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Friday, March 18, 2011

Freelance Friday - Book Reviews

{Guest post by Danita Ellis}

My name is Danita Ellis and I love to read. Our house is filled with books...don't believe me? We have dedicated two rooms in our house to books...a children's library and my husband's and my library. We have
over three thousand children's books (thanks to my education background and teaching first grade for two years) as well as well over one thousand adult books. Most of the adult books are my husband as he is an avid reader as well. Books as I am sure you all know are expensive and it was costing us a pretty penny to keep up our hobby. I was alerted to the fact that people reviewed books for publishing houses and received free copies of the books as 'payment' if you will. The only thing they ask you to do to is give an honest review.

A friend of mine Karen posted a review on her blog and so I sent her an e-mail asking her where she signed up to review. She told me about the Bethany House Publishers website. I went to their website and signed up immediately. Bethany House is a really easy review company to get in with but they are kind of sporadic in their books that are available for review. They send you an e-mail with the books that are available for review and you choose your books from there. Sometimes they will have a publish review by date but most often they don't.

After I was reviewing for Bethany House for a while I decided to look into other places so I Googled book reviewing. I found BookSneeze. Booksneeze allows you to review for Thomas Nelson Publishers and Tommy Nelson Publishers. They are very easy to sign up with. They have a strict one book at a time review policy, all that means is that you can only have one book at a time to review. Once you post and publish your review for the book you have you can request another book.

Most publishing houses request that you publish your review on another website other than you blog as well. Amazon.com and Christianbook.com are the most popular places and the easiest to publish your review.

All of the publishing houses I review for can be found on my blog and all of them should be linked to the application page if they are accepting new reviewers.

My favorite places to blog for now are Booksneeze, Tyndale, Water Brook Publishers, and Pump Up Your Books.


What do you need to have to review books?

--time

--a blog (some places require up to 60 previous entries on your blog before they will accept you as a blogger for their Publishing house)

--a love for reading

--space to house your books

--an organized system to keep your posting dates in order so you don't miss any postings deadlines.

I probably have more books on the go to review than what most people can handle. I review one to two books a week. I try to do a lot of kids book since my daughter is 5 and my son is 3 months. Free kids books are always in order around our house :) I keep a spreadsheet in Excel to keep my life organized. See below for an example. Everything is color coded and specific. Without my spreadsheet I would be lost!! It helps me know which books I need to be reading and which ones come next.

(click to enlarge)


Now you may be asking...what do you do with all the books once you have read them. I do not keep them all that is for sure. I keep a lot of the bible study books I review if they are any good. I do not keep any of the novels if possible. I have a few places I use to unload unwanted books :)

My first places is Bookjingle. This is a company that buys text books and other books within a certain time frame. They will buy novels if they are not too old (usually within the first three months after publication) They are a wonderful company. They pay you up front for the books they are buying from you and they pay for you to ship the books to them. If they are no longer buying a title I want to sell I usually list that title on Amazon or give them away to friends.

God has been very good to allow me to review books and has given me the time to do something that I love. He has also allowed me to make a little bit of money doing it. I did not find out until Bookjingle until about six months ago but in that time I have made about $200 on the books I have reviewed and then sold to them. I have also made money selling books on Amazon. This is just another little way I as a mother and member of our family can make a little extra income. It doesn't make much money but it makes enough for me to get a few extra things that are not in our budget.

I also do product reviews...but that is another post :) Check out my blog from time to time for reviews and giveaways!!!

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