In the overly competitive and oversaturated world of self-publishing, getting someone to take a glance at a product is a challenge in and of itself. Whether it be music, movies, or books, a content creator may be considered lucky if even one person stops to preview their work, let alone read a review that could potentially lead to a purchase. To overcome this obstacle, many have taken the paid route, dropping cash on services like Todd Rutherford's now defunct GettingBookReviews.com.

From $99 for a single review to $999 for 50, Rutherford's business would bless authors' online product pages on sites like Amazon or Barnes & Noble with positive reviews, resulting in sales — or at least attention — from unaware consumers. The New York Times recently spoke with Rutherford to discuss the questionable (yet profitable and effective) business model. Head over to the source to get an in-depth look at how common and important practice is for even well-versed authors, and more importantly, how a single bad review can destroy one's business.