Is it cheating when doctors get kick backs for recommending certain drug brands? Is it cheating when an actor is paid to do a commercial claiming how much he/she loved a product? Is it cheating when weightloss commercials claim their product made them lose the weight when in fact that same person was on a rigerous diet/exercise program? Is it cheating when your family or friends make great reviews?
Sure it may be cheating in some sense of the word, but the real questions are, does it stop them from doing it? Are we none the wiser? Does anyone really care?
The only real fear is that some crazy hot-headed person will find out and start spamming your reviews with insults and blowing the whistle on you:) That's not me btw, but that is the risk you take. Then again, you take that same risk even when you don't. I've seen forum posts on people claiming others paid for reviews with no proof... So your damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Personally I don't think it's a big deal provided the review pertains to the book. Meaning they don't say it was the best romance they've read in years when actually the book was about court proceedings... ugh.
Oh one last thing... I think there is a law that they have to disclose if they recieved payment. I went ahead and pulled up the link:
You send an inqury to a book blogger in your genre to review your book for you.
I talk about this on my blog post. 5 steps to a book giveaway. the same rules applies to reviews.
go to http://vicihoward.blogspot.com to learn more.