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Since I decided, as editor of our reviewing hub, to begin charging a $100 reviewing fee to the PRODUCERS of books, review requests have done an almost vertical dive and the hate mail has been, at times, obscene.

As a businessman, I can’t understand how reviewers have let the publishing industry get away with cheating them out of even a minimum wage. It borders on criminal. Nowhere else can I think of a group of intelligent, hardworking and literate people who accept working for free–just because they love what they do. There are far more practical ways to become a patron of the written arts.

So, what about it, authors? Why don’t you suggest to your publishers that they should pay for at least 3 substantial reviews. You know the ones: the reviews you need to hit the market with (providing your book is any good). And while you’re at it, why don’t you explain to your reviewer friends and the American government that a professional fee, submitted for an honest review, is not conflict of interest. Believe me, I have no problem taking your publisher’s money, then returning a critique of your awful book.

You see, if I present my paid-for review of a terrible book as a helpful piece of writing, I’m actually assisting you in your efforts to become a better writer. And if I post a paid-for-review underwriting the fact that you’re a talented and imaginative writer who deserves to be read widely, I’m also assisting your career. In either event, I deserve to be paid for my work. I’m in conflict with no-one.

Clayton Bye
Author, Editor and Publisher