When I started as a book reviewer eight years ago, I never expected it to get this big nor the greatly positive surprises it would come with. But the most important thing I’ve learned is how the publishing world works while being one of its gears.
I will show you what I learned and how being a book reviewer will help you on your path to becoming a published author. Because what’s better than knowing how it works from the inside and helping others succeed at the same time?
Be prepared to work a lot AND have fun while making friends or partners. I’ve learned so much and I am still enjoying the path I’m on, discovering new things and concepts. I promise, being a book reviewer will help you as an author. But it doesn’t happen overnight, you need to put in the work and the enthusiasm and diligence.
I’m sure you’ll find the rewards are more than worth it, though.
You will forge good and lovely relationships with authors
This is a bonus I never expected, but I am so grateful for. It’s heart-warming just to think about all the good relationships I made with authors. I started out on OnlineBookClub where authors can actually interact with our reviews. Afterwards, whenever I published a high-rating review of mine, I went and searched for the author on Twitter. And then I sent tweets to them along with DMs (when allowed) so as to tell them I’d be willing to read more of them and sending them personally the links to my review.
After a while, I noticed a few authors kept interacting with me, even on Instagram! It seemed we liked each other as people in the same business. I love being Internet-close with them because there’s a kinship and respect you don’t get from just posting your reviews.
I was given a great gift by reviewing them: friendship.
Notably, with these charming ladies and fellow:
- Catherine Kopf (author of one of the most unique stories I know, The Breaking Order series)
- J. M. Sullivan (author of one of my favourite retellings, The Transmissions Series). Read my review of Second Star here.
- Chris Babu (author of one of my few favourite dystopian stories, The Initiation Series, and whom I also had great fun interviewing ). Read my reviews of the first two books here and here.
- Marissa Price (author of my favourite Shakespearian retellings, such as Romeo & Juliet). Read my review of The Vault of Verona here.
I am grateful for all of them and I greatly encourage you to forge such bonds with authors as a book reviewer. They’re happy for the reviews and the time you give them. So why not nudge them when you particularly love their work? Of course, don’t invade their privacy! But just a nudge or lovely comment with your review will help. :)
Moreover, these relationships mean that you have an author circle! So when you become one (being published), you will already have author friends who can back you up and stand by you. Help and kinship are always welcome! So, don’t miss out on this opportunity.
You will forge meaningful relationships and partnerships with publishers
This is very similar to point one, but they don’t become your friends. Instead, you become colleagues or partners, which is great! They trust you will provide them with reviews, and you get free books and insider news. But what’s interesting as an author here is you get to see how promotion and street teams work from the inside as a book reviewer.
Why is this important?
Whether you choose to go self-published or traditional, you will need book reviewers AND a street team to help you with promoting your work with love. So if you learn about it, like I said, from the inside, chances are you’ll be rolling with it from the moment you’re ready to publish or be published! Also, publishers love when authors get in the train and know how it works and promote or actively participate.
So, I’d say it’s win-win in this case: you get free books and insider news AND you learn for your future on how to promote your books.
You will experience surprises such as interviews and cover reveals, which will teach you on how to proceed when your own time comes
Another important point is that you will encounter surprises such as interview opportunities and cover reveals! I have to say this is a delight; interviews are fun, if a bit stressful, and cover reveals are exciting and help the authors you like.
But again, why is it noteworthy?
Same as the above point, you will learn how to conduct yourself during interviews in the future. As for cover reveals, you will now know how to manage them, how to contact the book reviewers and your street team, and how to actually do a cover reveal. Okay, as a book reviewer, you might not manage it, but you hear about it from the publishers and authors so you can prepare the cover reveals together.
And that is precious information. It also takes away future stress from it—or helps to, at least.
You will learn about the publishing world and how it works.
Now, you’ll be an insider. Maybe not on the writing side, but definitely an insider. Why? You’ll learn how ARCs and reviewing work, how blog tours and book tours are planned, the publishers’ different catalogs and preferences, Web sites used and how they work with their people (that can tell you a lot about how they might treat their authors as well!). Finally, you’ll get to participate in insider surveys, develop ideas to promote books and reviews, and you’ll get an inside look on their publishing calendar and how it works (that applies to self-published authors too, only they’re the ones to decide when and how they publish).
Through meaningful relationships with authors and publishers and learning about the publishing world, you’ll find yourself grasping the big gears of how publishing works for when you’re done writing your own book. And you know the bonus? You’ll have a hella great time going about it, too! Whether you’re new or already published, I believe you can learn from being an insider—there’s always something new to discover!
Tell me, have you thought about reviewing? And if you’re a book reviewer or an author, has reviewing helped you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!
See you next post, lovelies!