Guest Blogger: Cynthia Morris
When I teach the Blog Triage class with Alyson, many of our artist-students include books among topics they want to write about. [update: this class is no longer available]
Books do many things for us, but writing about books can help us both personally and professionally. Here are four reasons to consider reviewing books for your blog or newsletter.
4 Reasons to Write a Book Review
1. Increased Credibility
Recommending a book or any other resource helps position you as an expert, or at least someone with something to say, on the topic.
With so many resources available now, people who recommend or curate the possibilities become more valuable and credible.
2. Increased Engagement
Books go a long way to connect with your audience. When people scan my list of recommended books or Goodreads profile, they get a pretty good idea of who I am and what I care about. It almost immediately brings someone in my target market closer to me, a stranger, simply because she’s interested in or likes the books I recommend.
A lot of my interaction with my readers is about the books and resources I recommend. Think of a book as a social object. It gives us something to connect over without talking about ourselves.
3. Knowledge Grows
In The Eighth Habit, Stephen Covey tells us that when we recount something recently learned, we solidify the knowledge in ourselves.
Sharing information enhances all involved, including the author.
4. More Visibility
There are a lot of places to post reviews, which allows you to pop up in searches more.
I post my video reviews on my blog, YouTube, Goodreads, Facebook and Amazon. That’s a lot of places to be found!
Okay, so you’re a book lover and you’re convinced that reviews are a good idea for your business. Let’s look at types of books to consider.
Types of Books Artists Might Want to Review and Why
As a former bookseller, I feel an obligation to share my favorite books with people. I love talking about books. As a writer and writer’s coach, doing so fits nicely into my publishing agenda.
But I am careful to share only things that are very relevant to my audience. Such books for my readers include novels and books on being more creative or productive.
My bottom line question to myself is always: Will this book make my readers’ lives better?
Think of your audience. What do they want to know more about? Types of books you may consider sharing:
- Novels with artists portrayed. If you write about the lifestyle of artists on your blog, this would be a great type of book to review. It’s also interesting to see how reading the story of an artist can impact your art.
- Novels that include your subject matter as a primary theme. For example, if your art is inspired by Paris, you might take a look at Chasing Sylvia Beach, my new novel about a young bookseller who finds herself on the doorstep of her literary heroine – 70 years in the past.
- Business books for artists. Do you write about the business of art? This type of reading shows that you are serious about your career and savvy enough to run it as a business. Buyers might like seeing that you know what you’re doing, or better yet, demonstrating that you’re doing it.With instructional books like I’d Rather Be In The Studio, you can engage your audience by creating a challenge from the book that you do alongside your readers. Offer a prize and accountability, a great way to bring people back to your blog and generate a sense of community.
- How-to art books in your medium. If you like to discuss the process of your art making, how-to books can be helpful to your readers.Chances are good that you’ve devoured every how-to book in your medium, and you’ve perhaps even written your own. This makes you a curator of a specific type of book, and your expert opinion on which is best is very valuable.Post a list of your favorite how-to books. Tell why they’re the best. What’s the absolute must-have how-to in your studio?
In part two of Book Reviews, one week from today, I’ll share strategies for how to write an effective book review.
What books do you already recommend? What might you add to the mix that can strengthen your brand?
Cynthia Morris has been coaching writers at Original Impulse for as long as she’s been writing her novel. Set in Paris 1937, Chasing Sylvia Beach is now available for your summer reading. Find out more.