Monthly Archives: May 2010
Like an artist who is able to sell their work, profiting from books that you would have read anyway is like icing on the cake. Now, profiting can mean many things, but for the purpose of this blog, when I say profiting, I mean that you get something from the time you spend reading a book (other than the pleasure), whether it’s a paycheck, a byline or a global audience.
Have you figured it out yet?
I’m talking about writing book reviews.
If you have dreams of a career in writing, becoming a book reviewer can allow you to sharpen your skills with the printed word, give you a collection of “clips” that can later help you snag more writing or reviewing gigs. Plus, even if the book review site pays little or nothing for your review, they almost always supply you with the free books!
And I can think of nothing I’d rather receive in the mail than free books!
In addition to a little jingle in your pocket and free books, writing book reviews is a way to connect with fellow readers world-wide over shared interests and ideas. And if you are like me, being able to contribute your thoughts about a book is just the coolest, and in some small way, you are helping another writer get god press (assuming you did like the book).
There are numerous book reviewing web-sites out there in cyber-land, and all you usually have to do is run a search for “book reviewing” to get a few good candidates. I have over a dozen reviews under my belt for Curled Up with a Good Book, ranging from non-fiction to literary novels. (See a link to my page at the bottom)
A few other good online book review sites include:
-FaithfulReader.com (Geared toward Christian Readers)
Carefully read the site’s guidelines and follow their directions. You may be asked to write a sample review on a book you’ve read recently. Before you write it, browse through some of the other reviews of similar books on the site, making sure you look at the work of several different reviewers to get a feel for the proper format and the tone of the review site as well. Then submit!
Offline, magazines and newspapers usually run book reviews. Try approaching your local paper with an idea for a book column. If the newspaper is small, approach your local bookstore to discuss a cooperative venture for placement in the newspaper. Say that if they provide the book and pay to buy a space in the newspaper (and maybe a little remuneration, if you’re feeling lucky), you will read the book and review it for them. This is a win/win situation for all—the newspaper gets ad money and content without paying for it, the bookstore gets unique advertising, and you get a free book, a byline, and maybe a little dough for your time!
***Note that BookReported.com, Faithfulreader.com, teenreads.com, and kidsreads.com are all part of a larger company, and the guidelines for all can be found at: http://www.tbrnetwork.com/becoming.asp
If someone asked you how many books you have ferreted away around your house, would you draw a complete blank? Have you every purchased the same book twice because you forgot that you already had it? Have you ever tried to recommend a book to a friend only to find that you can’t remember the name?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions than it is crystal clear—you need to catalog your book collection. If you answered “yes” to all of them, well then you may need to carry yourself into the nearest Biblio-addicts meeting (have no fear, I’ll put the coffee pot on for you all!)
There are several comprehensive web-sites out in cyber-land dedicated to helping you gain order and accomplishment over your literary tomes, ranging from free services to ones that charge nominal fees.
The website Library Thing lets you catalog up to 200 books for free, or you can pay just $10 for unlimited cataloging for one year, or shell out $25 for lifetime rights to catalogue as many books as want. This site is pretty cool, and it has many bells and whistles.
You add books to your library by searching for them by Name, Author, or IBSN, though you can also browse if you know part of the title. It is so easy to add a book to your library, and once you do, you can organize the list in the way that you prefer. Oh, and after you’ve read a book, you can rate it and even include a mini-review.
You can search for books through the available-at-Amazon database. You can “tag” your book with phrases that help you organize into sub-groups (like chick-lit, mystery, horror), and you can chat with other members who have the same book. One neat feature is that you can see what other books were tagged similar to yours, or what other people recommend to read if you liked a certain other book.
If you have a web-site, you can make a little widget that will run down the side of your page showing what you’ve added recently, what your favorite books are, or whatever criteria you choose to set. You can see my little ditty down the right-hand side of my blog under the heading Recent Books from My Library at: in Literal Limbo.
I’ll have to admit, adding books to this site is addictive, and I’m up to 140-something now, which means I’ll have to pay-to-play sometime in the near future.