Writing Book Reviews More Fun than Profit
by Louise Rachlis
A CAA National Capital Region Publication
Workshop, Lecture & Other Info: www.canauthors-ottawa.org
When author, Emily-Jane Hills Orford started writing book reviews — “a great way to make some money, and learn about the market” — she really didn’t like the first book she
was asked to review. That review never ran, but she went on to write many
more reviews that did appear, a three-ring binder full. There are pros and cons to writing book reviews, says Hills Orford who was the April 12th speaker at the monthly
meeting of the Canadian Authors Association–National Capital Region.
“The cons are deadlines and not necessarily being paid,” she says, “but the pros are getting your name out there and promoting anything else you’ve written. In a way it’s free
advertising for what you’ve written, and it’s a way of learning about different styles of writing.”
She says she loves to read anyway, and has kept all her reviews in a three-ring binder.
The books are provided, but these days many of them are electronic books. “If it’s a pre-publication book review, you get a manuscript and possibly your name on the author’s book
cover.” She has written some very positive reviews, and particularly liked Regina’s Closet by Diana Raab and An Ordinary Box of Life by Tim Olney. “You also get some books
that aren’t so good. I always stress that you must be fair; there must be some merit to it if it was actually published. . . . If you’re assigned a book, you have to follow through. You’ve
made a contract.”
Allbooks Review International (www.allbooksreviewint.com) gives reviewers the book and pays a small fee for a review. “As an author, I thought it was a good site to have my books reviewed. It has worked out very well.” Her own book, The Whistling Bishop, was named Finalist in the 2009 Indie Book Awards. Authors pay to be reviewed and provide a copy of their book. Based in southern Ontario, Allbooks Review Int. reviews books from around the world.
One of the funniest books she ever had to review was The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing by Mayra Calvani & Anne K. Edwards, which was also helpful to her. The first step is to read the book, and then follow the publication’s format for writing the review. “Find an eye
catcher for your first sentence. I like to start off with something about the book that captured my attention. You have to have patience and it takes time. Deadline is usually thirty days for
submitting your review.” Local community papers might take reviews, and there
are also specialized journals that might be interested in a book related to their theme.
There are a number of online books review sites, and online bookstores that have book reviews.
“Whatever you write, you’re having your words out there, so you want to be honest to yourself,” she says. “You don’t want to write ‘it was a wonderful book’ if it wasn’t. I get started right away so that if I can’t review it, I can return it and someone else can.”
Also remember not to give away too much information when you’re writing a review, she says. “Your introductory paragraph is not a synopsis. You want to leave readers with a bit of a cliff hanger so they’ll go on and read the book. You want to be fair to the author, but not sugar coat it. Try not to be too academic and on the other side don’t be too pompous and write about all your
Emily Hills Orford’s website is: www3.sympatico.ca/mistymo
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INDEPENDENT AUTHORS NETWORK ANNOUNCEMENT---It was a close race for the entire month however, Sharon Cupp Pennington edged by Fanki deMerle to win this months Featured Author Contest. Sharon is the Featured Author for June and will receive a 20 post Publicity Package. Her member page saw over 1200 hits for the month.
The contest resets June 1st with the member collecting the most page views in June becoming the Featured author for July. Check out guidelines at the contest page at Featured Author Contest www.independentauthornetwork.com
Allbooks Reviews INTERVIEW:
Allbooks Reviews INTERVIEW:
Please state your name. Dr Simon Kohein
Tell us the title and publisher of your book: The Battle for One Elect
and Tate Publishing
When was the book released? It will be released 24 May 2011
Give us an overview of your book.
The Battle for one Elect is one man’s experience exemplifying the ongoing battle for our souls while personally discussing the fall, the blessing, the prophets, Christ resurrected… the gospel. Although from a large family, as a child Simon effectively lived alone with his younger brother as his grandmother attempts to convince him that it is the evil one’s desire to destroy all families and has severely battered Simon’s. As attacks become more personal and the pain more great, Simon’s need to make his choice between accepting defeat or to maintain unwaveringly reliance on God’s promises becomes mandatory. Neither God nor Satan change. Only Simon is changed as he continues to make choices. This book confirms that while we all suffer in this life, and that while pain positively isolates us, we are not alone.
What inspired you to write this book?
Even before your heart began beating, spiritual forces with longtime momentum were at work. We can and must find God’s promises for our personal circumstance and depend upon their truth above all else. If you’re alive, your spirit is being contested for and you will make the final decision concerning where your eternal life estate will be. A quick search of the scripture generally leads us to Paul’s instruction to the Ephesians concerning the armor provided for this warfare (Eph 6:10-18). How do we stand in this armor and continue believing all God’s provision for us when the events occurring in our lives are quickly and severely victimizing us and our families? How do we stop spiritualizing the equipment provided by God and make it a reality in our physical existence when our circumstance causes us to despair of life itself? What shall we think when the pain and grief are extreme, we are convinced nothing worse can happen, and then…? Can we recover? Can we accept what the recovery must be? This book is to stand in that gap. It is my desire that this book will provide knowledge and comfort while you’re waiting for the morning star to dawn in your heart. Believe me… continue searching… you will find the joy our Lord and Father has provided.
How is your book different from other books in this genre?
The Battle for one Elect intimately shares how spiritual warfare plays out in each of our lives… We are born into this spiritual war and the battle personally and invisibly progresses until suddenly event after event causes enough pain to bring us to our knees. This book systematically demonstrates how the battle is in our minds and is either won or lost by whom we choose to depend upon and the secret thoughts we choose to maintain. Suffering brings us to God and teaches us to know that his written promises are our strength. This book is not simply one more sermon concerning spiritual warfare, it is a model.
Where can people buy your book?
www.SimonKohein.com... and wherever books are sold.
Are you working on another book? If so when do you expect it to be published?
Yes. In a few months…
If published traditionally, tell us how you benefited:
If I decide to self publish in the future, I’ll know whether there are benefits to traditional publishing. Presently, I enjoy the professional feedback prior to publishing.
Can you share one of your marketing successes with us?
The book is not yet released.
How did you find Allbooks Reviews and what are you hoping for in your relationship with us?
Allbooks was referred to me. I am pleased with the opportunity for publicity.
Was the low cost a surprise? What other things would you like Allbooks Reviews to offer writers?
The price is a blessing and I appreciate the work and help with publicity.
Thank you for this interview and best of luck with your book.