Book Review Exchanges Help Spread Word-of-Mouse

Posted on June 29, 2011

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Looking for book reviews?

Book review exchanges are a great way to help spread the word-of-mouse about your book. The ebook revolution has resulted in an explosion of new books on the market. Everyone is hungry for those book reviews. I have been a reviewer for Midwest Book Review and Book Ideas.com for five years, and an Amazon Vine reviewer since 2008. I have posted book reviews here at Advice from a Caterpillar since 2007. So when my new middle grade novel, Letters to Juniper was released two months ago I looked for ways to make my review experience work for me. Authors often contact me personally to request a review. Now I write back and offer a review exchange. I will review the author’s book if he will do the same for me. So far no one has turned me down. If you are interested in a book review exchange please email me:  peggyt@siltnet.net

I have also arranged book review exchanges through BlogTour.org. Registration is free and authors can make connections with other authors with blogs and arrange their own blog tours. From book reviews to interviews to guest posts, opportunities abound at BlogTour. And it’s not just for kids books. There are authors and blogs listed in all categories.

Here is an example of a recent review exchange between Anne McGee and me. I wrote this review for Anne’s excellent middle grade novel, The Mystery at Marlatt Manor. And she wrote this review for Letters to Juniper:

I absolutely loved this book! Peggy Tibbetts has captured a wonderful voice with twelve-year-old Sarah Smith, and this middle grade story flows seamlessly from beginning to end.

Six years earlier, after the death of their mother, Sarah and her brother Abraham, came to live with their fanatical bible-studying father, a stepmother, and two younger stepbrothers in the backwoods of Bonners Ferry, Idaho. But life is harsh for the home-schooled Sarah. There is no TV, no running water, and no bathrooms. As an emotional release she turns to writing letters to her childhood friend, Juniper. We learn through these letters that Sarah’s father is a gunsmith who supplies guns to a local neo-Nazi Aryan group called the Order. This brings the attention of the FBI who soon arrests Sarah’s father. He is eventually released and although adamant he did not give out any information to the FBI, the Order begins to believe he has become an informant against them. In the growing tension that follows, the children are armed to help protect the property.

In this fast-paced story, Tibbetts’ dialogue is riveting. I wouldn’t hesitate for one minute to recommend this book. I would only give a word of caution and that is to be prepared to read into the early hours of the morning because once you start it, you won’t be able to put it down. And then there’s the shocking ending. What a twist!

Tips for Book Review Seekers

1.    Be brief. Provide the title, author, publication date, plus a blurb and a link to find more information, e.g. Amazon, your website or blog.
2.    Ask for a review. Don’t just announce your book.
3.    Be open to other options: book review exchange, guest blog, interview, etc.
4.    Send ONLY the book requested for review. Do not send more than one title without the reviewer’s permission.
5.    Be patient.

Tips for Book Reviewers

1.    Get your hands on an ereader and open up to ebooks! You don’t know what you’re missing.
2.    If you accept a book for review then follow through. Read it and review it.
3.    Be open to other options: book review exchange, guest blog, interview, etc.
4.    Post your review at Amazon. Not everyone reads your blog, or the website where your reviews are published. Amazon reviews generate publicity for authors AND reviewers.
5.    Be courteous.

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