published, whether it is glowing or acidic. Yes, the professional reviewer is paid for the work – but by the publisher of reviews.

    (Hypothetically, because there have always been authors and their publishers that you excoriated at your peril.)

    These are reviews that the author pays for, and has control over whether the review is published.

    Not quite at the level of “guaranteed good review” offered by Chinese chop shops; it might not be a good one (unlikely, though, as a bad review will not encourage repeat business from that author). But exactly the same business model as the Amazon scammers were running.

    • They’ve been offering this service since at least 2019. They may or may not use AI to write them now, but presumably they weren’t doing so back then.

  2. A quick look at the Wayback Machine reveals that Publishers Weekly have been selling Booklife reviews since at least September 2019:

    ALLi’s self-publishing advice blog said that they were a respectable editorial review service back in November 2019:

    So I suspect Amazon doesn’t care, and sees paid Booklife reviews (which will typically be added by the author under “Editorial reviews”) very differently to paid reviews that are posted as customer reviews.

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