I’ve been reviewing children’s books for quite a while now and there’s one question that I get asked quite a lot. It’s, “Do you charge for reviewing books?” No, I don’t. In my opinion, charging an author for a review is plain unethical. I, for one, couldn’t live with myself. Anyway, it’s not fair to the author at all and here’s why.
If you charge an author, you’re obligated to give that author a positive review even if that book, even if that book is riddled with all kinds of errors. So much that the story doesn’t make sense. That’s just not right and as I said I couldn’t live with myself.
I know that some people do charge and they even make a living at it. But they do have a problem here. Once word gets out that they charge, their credibility goes down the drain. If it doesn’t go down the drain, their reputation for honesty lowers quite a bit! As I stated above, the reviewer is obligated to give a positive review if they’re paid.
I can guess what you’re thinking. “I want positive reviews.” This is where you’re wrong. You should have both good and bad reviews.
Books in all are made interesting if you read the controversial reviews. I read reviews for one. One positive review was glowing with compliments. For the same book, a negative review said something like it was the worst book she’d ever read. In fact, she couldn’t get past the first chapter and suggested everybody save their money. This got my curiosity up. There were equal amount of positive vs. negative reviews for this book. Which one was true? My curiosity was at its peak by this time. I had to find out. Yes, I did buy that book and no, it wasn’t a waste of money. It was the best thing I’ve read in a long time! It’s still on my Kindle to re-read. So, getting an honest review, even if it’s negative, is a selling point. So, controversial reviews equals sales and that makes you a winner!
To my surprise, I’ve found on the social media sites, that many people ask for a review, but they ask that the reviewer to buy their book in order to review it. That’s not how it’s done. A reviewer will shy away from taking on a job like this. I’ve steered clear many, many times.
Here’s the proper way to handle this. First, contact the reviewer through their website asking if they will review your book and describe the book a little. Tell them if it’s a children’s, adult’s, or poetry book. Then, send the reviewer the book in print, .pdf file along with a .jpg of the book cover, or gift the reviewer a copy of your ebook for their Kindle, Nook, or other ereader.
Reviewers are everywhere and you can find them easily. If you’re in a Facebook group go to the files section at the top of the page. Click on that files tab. You should find a section there that lists reviewers in your group that reviews and also list what kind of books they accept. If there isn’t just type a regular post asking if anyone would like a review and say if it’s a children’s or adult’s book. You should do this in every social media site you’re on since the more reviews, the better. Here’s a great a great site I found that lists book review sites. Hopefully, this will help you get that review: http://bookbloggerlist.com/
Also, I hope the following video will help you: