#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger – Rosie Amber

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Today, our guest blogger is Rosie Amber, who is going to talk to us about how and why she does book reviews, where you can follow her blog, and how you can contact her if you’d like to submit something of your own for her or her team to review. Thank you for being here today, Rosie. Now take it away, Flower Lady! 🙂

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Thank you for inviting me to The Write Stuff blog today for a chat about book reviewing.  I’m Rosie Amber and I run a book reviewing blog at https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/
You can also find me on Twitter @rosieamber1

Why as a reader I think reviews are important

In today’s world the book market is reaching saturation point. Self-publishing and e-book opportunities have opened the doors to publishing which were once held closed by publishing houses. More and more people are buying books online where they look at the book cover, the book description and they check out other reader’s reviews.

I love reading and want to share the books I love with others, so what better way than by writing a review and posting it on various online platforms and book buying sites.

As a reviewer, I post reviews about nearly all the books I read as long as I can rate them 3* or above. Below this I won’t review, I feel a “no review” says as much as a 1 or 2*. If I’ve been asked to review the book for an author and it will be below 2*, I’ll contact the author with an appraisal of their book, with my thoughts on how it could be improved.

What makes a good review?

I write short reviews. I’ll explain the book genre up front, then if it’s not one a reader likes, they can move on. I’ll usually talk quickly about the main characters and where or when the book is set. I’ll then go on to give a bit of information about the storyline, so that readers can decide themselves if the book sounds enticing. I’ll finish with a summary of what I liked about the book and if necessary what didn’t work for me. If the book needed another run through editing I will mention that and it will reflect in my rating. It’s so important in this competitive market for writers to put out their VERY best piece of work and not rush to publish.

Running a review blog

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A year ago I filled my blog with all my own reviews, but my request list was getting long and I was being asked to review genres which I didn’t enjoy. So I created a book review team. Members join on a voluntary basis and review books around their own lives. There is no minimum or maximum number of books to read as long as they read and review a book in a month. We post reviews on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Goodreads, reviewer’s blogs and I get a copy of each review which goes out on my own blog.

It is set up so that authors provide several copies of their work and we give them multiple reviews of the book all from one place.

It is complex, I’m fielding book review enquiries from authors, managing the review requests from the team, making sure they review within the one month and dealing with any of their queries, sending out notification to the author when the reviews comes in and drafting up my copy of each review for my blog. On top of that I have my own review request list which is currently around 50 books. I try to read a book in no longer than 2 days. This is a hobby, I have to work it around family life and part time employment. All the reviewing is free with no monetary values exchanged. This is important with the current Amazon clamp down on paid reviews and fake reviews breaching their rules.

Approaching us for a review

The best type of author wanting a review is one that has found my blog, spent a good time checking out the type of books we read, the style of reviews we write and actually getting involved with some of the posts via comments and sharing on social media. I hang out on Twitter a great deal.

Then when they have got a good feel for us I’m happy for them to make contact via the contact forms. There is a good set of instructions about the RIGHT way to go about it.

It’s very obvious if a new author finds my blog, “Follows” by joining and then fills in the book request form. I get all the e-mails, the one which says “You have a new follower” and when it’s followed by a book review request I KNOW the author has spent little time checking me out.

Then when they send a copy and paste review request or they call me Amber or no name at all, I get miffed. Most authors understand I’m busy reading and living my life and I will get to their book, some are a little impatient. DON’T OFFEND A REVIEWER BEFORE THEY’VE READ YOUR BOOK!

All I ask is that authors remember the team and I are human, we do this because we like reading, we won’t like every book we read but we won’t be rude or leave a 1* and no reason why. We spend several hours reading your book and thinking about a fair review all for free and in our own time so that you might benefit from others who will buy your book.

What else do we do on the blog?

I like to put fresh ideas out on the blog, so I get involved with other projects too. Every April I take part in the April A-Z Challenge, where bloggers from all over the world blog their way through the alphabet. This is a fantastic way to meet new people and make new friends/ followers. If anyone is trying to build up their blog, I recommend taking part in this free challenge. http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

I also run my own free tours, I’ve just finished the third annual #RomancingSeptember tour with fellow blogger Stephanie Hurt. Earlier in the summer I also ran a Beach Reads tour and last year I ran a #MysteryNovember tour. These are hard work but a lot of fun for all that take part.

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This October I’m running a Readathon, where I’m inviting anyone who follows the blog to read and review three books and we’ll post their reviews.


The #FridayFiveChallenge is a quick research post for people who blog. Each Friday people write a post about a book they found online after just a five minute search. The idea is to use a search term and then scan the book covers and choose a book from its cover/ book title. There’s time for a quick read of the book blurb and maybe a look at the number of reviews, then you must make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS? The idea behind it is to look at it from a buyer’s POV. Many people now shop online for books and the thumb-nail book cover is often the first point of sale, get it right and hook the reader, get it wrong and they’ve passed you by.

There is plenty more, from my Wednesday Wing posts with tips from a readers POV, Resources for writers and posts by Avid readers, people who aren’t book reviewers but friends who say they’ve read a great book and tell you just a couple of lines about it.

Do drop in, say hello, pull up a chair and get comfy with people who LIKE books https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/

#RomancingSeptember Day 30

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This last interview of the series features…moi! I am so tickled that I got to join this list of romance writers, and talk about my first romantic suspense novel, Wake-Robin Ridge. Many thanks to both Rosie Amber, and Stephanie Hurt, for putting this event together, and for inviting me to take part. I do hope you’ll go read the interviews, and please share both of them (and this post, as well) everywhere you can. I’ll be very appreciative of that, believe me. 🙂 Thanks, and happy reading.

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 30 with Marcia Meara
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSepte4mber Day 30 with Marcia Meara

(NOTE: There are a couple of small formatting errors in the longer interview, probably because my submission was set up a bit differently than most, letting my characters do a bit of the talking for me, and thus, making it trickier to cut and paste. This is not Rosie Amber’s fault, and all of the interview made it, so it’s all good.)


#RomancingSeptember Days 27, 28, and 29

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The next three #RomancingSeptember interviews are waiting for your reading pleasure. Day 27 features Jane Cable, Day 28 features Jane Linfoot, and Day 29 features Olga Miret. You can find the interviews here:

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 27 with Jane Cable
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 27 with Jane Cable

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 28 with Jane Linfoot
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 28 with Jane Linfoot

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 29 with Olga Miret
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 29 with Olga Miret

Enjoy these interviews, then pass them along to your peeps, thanks!! It’s all about sharing! Happy Reading!

#RomancingSeptember Days 23, 24, 25, and 26

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Time for the latest from #RomancingSeptember. Day 23’s featured author is Bethan Darwin, and Day 24’s is Lorraine Jenkin. For Day 25, the featured author is Annie Crux, and Day 26 features Sam Cheever. Do yourself a favor, and check out these great interviews. Then remember to share them on Twitter, Facebook, your own blogs, or wherever you can. Some day it will be your turn, and we’ll do the same for you.

Read the interviews here:

RosieAmber: #RomancingSeptember Day 23 with Bethan Darwin
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 23 with Bethan Darwin

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 24 with Lorraine Jenkin
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 24 with Lorraine Jenkin

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 25 with Annie Crux
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 25 with Annie Crux

Rosie Amber:  #RomancingSeptember Day 26 with Sam Cheever
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 26 with Sam Cheever

Have fun!


#RomancingSeptember Days 19, 20, 21, and 22

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Sorry to still be running behind, but things have been going crazy here, some good, some not so much so. However, it’s better late than never, so here’s the next batch of #RomancingSeptember authors for you. If you haven’t already done so, please check out these interviews. The featured author for Day 19 is Joanne Phillips. For Day 20, it’s Sonya Loveday & Candace Knoebel. For Day 21, D. E. L. Connor, and for Day 22, the featured author is Hilda Vaughn.

Read these interesting and fun interviews here:

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 19, Joanne Phillips
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 19, Joanne Phillips

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 20: Sonya Loveday & Candace Knoebel
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 20: Sonya Loveday & Candace Knoebel

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 21: D.E.L. Connor
Stephanie Hurt: #Romancing September Day 21: D.E.L. Connor

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 22: Hilda Vaughn
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 22: Hilda Vaughn

Don’t forget to share, thanks! 🙂

#RomancingSeptember Days 16, 17, and 18

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Things got a bit hectic the last couple of days, but I hope you’ve still all been following #RomancingSeptember. The featured author for the 16th is Zee Monodee. For the 17th, it’s Kimberly Wenzler, and for the 18th, it’s Daisy Banks. Check out their interviews with both Rosie Amber and  Stephanie Hurt, here:

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 16 with Zee Monodee
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 16 with Zee Monodee

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 17 with Kimberly Wenzler
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 17 with Kimberly Wenzler

RosieAmber: #RomancingSeptember Day 18 with Daisy Banks
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 18 with Daisy Banks

And please remember to Tweet, reblog, share on Facebook, etc. When it’s your turn, we’ll do the same for you. Yay for Writers Helping Writers!


#RomancingSeptember Days 14 and 15

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Two more wonderful romance writers for you to learn about. Day 14 brought us two interviews with Nicky Wells, and today, Day 15, features two interviews with author Felicia Myers. Hope some of you have been enjoying these fun posts, learning more about how authors write, and what books they have available for your reading pleasure. Remember to share, thanks!

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 14 with Nicky Wells
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 14 with Nicky Wells

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 15 with Felicia Myers
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 15 with Felicia Myers


#RomancingSeptember Day 13

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Today is lucky Day 13 of #RomancingSeptember, and the featured author is Margaret Cullingford. Check out her interview with Rosie Amber, and then the one with Stephanie Hurt, and enjoy! It’s lovely to learn about all these writers, and I hope you’ve been enjoying this event. Pass it on!

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 13 with Margaret Cullingford
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 13 with Margaret Cullingford

#RomancingSeptember Day 12

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#RomancingSeptember is approaching mid-month, and going strong, with lots of wonderful authors giving us insight into what and how they write. Today’s featured author is Monica La Porta. Check out both of her interviews! And please share with all the usual suspects. 🙂

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 12 with Monica La Porta
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 12 with Monica La Porta

#RomancingSeptember Days 10 and 11

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Still going crazy around here, this time with Createspace issues, but trying my best to catch up. I certainly don’t want to forget about Rosie Amber & Stephanie Hurt, and their lovely September event. Day 10’s featured author is Lizzie Lamb, and Day 11’s is Adrienne Vaughan. (Don’t forget to check both blogs, as the questions are different.) And please remember to pay it forward! Thanks!

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 10 with Lizzie Lamb
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 10 with Lizzie Lamb

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 11 with Adrienne Vaughan
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 11 with Adrienne Vaughan