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Thread: [Reviews] Inkspand

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    [Reviews] Inkspand

    Hi Guys,
    Does anyone know anything about this company? They are advertised on this website.
    They claim to be a review site where writer's upload their work for a fee and then readers are able to review this work and are paid for doing so.
    I'm looking at it from a reader's perspective. Has anyone tried reviewing work for this site, if so, did you get paid for it?

    Kind Regards,
    Cassandra

  2. #2
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Could you post a link?
    Emily Veinglory

  3. #3
    In the Center of things Vandal's Avatar
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    I see inkspand at the top of this page.

    www.inkspand.com
    Running On Empty available now.

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  4. #4
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    Here you go.

    I'm guessing OP meant "Inkspand" which is currently being advertised above.

    I'm seeing Lisa Macallister has a review on there... that's our AW Admin Macallister, right? So that's a good vote in the service's favour. [EDIT: It's not, see below.]

    I'm not a fan of the casual style of a lot of those reviews, though.

    The business model here seems legit, even though I'm really not a fan of writers paying for reviews -- the author pays $30 for a 150+ word review, the reviewers get paid $10. Inkspand pockets the rest with a smile, presumably.

    There no weasel wording implying that the reviews should be postive, and it actually states to provide honest reviews. I approve of that.

    From the FAQ, it looks like you'll be nudged to crosspost your review to Amazon. The $10 reader payment takes 5 days to go through.

    Your review can be flagged for removal if it breaks this part of the contract:

    5) READING AND PROVIDING A REVIEW OF THE MANUSCRIPT – By entering into this Agreement, You have agreed to read the Manuscript and to provide Inkspand with a Review of the Manuscript. In return for Your reading and reviewing the Manuscript, Inkspand may pay you according to the fee and payment terms set out in section 7 of this Agreement. You also agree to the that:


    a) You will read the Manuscript within 45 days of the date on which Inkspand sent the Manuscript to you (the “Deadline”);


    b) You will provide Inkspand with an original Review on the Manuscript on or before the Deadline by submitting a Review through the facilities made available by Inkspand on www.inkspand.com; and


    c) Any Review you submit to Inkspand will be free from curse language, spam, self-promotions, product promotions, and racist and/or rude remarks.
    Seems like an intruiging service, really. I'm tempted to try it out as a cash-strapped reviewer but I prefer to be selective about which books I review.
    Last edited by EMaree; 01-26-2013 at 03:28 AM.
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  5. #5
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMaree View Post
    Here you go.

    I'm guessing OP meant "Inkspand" which is currently being advertised above.

    I'm seeing Lisa Macallister has a review on there... that's our AW Admin Macallister, right? So that's a good vote in the service's favour.
    Nope, you're conflating owner MacAllister Stone with Admin Lisa. And that's not her, either.
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  6. #6
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I think we need to correct the subject line typo?

    It seems to be 30 dollars per review of which the reviewer gets $10?
    Emily Veinglory

  7. #7
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Typo corrected. Categorizing this as a display site for the time being.
    ICAO
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  8. #8
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux View Post
    Nope, you're conflating owner MacAllister Stone with Admin Lisa. And that's not her, either.
    Ack, my mistake!

    Consider that part of my post retracted then please.
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  9. #9
    Write faster! FASTER! G. Applejack's Avatar
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    I joined up as a reader a few day ago. The selection was minimal. I had three books to choose from, and I chose the least God-awful. When I downloaded the PDF file for the book, I received the plot summary only with a note at the bottom saying the "book" was a display example only.

    Yet I was able to write a "review" for 10 dollars. Either there's a bug in the system, or there are shenanigans going on. Either way, I wasn't impressed.
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  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thanks guys for the comments.

  11. #11
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Anytime I see language to the effect of "[company] may pay you according to the fee and payment terms set out" I mentally add, "then again, they may not."

    In general, reviews paid for by the author (or publisher) fall somewhere between 'bad idea,' 'terrible idea,' and 'what were you thinking?!' on the scale from good to bad ideas. Notice the opprobrium that John Locke got when it turned out that he had been buying reviews on Amazon.

    If they nudge reviewers to cross-post to Amazon, I believe that posting for-pay reviews violates Amazon's TOS.

  12. #12
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I think the argument would be that you were paid to beta read, and the review is a by product. But if you are actually beta reading, why would the book be on sale?
    Emily Veinglory

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW thorjansen's Avatar
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    When I checked them out, out of curiosity, I too saw that clause "may pay you", which means they are not really obligated to pay a reader for a review. Slippery slope, that.

    Is the business model is sustainable? The site cannot pay for more than two reviewers per book or they will lose money (not even taking operating costs into consideration). Yet on their home page, the "Tony Height" title has a whopping six reviews, meaning the site owner presumably had to fork over a total of $60, with $30 of it out of his/her own pocket. That cannot go on if that site is to survive.

    Also, the quality of the reviews seems somewhat murky. How much can one really helpfully review a title with 150 or so words, other than to generalize, as their current reviewers seem to have done? That doesn't seem very useful to the writer asking for help.

    Too, there's no qualifying for who is able to become a reader, that I can see. Anyone who signs up, I suppose.
    Last edited by thorjansen; 01-26-2013 at 06:35 AM.

  14. #14
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G. Applejack View Post
    I joined up as a reader a few day ago. The selection was minimal. I had three books to choose from, and I chose the least God-awful. When I downloaded the PDF file for the book, I received the plot summary only with a note at the bottom saying the "book" was a display example only.

    Yet I was able to write a "review" for 10 dollars. Either there's a bug in the system, or there are shenanigans going on. Either way, I wasn't impressed.
    Wow, that's very strange, and definitely seems fishy.

    I wonder how this company receivers and delivers funds. I hope it's through a trustworthy system like Paypal.

    EDIT: After seeing their advert at the top of the site all day, I've started feeling very uncomfortable about their tagline "get feedback from beta readers". I feel like they're trying to target feedback-hungry members of the forum who haven't realised that beta readers work for free out of the goodness of their own hearts.
    Last edited by EMaree; 01-27-2013 at 12:15 AM.
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  15. #15
    just thanks tko's Avatar
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    its kind of wierd

    OK, so I'm jumping in late, but Inkspand seems strange.

    Like someone else commented, how can they pay $10 a review for say, 5 reviews, if the author only paid $30?

    Then I was offer to review Project 111 (Cris De Niro, Book 4). This book is already on Amazon, his 4th book? But not a single one of his books has any reviews, even through his log line states:

    "Author of the #1 Amazon-Bestselling Counter-Terrorism and Geopolitical CRIS DE NIRO Thriller series."

    Number one? Who says?

    He's also offering free copies of his novel for "honest" reviews published on Amazon. So, he's a self published author looking for reviews.

    Methinks he's paying Inkspand more than $30. Maybe they hit up the author with some kind of agreement to pays extra for every positive review he can use?? Otherwise it doesn't make sense.

    I'm going to stay away.


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  16. #16
    She who must be obeyed Amanda R.'s Avatar
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    I found this weird in the "Reader Agreement"
    a) Inkspand shall credit $10 USD to Your account on www.inkspand.com if a Review that You submit is a Qualifying Review, net any applicable taxes and duties (the “Review Fee”).

    and

    b) Payment of any credits in Your account on www.inkspand.com is not automatic and You must request payment of any credits from Inkspand. Payments may be subject to a payment processing surcharge, in which case, the effective payment to You may be less than the value of the credits in Your account.

    So you aren't even paid the full $10? What a rip!
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  17. #17
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amanda R. View Post
    I found this weird in the "Reader Agreement"
    a) Inkspand shall credit $10 USD to Your account on www.inkspand.com if a Review that You submit is a Qualifying Review, net any applicable taxes and duties (the “Review Fee”).

    and

    b) Payment of any credits in Your account on www.inkspand.com is not automatic and You must request payment of any credits from Inkspand. Payments may be subject to a payment processing surcharge, in which case, the effective payment to You may be less than the value of the credits in Your account.

    So you aren't even paid the full $10? What a rip!
    See bolding: they are going to deduct unspecified, taxes and duties from your $10, then you have to ask to be paid, and then (the interesting part) the payment may be less than the value of your 'credits'. So, if the payment is a negative number, does that mean that you owe them money? For the fees and taxes and surcharges and such?

    Because if it was just a matter of 'we only pay out when the cheque would be more than X', wouldn't they have just said so?

  18. #18
    a demon for tea EMaree's Avatar
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    Whoa, this place keeps getting shadier.

    Quote Originally Posted by tko View Post
    "Author of the #1 Amazon-Bestselling Counter-Terrorism and Geopolitical CRIS DE NIRO Thriller series."

    Number one? Who says?
    I'm a little fuzzy on the how-to, but I think Amazon has the ability to tag your book as a certain niche genre then track it in seperate charts for that niche. I suspect he probably tagged it 'Counter-Terrorism and Geopolitical Thriller' or a similar niche and hit #1 in Amazon's chart for that genre one day.

    So I think he's telling the truth, but that it's not nearly as big of an acheivement as it sounds.

    (Hopefully one of our Amazon-published authors can advise if I'm on the right track with that guess.)
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  19. #19
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMaree View Post
    (Hopefully one of our Amazon-published authors can advise if I'm on the right track with that guess.)
    Yeah. I suspect you are. It's much easier to hit #1 in kindle/fiction/literary/teen/contemporary/vampire/emo/wah-wah-wah/ than #1 on Amazon over-all.

    What I'm fuzzy on is how credits in my account at this place would turn into actual dollar bills in my wallet at the grocery stores.

  20. #20
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I wonder if a 1 or 2 star review would be a 'qualifying' review.
    Emily Veinglory

  21. #21
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Also: Beta-read != book review.

  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Greetings EMaree,

    I am the founder of Inkspand.

    You are right, there is no guarantee that your feedback will be positive. There would be no use to that. The purpose of the site is to help authors get feedback from their target market before publishing, to get a sample of their ratings & reviews. Because once posted on Amazon, those ratings & reviews are permanent.

    This feedback is intended to help the author in the editing process, to see what their target market likes about their book, and what they don't. An editor will fix your vocabulary and rearrange sentences, but they cannot tell you what the target market will say about your book. You need to test it out.

    Reviews can be made public (for publicity) or kept private, it's up to the author. After your book is published, Inkspand does allow the author to select those readers they wish to post on their Amazon and/or B&N page (assuming those who were most helpful, or gave positive feedback, will be asked. An email will be sent to readers asking them to review).

    Advertising and promotions will eventually end. It is word-of-mouth that will continue to drive sales. You will be dependent on the recommendation of strangers in your target market. My intention for starting the site is to help authors see what these strangers think of their book, how they'll rate the book, and how much they're willing to pay for the book.

    The site was just launched in mid-January 2013 so it's a work in progress. I encourage you and everyone else to provide feedback on the site, and I welcome all suggestions to improve the service and the user experience.

  23. #23
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    G. Applejack,

    I'm sorry to hear you weren't impressed with the site. I do welcome your feedback and suggestions, if you would be kind enough to take a moment.

    The site just launched mid-January 2013, and to fill out the page I posted fake books, to demonstrate to visitors how the site works (b/c it would look odd if the site were blank). I've taken them down now (there are real books posted now), but it seems you were one of my early visitors. My apologies for the confusion.

  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Greetings Mr. Macdonald,

    I am the founder of Inkspand.

    The purpose of the site is not to get reviews on Amazon. The purpose of the site is to help authors to edit their work, to see what their target market thinks before publishing. Because if an author is going to spend all that time writing (I know, some of my works have gone on for years), I think it's helpful to see how the target market is going to rate & review it. Additionally, I think it's helpful for an author to know how much their target reader is willing to pay for the book.

    Inkspand does allow an author to select from their submitted reviews to request a posting on Amazon (email sent to reader requesting they post a review) but that is not the intended use for the site.

    If the reader submits drivel, or spam, or curses, or etc. for a review then they will not be paid. That is the intent of that clause you quoted. It is a protection for the author.

    I welcome your further feedback on the site, and suggestions.

  25. #25
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Greetings Thorjansen,

    I am the founder of Inkspand.

    The way the site works is that the author pays $30 per review, of which $10 is given to the reader. It's a win-win situation - I'm trying to reward the reader for helping the author.

    The reviews are intended to be a sample of the ratings & reviews an author would get if they published. But since ratings & reviews are permanent once posted on Amazon, Inkspand allows the author to see what their ratings & reviews will be. It gives an insight into what the target market thinks of the book, and how much they're willing to pay for the book. Just like there are no restrictions on Amazon (or B&N) to provide reviews, there are no restrictions on who gets to read.

    There are checks on the reviews (for spam, if it's drivel, curses, etc.) as a quality check for the author.

    I hope that answers all your questions. If you have any other comments I welcome them. I'm constantly striving to improve the service and the user experience.

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