What is a book review? A book review is the opinion of the reader who actually read the book. Some websites where books are sold or listed have a rating system. The rating system is usually one star, two stars, three stars, four stars, and five stars. A five-star rating is the highest rating, while a one star is the lowest. A review also gives information to the author.
Who should give book reviews? Anyone who reads a book should write a review. If they bought the book from a website, they should leave a review on the website for that particular book. If the reader bought the book in a local store or a garage sale or even a secondhand shop, they should leave a review. If the book is listed on Amazon, it does not need to be purchased by a reader in order for a review to be written.
Why do reviews matter? Reviews matter because they let the author know what people think about their work. Also, authors, publicists, publishers etc. can use positive reviews to promote the author’s work. Reviews also may help a reader decide whether or not they want to read this particular author's book. Many times, before buying a product, a customer will read reviews of that product before buying. It is the same concept for book reviews as well.
What is Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews? Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews is a review website where owner and operator, Amy Shannon, takes requests, reads the books, and then writes honest and unbiased reviews. There is no charge for this service. The reviews get posted on sites such as Amazon.com, Barnes and noble, goodreads.com, and other sites. Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews does have donation policies but doesn't charge for writing a review. A video review can be purchased. Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews “library’s” bookshelves are transparent and listed on the website. These bookshelves list all the books that will be read.
How does one write a review? The most important thing before writing a review for a book title, is that you actually read the book. Authors, do not write a review for your own book or give it stars. If you have not read a book, and you are writing a review because you don't like the genre of the book, don't do that. If you don't like a particular genre and you're not going to read a book, then don't write the review because you don't like it. If you read a book in a genre that you don’t like, and you end up not liking it anyways don't write a review.
To write a review, you think about what you like about the book and what you don't like about the book. You go to the website and if they have an area where you can write a review, think about your rating and then write your review. It's quite simple.
How does an author find reviewers? One way an author can find reviewers, is to look up on Amazon.com books that are written in the genre that the author writes and read some of the reviews. Some of the reviewers listed on Amazon, are actually professional reviewers or reviewers that like books and like writing reviews. If you click on their username, it'll bring you to their Amazon profile, and there may be contact information.
Another way to look for reviewers, is to search for book reviewer directories. When you go to the directory, you want to read all the information that the site provides. Some directories allow you to subscribe. When looking for a reviewer, you want to find one that reads books in the genre that you write.
I found a reviewer, now what? If you found a reviewer on a directory, make sure the link isn’t broken. If it is, report it to the directory in the contact me section (or whatever means they have to contact them). If you found a reviewer, and they have a website or blog, read the information on that website. What do they review? What is their turnaround time? What are the review Policies and procedures? How do you request a review? Where do they post their review? And how do they write their reviews? (read a few of their book reviews and you may see a pattern either positive or negative). Also, see if there is more than one reviewer.
To pay or not pay for a review? Many authors think that “paying” or “buying” a review is a bad thing. Well, that can be true, but it may not be true as well. There are large book review companies that have a selection process, and then charge for the review and it comes with other benefits as well. Some book sites, do not allow the posting of “bought” reviews, but those reviews can be added to the editorial feedback or book description on the book’s website. Authors may have a policy about not paying for reviews, and that’s a fine policy to have. Book reviewers that will give you a 5-star review in exchange for a price is unethical, and they don’t even have to read the book. They’ll just write a 5-star review, which really doesn’t mean anything. Other reviewers, even small book bloggers or reviewers, may charge for reviews, but it is not for a rating, and it is unbiased and honest, and may also have extra benefits added, such as graphics or video reviews.
Some reviewers are like Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews, and only accept donations. The only thing that Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews charges for is if the author is buying a permanent placement on a specific bookshelf or purchasing a video review. All other options are for donations. The purpose of the donation can be for a few things, just to support the website, paying it forward (so another author’s book can be bought), for buying a banned book, the purchase of their own book, so it can be a verified purchase. Other donations are for a one-time placement on a higher bookshelf to get the review done quicker.
When an author promotes their work, sometimes there will be a cost involved. Free doesn’t always mean easy as well. Authors can use the reviews as a promotional tool and should decide how best to market their work. Whether you are an indie author or a traditional author (or any in between), all authors need to promote their work, and the best start is with a review, well, actually many reviews.
Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews does have a reviewer directory on the website, so authors that have been reviewed by Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews, can see where to get other reviews for their book. If you haven’t had a review from Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews, what are you waiting for? Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews not only posts on the website, and the other book sites listed in this article, but also shares the posts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Reviews will be posted on Instagram with the book cover, if the author or author representative also has an Instagram account. There are other sites, which may cost an extra five dollars, such as NetGalley, BookSirens, Google Books, Publisher's Website, or Pinterest.
Authors, if you read, write a review. Readers, if you read, write a review. It shows the authors that they have support. Authors can always rely on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews for support.