Is it a good idea for writers to review books?

Posted on October 16, 2007


I am a volunteer at my son’s school library. The librarian knows I’m an aspiring children’s writer and she has asked me to do book reviews for the school newsletter. I was wondering, do you think it’s a good idea for children’s writers to also review children’s books? Or would this be a conflict of interest?

In order to be a good writer, it’s important to read a lot of books. What better way to get those books read than to become a reviewer? So yes, of course I think it’s a great idea to review books. Many authors also review books. Doing book reviews puts you in contact with authors and publishers. It keeps you up-to-date with what’s new, and also gives you a chance to network with other authors.

Because your son’s school newsletter has a limited audience, consider posting your book reviews at Amazon. You can also create a web site and publish your reviews to gain more exposure. Once you complete a review, look up the author’s web site and the publisher’s web site. Email a copy of your book review to the author, and also to the publisher’s publicity or marketing department. This will help you generate publicity about your reviews and it will get you on the publisher’s mailing list for new book announcements.

Have the school librarian help you choose recently released titles. Once you have written two or three reviews, go to the Children’s Book Reviewers page at Writing World. Send an email to the editors that review the type of books you review, and inquire whether they might be looking for new reviewers. When your reviews are published regularly on the internet, publishers will send you books to review, which you can in turn donate to your school library.

* Please note that Readers Room is no longer publishing new reviews. I don’t review for them anymore. I only review a few books each year.

My reviews are published at, Midwest Book Review, and Amazon.

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