Gaining a publisher’s trust as a reviewer


A couple of years ago I picked up Heather Burch’s, Halflings, read it and reviewed it on my blog.  A few weeks afterwards, I received an e-mail from the publisher, Zondervan.  They liked my review and wanted to know if I would like to review more books for them.  Of course, my answer was a big YES!!!  They proceeded to send me two more books.  Sadly, I wasn’t particularly fond of either one of them, so I didn’t review them online.  I felt I wouldn’t do justice to the authors or to Zondervan.  I mean, let’s face it.  I’m still a newbie author myself.  Who am I to slam someone else’s dreams on a public forum.  If I was a professional reviewer and people waited with bated breath to know what I thought, then that would be a different story.  Right now, I’m not that person.  I’m a start-up author with a blog who likes to talk up the books I like or that I think others will enjoy.

To make a long story short, after a long hiatus, Zondervan contacted me a few days ago with a request to pick books from a list I might be interested in reading and reviewing.  There was a picture and a blurb for each one in the e-mail and they were all MG or YA reads.  I sent a message back saying I couldn’t pick just one but if I had to, I’d go for the paranormal/fantasy first.  Their response?  “We’ll be happy to send them all.”  Really????   How crazy is that?  There are around 8 books all together AND all but one happened to be on  my TBR list.  The first four arrived Wednesday and Thursday.  Want a peak?

zondervan books May 2013

 

I’m so stoked!

I think my luck in landing my review gig with Zondervan has a lot to do with being in the right place at the right time as well as being honest in my review without being disrespectful.  The books they send and that I read are Young Adult, and Zondervan knows my blog caters to their target audience.  It’s a win-win situation all the way around.

Since my review of Halflings, I have met Heather Burch, and in February of this year, I received a signed copy of her second book in the series, Guardian.  The third and final book in the series, Avenger, is propped in that pretty little picture above.  I am thrilled to have the opportunity to read and review this series.

And all it took was one honest review of one book.

I am thrilled Zondervan chose me to periodically review their YA books.  Maybe this will lead to another job all together:  book reviewer extraordinaire.  🙂  How much fun would that be?  I mean, where else can you get copies of books for free that you want to read in exchange for a review?  To me, that sounds like pure bliss.

So for those of you who don’t think reviews drive people to your blogs?  Think again.  All it takes is the right person to get you noticed.  Zondervan Publishing has my utmost respect, and I am honored to have theirs.