I received a note from a friend recently that asked me a very disturbing question. She wanted to know if I would offer my opinion on whether or not I thought she should pay to have her books reviewed.
It seems there is an independent bookstore that requires “certain” authors to have their books reviewed by this specific service in order to be carried in their store. They have been carrying the author’s books, but now have decided that they will remove the books unless the author meets this new requirement. Furthermore, the author must PAY to have those reviews done.
Once the reviews have been done, the store will then take the books into the store on consignment only. It would seem that the store also receives a fee for the books reviewed.
Now, I fully understand that some stores (mostly chain stores) charge for shelf placement, but even under those circumstances it is prime shelf space, not the difference between in the store or not.
Is it just me or have the chances for an author actually selling books become as dangerous as driving through gang territory? There seems to be a constant barrage of bullets flying from all directions determined to take out the authors that some booksellers deem unworthy.
What of the readers? Don’t they deserve to choose the books they want and not have to settle just for what booksellers tell them the should read?