Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Monday, June 13, 2011

This "book review blogger" thing

Several years ago, when I was reviewing books for Crescent Blues E-Magazine, I started communicating with an author named Irene Watson. I wrote up a review of her book, The Sitting Swing, yet unfortunately Crescent Blues ceased publication before her review was posted. Irene and I kept tabs ever since and I’ve been a reader of her Reader Views newsletter for quite some time.

Her most recent editorial in Reader Views concerns book review bloggers. Being one myself, I read it with interest.

She pointed out how some authors should
do some background checks on book review bloggers who ask for free copies of books to review. I totally agree with this suggestion. As an author myself, I’ve heard from people saying “I’ll post a review of your book on my blog if you send me a copy!” but that never happened, even months after I sent them the books. At that time, I didn’t check out these so-called “reviewers.” I just said “sure!” and sent them a copy. Then I heard nothing.

However, ever since I started being a little more careful with which reviewers I send books to, I have actually seen results. I normally ship a copy of my new books to my friend and fellow reviewer, Carolyn Howard-Johnson. She reviews books for MyShelf.com and has a newsletter. A title of mine has been mentioned in her newsletter a time or two. And I have done reciprocal reviews with other authors I know.

But for those who I don’t know, yes, I have looked at their sites. I have seen if they post their reviews elsewhere. If things don’t add up, it’s a good idea to pass on sending those people a review copy.

I must note that, as a book review blogger, I never ask for free copies of books. Sure, I receive some voluntarily from people I have networked with in the past. Peter Bowerman has me on his mailing list just for this reason. And sometimes authors on Twitter who see my tweeted links of books I have reviewed ask me if I’ll review their books. But I don’t go around telling authors, “I’m a book review blogger! Send me free copies of your books!” I don’t do this because my own book review blog is just a hobby. Something I do in my spare time. I don’t make it a “side thing,” which is why I don’t use SEO as a way to attract followers. Sure, I post the links of reviews on Twitter and Facebook, but I’m not DESPERATE for an audience. Also, I may take a while to read a book, because I already review books for Night Owl Reviews and The Dabbling Mum where I DO have deadlines, so I don’t want to get angry emails from impatient authors wanting to know where my review of their book is at.

As to reposting reviews on Amazon and B&N, to be honest, I hadn’t thought of it. I think I should start doing that. Wouldn’t hurt. I used to do that on Amazon, with books I bought from there, but stopped after I created the book review blog. Now my reviews go there. But maybe they should go elsewhere, too. If it’s allowed, anyway. I inform authors who have personally contacted me when the review is up and I give them all the green light to repost my reviews of their books on their sites, blogs, etc., as long as they include the link. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to do the same on Amazon and B&N.

This journey as a book review blogger has been a learning experience. Perhaps someday I’ll start using SEO. Perhaps someday I’ll get around to spiffying up my book review blog to make it appear more professional. Perhaps someday it will become a side thing, rather than a hobby. And I can open the doors to more authors getting reviews by inviting them to send along their review copies. But until then, this book review blogger is going to use her blog only as an outlet for sharing my thoughts on books and indulging in my joy of reading books at leisure.

Here is the link to my book review blog and more book reviews.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home