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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

On Being A Book Reviewer

I have been writing book reviews here on the blog for about 3 years now for my monthly book club reviews and any other books I manage to read in between renovating!

This has evolved in the last year with me reading and reviewing books from publishers - both Random House Australia and NetGalley. I also share my reviews on Good Reads which is a fantastic website for keeping track of books I'm reading or want to read!

If you have a blog and love to read I really recommend you sign up with NetGalley - It's free to join and you just go through their list of books and request the ones you want to read. They'll then let you know the books they approve and you can download the eBook to your tablet or reader there and then.

You then need to write a review as close to the publish date as possible so reviews are available when the book is first released. You need to give feedback on the NetGalley website for the books you request so they continue to approve new books to read.

I've also learnt not to have too many in my reading list otherwise your feedback score will be low which means you may not get approvals.

Some books which have pictures, such as cook books or gardening and design books, you need to download to your computer because of the formatting. But you can contact the publishers direct and ask for a hard copy of the book, I have done this a few times and sometimes it's a yes and sometimes a no but there's no harm in asking!

The exciting thing about most of these books is that they are proofs that aren't even published yet. I feel like a secret agent reading books that aren't yet in bookstores or available to the public and love that I'm helping the authors by showing support and reviewing their books as they hit the bookshelves.

One big decision I had to make with being a book reviewer was to make the transition from paper books to eBooks.

I was one of those people who said I'd never give up my hard copy books - I would carry around heavy books, sometimes too big to fit in my handbag, but I didn't care because I love the feel of a book in my hands, turning the pages, the marks and smells of the book. I loved it all!

But I found nearly all the books for review are eBooks - they can approve an eBook instantly and I can have it downloaded and be reading it within minutes without even leaving the couch!

Whereas when I requested a hard copy book there were only limited stock and sometimes there weren't any available. Other times, I'd wait weeks for the book to arrive in the post and by then I'd lost precious reading time.

So for convenience, I decided to succumb to technology and look into an eReader so I could read eBooks. In the end I got myself a tablet and downloaded the Kindle app for reading. I figured I could use the tablet for more than just reading and I am so happy with it, it's pretty much replaced my laptop at home - I can blog and read books - what more can a girl need?!

So if you read books and have a blog that you can publish your book reviews too, check out NetGalley you'll love it.

What are your favourite book review websites?

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  1. Reading with a glass in hand is never a bad thing! I will have to look into this, reading a book before it is published sounds intriguing and would be a lot of fun! I made the switch to reading on a Kindle Fire and I love it! It is fun, too, because my husband and I share the same password, so the books he reads pop up on my Kindle and sometimes I decide to read them, too!

    1. Im on Kindle too its great isnt it. I love how you share with your hubby thats a great idea :)

  2. I get sent a few books by Pan McMillan I love it . I haven't used my kindle app on iPad much for me , only kids books.
    (Ps Liked you on FB now)

  3. Whoa, this is a really cool idea. Do you find it motivates you to keep reading, too, knowing that you've got to do the review around publication date? Because I love reading but find sometimes life gets in the way and a week or more can pass before I realise I haven't picked up a book in awhile!

    1. Yes it definately motivates me to read more which I do for about half an hour each day. Although I tend to have weekends free of reading because I'm renovating instead! I try to get through a book every fortnight and the published date helps me decide what order to read them in!

  4. I'll have to sign up to Netgalley

    1. All you need to have is a blog you can publish your reviews to and you'll start to get approvals. It's fantastic!


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