How I Got Started Reviewing Books

For many years, I have loved reading blogs such as Challies or Nate Claiborne that showcase (primarily) reviews of various books.

Over the summer I was struggling to fill hours spent commuting, and missing the academic rigour of Boyce College so I decided to look into how these bloggers received all of the books that they were reviewing.  I had already shared a few posts of books that had deeply impacted me so I decided to reach out to a few different publishers to learn about their blog review programs.

I quickly joined Blogging for Books (WaterBrook Multnomah), Book Look Bloggers (Thomas Nelson and Zondervan), Tyndale House and Moody Publishers programs.  In the first few weeks, as I began to receive acceptances into each of these programs, I became a little click-happy, and ordered as many books as I was able (one from each of Moody and WaterBrook Multnomah, two from Tyndale House and Thomas Nelson//Zondervan).  With each of these programs, there is a list of books available to be ordered by bloggers (you don’t just get to select any of the titles put out by the publisher!), and rather than waiting for a title I knew I would love, I ordered what looked best from each option.  Some of these books have been absolutely fantastic (you can check out my very first review as a part of a review program here!) but some of them I am dreading writing the review.

Over the past two weeks, as I have been working on completing these books and writing their reviews (will be posted over the next month or so!) I have developed a new philosophy of review requests.  I have started emailing publishers such as InterVarsity PressB&H PublishingBaker Publishing Group, David C. Cook and more to request specific titles that I am genuinely interested in, rather than choosing based on what is available.  I think going forwards this will be much better.  I’ll be creating content that I am more interested in, and reading for the sake of personal growth and knowledge, rather than reading for the sake of fulfilling my end of the bargain.  I am still planning to continue to use blog review programs, I think they are awesome and I am so thankful for them! but I am going to use them more thoughtfully and be more intentional in my selection of titles.  All of the publishers linked on this page have put out resources in recent years that I’ve purchased and really appreciated, and I am so grateful for each of them — so please don’t take my new approach as a slam against any of them – it most certainly is not!  It was an issue of user-error and not selecting books that fit my theological viewpoints or preferences.

If you are looking to start reviewing books but still have questions, feel free to send me an email or a message on Twitter – I would love to chat with you!

About Sydney Herron

Sydney is a student at Boyce College at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, studying Business Administration. Sydney loves her family, camping/hiking, icecream, all things Disney, Canada, and reading.