What You Need to Know
Federal Trade Commission Guidelines
We will never charge you a fee in exchange for an endorsement or book review. Nor will we negotiate our services in exchange for monies, goods, services, favors, gifts, or rewards.
Endorsements and Book Reviews are types of testimonials used in marketing creative work, and for all practical purposes are considered an “advertisement” by the US Federal Government (Federal Trade Commission). Paid endorsements are never looked upon favorably within the industry, and by law must be disclosed. A “paid endorsement” is one gained by the exchange of monies, goods, services, favors, gifts, or rewards.
We strictly prohibit paid endorsements for the performance of book reviews, testimonials, or endorsements of any kind. A professional opinion toward any creative work, when used specifically for marketing purposes, should never be bought as being made available for purchase (“for sale”) in exchange for any of the aforementioned. We abide by this moral and ethical standard both in the giving and receiving of endorsements or testimonials of any kind. Upon drawing a contractual agreement, all such terms will be clearly outlined and delineated prior to signing.
When networking within the industry, if you ever see a review or endorsement that was obtained via any of the aforementioned, or upon seeking a review or endorsement for your work are asked to provide any of the aforementioned, please beware. Although lawful, that source and their opinion may be of questionable reputation and intent.
See this FTC link for more information.
The Value of a Review
Book reviews are important for any author. They not only add validity to your work, but they can also provide an honest appeal to read it. In the very least, they offer the author constructive and critical feedback for their work that will advance them in their craft. Reviews within the industry should be sought by those within a similar niche as well as by those who write in a different camp and can offer an alternative perspective. Any author needs both to obtain a true opinion of their work within the public eye.
Although reviews may appear to be a dime a dozen, the sad truth is, legitimate reviews can be hard to obtain.
Anyone can write a book review. Book reviews are a gift to the author, and to all those who would aspire to read their work. They are an investment of extraordinary time and energy, both in reading the work and writing the review. Therefore, they are one of the most common means of marketing used within the industry.
Book reviews written by authors can be very valuable, offering insights lay readers may miss. They do not, however, imply endorsement of the author or their work. Nor do they promise a high opinion of the work. Reviews are typically graded between one to five stars, with one being poor and five being excellent.
I read Christian and secular works, alike. I prefer to review books that offer their audience a compelling, positive, and life-changing story, regardless of genre. I do book reviews of my own volition on a regular basis, as well as upon request. I will review for both Christian and secular works. For a look at some of my reads and to find out what I look for in an excellent work please visit my Recommended Reading page. Five star reviews can be found here as well. If you plan to submit a request for review of your work, you will want to visit this page.
Because I’m not offering a review of my own volition but upon request, an agreement needs to be established that protects my opinion and your work. Once I agree to review your book I will need you to provide a complimentary digital or hard copy. Please understand, no purchase of your work will be made. If you prefer to send a hard copy, please submit the copy to our mailing address with the appropriate correspondence or tracking information. If you are sending a digital copy, please make sure it is a locked PDF document sent with proper encryption.
I do not perform reviews for a work that is completed yet unpublished. Such would be unethical. If your work is completed yet unpublished what you need is an endorsement.
Book reviews typically come with a one to five star rating. My ratings are as follows:
Five Stars (Excellent) : This is considered a work of literary excellence in every respect, being one I would not only recommend, but possibly read again and further pass along to others. It absolutely begs to be read and shared.
Four Stars (Good): This work is good, but it could be better. It’s worthy of reading, but may need some attention in specific areas to truly shine.
Three Stars (Fair or Nominal): This is a nominal book (and the industry is glutted with them). It sits on the proverbial fence. It’s not good, but it’s not bad either. Someone may benefit from it, but it’s not beckoning to be read. Take it or leave it.
Two Stars (Unsatisfactory): This has not made the grade either in storyline or literary artistry, and is not one I would recommend.
One Star (Poor): This is a failing work. Sadly and regrettably, it should have never been published.
Regardless of where your book may stand in the end, it’s important to understand that book reviews are entirely subjective. If the review is not complimentary please understand they are never to be construed as a personal attack upon the author or their work. If I agree to review your book, I will indeed read it — cover to cover — and give an honest opinion that is constructive, even if it may be critical. You should be able to benefit from that review in a way that will offer you growth in your craft.
Positive Reviews: Four and five-star reviews are published without question. A four-star review is a positive review with room for improvement. If the book is one I find compelling enough, and worthy of five stars, I may also choose to write a blog post on that work, or do an interview with the author, which would serve the author well in marketing their work.
Negative Reviews: If your book is three stars or below, it would be considered a negative review. It didn’t make the grade and is not something you want published. I will do you the courtesy of letting you know. I will not disclose the review to you at that time, but would release that review to you personally via a locked and signed document within an email.
Fees are strictly prohibited for a book review. When submitting your requisition, please provide the following:
• Title with ISBN
• An overview of the book
• Publication date
• Genre and BISAC
• Page Count
• Link to your work
• Author Bio
• Your inspiration for the work
If I accept I will request a complimentary copy.
If you would like me to review your work please submit a request via the link below.
Did you find this page helpful? Please share it!
Featured Image Credit: Ninocare | Pixabay