With us today is Mandy and Denise from Rogues and Romance. If you have questions or want a review please leave them a comment. They'll be happy to get back to you.
Welcome, ladies! Thanks for joining us. We've got some questions for you.
When was the inception of Rogues and Romance? Is it a new review site or has it been around awhile?
Mandy: Rogues and Romance is just a baby! We actually went live September 9th, and have done almost 50 reviews for Rogues and Romance.
What drew you to reviewing?
Mandy: For one thing, I am totally addicted to romances! But what really let me know I wanted to review was when I joined a Yahoo book group. I discovered I enjoyed telling other readers about books I loved almost as much as reading those books. It is so wonderful to review a book and later on have someone let me know that they read the book because of my review- and loved it as much as I did! Also, it’s pretty hard to beat getting sent books to read before anyone else!
Dee: I was drawn to reviewing because I absolutely love to read. Also, as a full-time college student, it was a way for me to get my hands on some free material, because after awhile, my book spending was getting to be a bit ridiculous, lol! I also have a lot of fun, and love, love, love the fantastic books I've had the opportunity to read, and all of the authors have been absolutely amazing.
How does the reviewing process work?
Mandy: When we receive a request, we decide who will review it, and we each work on our list of requests in order. Except when we receive a request for a book that does not have a review yet or is a story for an upcoming holiday, then we try to put priority on those stories.
My personal process is pretty simple really. After I finish the book, most of the time what I want to say is already in my head. There are a lot of times where I jump up out of bed at 3a.m. after I’ve finished a book because I HAVE to get it down. I find the hardest part is actually the summary. You definitely don’t want to give up any more details than the author would like, but at the same time, you want the reader to understand that the book is about- without being too close to the book blurb. What I do is paste the book blurb at the top of a blank document so I know where the author doesn’t mind me going, and type away.
Dee: I'm sure it's different for every reviewer. For me, I really like to sit down and crank one out all at once. I like to read the book in one sitting, then get right on my review. I take into account what others want to see in reviews they read, and also what is going to catch someone's eye.
What does your site have to offer authors and readers?
Dee: When it comes to authors, I think we offer new and lesser known authors the opportunity to put themselves out there. I know Mandy would agree, that we've met a ton of fabulous authors through Rogues and Romance, and every single one of them has definitely deserved the opportunity to be reviewed. I also think we give authors who want us to review them a lot of free reign with what other opportunities they can take part of on our site. They can request an interview, guest blog, contest, etc. We also try our hardest, when authors have a new release, to get our review to them on or before the release date. As for our readers, I think we make our site fun and enjoyable. We don't rate the books on a love/hate scale, and I think the way we write up our reviews lets the readers decide whether or not they would be interested. So far, our interviews and guest blogs with authors have (in my opinion), also been enjoyable, as far as reading them goes. We've had some fun contests, and links to contests, which every reader goes nuts for, lol! So, we definitely have a lot to offer both our readers and authors.
If an author would like a review at Rogues and Romance, how do they submit and where do they send it?
Mandy: Of course the author can always email us before sending their request if they have any questions, but since we review every request we get- all genres, lengths, formats, and heat ratings, a query is not necessary. Unless it is print, of course- then you will need an address. For eBooks, an author can just introduce themselves and send the file(s) to our email:
denise+mandy (at) roguesandromance (dot) com
We always email the author or publisher back as soon as we receive the files and let them know. We usually write a little author intro separate from the review, so be sure and tell us anything you would like us to know. Are you a new author? Is this book a new genre for you? Is it the first book in a series?
As a reader, what is your favorite genre? If romance, is there a specific romance genre, such as erotica, paranormal, or regency you are drawn too?
Mandy: I am usually drawn to romance and erotic romance stories that stray from our reality- paranormal, historical, fantasy and time-travel all hold a special place in my heart. However, the great thing about reviewing is that you end up reading genres and books you wouldn’t normally pick up, and end up finding new favorites. I never thought I would like anything except paranormal and historical, but after giving great genres like contemporary and romantic suspense a chance through reviewing, I find that those genres are stacking up in my personal TBR list.
Dee: I absolutely love paranormal romance. It is definitely, hands down, my favorite genre, but after starting Rogues and Romance with Mandy, I am definitely reading a little bit of everything, and loving all of it.
Not all reviewers accept all books. Can you tell us what these decisions are based on and can you give us any tips on how to get our books reviewed?
Mandy: It’s all a matter of reviewer preference. Denise and I enjoy the variety of all the different romance and erotic romance genres, and never reject requests, as long as there are romantic elements in the story.
The key is to know your review sites. Some review sites only review new releases, some only certain lengths, and of course, some only certain genres. Almost always the decision to reject a book for review is based on sexual content. There are review sites exclusively for erotic romance, or sweet romances, or both- so the best thing to do is to find the right match(es) for your books. Also, take advantage of the smaller review sites, as they generally don’t have the high volume of requests that larger sites do.
To get reviews from larger sites, it’s all about the book blurb, because that is all the reviewer gets to see besides the author and publisher’s name, genre, and sexual content. If a reviewer at a larger site has done a fabulous job on a review for you in the past, why not ask for them again? If you have a book that is already released without a single review, don’t be afraid to communicate that to the review coordinator. Dee Gentle, the coordinator at the respected ParanormalRomance.org is a wonderful woman who always lets the reviewers know when a book doesn’t have a review yet, or if the author has never been reviewed by PNR before. Trust me, it makes a difference.
Denise: Mandy and I both love reading romance in general, but when it comes to more specified sub-genres, our tastes start to vary. So, with romance as our "main genre" per say, we didn't really feel we needed to limit it too much after that. Also, with keeping specifically to romance, I think that probably helps Mandy and I because we like that genre, and we'll be able to review romances more efficiently because we have an interest in it, as a whole.
As for any tips I may have. I personally found out about reviewing through various reading groups on Yahoo!, and from there got involved Paranormal Romance, Romantic Times, and met Mandy to start Rogues and Romance. So, I think a lot of it, is word of mouth, on where to find reviewers, because that's how it worked for me.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Mandy: I just wanted to say thank you so much for giving us this opportunity to spread the word about R&R; we really enjoyed your questions! I hope that we’ve shed a little light on the review process so aspiring reviewers will jump right in, and that authors will have a little advice on getting reviews for their books!
Denise: It seems like all the bases were covered! Fantastic questions. :-) I know I've said it previously, but I absolutely love reviewing, and I have loved every minute of having Rogues and Romance with Mandy. :-)