Comments From A Book Reviewer
Comments From A Book Reviewer
For the past several years I have been reviewing books for my own site, Bookpleasures.com, as well as many other sites. As Publisher & Editor of this site, I would like to make a few comments about book reviewing and what to expect.
Today, with the advent of the Internet, there has been a proliferation of book reviewers, whom I shall classify as the good, the bad, and the ugly. Those falling within the last category are ones that you have to be particularly aware of, as their only interest is to receive complimentary books without bothering to review them, or if they do review them, their reviews are very short and without substance.
On the other hand, there are many serious and excellent reviewers, that devote a great deal of their time and energy to reading and writing a review.
Unfortunately for the authors, sometimes reviews are not exactly very complimentary. However, it is to be noted that it is not the objective of a reviewer to be a salesperson or a public relations representative for the author. If the criticism is constructive, a great deal can be learned from the review, particularly if the reviewer is also an author.
From the point of view of a reviewer, what I find most annoying is receiving a book without first asking me if I would accept to review it.
Bookpleasures receives on average about 20-30 email requests per week. These requests are forwarded to our reviewers, who communicate directly with the sender of the email.
In all probability, there is a 20%-30% chance that a request to review will be accepted by a reviewer. The reason for a book not being accepted is wide and varied. Many of our reviewers have a backlog that they would like to clear before accepting new assignments, or the subject matter is not one that interests any of them.
What I like to see in a request is not “hype” but rather a brief resumé of the contents of the book, who is the author, if the book is published by a mainstream publisher or is it self-published, and if the book is available on Amazon.
Bookpleasures also conducts e-interviews with some authors, and if the author is open to having himself or herself interviewed, please indicate.
If you are a publicist or publisher, don’t be afraid to put Bookpleasures as well as other book reviewing sites on your emailing list. You never know when something catches our eyes. Sometimes you may be publicizing a particular book, and our reviewers will look to your site and see something else that interests them.
As for the time frame, this all depends on the reviewer. Anywhere from one week to three months is the norm. You can ask the reviewer to give you some idea as to his or her time frame. You can also inquire as to his or her credentials. Bookpleasures does provide links to the reviewers’ site that should give you some idea as to their experience.
I do hope this is of help to some of you.
I am sure that some authors may not have taken into account the importance of reviewing the reviewer. You have offered some great advice and valid points.
Hi Norm, I’ve just emailed the relevant details to my own publisher IFWG Publishing. Check them out at: http://ifwgpublishing.com/
Reading your column on book reviewing, was not only pleasurable but also food for thought.
I have just started to do reviews. So far two books and both by the same Author. Having never done it before and willing to try anything once or twice I said yes I would do it but my biggest problem was trying to work out if there was a correct format for writing a book review.
Would you happen to know of one or better yet, could you have a look at the two I have done and let me know if I was on the right track or completely off course and what more I could do to make my review more comprehensive please!
My blog site is and you can find them near the top under the label of Book Reviews.
Would love to hear back from you.
*bites n kisses*