Reviews are a key signal used in the ranking of online books. The more reviews, the higher the book ranks and the more books are sold. Of course, given this logic, reviews have been widely gamed by authors and publishers, to the point when they are sometimes not reliable guides as to a book’s quality and popularity. Authors round up their friends to review their books, or pay other services to generate reviews, or review other authors’ books in the hope of reciprocal reviews. Amazon has been fighting back against this degradation of the reviewing signal — the outlines of said epic struggle are described here, along with the latest strategies for independent authors.
Books+Publishing are looking for books to be published from June onwards, originating in Australia or New Zealand. Please send your printed proofs by Tuesday 1 March directly to the following address:
PO Box 6509
St Kilda Road Central VIC 8008
As well as appearing online at www.booksandpublishing.com.au, these reviews will feature in their monthly Books+Publishing Reviews and Junior newsletters. Of course, there are no guarantees that a particular title will be reviewed!
Best known as the organisers of the CBCA awards, the Children's Book Council of Australia also offers (but does not guarantee) to review childrens and YA books sent to them at this address:
Reading Time Online
PO Box 216
Kallangur LPO QLD 4503
The reviews are published at readingtime.com.au
The overwhelming majority of reviews are of books published by mainstream publishers, but independent authors should still give it a go. The criteria for inclusion genuinely seems to be quality rather than origin.
Kids Book Review is an attractive and frequently updated Australian book review blog. Apart from thoughtful reviews, the site also features interviews with illustrators and authors. Due to the sheer volume of review requests, the volunteers who run the site will not review self-published work. The site also has an excellent list of writing awards and events, plus links to related blogs and services.