Friday, September 2, 2011

Doing book reviews

I've had SO many people ask me how I got into reviewing books and how they can do it as well. I've been promising for months to write a blog describing what I do. So here it is!

The main thing you will need is a blog. It doesn't have to be fancy and blogger is free and easy to use.
It's also helpful if you have an ereader, but before I got mine I just used my computer and asked for pdfs. 

I'm going to include the name of the publisher or website that I get my books from. Then I'll be writing a little about my experiences with each company/author.

Booksneeze is the website that Thomas Nelson Publishers uses. You fill out a short form online which includes your blog address. Then you request a book. Print and ebooks are available, but if you want a paper book you have to jump on it pretty quickly since they go fast. You will get an email letting you know when popular books are getting ready to show up so this helps.

This website is for Water Brooks/Multnomah publishing company. You fill out a short form online which includes your blog address. Then you request a book. They also include paper and ebooks. My only complaint is their complicated system of requiring ratings on your reviews. If no one rates your reviews you are limited to the books (mostly the paper books) that you can review. Once you can get some ratings it opens up more books.

Fill out the book reviewer form and you will periodically be sent an email with a list of books to choose from. They also have a facebook page with all sorts of information. I've found that they respond very quickly to questions.

These are, sort of, indie books. So it really takes some dedication to reading to sort through the "rough" ones to find the gems. But if you carefully read the descriptions it helps quite a bit. Send them an email and follow the instructions on the review page and they'll send your book out.

Harlequin is known for their romance, but they also sell non-fiction. If you sign up for their survey group you can specify which books you like to read and I'm assuming will only be sent books from that genre. I've only received two books from them so I'm not sure yet if they deviate from this.

Fill out the form and request a book. A word of warning - they take forever to ship the book. I've received several emails offering more books to review before I ever received the book I had asked for.

If you want to review for an author directly there are several places that you can go where the authors will find you. The one that I recommend was started on facebook by an author I reviewed earlier this year. I've reviewed quite a few books this way and have had a great experiences.

These are the main ones. There are quite a few more, but this will get you started. Just remember that every book you get an agreement to read the book. If the company/author notices that you aren't reviewing their books they will drop you.

Hope this helps everyone that has asked me for advice on how to get started. I will also answer any additional questions anyone might have.

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