My recent blog post about book reviews for self-published works attracted a lot of comments, emails and tweets. I was certainly surprised by the level of interest. After reading all the comments, I believe the general consensus was that so long as a review was written independently, there is genuine interest in self publishing authors helping one another.
To my mind, the most important reviews for authors who self publish and have their books available online are short reviews posted to the book’s store site. For example 150 words on Amazon. They are also very useful to use on the author’s website or blog. Although a 1000 word review is fabulous, it is not a practicality if reciprocation is used.
Another concern for authors is the cost of delivering copies of their books for review. On top of the cost, postage is very expensive. Normally way more than the value of the book.
After considering different alternatives, I have an idea that may interest fellow authors. An authors cooperative in a sense. Perhaps a blog or standalone website where authors can connect and reciprocate reviews. But not of hard copies. Of protected pdf files of their work. Of course this would work on a trust basis.
For example, if I sent a copy of my work to three people for review, I would review their three works in return. End result, I have three reviews posted to my Amazon page, and I post my three reviews in return.