Thursday, April 5, 2012

Want free books?

That had my immediate attention a little over 2 years ago when I first heard about book reviewing programs.  I love to read, but our local library doesn't have the greatest selection of new Christian fiction and nonfiction.  And who can afford to just go out and purchase a book every time they want to read something? 

I often get questions from people asking how they can get involved in one of these review programs, so I thought I would write a post to explain.

First, if you want to be involved - you need a blog.  Now, if you love reading books, enjoy writing short reviews, and you have the time to do both, then don't be intimidated by this.  Blogs are really easy to start if you don't already have one.  And with sites like Blogger and Wordpress, you can blog for free.  I mainly started out by doing book reviews and found that I really enjoyed blogging.

Second, you need to apply to one of the programs offered.  Now some require that you have a certain number of visitors to your blog before they will accept you, but that is not all of them.  You can find the buttons of a couple of the book review programs over in my sidebar.  Just click and you will find all of the info you need.  Typically you are required to write about a 150 word (or so) review on your blog (it must be fair and honest) and also put that same review on a site like Amazon or Christianbook.com.  You do not have to love the book, but I will say that if you are going to give anything less than 5 stars you better be ready to back that up.  Your readers will likely leave comments asking you to explain if you give a poor rating and no legitimate negatives in your review.

Having said that, here's a bunch of  the Christian book review programs that I love:

  • Booksneeze/ Thomas Nelson Publishers - pretty sure this is the biggest one
  • Tyndale Publishers
  • Bethany House Publishers
  • Blogging for Books Program / Multnomah/ Waterbrook
That should keep you busy for a looooong time.  A lot of these programs also offer all kinds of fun incentives for reviewers who are really into it and I even enjoy taking part in the occasional blog tour. So if you think you might be interested, check it out.  You can review as much or as little as you want.

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