Who Wants to Be a Reviewer?

It’s probably pretty plain that we love romance here, and we enjoy reviewing books and trying to give readers good information about what’s out there. But – there’s a lot of books and comparatively few of us. We would love to add a few more reviewers, so if you’re interested in All About Romance, we would be thrilled to have you apply.

What’s the commitment? We ask that reviewers be willing to commit to reading and reviewing at least three books per month. If you want to do more, that’s wonderful! But we do try to keep a minimum so that people know what to expect.

Are we looking for particular genres?
As you can see from looking at our current roster, we welcome readers with a wide variety of tastes and would like to people interested in reviewing any genre of romance. I will warn you: sometimes reviewing makes your tastes change! When I started in 2003, I read historicals and romantic suspense, with a smattering of category books, almost exclusively. However, seeing my fellow reviewers and other readers talking about books broadened my horizons quite a bit and I’m now a much more eclectic reader. Since we’ve lost a few reviewers in the subgenres, we’d certainly like to see some historical and paranormal readers, but we’d love to hear from readers of all subgenres of romance.

How do I apply? You can apply by email. Please send us two sample reviews – one should be a DIK, and the other should be a D or F review. You should include your full name and email address. Email should go directly to Blythe Barnhill at Blytheaar AT gmail DOT com and you’ll just need to put “AAR Reviewers” in the subject line.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me (lspenceraar AT hotmail DOT com) or Blythe. You can also contact us using the contact form. Good luck and happy reading!

– Lynn Spencer

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28 Responses to “Who Wants to Be a Reviewer?”

  1. Farmwifetwo says:

    Thanks but no.

    I rarely read reviews anymore. They’ve turned into pages long book reports. Every site is like that. I just prefer short comments, notes really, and most of my goodreads friends do that.

    • Tee says:

      I, too, appreciate all the hard work the reviewers put in on their reviews. However, I do agree with Farmwifetwo when she says she prefers shorter versions. She said she likes short comments, while I wouldn’t mind just a paragraph or two capsulizing plot and reviewer’s thoughts. But that’s it. Too much info and I’m cutting to the chase by rolling past the excess information. I usually don’t read summarizations of books I intend to read myself, only those that are questionable to me from the beginning or ones I’ve read already as comparison.

      I realize that this isn’t what you were asking for, Blythe, and that you were requesting people to come forth for reviewing. But maybe reviews could vary—some shorter and some longer. Not all books need a 10-paragraph wind-up. Would that help draw in more potential reviewers?

      • Tee says:

        I said Blythe, but meant Lynn (both names were mentioned in the return response). Sorry.

        • Leigh says:

          There is no requirement that states a review has to be a certain length!

          Both of you come on in – the water is fine.

          • Tee says:

            Oops, Leigh, I wasn’t personally testing the waters for reviewing. :) Think I’ll stick to my posts on the boards. You really all do a fantastic job on the book sum-ups.

          • farmwifetwo says:

            I check for your reviews, but otherwise I really don’t read a lot of reviews unless I have personally spent time online with a reviewer chatting. I usually scroll right to the bottom of other review sites looking for the last summary paragraph and the ranking. Many sites have other topics of discussion that I actually read more of and am interested in. Sites come and go regularly on my reader. I don’t see the point in rewriting the blurb, writing quotes and general discussion.

            When I read reviews I look for a short blurb about the story – not the back cover which quite often is not what the story is about, topic (historical, secret baby, romance, romantic suspense, “buttons” that may get pushed for some readers, etc) and why you actually liked it or not.

            So many reviewers gush and that doesn’t appeal. Also, I have recommended and enjoyed DNF books by others and known others who would enjoy those that I have tossed. That’s the information I’m looking for – why did you finish it?? what is the “type” of story?? – then I can decide if I’m interested or not in it.

            • Leigh says:

              Well, I think you both would do great as reviewers. You both easily say why you liked or disliked a book.

  2. Katja says:

    I love your reviews and just wish I had more time to read (and perhaps even write reviews).
    Thanks for the review on the ghost planet by the way, I would never have found that on my own and I really,really liked it.

    • maggie b. says:

      I am so glad you liked Ghost Planet! I thought it was a unique and interesting love story. I keep saying I wish authors would quit writing series but I would love to continue this particular story.

      • Katja says:

        Funny you say that, because the very next thing I did after finishing the book was checking for a sequel ;-)
        Still a new author to watch is worth something as well, I suppose.

  3. Michele says:

    I love your reviews because they are longer and more specific and thoughtful than others that are quick blurbs. Sometimes I LOL at your comments. I’m always finding hidden gems through this site. Like Ghost Planet. I also bought it right after reading your review. I wouldn’t have heard of it otherwise. Thanks so much for all of your great reviews!

  4. annaR says:

    please do NOT shorten your reviews. There are plenty of that variety at Goodreads and Amazon to satisfy Farmwife. I come here for more depth.

  5. LeeF says:

    I use the reviews on this website quite a bit because of the insight and detail. You are especially helpful to folks like me who are playing catch up in a genre that I hadn’t read before two years ago. It’s great to so easily find reviews on many author’s older backlists. I hope you have lots of people apply for what sounds like a great opportunity.

  6. Lori says:

    I agree with everything that LeeF, annaR, and Michele said. I like a review that helps me decide whether a book is likely to appeal to me. Whatever length it takes for the review to achieve this is fine.

  7. Eggletina says:

    I enjoy the reviews here, the level of detail and feedback the reviewers provide, and actually think the site is broader than a lot of other romance sites I’ve visited (but I probably don’t get around as much as some of the posters here). A lot of other sites I’ve checked out tend to focus on a few of the more popular sub-cats or feel like marketing platforms publishers or for specific sub-cats or groups of authors to me. I never got that feeling here. I even enjoy the occasional one that falls outside the scope of romance (such as the review for ‘The Spy Who Came in from the Cold’). I particularly like to come back and read a review after I’ve read the book.

  8. maryskl says:

    Are reviewers assigned books? If so, are those books free and/or advanced copies?

    • Wendy-AAR says:

      No, our review books aren’t assigned. We’re given a list of books and submit our choices as to which we’d like to review. The books are shipped to us free, and we do have access to ARCs in paper and digital format.

    • AAR Lynn says:

      I’d say everything Wendy said and just add that sometimes reviewers will buy books on their own that they decide warrant a review – usually because the reviewer liked it a lot and noticed no one here was reviewing.

      • Nana says:

        That goes with a question I have – I don’t live in North America. Can I still review? I could read in digital but I don’t know if you’d post things to me. Alternately, I have access to books occasionally when I visit Anglophone countries, but I would be in a position to primarily review backlists.

        Actually, even if I don’t end up reviewing, I’d like to see more backlist reviews, especially to uncover “buried treasures.” Unlike new releases, those could be selected primarily for quality. I think it would really help with reading slumps.

        • AAR Lynn says:

          Nana – Yes, readers who do not live in North America are welcome! One of our current reviewers lives in Germany, and in the past we have had reviewers living in New Zealand, Trinidad, and a few other countries.

  9. Dagmar says:

    I love the reviews written here and come by every day to read what you have to say. It takes a lot of effort to write a good review (for those good books and also to describe why a book isn’t good.) I’ve discovered some authors I would never have tried thanks to your reviews (and also avoided some books too!) But I’ll be honest – three books a month is a big time hit – not only reading (cause you can’t not finish those lousy books like you can if you’re not writing a review) but also writing – a good review takes time to write.

  10. camps says:

    camps…

    [...]Who Wants to Be a Reviewer? « All About Romance’s News & Commentary Blog[...]…

  11. Brenda Schmitt says:

    I’ve always been interested in writing reviews for this site, but have balked at what I perceived as quotas. I’ve read reviewers who confessed they forced themselves to finish in order to write a review. I’m more likely to ditch a bad book than force myself to finish. My kindle is loaded so I choose to dive forward rather than flounder in the mud of a bad book.

    I do write reviews for Amazon and GoodReads when the mood strikes me. I’ve never written a DIK (or 5 star rating) review because when I come across a DIK I’m so giddy I immediately want to hit the author’s backlist. In food terms, I gobble rather than savor.

    I have a tendency to write B and C reviews. I think it’s a result of reading so many Amazon reviews blatantly posted by friends and family of new authors. The gushing “I couldn’t put it down!!” reviews lure the unsuspecting reader into buying bad or mediocre books. I try to level the playing field a little.

  12. Detra says:

    I agree with Brenda Schmitt. If I find myself in the middle of a bad book, I usually just stop reading. My TBR pile is much too large to waste time on a bad book. I love the reviews on this site though. Since I started participating in the annual reader poll, I have been much more organized in my reading. I have a detailed spreadsheet of my TBR and already read books. My daughter makes fun of me all the time. Thank you so much to all of the current reviewers and good luck to the potential reviewers.

  13. “Who Wants to Be a Reviewer?

  14. Etta Polisky says:

    could you please give some new info about this?

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