How would you describe your blog?
A group of ladies who enjoy the escape of books, the passion of reading, and the sexy hunks involved.
I am personally a sucker for paranormal romances, but I enjoy contemporary romance and romantic suspense as well.
What inspired you to start reviewing books? Why do you continue to do it?
I love reading books, but I often had no one to really talk to about them because I didn’t know anyone who enjoyed reading like I did, so I started reviewing books so I could reach other people that enjoy what I do. I continue to review books because I like being able to reach other readers in hopes that they will enjoy what I do and find other authors that they might otherwise never have found.
Have long have you been reviewing books?
Oh gosh, going on 3 years now I believe.
Where do you prefer to buy your books?
I usually buy my books through Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
What do you mostly base your decision on before offering to review a book? (book cover, blurb, or by reading an excerpt online, etc.)
Book covers, for me, play a huge role in how I view a book. I just don’t feel drawn to a book if the cover doesn’t appeal to me. After that, I look at the blurb. That has to draw me in further. If both peak my interest, then I’ll usually offer to review it.
What’s your advice for authors about promoting their book?
First and foremost, if you’re going to a blog, look at their rules. They usually have them for a reason and it does cause problems sometimes if they are not followed. Always be courteous as well. If you have a good experience with the reviewers, they are more likely to help you again in the future. Even if they can’t review the book, they will usually offer other ways they can help.
How many requests do you get on average monthly?
I myself usually get around 10-15 requests a month.
Do you respond to every request?
I do. Sometimes it might take me a while because life tends to get in the way at times. But I always make sure to try to respond to each one.
Do you review Indie or self-pubbed authors? (Why or why not?)
I am careful with Indie / Self-published authors. I will review them, but I have run into some with a few issues. I’ve read some that I didn’t like, and some that were great. So it’s a toss of the coin. If their cover and blurb attract me, I will usually read them.
When an author requests a review, what information do you need?
We at RR usually require all the basics, like Title, Genre, Author, book blurb, etc. Links to information about the book is also helpful. If the author wishes to put other information in there as well, it is usually a bonus.
Do you prefer to read an excerpt before accepting a book for review?
I don’t. As I’ve said, usually a cover and book blurb are enough. But excepts help because they give us a taste of the author’s writing style, and that sometimes can push us to decide to review the book.
What do you do if you’re not enjoying a book or don’t want to finish reading it?
At Riverina Romantics, we will email the author and let them know privately that there was some reason we found that we could not review it. We are either always polite about it or express that it wasn’t to our style, or we could not rate it high enough. We never wish to give a bad review for an author and will not write a review that will in any way damage an author’s sales or reputation.
What do you include in your reviews?
I will usually give an opening opinion, and then go into the hero and heroine as individuals before addressing them as a couple. If there are secondary characters that I enjoy, I will usually do a little thing on them as well. Then I’ll close with an overall view of the book in total.
Where do you post reviews besides your own site?
I usually put my reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. If another site is requested by an author, I do my best to do that as well.
Do you host book tours, blog hops, or guest posts? (Why or why not?)
Yes. We like to help authors get their work out there. So we do our best to help in any way we can.
Can you tell if an author hasn’t bothered to read your ‘review policy’?
Yes. All of the ladies on the blog have a general group where we communicate everything. If something pops up with two of us at the same time, we usually know right then and there that whoever sent the request did not look at our policy.
On your site, do you clearly state what types of books you review and what genres you don’t?
No. A book does not necessarily need to be romance to be reviewed by us. As long as it is the main theme, we are willing to review it.
Give us an example of the “wrong” way to request a review:
I’ve gotten requests before that went something along the lines of…
“Hi! I’m (insert author name here.)
I’d like you to review my book! Thanks!”
That’s all I would get. Requests like that don’t draw me in and I am a lot less likely to review it if I have to hunt down all the information about it.
Provide us with an example of the “right” way to request a review:
Ones that go like this…
“Hi! I’m (insert author name here.)
I’m would be happy if you could read my book, (insert book title). It’s about…(enter small description here.) Below is the blurb and some links in case you would like more. Thank you for taking the time to consider my book.”
Usually the more information that is given, the better.
I’ve had a few dealings with unpleasant authors because I did not share their opinion of their work.
Any additional advice?
Even if you do not agree with what a reviewer has said about your work, please do not retaliate in a negative way. It is only one person’s opinion, one that you may have asked for. Responding to us poorly is the quickest way for us to refuse you in the future.
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