Do You Want to Become a Book Reviewer? Tips and Review Sites

I review books and some products, and I recently became a reviewer for The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. I often get the question: “So how did you get to review all of this stuff?”

The first step is have a blog. Have a Facebook page. Have a Twitter account. Be involved in social media. Companies want to know that their products are going to be advertised to as many people as possible.
Then I began looking around on blogs and Facebook pages I liked to read. When I saw someone doing a review, I looked up the website and applied. Some of the sites took me right away. Some I had to try more than once to connect with because I didn’t have the right readership or frequency on my blog.
Book review sites and tips for becoming a reviewer

When I began doing all of these reviews I asked about, other companies noticed and some invited me to review for them. Now, I’m brave enough to ask if I want a product, The worst they can do is say no. If I see a new book or product new to the homeschooling world, I’ll sometimes contact the company and just ask. “Hey, can I have a free________? I’ll be glad to review it on my blog where I occasionally post reviews.”

I don’t think reviewing is for everyone. If you’re wondering if you can review, think about this:

1. I love, love, love to read. I’m a fast reader. I enjoy books from all genres. I can pretty much finish any book unless it is just horribly immoral or very poorly written. I don’t mind getting most of my books from review companies instead of just picking authors or series that I enjoy. If you aren’t a good reader, think about how much time might be required of you.

2. Don’t plan on committing to a review without a good knowledge of how much time it will take and how much time you have. Occasionally I find myself the week before a book review is done, and I haven’t even opened the book. That isn’t good. It would be especially not good if you were not a speedy reader.

3. Plan to say more than, “It was a good book.” Seriously. I’ve read those reviews. If I’m shopping for a book or product or curriculum, I don’t really just want to know if you liked it or not. I want to know why. Maybe you just hate science fiction, so you didn’t like that science fiction book. But I usually like science fiction, so maybe I would love it.

4. Personally, I don’t like to read blogs that are just reviews. Some folks like those blogs. I would rather read some posts about your life, faith, homeschooling, homemaking in general because then, when I do read your review, I know if I “like” you and trust your opinions. If I’ve seen through your blog that you have similar likes and dislikes and that you think like me, I’m probably more likely to value your review. Build a rapport with readers, and I think your reviews hold more weight.

If you’ve thought about it, and you really think reviewing is for you, here are some good book review sites to get you going:
BookSneeze– review books from Thomas Nelson. This is Christian fiction and Christian nonfiction. You can choose between print and ebooks for review.
Blogging for Books– review books from WaterBrook/Multnomah. This is also Christian fiction and nonfiction. They also have some print and some ebooks.
NetGalley– NetGalley is all ebooks. There is a variety of publishers. There is some Christian, some secular. My favorite part is that are ALL kinds of genres here to choose from.

You can visit my book review site- Good Books for the Journey– to get a feel for the types of books I review.

If you are a reviewer and would like to leave some other tips or websites in the comments section, please do!

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