Eveline Soors is the Book Review Editor of Euro-Reviews, a Belgium-based online review site specializing in women's fiction — biographies, memoires, African-American books, chick-lit, column books, erotica, and other women related non-fiction. What makes Euro-Reviews stand apart from other sites is that they also review books written in Dutch. For American authors, this is a good venue to showcase their work to the Dutch-speaking readers who visit the site. Soors is currently looking for ebook reviewers and is open to submissions from authors. She also offers a wide array of promotional opportunities for writers who would like to publicize their work.
Thanks for participating in this series of interviews, Eveline. How long have you been reviewing?
I started Euro-Reviews around August 2005, so I’d say I officially started reviewing around that time. I started reading and keeping notes on what I’d read long before, though. When I was still in school and we got these lists of books we should read (that everybody hated by the way, everyone except me!) I actually read them and wanted to write the summary of the story down as well as what I thought of it, just as a reminder for later but also as a sort of inventory of the books I’ve read and my thoughts on them. I didn’t know yet at that time that I could share them with millions of others. It has so much more purpose now! I would also like to say that I think reviewing has done a lot for me personally. English is not my main language (that would be Dutch, and French is my second language), and after having read lots of reviews over these last few years I have expanded my vocabulary so much. I love the English language so I welcome every improvement.
What makes Euro-Reviews stand out among so many other online review sites?
I think that one of the strongest points of Euro-Reviews is that we offer reviews in Dutch and English language. This means that even though a Dutch reader is looking for a Dutch book he or she might be attracted by a cover or a title from an English review and ‘accidentally’ get to know these book and its authors. I’m convinced that a lot of readers discover great books that way. A lot of authors also like to know if their books are appreciated just as much overseas. Another interesting aspect of our site is that readers can leave small comments on books. This is a good thing because this way you encourage interaction between authors and readers and between readers and other readers. Also, we try not to focus on erotica books only (already too many sites do that), but we also want to cover biographies, memories, African-American books, chick-lit, column books, and other women related non-fiction.
What is the most challenging aspect of running a review site?
Finding adequate reviewers who are willing to review in return for e-books and a print every now and then. You have to trust them and be sure that they will not drop out before handing in the review. Because there is no contract (since this is fully voluntary), that is a difficult thing. Keeping up with the high amount of review requests and e-mails is also quite challenging when you have a full time job.
Are you currently recruiting more reviewers? If so, what are your guidelines?
We are constantly searching for new reviewers. Because of the high rate of new e-book review requests we are currently only accepting reviewers that want to review e-books, though. People interested in reviewing for Euro-Reviews can fill out a form on our website with some basic information like how many books they can review for us, what languages they speak, if they’ve reviewed in the past or are currently reviewing elsewhere as well. They also need to write a test review on a book they’ve read, or use a review they’ve done in the past. I see from there if they’ve got what it takes and if they ‘have’ it they can join and start right away.
How should an author contact you about a review request?
We review prints, e-books and (just a few) audiobooks. Authors can contact Euro-Reviews by visiting our website and reading the ‘About Us’ section first so they know who to contact and what information to submit.