This week the Endless Possibilities Blog Tour features a unique perspective: the point-of-view form the book reviewer’s chair. Welcome Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie to TeeMorris.com. She is not only a writer herself, but she also picks up the pen and reviews books. You might wonder “Isn’t that a little risky to review books with people you work alongside?” and that is what Kristy shines a little light on today.
There’s good and bad in reviewing books while being a writer, and here’s her own thoughts on it.
And if you like what she has to say, why not give her work a read and a review? She’d appreciate it.
“Keep calm and review on.” Words I live by. While I know it’s out-of the ordinary to review books when I myself am a writer, I have found a lot of good reasons to continue with sharing my thoughts on my recent read. As with anything, though, there are pros and cons. Writing book reviews is no different, and here’s a few things to keep in mind when you decide that you still want to review books as well as earn bylines.
- Promoting Fellow Authors- After I finished my YA novel, Jaded, I thought the hard part was over. However, after I entered Jaded in the Swoon Reads competition, I realized just how much work it takes to promote a novel. I made flyers, posted information & links numerous times on my two Facebook pages, Twitter, and blog, signed up as a guest blogger on various sites, etc. Five months later the contest is closed and 78 people read and rated Jaded. (Now I just have to wait to hear back from the publishers of Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan). This experience has taught me how paramount it is for authors to help other authors and one way is to promote, promote, promote!
- Receiving E-books, Paper and Hardback books, and Other Swag for Free- I assume most writers love to read and I’m no exception. Checking the mailbox each day is a lot more fun when there’s a possible book inside.
- Reading Outside Your Comfort Zone- I’ll read just about anything but I gravitate towards YA, short stories, and non-fiction. As a book reviewer, authors of various genres have sent me their work. I had no idea how much I enjoyed science fiction until I became a reviewer.
3 CONS of Writing Book Reviews:
- Time Commitment- There are only so many hours in a day and my full time job as a school counselor and sleeping take up the majority. Blogging, writing, reading, and working on my school library degree fill up the rest. Reading and reviewing books take up a lot of time so I’ve become picky about the books that I agree to read and review. However, I promote many guest authors on my blog by interviews, book cover reveals, giveaways, etc.
- Agreeing to Review A Book & Realizing My Review Will Harm Rather Than Help the Author- My husband makes fun of me because I enjoy most movies and books, even those with less than stellar reviews. However, there are times when I just cannot get through a book because it doesn’t resonate with me, I don’t understand it, or it’s a book I don’t feel comfortable reading. For example, I recently signed up to read, review, and promote a paranormal romance on my blog. A few pages in, I realized I couldn’t continue reading it nor did I feel comfortable promoting it. It was an extremely erotic novel. I’m not a prude by any means (I read the Fifty Shades trilogy) but this was too shocking even for me. Fortunately, the host of the blog tour understood where I was coming from and we’ve remained on good terms.
- Agreeing to Review a Friend’s Book & Realizing My Review Will Hurt Rather Than Help My Author Friend- This situation sucks and unfortunately I’ve been in it a few times. I think the only solution is to be honest with your friend. I realize that not everyone is going to enjoy my writing and anyone that is serious about writing has to accept that fact.
Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie works full time as a middle school counselor but when not on the clock in school, she’s blogging, writing, reading, or traveling. Her YA thriller/romance, JADED, is now available for download and review, a sequel already in the works. If you’d like to be a guest author on her blog, reach out to Kristy at Keep Calm and Write On.