Thursday, November 6, 2014

Book Reviewing - Blogging for Beginners

       Reviewing is a blast. Reviewing your favorite genre makes it even better; and getting your favorite books in the mail, is wonderful.
      If you’re reading this, then you probably are curious about reviewing, and want to start doing it yourself. This means you enjoy reading. If you do not enjoy your reading, leave now, this job will be a nightmare unless you love reading. I personally stumbled upon this job by accident, but have loved and grown quite knowledgeable about it, so I wish to pass on my knowledge to you, curious reader. What is a reviewer of books, and what do you do? A novel reviewer at its core is a person who reads novels, writes their thoughts about it, and publishes them on social media affiliated. (Photos on sidebar expand when selected)
Step one to being a reviewer: Start a blog, and start reading.
Links to basic/necessary social media:
     So, now you need a game plan. Your goal is to attract as many followers and viewers as possible. How do you do that? I have narrowed it down to three simple things. Up to date and current reviews, Interviews with authors viewers would be interested in, and giveaways.
   Firstly, you need to know what is coming out in your genre, so your reviews are of books readers would be interested in, wanting to know whether they should read or not, because they are so new. Once you have cemented your name as a reviewer, you can start requesting ARC's (Advanced Reader's Copies) and have your reviews out before the book is published. A good way to keep track of what is coming out, what’s up and coming and what is most popular is through (Link on the sidebar) They are great at keeping readers up to date on everything book related.
Reaching out and getting listed:
 With getting and reading these new novels, there is writing the review. There is a format to this. Firstly, you must be sure to include the cover of the novel, somewhere clearly visible. Along with that, I recommend using a gif (a moving picture, for those who don't know what that is) to help get your emotions on the novel immediately clear and to aid the visual learners out there. Somewhere in the review, below, above, or even in the center (it’s up to you); place an image of your star rating. These are the key imagery components. For the review itself, I recommend one to two paragraphs. Make your feelings on the novel, with a clear explanation of why you feel that way. (Try your best to avoid spoilers) But make sure you keep it brief. The readers have no interest in reading a novel length review, just to find out if they should read the book or not. If you can pull in some cultural references to make your feelings more relatable, do so, it will improve the review for sure. If you wish, you can add links to places a reader can buy themselves a copy, or read other reviews, like
   Most of the time, people are not just interested in reading reviews. You need something other, to keep a viewer’s attention. One of the biggest “other” you can do is interviews. Readers fangirl over authors as much as they do the books themselves sometimes. So want to use that to draw in viewers. Spend some time, research the most popular authors, choose some of your personal favorites, and send them off some emails. In those emails explain who you are, the name and address of your blog, some distinct butt kissery, some facts about your blog like “I have been growing exponentially in viewers” that sound good, and finally make sure you attach the questions you wish to have answered in the email. By doing this you make it loads easier for them to just respond and send it to you. Less in between heightens your chances of them actually doing it. If they respond, include these things along with the interview: A short bio of the author, their picture (both easily found in their websites), and a list of what they have written; using photos of the covers if possible to make the post more ascetically appealing.
 Link to
     Okay, now you have the factual part of your blog set, with reviews and interviews that attract the viewer’s eye. Now it’s time to create dedicated followers. How do you do that? Simple, give them everyone’s favorite thing, free stuff. Now these are called giveaways. You can do two different forms of giveaways. You can host a giveaway, which means an author will send you info and you post it, but you are in no way responsible for getting the prizes to the winners; and you can do a giveaway yourself. Meaning you purchase the prizes and set up the system of giveaway. It also means you have to distribute the prizes to the winners yourself. These prizes can consist of signed books, signed book marks, and book associated trinkets the viewers would actually want. There are two main ways to control a giveaway. Firstly, and mainly only done in Facebook, you give the contestants a set of instructions like “Like and share, follow here, the comment below when you’re done.” When your designated time is finished you have to manually randomly select the winner/winners.
 I find this method far less effective as using a Rafflecopter. is a website that controls your giveaway for you. Using it, you can choose what people can do to get a certain amount of “ballets”. For example, you could set it so for 5 ballets; they can share one twitter and post the link in the designated section so it can be verified. There is a limited amount of ballets per day. Once the giveaway is finished, the Rafflecopter randomly picks the winners for you and send you the needed info the contact them and the address to send the prizes to. Rafflecopter can be put in blogs with a link the site will give you. More info at (Link in the sidebar)
Link to  
    So, how do you get the elusive ARCs I mentioned earlier? Well, that requires a) Publishers/authors reaching out to you b) you reaching out to the authors. Since a) does not happen for a bit og time, at least not until you cement your name, you’ll have to do the reaching out for a while. You do this by messaging the author/publisher of the book you wish to review. (Get the email out before the publishing) You can message them on social media, or send them an email. They way to format that email is the following: Write an intro using their name, for example “Dear author,” or “Hello author”, and then proceed to give them the following information. Name, account name, author of (insert blog name here), links to blog and attached social media, what book you’re interested in, your country, and a little bit about you fan base. Don’t forget to complement their book/books (Butt kissery never hurts). End it with a cute ending like “All the best, name, link” or “Sincerely, name, link”. Don’t forget that not all authors/publishers will agree or even respond.  Just keep on working at it. Keep reviewing what you have until they finally understand you’re serious. Once they know you are legit the ARCs will start pouring in. For serious reviewers willing to review eBooks there is (Link in the sidebar)a site where reviewers can request and get sent eBook ARCs. I highly recommend using it.
Written by Hannah L, A.K.A The Reader, author of The Not So Public Library. All information, examples and knowledge comes from: © 2014-2015