If you are burned out with writing how-to articles to promote your business then consider writing a book review. I recommend you write a review about a book you enjoyed that is related to your products or services. Your review, of course, will be capped off with your 5-6 line byline that includes your contact information and web site URL. Many of the article directories, e-zines and web sites that normally accept articles will accept book reviews too. In addition, you can find and submit to the many sites featuring book reviews.
To begin a review, I start with the format required by Midwest Book Review. I then adapt the format and word count to what is required by each submission site. Midwest Book Review recommends the following format (examples of paragraphs are enclosed in parenthesis):
Price: Publication Date: Page Count:
Reviewer Contact Information:
Name: Address: E-mail:
First Paragraph: Include information about the format of the book. A nice touch is to comment on the cover design, table of contents structure and/or glossary at the back of the book.
(Sample: This beautifully laid out trade paperback has a gorgeous and practical design both inside and out. I recommend you read this book with a highlighter and a pen, ready to take copious notes in the blank pages thoughtfully provided between chapters.)
Second Paragraph: Detail the recommended audience and note why they should read the book.
(Sample: Manners That Sell: Adding The Polish That Builds Profits should be required reading for high school and college students and for anyone already in the business environment. Once upon a time, good manners were taught in school and at home, but that time has long since passed. This book provides the perfect refresher course for those of us who learned manners but no longer remember the finer points of etiquette.)
Third Paragraph: Write about the book structure and layout, number of chapters and topics covered.
(Sample: While reading this book, I discovered that the author, Lydia Ramsey, covered every conceivable point of etiquette including many that I'd never been taught. Each of the twelve chapters covers one main topic broken down into digestible bite sized chunks of rules and guidelines to enhance credibility and professionalism. Topics include first impressions, greetings and introductions, the art of conversation, dressing for business, telephone courtesy, electronic etiquette, correspondence in business, etiquette in the office, gift-giving in business, etiquette out of the office, dining for profit and doing business internationally.)
Fourth Paragraph: Give a brief biography of the author including their name, name of their business (if applicable), business or personal expertise and if available, include titles of their other books.
(Sample: The author of this delightful book, Lydia Ramsey, is a business etiquette expert with over thirty years of experience working with non-profits, corporations, colleges and universities. She is a frequently published author who presents workshops, seminars and keynotes on all aspects of business etiquette.)
Fifth Paragraph: Recommend the book and offer some ideas of its practical use by individuals or groups. If applicable, mention that it would make a good gift book and wrap up the review with a positive summary of the book.
(Sample: I recommend businesses buy this book in bulk and present one to every employee from the frontline up to the top management. In this ever-changing world of so many consumer choices, the bottom line is often affected by the simple courtesies that can and should be afforded to customers. You need this book if you want your employees to succeed and your business to thrive.)
Add your copyright statement and byline to the bottom of the review and, as usual, have the review proofread by an editor before you begin submission. Your book reviews can be very effective marketing tools that will generate considerable exposure for you.
(c) 2005. Davis Virtual Assistance. All rights reserved. Permission to publish online or in print granted provided the article and byline are printed intact with live links.