As every author knows, reviews bump up your book profile and encourage sales. So how do you go about getting those treasured reviews? We talked to Isabelle Werneck from More Books Than Livros
AJ: Hi, Isabelle. Welcome! Tell us a bit about yourself.
Isabelle: Hi. My name is Isabelle. I’m 40 years old and have been married the last 18 years of those 40. I’m a mother of three teenagers and I work with children and teens with ADHD.
I’m a bookaholic and I’ve been passional about my books since I was 7 years old and was gifted my first book collection.
I’m from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; but I read mostly in English.
Living in Brazil, but liking to read in English was not easy before Kindle and Goodreads. In fact, I believe I’m a bit crazy about endorsing both Amazon and GR.
Before Kindle, I was always behind on my book series, because it took a while for me to get my books here in Brazil.
Before Goodreads, I didn’t know that many authors and genres and I had no one to discuss my books with. None of my friends like to read in English, they all wait for the translated version in Portuguese to arrive.
I have joined Goodreads on March 2012, and I believe on July of 2012 I got my first blog posting my reviews.
I always like to remind people that English is not my first language and my reviews are not professional at all. I write them, because I read them while choosing books to buy. In fact, I try to write them for every book I read, even if it is a 15 pages short-story.
Nowadays, I read for fun and what I really love to read is romance. I will read anything with a romantic plot, and only sometimes I will choose a book without any romance whatsoever.
I like to say I’m eclectic, and I can read almost any genre inside the romance category. Even though lately, I’ve been enjoying dark romance so much, I have been having a hard time with a very sweet romance with too much TLC (tender loving caring). I guess my favorite genres are paranormal romances, specially shifters stories and ménage reads, but I really like them all inside the romance category. From YA, to very spicy non-con type of dark romance; from Historical to Dystopian books.
AJ: What is your favourite way to be approached for reviews?
Isabelle: I have been approached by authors or publishers through Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter and on my blog. I don’t mind, they all work for me. But I always ask the author to visit my blog and see at least a couple of my reviews and I make sure that he knows that I will post a review from a half a star until a 5 star. Like I’ve mention before, I review everything, even a books I dislike. I’m always polite on my reviews and I try to explain why I like or dislike the book. It’s never personal, it’s always about the book!
AJ: What is the trickiest thing about reviewing?Isabelle: The trickiest part for me personally, is to always try to bring something new. Because I read between 5 or 6 books a week, I post a lot of reviews. I sort of have created a script for me to follow. I try to avoid repetition on my reviews and I’m always trying to learn new words in English, so I can improve my vocabulary and the quality of my reviews .
AJ: What is your best tip to an author who gets a not-so-glowing review?Isabelle: I think the first and most important rule I would like to tell an author,: don’t take it personally! I know is hard, as a reviewer sometimes I also think people start judging what I’m writing, but in my case at least, is never personal. In fact, I write reviews for readers like me, not for authors. I’m not try to tell someone how or what they should write, I’m exposing to people with similar taste why they probably will or won’t like the book.
Books are art, not Science. We like or dislike because of personal preferences and tastes. Some books takes us beyond, in a cathartic experience. Others, don’t. I have read books from my favorites authors that I have dislike, it doesn’t mean I don’t like the author. It doesn't mean that I won't try something else from the author. I hope it helps!
Stalker links for Isabelle!