Your product reviewed by famous ex-novelist — only $100!

Disclosure: This is not a paid review

Helen Dale (aka skepticlawyer) has signed Catallaxy up with ReviewMe, a service that makes it easier for businesses to pay bloggers to review their products. Critics call it pimping, Sam Ward at A Yobbo’s View calls it an antidote for writers’ block:

Whenever I can’t think of anything to write about or am lacking motivation, reviewme.com can tell me what to write about and motivate me with cold, hard cash.

A similar service is offered by Ted Murphy’s PayPerPost. The idea is to get the product reference into the blog itself rather than in a banner or in the margins.

At $100 (US) a review, Catallaxy is more expensive than other Australian blogs, for example, A Yobbo’s View ($60) , The Road Less Travelled ($60), and Stu’s Rants ($40). ReviewMe keeps half the fee. Since the fee depends on a blog’s Alexa and Technorati rankings, Helen is urging readers to link to Catallaxy and drive up the price. Perhaps you should ask her for a commission.

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Mark Bahnisch
15 years ago

You could make more than $100, Don.

Catallaxy’s Technorati rating is 35,222.

Troppo is 24,081.

LP is 10,444 but I’m used to writing book reviews for nothing for academic journals :) Although you get to keep the book…

Actually, I enjoy reading book reviews – maybe it’s something that bloggers should get into more regardless of whether they subscribe to the pay thingie.

meika
15 years ago

Reading Matters by kimbofo has a post on book reviews by bloggers who do them for a chance to win some gear from some publisher. kimbofo thinks they are scum if they do not mention this little fact.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like too many of my fellow bloggers shared my disgust at this kind of promotion, because not long after I received this email every second book blog seemed to be banging on about this book. Before I knew it, it had hit the best seller lists on both sides of the Atlantic, seemingly overnight, which only goes to prove that the marketers knew what they were doing when it came to enlisting bloggers to promote this book. Without a doubt this exercise demonstrated that book bloggers wield enormous power and word of mouth (or word of blog) is much more effective than traditional advertising campaigns. What’s more, it costs the publishers next to nothing.

Nicholas Gruen
Admin
Nicholas Gruen(@nicholas-gruen)
15 years ago

I agree about book reviews. Good to read and write. I got Ken P sent a copy of Best Australian Essays. Expect the review soon – but remember he only did it for the book. No payment was made sadly.

Mark Bahnisch
15 years ago

Yes it’s not that hard to organise review copies – I’ve found a lot of publishers quite happy to send out books – when I was filling in as editor of Online Opinion and also with LP, where I’m planning to do more of it.

They are fun to write, and read.

I’ve recently become addicted to the paper copy of the New York Review of Books, some of whose lead reviews are on the web, but the amount of interesting content in a fortnightly publication is just amazing.

Don Arthur
Don Arthur
15 years ago

Publishers send bloggers books?

Mark Bahnisch
15 years ago

Yep, just send the publicist an email. I’m on the notification list for Scribe and UQP but I just haven’t had much time during a busy semester to read too many non work related books hence not too many reviews.

cam
cam
15 years ago

Publishers send bloggers books?

Woah. I didn’t know that either. If technorati ranks are useful for pricing SSR does well with 123,118 but the AFC site does better with 1,402,093. Considering I do book reviews for free there anyway.

meika
15 years ago

I’ll be sending hardcopies soon too. But I can only afford to print about twenty and the ‘real’ reviewers will get first go (I have about 30 must-sends of these). I suspect the competition used electronic review copies.

Release Date 2007 02 28
For the rest of you you can download my collection of short stories as a pdf electronic review.

These are much cheaper to distributed and I feel much much more attuned to blogland.

but remember don’t release your reviews till mid Feb 2007 (it should be on amazon by then)
And here is some publicity material which I am still tweaking and does not have the blog-focussed Press release as yet just the generic one.

Please send a note if you download it.

TIA

skepticlawyer
15 years ago

Your ranking as worked out by Review Me is based on quite a few metrics (as Don’s link shows) and the fact that Alexa is one of them is what drops various blogs’ ‘star rating’ down. Mark and I have had a long chat about how Alexa’s figures for LP are complete crap (and they are – Mark sent them to me). I don’t think they’re too close to correct for Catallaxy either, but I don’t know of any realistic work arounds.

From a tech perspective, this guy has a very good summary of all the techie issues, and discusses the possibility of Review Me’s algorithm being ‘gamed’. I suspect, based on what he says, that Troppo would finish up a three star blog, like us. LP should get four stars (and more than $100 per review, as Mark said). However, much would depend on what happens with Alexa, which I really don’t understand at all.

cam
cam
15 years ago

rofl scale goes the other way. Doh. Poor old AFC site.

Nicholas Gruen
Admin
Nicholas Gruen(@nicholas-gruen)
15 years ago

Seriously folks, if anyone in the Troppo community – a contributor on the post or comments side wants to get this process going, and initiate contact with someone to get hold of a book to review, I’ll be thrilled. I like the idea of the tendrils, the capillaries of the market and of civil society meeting in this way. If there’s anything I can do to assist in getting the ball rolling please let me know. (And subject to considering any strong objections anyone might have).

meika
15 years ago

I’ll be sending a hardcopy to Ken probably.

Yobbo
Yobbo
15 years ago

Alexa’s figures are obviously flawed and skewed towards websites which cater to dumbasses and the non-tech savvy, because nobody who actually cares about privacy or the performance of their browser would allow Alexa’s spyware to be installed on their computer.

Laura
15 years ago

All I’ve managed to extract from publicists thus far is:

1) CDs by failed Idol contestants Dan England and Laura Gissara (duly reviewed on Sarsaparilla a little while ago)

2) Terrible, terrible novel by American grandmother about twin daughters of a satan-worshipping slutty single mother and how they were saved by Jesus. I have not reviewed this one yet but may still do so, if i can think of a way to do it that doesn’t involve too many swears.

Kimbofo’s post that meika referred to stirred up a lot of ill feeling over nothing in my opinion. I can’t see any problem with free review copies. As someone pointed out, when you pay $25 for a book you have another kind of investment in it. And if you aren’t to review something you didn’t pay for, then gifts and library books should be ruled off limits as well.

But accepting payment for a review, directly from a publicist or marketing clearinghouse, is a sure-fire way to completely destroy your blog-world credibility.

meika
15 years ago

Laura, the review copies are fine, but reviews for the chance of winning some consumer item is the murky thingo, greyly lying aslant betwixt the review copies and the paid for prodcut placement not quite payola/cash for comments

skepticlawyer
15 years ago

I do book reviewing for law journals and magazines – just sent one off today in fact. It never occurred to me to post edited versions of them on Catallaxy once the magazine has had its run on the news-stands. With suitable copy, I may start doing that in future. Some of the books I read are interesting and deserve a wider readership than just a bunch of legal beagles.

Shaun
15 years ago

I’ve received one book for review via the author and that wil be on LP in a week or so. I’m just lining up a book to review for my R and R D blog. I also get a couple of CDs a month to review for Halo-17 music site (I’ve been luckier than Laura in the quality stakes though I am a little over post-rock at the moment).

I do get a very modest fee for Halo-17 reviews if they are CDs I have purchased.