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Preview: Comments on A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Reviewing Reviews

Comments on A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Reviewing Reviews

Updated: 2018-03-19T04:28:38.600-05:00








I read/review/edit for one review site and one rev...


I read/review/edit for one review site and one review magazine.

To respond to Kameron, I review under a pen name so I don't get bitten myself. I've reviewed hundreds of books, and posted them on my MySpace blog,, and under my own name (from ARCs I've been sent/emailed) on my website, blog, MySpace, and BN, Amazon, etc.

It IS true that there's a lot of competition for reviews. With only so much time in any given day, it can be a stretch to expect the book to be reviewed near the publication date. Right now, in one of our databases, we have 3000 books waiting on review (and the other site I used to review for has about the same amount). Some authors in that pile, waiting to be read, are unknown. Some are more well known. It's true that a good, well known series is more likely to be picked up but there are many authors that get reviewed every month and I've only heard of half of them. Chalk that up to ebooks, self-pub and print pub.

I really believe that internet blogging and review sites are better than magazines... and I review for one! Sites produce more traffic than magazines. And even if you were one of the 50K who subscribed to PW, who's to say that you'll be reading cover to cover? I know I sometimes skim the mags I subscribe to.

While some of the genre mags may have missed a few of your novels, if you have a devoted audience, you're bound to get repeat customers for loyalty purposes and those customers tell others about your books, esp. when they're seen reading them. I've also seen many customers in stores reading blurbs simply because the book is on a table, end cap or bargain shelf. It's how I found one of my favorite authors and I've been reading him for well over a decade.

One of the sites I review for is Fallen Angel Reviews. Please feel free to send our owner and ARC coordinator a request for review. We'll accept ebook files as well as prints. (jaymi AT fallenangelreviews DOT com)

Send Jack our way! We'll be happy to read!

Bella March (bella AT fallenangelreviews DOT com)

I recently borrowed "Dirty Martini" from my city's...


I recently borrowed "Dirty Martini" from my city's library. For the first time in years of borrowing library books, there was a piece of notepaper taped to the inside cover page. It read "Please share your thoughts on this book!" I'd never seen such a thing, but I thought it was a great idea.

(My note -- the first entry -- read "His best yet! J.A. just keeps getting better... funny and brilliant."

You're welcome.)


This comment has been removed by the author.

Joe, there are a million reviewing blogs out there...


Joe, there are a million reviewing blogs out there. I know because my business deals with a lot of them and they are very good at giving good reviews and they are very good for helping sell my clients' books. I think the author doesn't think outside of the box sometimes. Like you said, it's too hard to get a review from a well-known publication so let's play hardball with them. Go elsewhere. I'm serious...go elsewhere. You don't need them. If the competition is that hard, go to where it isn't. Read through a few reviewing blogs to determine whether they are worthy of your book, haha...but find them..they're out there and dying to review books. If you'd like to email me at thewriterslife(at), I could get you in touch with quite a few reviewing blogs who will review your book in less than a month...they're great.

Joe,I've read you and followed your blog for years...



I've read you and followed your blog for years. I'm even an adherant of the no SASE club. Your marketing madness is infectious and has rubbed off big time on me and my first national series.

I agree that I'd take a good PW review over most blogs. But I think I'd take 50,000 hits on book review blogs over a review in most newspapers. My thinking is that 50,000 readers seeing my reviews on blogs that cater to readers is probably creating more viable book buyers than the actual number of people that read a review in a paper.

How many newspaper readers only read the comics or the sports page or check their stocks?

I launched the first book in my five book series with just over 150 book review bloggers. They are all doing a review and a Q&A as part of a two month blog tour leading up to the release in September. Of course I had the benefit of the publisher paying for all the ARCs and shipping. But I still want to get the bang for the buck.

I am also taking the ARCs to CRMs and B&Ns, store managers at Borders, etc.

I'll see if it helps create buzz for a new series.

Writers are readers too...visit writer's sites, co...


Writers are readers too...visit writer's sites, contribute, and then mention your publications (and reviews) as they come out.

Hi JoeI'm an associate editor for HorrorScope, Aus...


Hi Joe

I'm an associate editor for HorrorScope, Australia's Dark Fiction Weblog and primary Internet presence for reviewing tales of the darker side. If your thrillers come under that banner, get your publicist/editor to get in contact with us. We'd be happy to review your work - all your work. Or pop over to and let me know if you'd like any further information. Leave a comment while you're there to let me know if you're interested.


It wasn't until I became a reviewer that I realize...


It wasn't until I became a reviewer that I realized how important reviews are to authors. As someone I work with said to me, "Spotlights and interviews are nice, but reviews are like gold."

There are a lot Ning groups like for marketing your books. I'm sure there are plenty review ones, too.

I went to two conferences recently--at one, my roo...


I went to two conferences recently--at one, my roommate was a book reviewer--at the other, my roommate ran a website that hosts reviews. Pass on the private room. Ya never know.

There's no difference between being reviewed in th...


There's no difference between being reviewed in the legitimate trade and consumer press, and being mentioned in people's GoodReads and Shelfari lists.

What's the circulation of Publisher's Weekly? 50,000? I'd trade a PW review for 5000 blog reviews in a heartbeat.

I used to write reviews for Wicked Karnival (a sho...


I used to write reviews for Wicked Karnival (a short-lived horror mag), and actually reviewed Whiskey Sour there (my review was along the lines of "good, readable book with a lot of promise, great characters, but an ending I did NOT like").

In any event, I reviewed a bunch of ARCs then, and a lot of BAD ARCs, and always felt guilty giving a bad review. Of course, I also reviewed a lot of good ones (and saw a bunch of great writers just waiting to break through).

Anyway, rambling aside, I should be back to reviewing soon for my personal site (I'm putting together a customized web app now to do it, rather than blogging software, most of which I hate), and will add all of your books to my list. It will give me a reason to reread them.

(And, yes, I've liked each one more than the last, so the reviews will get progressively better).

Gather is a great place to review and be reviewed....


Gather is a great place to review and be reviewed. They reward members for participation with gift cards to B & N so there are a lot of readers there. It's also a wonderful community.

Here's a better link to the forums (that includes ...


Here's a better link to the forums (that includes the forum with all the reviews and also the forum with the mystery discussions.)

Re: Anon, there's no difference to me whether I read a review in a "legitimate" trade magazine vs online via a blog. They're all pretty much opinions and you go where it's easy to find. I lean towards reviewers that share my interests. Just doesn't matter to me if they are in the NYtimes (which I don't read, but do have access to at the library if I cared) or the various blogs I frequent.

I even read a lot of amazon reviews--I usually see a mention of the book elsewhere, but if there are reviews at amazon, I scroll through 3 to 6 --I always check out a good one or two and any bad ones before buying a book. They can influence me if I'm on the fence about a book.

Uh, that's right. There's no difference between be...


Uh, that's right. There's no difference between being reviewed in the legitimate trade and consumer press, and being mentioned in people's GoodReads and Shelfari lists.


Dream on, JA. (tied in with www.fantasyb...

2008-05-23T17:36:00.000-05:00 (tied in with, but you'd be in the mystery category.)

Your name has been mentioned on the site a few times, although I don't think your books have been formally reviewed.


Today, I'm writing up an in depth, rare rave revie...


Today, I'm writing up an in depth, rare rave review on a book written by a blogging author.

I'll have it posted to my blog by Sunday. It'll be interestinmg to see if that writer notices a sales increase from my review - it'll be an interesting experiment to see if these blogged reviews have any impact. Or am I just whistling in the dark and no one's listening?

Great post, Joe! I recently experimented by offeri...


Great post, Joe! I recently experimented by offering free books to bloggers/reviewers who subscribe to my newsletter. I feel that they are probably already fans and should get some perks for being loyal.

I had quite a few requests, so we'll see how it works.


Some yahoo groups will post reviews written by mem...


Some yahoo groups will post reviews written by members -- for example, Paranormal Romance Reviews has a yahoo group for its readers, and a membership of well over 1000. A review posted there will be seen by a lot of folks.

This is just one groups of readers abound.

I love your blog, btw....thanks for your generosity!


I've had reviews where I gave honest criticism com...


I've had reviews where I gave honest criticism come back and bite me in the butt. I now avoid publishing reviews on books within the genre or from the same publisher I've written for.

That's a good policy.

Writers have to promote. IMO, that responsibility doesn't stop where our books ends: we have a certain obligation to our publishers. Very few people in other industries would be surprised if they fielded a few cold stares at the water cooloer after publishing critical comments about the company's product, business decisions, or the work of one of their colleagues. The smaller the office, the colder the stares.

Same with writers. The more distance, the less problematic a critical review might be. Someone who writes midlist popular writer probably wouldn't raise any eyebrows for posting a negative review of a major bestseller, or a nonfiction book, and so on. A writer criticizing a book from her publisher might avoid stepping in brown applesauce if that publisher is so big the connection isn't immediately apparent. But if, for example, one Star Trek author posted negative reviews of another Star Trek book, that could be . . . really awkward, and not particularly good judgement.

There might not be any such thing as a bad review from the recipient's point of view, but I do think there are certain constraints on writers.

I keep meaning to tell you that when I was in New ...


I keep meaning to tell you that when I was in New York last month, I saw a woman reading one of your books on the subway. She was holding it high and proud and totally mesmerized. The cover looked great (I think it was Rusty Nail). A pretty good form of review!

Thought you'd like to know!

Okay, you can see my brief review on my site. Not...


Okay, you can see my brief review on my site. Not much, but I did enjoy Fuzzy Navel.

http://www.epinions.comAnd you even get paid a bit...


And you even get paid a bit for each new review, potentially two dollars and change or more.

Not all books are in their database, and I haven't tried the special e-form to add new ones yet. It has to be manually reviewed which must take a couple of weeks.

A word for the small blogs:Even if a blog only get...


A word for the small blogs:

Even if a blog only gets ten or fifteen hits a day, those are ten or fifteen people who read XYZ blog because they like and trust the opinion of XYZ blogger. They don't come because of a buzz factor. True, not as many people will read about your book, but those that do will be more likely to go pick up at B&N.