Monday, August 13, 2012

Writing Book Reviews: An Opportunity for Writers and Readers

Many readers enjoy telling their friends, relatives, and others about books they have read. Whether the books are fiction or nonfiction, they like to share their likes and dislikes—what they learned, how the book affected them, how it relates to their own lives, how they found the book exciting or well-written. Some do so informally through personal conversations and email, while others like to share their responses to books with the public by posting reviews on blogs, on websites, or in other venues such as the Barnes & Noble and Amazon online retail sites.

These public book reviews range from brief, summary reviews, to formal critical reviews. Some readers post reviews simply because they enjoy sharing what they have read, others establish themselves as a book reviewer and are paid for their reviews by posting through for-profit web content sites or writing reviews for print publications such as newspapers and literary journals.

Book reviewers are sometimes sought out by publishers to review books. In return, the reviewers reap the benefit of receiving free books. One program that flips this publisher-seeking-reviewer method on its head, however, is the method provided by BookSneeze.

Established 2010 by Michael Hyatt of Thomas Nelson, BookSneeze is a program that supplies book review bloggers with free books in exchange for a 200-word honest review of books published by Thomas Nelson. A Christian-focused publisher, Thomas Nelson, is one of the largest trade publishers in the United States, acquired by HarperCollins in 2012.

To become a book review blogger for BookSneeze, you must have an actively maintained personal, public blog (it is suggested that new content should be posted at least once a week); your blog must have a minimum of 30 followers (followers can be from a variety of sources such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc.); and bloggers must reside in the United States.

Reviewers can sign up for a free account with BookSneeze. Once the application is accepted, reviewers can select from the available books. BookSneeze will mail a free copy of the book selected and will also provide resources to use in the reviewer’s post, such as book cover art, available audio/video clips, etc..

When ready, the blogger must post their review of the book on their blog, as well as one consumer website (such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, etc.). Once the reviews are posted, the blogger provides a link to the review on their BookSneeze account. The reviewer is then able to request their next book for review.

BookSneeze will also provide an external link from its site to the reviewer’s blog, which can help with the blogger’s ranking.

Even if you don’t have a currently active blog, if you love books and like to share your thoughts about them, consider checking out BookSneeze. This could be that first step to getting started as a book reviewer, not to mention a great way to build your reading/lending library.


Jan Cline said...

Hi Nancy,
This is great information. Do you do reviews for them?

Nancy Owens Barnes said...

Thanks, Jan. I haven't done reviews for them yet, but I am getting my personal blog setup to do so. I just need to get my blog updated and put a Twitter count button on the blog site to meet their follower count requirement.