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November 22, 2021

Who doesn't love discussing books with friends and family after reading them? I guess everyone, right? If that's what you love, book reviewing is the best job for you. Book reviews are primarily written to guide fellow readers into reading certain books. Each book reviewer does it in their own unique way that helps a lot of readers, and here's how you can get started.

1. Read as Much as You can -
For a book reviewer to have the ability to recommend books, they should also be well-read. Therefore, read as many books as you can. 

This will help you critique and compare the books intelligently in the future, making you one of the most trustworthy and influential sources of bookish recommendations.

2. Use a Public Platform -
To be an efficient book reviewer, it is best to choose a public platform that is known and accessible to all. Platforms like WordPress, Blogspot, or Medium for writing book reviews are very well known. This is because they all are so easy to use. 

If you want to try something different in the book reviewing line, you can start your own YouTube channel (also known as Booktube in the industry if you only post book reviews there) or a podcast for your book reviews. 

In addition, there is another mainstream book reviewing websites like Amazon, Goodreads, Kirkus, Reedsy Discovery, where you can read and review books for free.

3. Find Your Niche and Your Target Group -
Many people read and recommend books, so ask yourself, how is your book review different from millions of others writing reviews about the same book? The answer is simple. Find your niche and use it to target your audience. 

A niche can be taken as a specialty or a role that adds unique value to your content that helps the audience take your advice than someone else's. For instance, Jack Edwards is known for his celebrity book recommendations on YouTube. This is because he reads and reviews books recommended by famous public figures, and in this case, celebrity books are his reviewing niche. 

So, find something that sparks a light, especially for you when you are reviewing a book. It could be studying different styles of narrations in books or reading and recommending only books that are children-friendly or non-fiction, anything that interests you. Choose that!

4. Be Honest -
Many people are shy about putting their honest word in public, so they follow the herd and say or do what everyone else is doing. But that's not an ideal way of writing a review

Being honest with what you say about a particular book makes your content very different from others who might not have a similar opinion and makes your reviews reliable. So just be yourself and write what you really felt about the book, without feeling any hesitation. But don't forget what we discussed in our previous article; being honest doesn't mean that you trash talk about the author. 

5. Build a Readership -
Be sure to promote your work on social platforms like Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Engage with your followers or people related to your niche too. Drop a comment on their posts, and they will do the same.

You can ask for support from your family members and friends. Optimizing your website, blog, and social media platforms to suit your book review business would definitely be a step ahead of growing a readership. 

6. Lookout for Diverse and Underrated New Releases -
Reader's love knowing about all kinds of books that are out there for them to read but the ones that really get their attention are newly released books, soon-to-be-released books that they might have never heard of. It is also appreciable in the literary community to discover underrated or unpopular books but hidden gems in general.

This will help you attract readers who are bored of hearing about overhyped books that everyone is reading and loving and can help add spice to your reviewing business.

7. Join a Book Club -
Joining a book club does not only help you build more readership and can help you include timely scheduled diverse books that you can read and discuss with other readers. 

This will further help you dissect and analyze things that may not have crossed your mind while reading the book. Book clubs also call for open-minded recommendations and a literature encouraging and nourishing environment. Also, great for making connections. 

8. Follow Guidelines and Deadlines -
Book reviews don't necessarily have to have a structural format. Still, it is good to make things easier for your readers. So, for example, you can make a different section like plot, characters, narration, etc., and then describe them further. 

Also, if you're in a book club or books were given away for you to review, make sure that you respect the deadlines, like whether the book review needs to be published on a particular date or what all other things are expected to be included in the analysis. Then, when you adequately provide the work, you'll receive more, which will help you in the long term. 

9. Ask Authors and Publishers for Advanced Reader's Copies -
ARCs are pre-published samples of the books sent to book reviewers to promote them on their bookish blogs and profiles. Readers love knowing what books they should look out for before they get printed, and you'll be the one among others who are providing that information. 

All you have to do is email the concerned author or their publisher politely asking them if they would want to send an ARC, or you can become a member of NetGalley and other platforms that provide free E-Arcs.

10. Build a Portfolio -
If you want to stay in business and be a professional paid book reviewer, you might want to prepare a book review portfolio with all the samples of your best reviews attached to it. You can also ask for testimonials from the author if you directly worked with them. Again, it enhances your credibility as a book promoter. 

11. Enjoy Reading Books -
Many book reviewers forget that reading books should be an act of peace and relaxation against your entire tiring day. But, unfortunately, book reviewing is not easy, and reading, rating, writing reviews, and trying to clock back to the schedule can become less enjoyable and more of a chore. 

Remember that being a book reviewer should be fun because you started this job loving and enjoying books, so it must end like it too. So don't be hard on yourself if you can't read a thousand books a year or can't get enough review request approvals from authors and publishers. Just enjoy what you've always loved.

Conclusion -
Book reviewers are everywhere, and everyone wants to tell their side of the story. The tips mentioned above will lead you through a step-to-step process to become a professional book critic and get paid in the future. These can also help you understand the proper literary criticism and get free books to review if it is just a hobby. 

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