At Interviews & Reviews we have two valuable resources - our reviewers/readers and authors. They kind of go hand in hand. We need each other.
We have a little over fifty team members from different walks of life here at I & R. Some are stay-at-home moms, and some are students and others are even authors themselves. All claim the title of "Christian" and know that our primary purpose at I & R is to promote books and authors who bring glory to God through their writing. We are not just a "book review blog," we are also a ministry, working to build up the body of Christ and spread the Gospel through the written word.
Therefore, when someone submits a book to us, we have certain expectations. We expect a "Christian" book to be without foul language, extreme violence and sexual situations. We expect a message of redemption, grace or hope.
I & R Team Reviewer Rebecca Maney says:
I personally expect published books to be edited with a smart cover and interesting back copy. That back copy is important and plays a huge part in whether or not your book is selected for review. Consider it your "elevator pitch." When you submit a book to us, it is displayed to our reviewers like a book on a shelf. Your book is competing with many other books, often in the same category, so make it stand out. Don't give me the whole story, but give me enough to make me reach for your book!
That's what reviewers expect from a book. But what about authors? What do they expect from a review?
One of the frequent complaints I hear from authors (and as an author myself it is one of my pet peeves) is that the reviewer recaps the story by almost repeating word for word the back copy of the book. Most book review sites include the book description before the reviews, so there is no need to include it again. Instead, authors expect reviewers to explain what they liked and didn't like about their book. Hopefully they loved everything! But if there is something that was the reason a book dropped to three stars, a reviewer should gently explain why.
Author Eleanor Bertin agrees:
I know many reviewers are mindful of hurting an author's feelings and so they give a lower rating without any explanation. You only hurt an author if you are mean in your review. If you give valid points and explain why you did not like a book, or something in it bothered you, it helps the author (or it should) grow in their craft. Believe it or not you are helping, not hurting when you explain in a loving way, why you gave a book a low rating.
So what is a reasonable expectation for an author when they submit a book to Interviews & Reviews? We will contact you immediately if someone requests it. We will do our best to review it in a timely matter. We will be honest, and we will promote your book by placing our reviews on this website and on Amazon, Goodreads, Christianbooks.com and various member blogs. We will promote it on Twitter and Instagram as well. In addition, if your book receives four or five stars from one of our reviewers, it will be entered in our book of the month contest. The winners become finalists in our Book of the Year Awards.
Want to submit something to us today? Just visit www.interviewsandreviews.com/booksubmissions, fill out the form and we will contact you.
Want to join our reviewing team? Read our Reviewer Guidelines and if you decide we might be a good fit for you, fill out a form and we'll contact you.