Becoming Known Part 3: Reciprocal Book Reviews

Readers have a million choices when it comes to what book to read—especially when they are shopping online. Honest book reviews are often what sells a book to a reader even more than the book’s description. Even if a book has been recommended to a reader, before they click the “buy” button, most readers still check the reviews to see what others have to say. But it’s hard to get people to review your book.

Other writers are in the same boat. They too need book reviews. If I knew a writing colleague would be posting an honest book review on my book, I am happy to post one for them. It takes a bit of time to read the book and a bit of effort to create a review that is helpful and honest, but the results are worth it: a review for your book and knowing that you’ve encouraged someone else.

Last month we chatted about how to use the technology on Amazon.com to post a book review. Beth Thompson also wrote a terrific article last month on how to create an effective review. You can refer to both articles to help your readers post reviews of your books. You can also refer to the articles when suggesting reciprocal book reviews to your writing colleagues.

One of the things I love about reciprocal book reviews is that it is one of those practical ways to follow the teachings of Jesus. He said:

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12; see also Luke 6:31)

Even secular society quotes this maxim, calling it “The Golden Rule.” It’s golden because it is wisdom that is precious; how we should live our lives each day. Love your neighbor writer as yourself.

So if you want other writers to provide you with book reviews, offer book reviews to them. You both profit from doing so.

There’s an added benefit to this. When you post a review of someone else’s book and sign it with your writing name, you get your name in front of readers—perhaps even people who will one day be reading your books.

Send out review copies. Request reviews when the book is launched. If it is already launched, it’s still not too late. Reviews are always helpful.

Seek out writing colleagues. Maybe they have a book out. Maybe they’re still writing their first. But suggest a reciprocal book review. Ask for one from them and promise one to them.

Do unto others.


Do you write book reviews for fellow writers? If so, we’d love to see them! Post a link to a recent review in the comments. 


Carol Peterson is a Christian woman who can’t stop writing about God, His great big, beautiful world and our place in it. Carol writes for women and children and blogs at: http://carolpetersonauthor.com

She writes to educate, entertain and inspire–children, their teachers and parents, other writers, and readers of all genres.

 

7 Comments

  1. Great post, Carol! I’ve had to cut way back on doing book reviews because I have so many writing friends, I could spend all day reading and writing reviews! I’ll only review 2-3 books a month and then only if I like them. What are your guidelines for doing reviews?

    • Great question, Elizabeth. First of all I try to only do reviews for colleagues I know; then branch out into the unknown. If I’ve read a book for another purpose (such as a Bible study or my women’s book club) then I’m happy to post a review just because I’ve already read the book, so a review isn’t that much more effort. You’re right though that I could spend my life reading and writing reviews. There’s a lot of great writing out there!

  2. I would love to get connected with people to exchange reviews! I have a recently released teen/tween devotional that has gotten great reviews so far, just not enough to make an impact on Amazon. I also have some middle grade fiction projects coming out this year and having ‘review friends’ to count on would be such a gift. I’m happy to read any genre…contact me through my website if you’d like to partner! 🙂

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