Anyone ever participate in Review Groups on Goodreads or elsewhere? I’ve been following some threads and not sure how I feel about it.
There are obvious flaws in the “review swap” method, though if you request honest reviews and make it clear you will also give an honest review, this can easily be overcome.
The biggest issue for me is getting the book to the reviewer/getting the book from the reviewer.
There are some books I am more than willing to purchase in order to read and provide an honest review. Many Kindle books are reasonably priced, and it takes away from the possibility of being accused of giving a dishonest review in exchange for a free book.
Then there is the possibility that your book and the book of the person you are swapping with are close enough in price that neither of you minds if you both just purchase each other’s books.
Then there is the potential to mail a paperback, and as long as you both do that, the cost is going to be relatively equivalent.
But what about this scenario:
A group organizes reading review groups. People who are interested join and send a link to their GR page which includes book information and summary. After the join period has ended, each person is assigned a certain number of other people in the group whose work they will read and review. These are not reciprocal, so no one will review the work of someone who is also reviewing their work. A fantastic idea to keep reviews honest and authentic. A condition of the group, since prices can vary so much, is that each person much provide a free copy of their book to the reviewer, at minimal a PDF.
My concern would be with the ease of distribution of a PDF.
Mark Coker of Smashwords has a different take.
What do you think? (I have an opinion, but I’m curious what others think.)