I've recently updated my blog to let people know they can approach me to review their books. Am I being a tad naive/cheeky to expect a free copy of the book? I appreciate that $2.99 for a kindle copy isn't a lot of money, but it will soon add up if I have to do that for everyone who asks me to review their story.
Any advice on 'review etiquette' would very much be appreciated.
Generally if someone asks you to review their book, they provide a complimentary copy. You're taking the time to review a book as a favor to the author or publicist rather than reading something else.
I would caution though against getting too caught up in receiving review copies. I'm generally pretty selective about what books I accept for review though because I want my blog to be composed of reviews of books that I enjoy. If I accept too many review requests, it starts to feel like work instead of fun. I tend to accept copies of books that look like they are something I'd read even if I wasn't writing a blog.
Thanks Grace, that's really helpful. And yes, I will certainly make sure I don't get too caught up in receiving review copies! I love reading and like to expand my genres but then I'm sure it can become overwhelming very quickly!
Thanks again for the advice.
You're not being cheeky! You should get a free copy if the author wants a review from you. You are providing a service for them. Save your money to buy the books you really want.
Good to know I'm not being cheeky! Thanks Alison
You should absolutely get a free copy. It's fairly expected among the reviewing community. I would suggest disclosing this fact though, to make sure everything is legal and such - either in a general note on your blog or on each review that you got a free copy for. If you want to check out my review policy, feel free.
Great, thanks Jennifer, appreciate the advice; will have a look at your policy and tweak mine if necessary - thanks again!
Have you checked out NetGalley? It is a service that allows bloggers access to tons of books available for review and it's free.
Not heard of that - I'll check it out, thank you!
Hi, Shalini. I think your request is very reasonable and people should provide you with a book if they expect a review. How do you give someone a Kindle book? I would be very interested in getting a review from you? Do you post the review to amazon even if you thought the book was lousy? Just curious. I am new to this site and just trying to figure out how all this works.
Asking for a copy in exchange for a well-written review is fair. Perhaps you can even offer to put said review in Amazon or other places for free. I`ve done that.
Dennis @ Moneysaver Editing
No, you're not wrong in wanting free review copies, but if you purchase books and review them your are doing more to up author profiles on book sales sites than you ever will on a blog. I offer reciprocal reviews for fellow Indie/self published writers (posted to Amazon), yet I am a contracted author to a US publisher and a professional reviewer of mainstream published books.
It's a tough and arduous task in the book review business! Not least when books, which are not to your personal taste come flying at you. I've been a professional book reviewer for a famous magazine for some years now and I review books for Romantic Fiction Online's magazine as well. Most of the books are sent by mainstream publishers (pre-publication proof copies), which rarely have a front cover image, are often riddled with typos, hiccups in grammar etc.,, and I might add many of which are missed by the editing team and end up in published product uncorrected. Such is the marketing ploy of the publishers to ensure reviewers give sway and ignore the problems, and due to past lawsuits magazine/newspaper editors insist all reviews are summaries of books as opposed to critiqued..
When writing a professional review it's essential no plot spoilers are given and, that one's personal tastes are exempt from the review, i.e. merely a brief summary is provided of overall book. What has happened with the Internet explosion and that of review sites and forums - such as seen at Amazon etc., - is an equal explosion of reviews that are neither professional in content and some extremely malicious in content. There does seem to be a hard-core network of people at Amazon/elsewhere who aim their slights at Indie/self-pubbed authors and claim such should be annexed to a specific slot away from mainstream novels Therefore the greatest problem for Indie/self published authors, even the good well written books, are amateur reviewers whom pounce on the odd typo/grammar blip, yet ignore the same in a mainstream published novel.
It's wise if you're thinking of running a review site to set out some ground rules of what you are willing to read, stating i.e. steamy content, no steamy content, sweet romances, hard core thrillers, fantasy, etc., plus a cop-out clause stating "Due to time restraints some books submitted may not make it to review status",That way you're covering your arse if you really hate a book. There is a an aspect of posting up bad reviews that can backfire in unexpected ways: reputation is everything! ;)
I completely agree with you about the explosion of reviews that are unprofessional and malicious in content. I left a book review site because of the behavior and reviews of some of the members. It's really a shame.