The very next day after I posted about the new trend of fee-for-service reviews, I received an announcement of another such program. Midwest Book Review has been running since 1976 and is unique in favoring small press and self-published books. They’re also unique, in my experience, in mailing out hard-copy tear sheets for the reviews they publish online.
Today Jim Cox, the editor-in-chief of Midwest Book Review, informed recipients of his email newsletter that he is launching a new service. Up to now, Midwest Book Review has been a strictly “post-publication” reviewer, accepting only finished, bound books. Now, for the first time, Midwest will review ebooks, ARCs, galley proofs and manuscripts–for a “reading fee” of $50 per title. Finished, bound books will still be reviewed for free–at least for the time being.
Mr. Cox explains that complimentary copies of finished review books can be sold by the reviewers to “supplement their income,” but the $50 reading fee is “the only compensation” that readers of ebooks or ARCs will receive for their time and trouble. It’s not clear whether the “reading fee” guarantees a review–certainly, most of the bound books sent to Midwest Book Review don’t make the cut. As far as I can tell, the $50 just means your ebook or ARC will be looked at.
So, this development continues to gain momentum.