I’ve been writing reviews for a long time.

I have been reviewing books since the days of having to write or type the reviews on a type writer and send them in via snail mail in an envelop to the publishing company. Sometimes the company published your review and sometime they didn’t. Either way you got a free book or magazine. No, they did not pay you for the reviews.

Yes, my reviews are on the back cover of some pretty well-known books.

I don’t know if publishers still use this format of collecting reviews or not, now that the internet exist but publishers used to send books to avid readers who have purchased numerous books and was recommended by a book store as a prized reviewer. They sent letters asking you for a review.  Sometimes the book you got was slightly different from the one published.  Today it’s called an ARC. Back then, it was simply a free book.

The second round of reviewing came during my college years. The library I worked at during my college years is another place I wrote reviews for.  I wrote the views for the books, and magazine  for library who sent them to the publishers.

I reviewed all types of books. Some, I liked and some I didn’t. My job was to tell the public about the book or article and its strong or weak points. I wrote some editorial reviews as well.

I was writing reviews before the days of asking stellar amounts of money for a book or article review. You couldn’t ask for $50.00 – $2,500 for your opinion. That was unheard of back then except something like a professional reviewing firm like Kirkus Reviews.

[ Guess what? Virginia Kirkus got started doing the same thing I was doing.]

I doubt they would’ve paid had I asked. Sometimes, sponsors of the magazines sent you free stuff like free pizza coupons, free meals at your favorite restaurant, free movie tickets, free box office rentals, free clothing or shoes, free make-up [that was never the right colors.] and etc., but you didn’t know you would be getting these things until they arrived in the mail. Some of the magazines paid a small penance of something like five dollars and some didn’t.

Sometimes a local radio or television station would pick up your review and read to  their audience what you wrote.

I was a teenager and young adult back then, I liked the idea of reading a famous author’s book before the general public or getting in to a see a movie before it hit the theatre. The experience was exalting.

The hardest things to review were text books. LOL!



About unholypursuit

A. White, an award winning former librarian, who is also a long time member of Romantic Time and Publisher's Weekly. A. White has been writing for over fifteen years. She took classes in creative writing in college, specializing in ancient myths and legends. and later at a local community center while living in Chicago. In college she won the national contest to verbally list every country in the world, it's capital and ingenious language. Her works are mainly horror, fantasy, extreme, and sci-fi as well as, as some may says, "the truly strange predicament and puzzling." Books that I've written are "Clash with the Immortals, and eleven others which are part of the "Unholy Pursuit saga,". She has been working on the Chronicles since 2007. She wished to complete them all before introducing them to public so the readers wouldn't have to for the continuation to be written. The ideas of the book come from classic literature such as whose work greatly influence the world world such as Homer, Sophocles, Herodotus, Euripides, Socrates, Hippocrates, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle and many more. The "Book of Enoch" influenced the usage of Azazael as a main character and love interest. I created the primary main character from the Chronicle of Saints. I wanted to show them as real flesh and blood with thoughts, desires and yearning as any human. Not as they are so often depicted. So I created one of my own to show her as a real human that everyone can relate to.
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10 Responses to I’ve been writing reviews for a long time.

  1. Glory Marklkez says:

    Those were the days before all the insanity about book reviews. Everyone seeking to make money off of authors knowing that views have been made a necessitate in the literary world. I see from the publication date of your first book you may not be aware that things haven’t always been like this.

    It wasn’t like this in the early days of Indie and small press publishing. This is a recent madness coming on the scene in the last four years. Prior to this, the public, your fan base dictated which books sold and which didn’t. Every thing was ruled by public opinion. Not those who can afford to buy high priced reviews.

    You know you can rescind those reviews if you want to…..it doesn’t matter it’s been years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your visit Glory. So, I have heard from others that things haven’t always like this.
      Yes, it does seems as thus things to have gone mad. Every time you turn around there’s a new must-do or must-have and none of them seems to do the writer much good.
      Reviews used to a leisure to a book not a necessitate. Each article discussing the book had a different reviewer unless it was a major review like the New York, Los Angeles Times or Kirkus Review. Those were printed across a wide spectrum.


  2. Lionel says:

    You’re a dying breed. Most reviewers nowadays want something for their review. They won’t even buy the book or product and review it. I say the merchants have spoiled them by fiercely competing against each other.


  3. Becker says:

    Keep writing! You’re doing a great job! You know how to bring characters to life.


  4. Kai Knowles says:

    That’s great! I’m able to find a real reviewer. This is the kind of person I would want to review my book. Someone who has been reviewing for years.


  5. Antonietta says:

    If I were an experienced reviewer like you… I would not give away reviews for free. I mean your experience counts for something. I see you give far more reviews than you receive on your own books.


    • Antonietta, thanks for your concern, it’s much appreciate. 🙂 My few reviews aren’t nomial enough to warrant to ask anything in return. If someone find it is their heart to leave a review—I appreciate it very much but I am usually too busy moving on to the next novel to worry about the reviews. 🙂


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