Book reviews has become a valuable marketing tool for commercial and indie writers. When I look at the top selling books on Amazon and Goodreads, I realize they usually have a ton of reviews. The modern writer’s job does not end when they hit submit and send their creative babies off to publishers. As the publishing world evolves the lines between publisher, author and publicist blur. One powerful tool that can make or break an author is the book review.
Popular book sites like Kirkus and Indiereader know the importance of a professional book review. Authors pay $250-$500 to get a review that will hopefully give them access to an audience that will buy their books. Kirkus and Indiereader both go a step further than the professional review, offering publishing services such as editing and marketing. There is a debate in the publishing industry about the value of a paid review. With the rise of blogging, more book lovers from different careers and
backgrounds have brought to life the freelance occupation called the “Book Blogger”. Book Bloggers are book lovers who offer free, honest and in-depth book reviews. Successful book bloggers make money through advertising on their blogs and other freelance opportunities. Book Bloggers unlike a paid review service have nothing to gain from giving a positive review. This article will help writers get the most out of the writer blogger relationship to improve craft and to gain exposure. After reviewing other book blogger’s review policies and my experience as a book blogger and a lover of books, here are some tips for indie authors to create a positive blogger-writer relationship.
Submit a finished product.
I cringe when authors submit a book filled with errors, some authors would even let you know ahead of time that it’s not the finished product. Book bloggers introduce books to their audience of readers, putting your best foot forward is best when you want to potentially grow your readership. Some authors confuse beta readers and book reviewers. Beta readers are readers that read mostly fiction to correct errors and to add suggestions in regards to character development, plot etc. Book reviewers are book lovers who read for enjoyment, they are giving you a sneak peek into the thoughts of your reading audience. Book reviewers critique the finished product, beta readers’ help with the development of your product. As a book lover with a lot of books to read and very little time, a book that’s has been thoroughly edited has a better chance of getting a review.
Read Book Blogger’s review policies and submission guidelines thoroughly before submitting a book.
Policies and submission guidelines are created to ensure a smooth process. Book lovers/ book bloggers create policies and submissions based on preference and experience. For example not reading submission guidelines an author might submit their nonfiction book to a fiction reviewer’s blog. Also some bloggers request books or galleys in formats that support their devices. Sending the
wrong format may delay your review and as an indie writer, your time means everything.
Remember to never lose your cool.
Most professional readers are readers who study the craft of fiction or literature. Writing a book is not an easy task, as a literature student I understand the complexity of creating complex characters and making sure my plot is well-developed and consistent. As a book blogger to give a constructive review, one must separate those feelings of understanding and critique a book based on the product that is presented. One important piece of advice I received from a mentor is as a writer you must listen to all feedback and apply constructive advice based on your style. When I go on sites like Amazon and Goodreads and I see some authors respond negatively to unfavorable reviews, it deters me from reading that book. As an Indie Author creating a good positive image helps build a good brand and it lets the reader feel safe to be honest with their favorite writers. Book Bloggers don’t enjoy giving unfavorable reviews but giving constructive criticism helps writers write better books.
You can get a list of book bloggers that you can contact to review your books from sites like “The Book Blogger List and The Book Review Directory. Book Bloggers can help indie authors grow readership and improve on craft. Submitting a book to a book blogger is an opportunity to get unbiased feedback on your book without the conflict of interest when purchasing critique.
About the Author (@marvelustalent)
Writing and literature student and Book Blogger at LaFifeReviews. Ms. Fife have posted reviews online and an article on school readiness on her school’s website. Latoya Fife is a life long learner with a great passion for reading books and connecting readers to her favorites.