These days most people don’t buy anything that they haven’t done some research on and this includes books. I know that before I buy most books I tend to google them and read the reviews from a variety of sites. Unfortunately there are some companies out there that hire people to write sparkling reviews for certain books which gives them higher ratings. If you read carefully, you can always tell which reviews are fake and written by someone who most of the time has never even read the book. There is never any criticism of the book in it, there are never any key elements about the story line mentioned, and the whole thing just seems very generic. It’s really too bad that this happens because for Indie authors, sometimes the only way to get reviews is to pay a company to source out the book or to pay reviewers outright. Reviews get the book’s name out there, it gets them to the top of the list when they are googled, and most of all, it gets them talked about. The reviews also help the author see what readers are looking for and what they can tweak or change in their books. I’ve been lucky enough to have lots of these Indie authors contact me to read their books in return for reviews. I always make it clear that I ONLY give honest reviews. If I don’t like something about the book, I am going to mention it. I won’t be harsh but I will tell the truth. I also work for a company called BookPlex and have written reviews for them for the past five years. I know that everyone is now suspicious of companies that pay for reviews and I understand why but I would not write reviews for a company that told me how to write them. All BookPlex asks me to do is write a fair and honest review. The reason I work for BookPlex is because I get the chance to read a lot of books I wouldn’t otherwise have discovered. I also often get to read books before they are released or soon after. I have discovered so many amazing authors this way, ones that I have gone on to buy their other books because I’ve enjoyed the one I reviewed so much. To be honest, the pay isn’t enough for me to do this and not enjoy it or to be told that I had to give a high star rating to a book I really didn’t enjoy. BookPlex does a great service for authors and readers and they are getting lumped in with all of the sleazy companies that “engineer” a fake review. I get to choose the book I want to read, it’s given to me and I write the review. I send it in to them, it is checked to make sure it’s not full of grammar mistakes and not too short, and them I am told to place the review. Never have I been told in five years to change anything on any of my reviews and believe me, I have not given great reviews to every single book. Unfortunately, BookPlex is getting trashed by some individuals who have never worked for BookPlex and/or have an axe to grind with them for some reason. Without BookPlex, I would have missed out on so many fantastic authors and their books. Not every review you read on the net is a fake one. This is a fair and honest company or I wouldn’t be writing any reviews for them. If you want to check them out, head to their webpage at www.bookplex.com.