Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Frustrations Of A Book Reviewer Volume 1

As a book reviewer that also runs a book review website, there are some do’s and don’ts that I’ve seen over the years that I would just like to share in regards to getting your book reviewed...whether it's by our website or another review site.

Let’s start with the Dont’s.

1. Don’t Assume Anything. If a website says that they review a particular genre ( i.e. African American Fiction), don’t assume that they are going to read your style of work ( i.e. memoir, self-help, non-fiction or poetry book).

2. Don’t Request A Review Unless Your Book is Ready. Being ready means that your book is ready to be pre-ordered or purchased. Being ready does not mean that you are currently looking for a publisher or printer for your work.

3. Don’t think that just because you got a good review on a website that your author friends are going to get a good review too and vice versa.

4. Don’t Ask For Re-reviews. You should not ask a website to get another reviewer on their review team to read your book again just because the review was unfavorable. The reviewer has already done their job by taking the time to review your work.

5. Don’t bad mouth a review website that gave you a less than favorable review. You’re doing nothing but drawing bad attention to yourself.

6. Don’t Ask For Writing Sample Critiques From A Book Review Website. Most book review websites don’t do this unless they specifically say that they do.

7. Don’t expect the review website to follow-up. Remember, if you want your book to be reviewed, then it is your responsibility to make sure that it gets into the hands of the reviewers.

8. Don’t send every book you’ve ever written. You shouldn’t assume that the review website wants to review your multiple books unless there is prior approval.

Now here are the Do’s

1. Do Read and Understand the Submission Guidelines. For example, if a website says that you need to submit a full chapter excerpt in order be considered for a review, then that’s what they mean.

2. Ask Questions. If there is something that you aren’t clear on, then contact the person at the website.

3. Do Send Your Book As Soon As Possible. If a review website has an accept or decline submission process and your book is accepted, then you should send your book right away.

4. Pay Attention To The Time Periods. Almost every review website has a time period in which they review books. Please adhere to them.

5. Please be Patient. Just because you sent your book last week does not mean that your book will be reviewed right away. Most review websites tell you when your book could be reviewed.

6. Do consider advertising. Advertising could be very minimal in cost depending on the website. An ad can be visible to visitors to the website way before your book is reviewed.

7. If you get favorable reviews, please consider the same websites for reviews of your future releases.

- Radiah of Urban Reviews


JC Martin said...

This was right on the money. I'm a reviewer and Lord knows some authors don't understand. I hope someone learns from this information, because I find it all accurate and true.

Gwyneth Bolton said...

Great advice! I try to stay on the "do" side as an author. :-)


LaShaunda said...

Excellent advice. My only beef is the writers who think they get a review the next week. It usually takes at least two months to get a review, sometimes longer if we have a lot of books in.

Rhonda McKnight said...

Thanks,Radiah. Great tips.

Nardsbaby said...


We as readers and reviewers, we need to make up our own bible or something. You'd be amazed what people ask. How can a book that hasn't even been written be reviewed?

DD said...

Can A Sista say Amen

TheGRITS.com said...

Great list of do's and dont's for authors to take in consideration when seeking and requesting book reviews.

And I would also like to say to authors (reciting the powerful words of Jewel Diamond Taylor), "don't get stuck on stupid," when you happen to receive an unfavorable review from a review source . . . .sheesh! I'm saying this becasue I've seen authors time and time again loose their minds when they see a couple of 2 and 3 ratings on Amazon.com for their books.

It is important that authors know that because you've poured your heart out in a book, everyone who reads it IS NOT going to respond to it as you would like them too. Depending on where the reader/reviewer is emotionally, mentally, and sometimes physically in their life will determine how well your story will be perceived and received by them. And though it is the responsibility of the reviewer to review a book objectively not just based on if they like a story or not, but also take in consideration those literary elements that make good writing -- GOOD WRITING, just know there are some reviewers who don't do that very well. And so you accept that fact for what it is!

So if you have received 8 favorable reviews for your book on Amazon.com and other places and you happen to get a review that is not to your liking, don't "get stuck on stupid" and fixated on that review so much so that you let those 8 great reviews mean nothing to you and to your book!

Monica Marie Jones said...

This was very helpful. Now I would love to hear what you believe are the necessary components of a review. Should the review be another synopsis of the book? As an avid reader, I find that some reviews give away to much of the story, so I don't read them until after I read the book. As an author, I find most reviews helpful in that sometimes they can explain the story even better than I can. :) Please share your thoughts.

Monica Marie Jones

Angelia... said...

Wonderful Advice...

Bless You!