I'm thinking of starting a review site. Mainly fiction book reviews at first, but then expanding to other genres and possibly even products. I was wondering if anyone could offer advice?
Like would it be better to have reviews in a blog like format or separated by category?
I would assume at first I would get the books to be reviewed, but then how do you get people to start sending you their book to be reviewed, and do you charge for reviews? or do you mainly get revenue from ads and affiliates?
Any advice would be welcome and much appreciated as I am fairly new to online business'
Blogs have categories. Have you ever used Wordpress?
Otherwise, there's no harm in publishing a review as a hub.
Once you have a track record, and your writing is quality, you can contact publishers and ask them for a review copy. I've done that once. I did a Star Wars ezine and there was an interesting book that came out... it must have been 10 years ago now, it was comparing the Star Wars saga to religion and the theological threads it contained. I can't remember the name of the book though I must still have it around here somewhere. I wrote to the publisher, gave them a link to my site, and they sent me a copy of the book.
It related directly to what I was doing as a writer and a fan. They wanted a link to the review when I was done in exchange for the book.
It's not hard to do. But I had something like 50+ ezine 'issues' behind me. So I wasn't some random guy hitting them up for a freebie.
I've only done that once and had 100% success. Who knows, that success rate may have dropped to 50% if I tried again. Though I've never let rejection hold me back. I would have pursued a 66% success rate if I didn't get what I wanted the second time.
Adsense and Amazon would be the most obvious revenue programs to monetize your site. I wouldn't charge for a review, because what if the review is that it sucks? Or worse yet, you say it's good even though it's not.
One important word of a advice though, seeing that you're new, I'd be cutting your teeth on the reviewing of books right here at HubPages. See if you can maintain regular output.
I over the last six month have created a few review sites, using wordpress and uploading of products via csv spredsheets.
The only thing is I did a quick job, did not spend no time on revamping descriptions or anything, saying that I offer reviews on over 3 million products and over 5 million hotels so revamping the descriptions would most proberbly take me on my own about 500 years, non stop. LOL
All I would say is, to compete in this market you need some help, like a few hundred workers/staff.
An idea that I came up with is for a hubpages sort of site where people can create products and descriptions of the products, and in tern they would collect ad revenue and affiliate revenue for the products they created.
I think this the only way to do it unless you have a few million dollars spare.
Yes, you have to have written a few reviews in order for publishers to send you the books. You also have to have an established website or blog. You don't charge for reviews.
Start with reviewing the books you already own or ones you can get out of the library.
You should sign up for Library Thing. They have an Early Reviewer's Group which offers prepublished books for review. You request the book from the list and basically they draw who will get the books.
After you have a record, this site gives information on who to contact:
Thank you so much for your replies.
I have actually reviewed a few books for other sites and just really like reading and reviewing books so that's where the idea to start my own site came from.
I know blogs have categories (I actually have two blogs). I'm afraid I didn't clearly ask my question there. I meant should it be blog style post or should it be links to individual categories where you can read reviews that fall within a specific genre.
Thanks for the links!
You can use Wordpress software as a website as well as a blog. If you check out my website, www.bellydanceoz.com, it's created using Wordpress. All the dancer profiles are actually written as posts, but you can see that I don't include an "archive" link in the sidebar. Instead, I use a tag cloud, and I also have category links along the top. I've also used a directory plugin to produce an alphabetical index. Might work for you too?
Nice layout on your site Marisa. I have to agree, a Wordpress site is the way to go. But dont go for a free one, spend the few dollars and get a .com and a hosting package (name from a regisrar and host somewhere else) There are literally thousands of plugins and free wordpress themes and templates and there are plenty of places you can go where they will build the site for you.
As for getting the books to review, start with your local library and write a few reviews then once you have something to offer, contact some of the authors on Lulu.com and offer to review their stuff but also offer them bio article to help with their self promotion. It's called freeconomics, you offer something free hoping for a bigger payoff later. It can take you a long way.
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