The up-to-date short version:
Please use the Usergroups tab of the User Control Panel to request to join the review team groups
. Once your membership is approved, there will be a link at the top of the forum index
to the Review Team Page
where you will be able to choose from an assortment of free books in exchange for writing a review of whichever book you choose. Some reviews come with a payment of money in addition to the free book! If you are an author or publisher (or if you are a member of the review team who is curious how the front end is for authors), please go to: http://onlinebookclub.org/review-requests/
The long, old version:
I am working on setting up a book review system for independent authors and publishers wanting to get the word out about their books. I will create a group with a special list viewable only to reviewers in which I will post a short summary of a book that is available. On a first come first serve basis, whoever is interested in getting a free copy of the book can opt to do so. In return, you will read and write an honest
review of the book. If do not like the book or hate it so much you do not even want to finish reading it, that's fine. Your 'review' can simply be given to the author as constructive criticism. So this is actually simple idea, you review a book in exchange for getting a free copy of the book.It is greatly preferred that you have an ereader because the review copies will generally be in digital format.
You can read ebooks on a computer or smart phone if you do not mind, but I personally never enjoyed doing that before I had my Nook. The review copies will generally be in digital format simply because it essentially costs the author/publisher nothing to give a copy of book to us in digital format. Of course, you will be expected to respect the copyrights of the book and not share your free copy with anyone else.You will be expected to write a review of the book and rate it on a scale of 1-4.
The review will need to be at least a couple paragraphs. In the review you just want to briefly summarize the book in your own words, briefly explain what you liked and/or didn't like about it the book/story, briefly explain if and why you would or would not recommend others read it. Of course, if you hate the book or don't even want to finish it then the 'review' can take a more undefined form, simply being a brief explanation to the author (who for instance obviously doesn't need you to summarize the book) which acts as constructive criticism.
This is a completely free process for you, the potential reviewer. You will not be told you have to review a certain book, but rather you will have the opportunity to choose to be the reviewer of a book as the free copies come in. So you really have nothing to lose by volunteering for this. I am just asking for volunteers ahead of time simply to get an idea of how many people are interested and to make it so I can communicate in the future only with those who are interested about it, rather than annoying uninterested people with information about free books available to read.
If this works out, I think it will become a win-win for everyone. These new, independent authors will have a chance to get the word out about their book--assuming it is good enough to a peak the interest of a voluntary reviewer and get a good review. The reviewer will get access to free copies of books. And the community will have the chance of being notified via review by trusted members about new, good books (as opposed to the author/publisher trying to spam the reviews section himself). If you are like me you are not interested when an author of a new book tells you it is good, but if a trusted reviewer reads an unknown, independent book and recommends it then I see that as potential chance of discovering a gem.
I think the success of this depends most on getting enough reviewers and enough free review copies to effectively play matchmaker, since most books won't interest most reviewers especially since we are usually talking about independent books that haven't undergone the vetting process of traditional publishing and that do not already have reviews you can use to decide if they are worth your time or not.
Please consider whether you have an ereader, or if not whether you have another way to read ebooks that you do not mind (e.g. on your computer or smart phone), or if you would only be interested in getting physical copies of the books in the mail (which would still be free, but would limit your options greatly). Also if you can, please roughly estimate the frequency with which you think you would review books--assuming there was always some available that interest you enough at least since they are free.Update:
I have set this up. Please use the Usergroups tab of the User Control Panel to request to join the review team groups
. If you are an author or publisher (or if you are a member of the review team who is curious how the front end is for authors), please go to: http://onlinebookclub.org/review-requests/