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A few years ago, Todd Rutherford was part of the marketing department at a company that provided services to self-published writers. These services included persuading traditional media and blogs to review the books. Then he realized that there were not enough reviewers to go around. So he started a website,, which eventually earned him more than $28,000 per month in supplying reviews to blogs and other media. He soon found that not just any kind of review will do. They needed to be somewhere between enthusiastic and ecstatic.


1. What happened to Mr. Rutherford’s plans for a multimillion-dollar review business? Should there be prosecution for this?
2. After reading this article, how could you ensure that a review was from an individual not paid for their service?
3. Should there be more policing of reviews or perhaps audits by firms that supply them? What are the costs and the benefits and who are the stakeholders?


Streitfeld, D. (2012). The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy. The New York Times, August 25 (Retrievable online at