Are you curious how I began book blogging and what the process behind it is? Maybe you’re interested in beginning a blog related to books, or even a blog dedicated to collecting toe-jam, whatever it is – here is my what drove me to blog.
As cliche as what this sounds, I’m a book-lover and I know that may come as a surprise to some [not,] but it’s the truth. I devour books at a rapid rate once I’m on a roll and there is no telling when or if I’ll stop. Due to this, I’m able to recommend books to my pals and share my views with my fellow book fiends.
Way back when in 2015, one of my friends wanted to begin a book reviewing site with three others, including myself. Each person would be in charge of ‘X’ genre’ and the idea was a great one, but life gets busy quickly. However, I really wanted to jump on this bandwagon and see this idea through. I created Book Savvy Reviews a month after the initial idea was laid to rest, which was July 2015.
BUT HOW DID I GET “FREE” BOOKS TO REVIEW?
Google was my friend, seriously. I was trying to figure out where or how to get ARCs! I found NetGalley which was a blessing in disguise. NetGalley is a site that helps out Publishers/Authors and offers Advanced Reader Copies [ARCs] to read for review. You must have a Blog/outlet to post reviews on.
My suggestion is to start with Read Now to build up your feedback ratio so that everyone knows you mean business!
But, then I started looking for Publishing Companies that needed review teams. I found Curiosity Quills Press, Blaze Publishing , and Royal James Publishing, they’re eager to feed readers and help authors out at the same time.
I also hooked up with Amazon’s Kindle Scout program. So, basically, this is American Idol for books. People select their picks and whoever gets the most selects is the winner. The reviewer select their pick and plays the waiting game, if their book[s] happen to be selected then they earn an early release copy of the book that they can review. They now have implemented a leaderboard for reviewers, too so reviewers can compete for a “top score” if you will.
By writing a reviewer profile on Amazon and listing your e-mail address this also opens you up to being contacted by authors who need reviews on Amazon, another great way to get those ARCs!
But really getting the books is the easy part! [Mostly…]
The difficult part can be writing a quality review. Heck, even after almost two years of writing reviews I still have my off days where I look at my writing and go “What is this…” However! Find out what you want to focus on, relationships? Characters? World… Whatever it is, find what your key element will be and go from there.
If you didn’t like the book? The most important thing is to be KIND. Authors are people, this is their blood, sweat, and tears. Be respectful and mindful of that. If you didn’t like it tell people why it didn’t work for you. Be informative. Not every review has to be a 3-page essay. Sometimes short, sweet and to the point is just as effective if not better.
Okay, but what else for a blog? How hard can it actually be?
If you just have a blog, maybe not that hard when it comes down to it. But… When you sit down to think of content to schedule so that you can keep your blog relative to the blog-verse, so that you can be ‘hip’ or ‘new’ and fit in with the ‘cool kids’ when you have to map out a month of what you need/should/might do, it starts getting tricky. Add in a YouTube channel, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter… All of which needs to remain current and up to date – it can become a little dizzying! This was something that I learned from taking a few amazing courses [please feel free to check out Reading Transforms] and learned just what goes into having a successful blog, creating your brand, connecting through media and even creating a YouTube channel.
I think I hit all the key points and if you have questions ask away. I actually want to hear from bloggers, too.