Book Review Service Is Launched Offering More Than Just Reviews

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Reader Views, an online book review service, does not only review books but offers low budget publicity and editing services to writers.

It's difficult to comprehend, but nearly 200,000 books were published in 2005, a 13 percent increase from the previous year, and a precipitous climb from the 45,000 books published in 1991. The increase is due to thousands of small publishers and self-publishers emerging every year. At last count, the Publishers Marketing Association tallied 86,641 legitimate publishers with at least ten books in print. Of those, 1,804 were more significant, with 200 or more books in print.

Authors know competition to sell their book is high and their best bet is to generate as much discussion about the book as possible. This means trying to get it reviewed. "A book's publicity is 'review driven,'" explains Irene Watson, Managing Editor of Reader Views, an online review service. "It's important for authors to get as many reviews as possible to gain credibility and create a buzz around the book. The buzz is what sells the book."

Not only do authors have to hurry to get their books noticed, they have a limited time to do so. Bookstores do not keep books on their shelves for more than three months, so the window of opportunity is very small. "If the book does not get a review, a book reading, or a feature article, it misses that window of opportunity and it's like the book was never published," explains Watson. "It's important to get a review from a reputable reviewer."

Who are those reputable reviewers? They are the ones who edit and write for book-trade periodicals, including Choice, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and Library Journal. However, most of these have strict guidelines and require galleys three to four months before publication date. Even so, getting a review is strictly 'luck of the draw' since Library Journal receives more than 30,000 books per year, of which approximately 5500 are reviewed.

Aside from the "Big 5" there are many magazines and newspapers. However, at the Los Angeles Times, out of the more than 200,000 books published each year, only 1,500 are reviewed or mentioned. Furthermore, most of the national media will not recognize self-published or print-on-demand books. The best recourse for the author is to get reviews from credible online book review services. But again, with so many books published there aren't enough reviewers to give justice to every book, especially one by an unknown author or that is self-published.

That's why Irene Watson launched Reader Views in mid-December, 2005. "After having my own book published, I had a hard time getting reviews and realized there was a need for this service. On a whim, I put out a call for reviewers and was overwhelmed with applications," states Watson. "The next step was to put out a call for books. We were immediately flooded with submissions. To date we have reviewed nearly 200 books. My goal is to have every book we accept be reviewed." Reader Views has a total of 50 reviewers in a variety of genres. They review older books, recent books, and forthcoming books that are still in manuscript or galley stage. Although they do not review some genres like erotica, pornography or racism, they have reviewers in every other genre.

For authors, the benefits of Reader Views book review service is outstanding. Not only do they get their book reviewed, but they have an option to be interviewed either by e-mail or on a weekly Internet radio show to be launched in April, 2006. "We also offer low budget, author-friendly publicity packages to authors who could not otherwise afford to get their books 'out there,'" explains Juanita Watson, assistant editor of Reader Views. "Plus, after receiving several self-published books that had a great story line but were very difficult to read because of spelling and/or grammatical errors on almost every page, we decided to offer low cost editing packages. We are extremely excited about offering this affordable service."

Reader Views was launched on December 15, 2005 and has grown to one of the largest online destinations for writers. In the past three months their endorsements have appeared on newly published books, they've partnered with other credible book review sites, their write-up has appeared in many newsletters, and they have attracted authors from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands. "It's about connecting with authors and providing them the review they deserve," claims Watson.

To learn more about Reader Views and the services they offer, please visit their web site at: http://www.readerviews.com

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Irene Watson