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Author Resource Round Table > Authors reviewing authors

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message 1: by Aditi (new)

Aditi Agarwal | 44 comments Hello T.K. - I am interested in a review swap. Please advise if you will be interested in reviewing my book "Harness The Power Within" on Amazon & Goodreads? If yes, please send a digital copy of your book at:

Amazon Link:

message 2: by Mellie (last edited May 17, 2017 08:23PM) (new)

Mellie (mellie42) | 541 comments I assume you guys know that author review swaps (as opposed to providing a blurb) violates both Amazon and Goodreads TOS?

T.K. if you want a back of copy blurb, then for it to have any weight you need to reach out to a bestselling author in your genre. Most back copy blurbs are done by requesting through an author's agent/publisher.

message 3: by T.K. (new)

T.K. (tkperry) | 9 comments Yikes, I didn't know that.

message 4: by Aditi (new)

Aditi Agarwal | 44 comments Thanks for letting me know! Even I had no clue.

message 5: by Welwyn (new)

Welwyn Wilton Katz | 8 comments Actually, it doesn't violate goodreads, I believe, as long as it isn't a direct swap. Say it's a group of ten or twenty authors, you want four reviews, you offer the book to the whole group and then are owed four reviews from *different* members of your reviewing group. It's the difference between "being paid (back)" for a review and choosing which one you want to review. I wouldn't give up on this idea if I were you. Just see how many authors would be interested in joining a review circle. I'm pretty sure there are several on Goodreads already.

message 6: by Mellie (new)

Mellie (mellie42) | 541 comments Welwyn wrote: "Actually, it doesn't violate goodreads, I believe, as long as it isn't a direct swap. Say it's a group of ten or twenty authors, you want four reviews, you offer the book to the whole group and the..."

Walks like a duck. Quacks like a duck. Call it whatever you want, doesn't change the fact its a swap circle.

Personally I don't understand authors who invest so much time and energy to trade reviews with each other. I'd rather just put my head down, write the best book I can, and leave it up to genuine readers to leave a review if they are sufficiently motivated to do so.

message 7: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Ehrhardt (aliciabutcherehrhardt) The Just-About-Average Ms M wrote: "I've stated this before, but it won't hurt to do so again: I will not only never read anything by any author who engages in review swaps, review circles, or review reciprocity but also publicize th..."

It always has the appearance of impropriety, whatever the truth of the matter, and that's enough to make it a very bad idea.

message 8: by Gisela (new)

Gisela Hausmann | 183 comments @T.K. and @Aditi
you might be interested in reading my blog

Insights, facts, & numbers from an Amazon top reviewer

The facts and numbers prove, seeking reviews from distant family, friends, acquaintances and other close or sympathizing contacts does not lead to success. The blog offers alternative idea.
Good Luck!

message 9: by Welwyn (new)

Welwyn Wilton Katz | 8 comments Welwyn wrote: "Actually, it doesn't violate goodreads, I believe, as long as it isn't a direct swap. Say it's a group of ten or twenty authors, you want four reviews, you offer the book to the whole group and the..."

Sorry to have offended you, Alicia. I have never "stooped to book swapping", and never needed to, because my ten novels were all traditionally published all over the world (Penguin, Margaret K. McElderry-- Simon & Schuster, Groundwood), and were reviewed because of the publisher's reputation first, and then because of my own. Look up my name, Welwyn Wilton Katz, and you'll see. I was not writing about book swapping. I was answering someone who said it was illegal on Goodreads to have a circle of writers of sufficient size that you would never review anyone who reviews you. Goodreads advises new authors to review books. By reviewing, and writing those reviews well, you will become noticed. Who you review is up to you. You will note that the insights Gisela gave us were from an Amazon top reviewer. In other words, this "top reviewer" reviews books because it is a good way to become known. I never would ask family, friends, acquaintances, etc. to review my books because they *are* my family, friends and acquaintances, and reviewing well is * hard work *. Reviews (both those you write and those written about your work) are the only way for a reader to filter through the millions of new books that come out to find a really good writer. As for your comment, "If you as an author have to stoop to review swapping, then whatever you wrote and foisted on the public probably should die a quiet death in obscurity," Who are you to say such a thing? To begin with, I never once asked anyone to review me. I was merely responding with what I believe to be accurate information to a question on this site about authors reviewing authors. Why don't you ask Goodreads on their feedback site if I'm right? I had just read about paid reviews on the Goodreads Authors site. What do you call a book someone paid to have published? Do you have a nice long shelf for them, too? I don't. I read what my friends tell me are good books, and I read authors I have previously loved. Go look me up and see what I say about that: Welwyn Wilton Katz. Probably a book swap review would not be allowed on Goodreads because the author might gain direct benefit from reviewing falsely highly the other person's work, expecting a false high review in return. But the kind of circle I talk about is not what you are talking about. The author cannot guarantee what kind of review his or her book might get, just because he or she writes a good review of someone else's book that is in the circle. The guarantee is that you would never get that person reviewing your book in return. I would be very careful about insulting and threatening people on this site if I were you.

It is a threat, to say you are keeping a "long shelf of books that have been reviewed by means of legitimate processes such as reviewing circles." What are you going to do with that shelf? Publish it? Report all the people on it to Goodreads staff? I hope you have good proof of what you say or it'll be you who will be kicked out.

Did you self-publish? I don't mind that, I've read excellent self-published books; but if you self-publish, you are foisting your words on the public just as much as a reviewer is. Do you advertise your book? That costs a pretty penny, and does it work? People don't have to read a review, and they don't have to look at an ad, and they don't have to read your book. So what on earth is getting you so hot and bothered? Why not just get moving and write another book instead of being so snobbish? I was replying to false information given to new writers who are right to ask experienced writers how to get their books noticed in this*massive* site of books, about a million of which are written by people who never even knew an editor. If "you are keeping long shelves of books by people whom you think are doing what is unacceptable behaviour on Goodreads, you'd better be sure it's unacceptable, because otherwise, what you are doing is threatening behaviour. You are also insulting unpaid reviewers who are reviewing because they have been asked to and who will likely not receive any benefit from it. I just did one for that very reason. A book tour in which I was asked to participate. And if you want to see what it takes to write a good review, take a look at

It might quack like a duck to you, but if Goodreads allows it, why would you think your quacking makes a difference?

message 10: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Ehrhardt (aliciabutcherehrhardt) Welwyn wrote: "Sorry to have offended you, Alicia..."

Terribly sorry - and no, you haven't offended me. I was merely commenting that the appearance of impropriety - ie, review swapping - is something to avoid.

I had forgotten/not actually known in detail about the practices of traditional publishers. They've always sent out books for review in ways which resulted in reviews even before the book was available for purchase. These are legitimate reviews - and expected - and wonderful to have. I assume those reviewers are unbiased. There has always been the layer of publisher and system between traditionally-published books' reviews and the authors.

We self-publishers are slowly learning how to do that.

I think some of my words above got mixed in with someone else's, because I didn't say anything about books or shelves - I barely have the minimum here on Goodreads.

And I don't believe I insulted reviewers - reviewers within the system which allows them to freely say what they want to say about a book are gold.

I'd like those boundaries of separation between the writer and a reviewer of the writer's books to be maintained - so that all can read an honest review in the spirit it was intended.

Goodreads is definitely different from Amazon. I have extremely limited energy, so I don't do much reading, and do very little reviewing (knowing if I review someone's book on Amazon, I am assuming I will never get any reviews on Amazon from that writer). I'm fine with that. It's the 'organic' way.

Right now, as an author with one book out and being marketed, I'm glad to have the reviews I have. I'd love to have more - maybe, if I market well, readers will leave more reviews. I've done my share of outreach to book bloggers, and have received several nice reviews that way.

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