Writing Book Reviews

  • What is the proper protocol for asking for a professional book review?
  • Should you pay for a professional book review?
  • How long should you give the reviewer to read and write a review before you begin to inquire about the results

I personally do not accept pay for a review. I find that is an ethical issue for me as I might feel obligated to give only a favorable review. Book reviews are very personal for the author, afterall, it is their recently birthed “child” that is under the microscope. Many authors are not sure how to react when they do not get their review back as quickly as they had anticipated.

Let me explain why a good review takes time…to do this you must take a stroll through my study where I write and respond to the many books that cross my desk.  The first thing you see upon entering are the animals scattered about in various position of repose sunning themselves or looking out at the cove of Puget Sound we overlook.

There are formal bookshelves and hastily constructed lumber and milkcrate shelves lining the room. Some are double stuffed with texts, books, and bound notes. One or two are triple layered.

The desk is really a trestle table picked up on sale at Costco. Its surface barely visible from the piles of notes, and stacks of books awaiting review. Even the monitor has multiple layers of books stacked hodge podge and precariously listing backwards.

 They will be read, they will be reviewed, but they won’t be rushed. Books, good or bad, are to be savored, enjoyed, disected, and then ruminated over. I never write a review, polish it, and send it out the same day.

As a matter of course I generally file my finished reviews away for a week before ever editing it. I then let it sit for at least another week or two before I send it out or publish it. Why? Because…I have changed my mind and I have re-thought sections and because that is the way I do it.

How do others do their reviews? I really couldn’t say…but I hope they will respond.

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