What a truly great business idea

Suddenly it hit him. Instead of trying to cajole others to review a client’s work, why not cut out the middleman and write the review himself? Then it would say exactly what the client wanted — that it was a terrific book. A shattering novel. A classic memoir. Will change your life. Lyrical and gripping, Stunning and compelling. Or words to that effect.

In the fall of 2010, Mr. Rutherford started a Web site, GettingBookReviews.com. At first, he advertised that he would review a book for $99. But some clients wanted a chorus proclaiming their excellence. So, for $499, Mr. Rutherford would do 20 online reviews. A few people needed a whole orchestra. For $999, he would do 50.

As someone who has done real book reviews (ie, actually read a book, considered it and then had the review published in a national newspaper that then paid me a fat fee) this sounds like a really great business.

Except for one little problem. People tend not to want to pay for actual real reviews: only for puff pieces. Pity really, I did very much enjoy book reviewing. But bills do have to be paid….

0 thoughts on “What a truly great business idea”

  1. Does he accept all clientale? I’ve read (part of) some books so bad that $99 would be way too little to compensate for the nausea involved in writing anything positive about them.

  2. Having read reviews then subsequently attempted to read the books concerned, I’d presumed this was how reviewing worked anyway Especially for anything on the Booker list.

  3. Hilarious article, worth reading the whole thing.
    Who cares about Gresham’s Law when you can buy a book for the price of a lottery ticket?

  4. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Stephen Fry might have operated a similar scheme with publishers for rave quotes to appear on the covers of paperbacks. For a few years it seemed like he had read every book published about anything – fiction and non-fiction – and duly provided a promotional piece of porcine puffery, e.g. “a wickedly delicious take on a buttock-clenchingly vital subject” etc etc.

    I’m not saying he *did* operate such a scheme, mind.

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