Becoming a Book Reviewer – Pros and Cons

dragon reading

I haven’t done a simple discussion post in a long time, but I thought it would be fun today! If you didn’t already notice, most of my books I review were sent to me for free from the author or the publisher. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I’d be privileged enough to receive all this, but here I am! While it is pretty awesome to receive free books, there are a few aggravating things about it. Here’s a few of the pros and cons I could think of.

 

Pro: Free Books!

Of course this is going to be my first pro! Not only am I on certain reviewer lists for publishers, but I have even sent an email to an author I liked to ask for one of their books. Maybe I have just been lucky, but every author I’ve contacted has sent me the book I wanted. This honestly blew my mind when I first began.

 

Con: Time/Time Limits.

Reading a book takes a lot of time. Reviewing a book can take a lot of time and especially a lot of thought. What makes it worse is that a lot of companies set a certain amount of weeks that you have to post a review in. So, book reviewing is not super leisurely, especially when you get sent multiple books at once.

 

Pro: ARCs.

If you’ve never had an ARC, you’re missing out! ARC stands for “Advanced Reader’s Copy.” It’s when an author sends you a unfinished copy of the book before the release day. I can’t even describe how special that feels when you have an unreleased book.

 

Con: Accepting Too Many Books.

Once your reviewing name is out there, book review requests will be flying at you! It can be super tempting (especially at the beginning) to accept all of them! DON’T DO THAT! I was warned about that temptation, but still did it to a certain extent. I was rushing through books, had to read multiple ones in a day, and was late on my deadlines. You have to pace yourself or it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

 

Pro: Signed Copies and Goodies!

Authors (especially indie authors) are always excited when you accept their book for review! Luckily for book reviewers, they sometimes show that appreciation. Probably a fourth to half of the books I have received are signed by the author with a small thank you note. I have been sent bookmarks, pens, discounts for products, and my blog has even been shared onto authors’ Facebook pages! Of course sending the books for free is enough thanks for me, but the little extra things sure brighten my day! 🙂

 

Con: The Pressure to Be Nice.

This con may sound a little odd, but it’s very true. When an author comes to me and asks for a review, it is really hard for me to write a bad review about their book. I will even contact them if I am not enjoying it and ask if they are sure about me reviewing it. I know how devastated I would be if I had a book and it was reviewed badly, but I also never want to lie to my followers. If I have to write a bad review, I try to state things as kindly as I can.

 

Pro: Helping Indie Authors.

Becoming an author is a really difficult thing to do. It can be hard to advertise your books, and many new authors reach out to reviewers for that help. One review can make a big difference.

 

Book reviewing is completely worth it in my opinion, but it is definitely a job (and normally an unpaid one). What did you all think of my pros and cons? Do you have more to add? Be sure to tell me in the comments if you’d like a part 2! Thanks for reading!

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30 thoughts on “Becoming a Book Reviewer – Pros and Cons

  1. Great discussion! I couldn’t agree more about the pros and cons you’ve mentioned. I love getting ARCs and I’m such a fan girl about getting them from particular publishers that I love. I definitely take on too many sometimes though! I’ve had to scale it back a bit… and it is definitely like an unpaid job! I’d add that I’ve discovered some great books, authors, and bloggers with fantastic recommendations through doing this.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you! I take on too many constantly still… It’s just so tempting!!

      Yes, I have discovered some amazing authors that I definitely wouldn’t have heard of without doing reviews. I actually have a new favorite author because of it!

      Thanks for reading! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m new to the book reviewing game and it started with an author who’s reading group I joined on FB and of course I absolutely agree getting the ARC copy of a books is a buzz and I only ended up blogging because Amazon stopped allowing me to post reviews because they said I was biased and had something to gain from the review.
    I did struggle with the deadlines on a few occasions especially as I also work full time.

    I haven’t considered asking my favourite authors for a book for free in return for a review, perhaps it’s something I may try in the future!

    Look forward to Part 2 of your discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! That’s a really fun start to reviewing. I have heard a lot of reviewers complain about Amazon taking down reviews. I hope that never happens to me!

      I was off work for a summer, so I had tons of time to review, but I agree it is so, so much harder now that life is back in the swing of things.

      You should definitely try asking an author! You may be surprised! Thanks for reading. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “The pressure to be nice ” is the one I would struggle with, after all it takes so much effort to write and publish a book. ❤️ I don’t think, I could write “Trash”, if that book was given to me by the hopeful author… (but I could say it, if I spent €18 on the book and hated it…) It’s sure hard work to be a professional reviewer! Definitely not for me, but you are doing awesome. Excellent and very honest post, loved it. 💜 📚

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The balance between being nice and being honest is a tough one, and one that keeps me from wanting to review books. An online reviewer once backed out of reviewing one of my books because she didn’t like it, and I was happy to have her do that. With print reviews, you just have to take your chances. I do respect that. As a reader, I don’t want reviewers to back away from talking about a book’s weaknesses, and as a writer I don’t expect that, and I do sometimes learn from the criticism. On the other hand, there’s a human being behind every book, and a bad review can be hard to take. The ones that kill me are the bad Goodreads/Amazon review that aren’t well thought through and don’t amount to much more than carping.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is very tough! That’s why I always try to review bad books in the nicest way possible. Also, if I disliked the book, I normally only post the review on my blog (not on the other sites I usually do such as Amazon).

      Nice thoughts! Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I like your reasons so much that I decided to follow you. I agree 100% with your comments one thing I add is how I got a book. I have had problems with Amazon. They still accept my reviews. Also on series I try to put the number of the book. Many readers want to read them in order. My thoughts are changing and I have a tendency to all the cozies mysteries. I like animal stories especially cats and dogs. For health reason I need to curb this I publish usually on Tuesday as that is when mysteries are usually released. I have found some outstanding indie authors. I have many pictures taken my husband which I often share. I have no Facebook or Twitter account. Thanks for saying what I think.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Amazon removed all my ARC’s from Net, and the Kindle I received from them needs replacing. But, I lose so much when I change. It’s a disaster 4 chats and phone calls with my caregiver. The problem is still not fixed. My reviews have not been a problem.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Really interesting discussion! I haven’t requested any books for review, because I’m nervous it’ll add too much pressure to my reading and blogging. And I’d hate having to write a negative review for a book I received. But on the other hand, FREE BOOKS. That’s a pretty compelling point, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I get sent more books than I request. Now, I’m getting about one book submission a day (and not accepting any because I’m too busy!) It does add pressure, but if you take it slow it’s sooo worth it!!

      Like

  7. This is a really thoughtful pros and cons list! I am completely new to reviewing books & arcs, but I think the ultimate take away from all these tips is moderation – mostly accepting things in moderation. And you’re so right about feeling special when you get an arc! I don’t think it will go away. It’s also just a really appreciative feeling too, right?! 😄 Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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