Showing posts with label free. Show all posts
Showing posts with label free. Show all posts

Saturday, April 29, 2017

So You Just Received Your First Review Copy... | Book Blogging Tips (#55)


... and you probably think that you've made it. People are sending you free stuff! That's amazing! You've made it this far already but there are quite a couple of things I'd like to tell you. 

While you can be very proud of this accomplishment, you have to realize that by deciding to start accepting review copies, you're also accepting responsibility. 

Here are some things I wish someone had told me when I accepted my first copy.


1. Don't go overboard
I know it's super exciting to realize that you've been blogging long enough to be considered to receive review copies, but please please don't see this as a sign to start requesting everything. 

2. Don't request backlist titles
That's a thing many newbie bloggers don't know about - backlist titles are books that have been out for a while. Typically publishers have a set amount of review copies that are sent out at a certain time before or shortly after a book's release. Backlist titles are usually not available for review, so only request review copies of books that aren't out yet to avoid wasting someone's time.

3. Don't accept any and every review copy sent to you
It won't take long until lots of people will reach out to you. Usually it will be indie authors and small publishers first who will ask you to review their books. Don't say yes to every single book just because it's free. Keep in mind what kind of blog you run. Is this book something that you'd even pick up in a bookstore? If it's not, don't accept the copy. Just because it's free, you shouldn't say yes to everything because -

4. People expect you to actually read the book
Sure, this is the old drama, some people think review copies don't have to be read, it's only an agreement to consider - yada yada, let's not have this argument right now, this isn't the point of this post. You're getting the copy because something is expected in return, whatever that may be. Don't request a billion books with no intention of reading them, that's just not a nice thing to do. 

5. Don't be afraid to publish a negative review
Just because you got something for free it doesn't mean that you can't dislike it. Don't be afraid to publish a negative review for a review copy! Nobody will be mad at you for that. You're asked for your honest opinion in 99.5% of the cases, and that also covers the possibility that you might dislike it. 

6. - but don't be a jerk about disliking the book
Especially with ARC for indie and small-published books you have to realize that your review might be the first review that people see when they go look for the book. 

Sure, disliking and publishing really negative reviews is absolutely 100% fine, but pay attention to the tone. Reviewing is a skill, it's an art in itself to be able to express your negative opinion without being a complete douchebag about it. Meaning no insults.

7. Consider that you might receive backlash
If you read an early copy and are one of the first people to review a book, of course more people will see the review. Be prepared to have people disagree. Consider this while writing the review. Again, don't be a jerk. If you're going to be a jerk regardless, know that you might receive backlash.

8. Don't send negative reviews to the author or publisher!
You may have seen on twitter for example that many reviewer tag authors in reviews. This is a great way to get your review out there, but please, please, please only do this if you rated the book 4 stars and abover and/or hardly said anything negative about it. 

Many authors are very vocal about not wanting to be tagged in negative reviews unsoliticedly. Publishers won't reshare your negative reviews either and it's basically just wasting everyone's time / ruining somebody's day. So please don't do that. 

What are some things you wish someone had told you after you received your first review copy?

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Review Copies ARE NOT Free Books, DON'T start a blog if you just want books free of charge! | Book Blogging Tips #40





I have no clue how this is even a thing people think. I know bloggers who started just to get review copies. Not necessarily because they wanted to read books in advance, but because
they thought:


"Yay, all I need is a blog and everyone will start sending me books... FOR FREE $$$$$$$$$!!!!"*

*an altered version of what I witnessed on twitter yesterday

A review copy is not a free book.  It's payment for a service!!

  • Reading the book
  • Collecting thoughts on the book and forming an opinion on it
  • Compressing all those jumbled up thoughts into a single blog post
  • Promoting said blog post

It's not just "I read the book and I write down something and I'm done". Book reviews aren't written quickly. It takes hours, sometimes even days to get my thoughts in order and then there's also the formatting. Reviews aren't easy to write, which is why there are hardly any book reviewers who earn their money doing so. 

Sometimes you won't like the book you read. Sometimes you'll realize halfway through that you made a terrible choice and it's not a book you'd ever pick up in your free time and it's actually torture to finish it. Sometimes you have to force yourself to read the book, because you've basically signed a virtual contract that you'd at least try. "Just reading" isn't easy.

You just don't "get review copies"

There is a reason why there are dozens of posts circulating on the internet on how to get review copies. They don't fall out of the sky the second you order business cards that say you're a book blogger. They don't come with the registration confirmation email from Wordpress/Blogger. You have to reach out, you have to have a solid platform and you're basically at the mercy of the publicists. 

If you're starting out, there is no way you're getting an advance reading copy "just like that". You have to have a platform and establishing that is HARD. Especially if you're American, the big five publishers won't even consider your blog before you have more than 500 followers. Let alone the views. Your statistics are super important and without a blog that gets frequent visitors, you're not "getting" anything.

Advance copies aren't printed for free, generally review copies cost money and it is your job to make that money worth the effort. 


Blogging is not a joke. Blogging is not easy and it's not a quick way to never have to pay for books again. 



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Thursday, August 6, 2015

10 Things I Wish Somebody Had Told Me As A Newbie Blogger | Book Blogging Tips (#11)



For some people these ten tips might seem basic, but I admit freely that for me, they weren't. Everyone starts out small, some rise quickly, some don't at all. (Is that a Dr. Suess poem?) 



10. Do You Know What Copyright Is?

Yeah, I'm guilty of using other people's images without crediting the source in the past. I fixed that though. Don't do that.

9. You Need to Interact

I'm not talking about responding to comments (some bloggers don't even do that though), but being social in general. You want other people to read your content? Try reading theirs and learning from them.

8. You Won't Make A Living From Blogging Anytime Soon

Blogging takes time. If you're here to build a business and not because of your passion, you won't last very long.

7. Review Copies Are Not Free Books

Don't overestimate yourself. You will have to read them all, they are not free. There are deadlines that you have to keep in mind. You're going to have to have read all those books by a certain date, else you're going to have a problem.

6. You Have to Constantly Rework

Whether it's:
  •  your old posts
  • your theme
  • your blogging concept
  • your social media habits
  • your social media accounts
Take a look at what others are doing and improve all the time.

5. Your First Theme Won't Be Your Last

Seriously, who isn't cringing at their first theme? (See #6)

4. Try for Original Content

You'll only get readers if people are interested in what you have to say. Show them that you have a voice. Say relevant things that contribute to the community.

3. Listen to Other People

Yeah, I know you've got it all figured out and you think you're good to go, yadayadayada. Just listen to what more experienced people tell you, even if you strongly disagree. On the long run you'll thank me and see.

2. You Want Success? Be Different.

More content doesn't equal more readers. Think about things you haven't seen on other people's pages before. Do exactly this. Check your own habits, what do you want to read? Think of a niche.

1. There's a Difference Between Promoting and Spamming

This should go without saying.


What Do You Wish Somebody Had Told You As A Newbie?


More Tips:
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Book Blogging Tips (#7): How to Not Advertise For Your Blog
Book Blogging Tips (#8): 6 Things Your Blog Design HAS TO Have
Book Blogging Tips (#9): 6 Commenting Systems and What Sucks About Them
Book Blogging Tips (#10): How to Simply Your Blogging Experience in 6 Steps

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