I appreciate all my blog readers as well as the talented authors that contact me for reviews. I enjoy reading, and writing reviews. I believe a review should not simply be a summary of the book- but a crtical and thorough analysis. Sadly, so many reviewers post short elementary grade level summaries and try to pass it off as a review. Worse yet, I've seen reviewers simply copy and paste the publisher's review from either the website, bookseller or even the back cover of the book itself! I believe that if an author asks me to read a book that he or she has devoted time to write, that writer deserves a well thought out unbiased review beyond an elementary school grade level effort.
Regretably, I do not post reviews on Amazon.com. I've tried but this comercial site restricts reviews to paying customers only. That means if you don't shop from Amazon you can not post reviews for a book (even if you read the book)- on their website. They don't even care what you buy as long as it is any purchase. According to Amazon policy - "You don't need to have purchased the product you're reviewing." It need not even be the book in question that you wish to review. Therefore Amazon can not present the argument that buying a book is proof you read the book. Apparently- its not buying a book, but buying products that makes one qualified to write a review. Personally, I don't have the luxury to be able to do online shopping- or any shopping for that matter. yet, I do not feel that my lack of spending ability dters me from writing reviews.
(Amazon policy is as follows: "To submit a customer review: you need to use an Amazon account that has successfully been charged for the purchase of a physical or digital item. Free digital downloads don't qualify. You don't need to have purchased the product you're reviewing. There's a 48-hour waiting period after your first physical order has been completely shipped, or your digital item has been purchased, before you'll be able to submit your review." )
I believe it is overly restrictive, and in fact is a disservice to customers who want to get honest high quality reviews from a variety of readers- not just those with enough money to buy from Amazon. In fact, Barnes and Noble and Christianbooks.com allow reviewers to post reviews even if they did not make a purchase.
I will be happy to offer a thorough and unbiased review- posted to my website to any author that requests. I will also submit the review to Barnes and Noble if the author requests, in addition to my blogsite. If the author has any other ideas or suggestions to post a review (that do not require making a purchase)- I am more than happy to post.