So you’ve successfully landed that first book contract with a publisher or self-published your book? Now you want to garner a book review not only to separate you from the rest of the pack but to emphasize your stellar prose, your amazingly tight and intricate plot or your in-depth characterization?
Getting quotes is a tricky endeavor if no one has heard of you. Exactly where do you start?
- Friends – Granted they might not be always truthful, but I bet you they’ll give you a glowing review.
- Fellow Authors – If you are just starting out don’t expect Dean Koontz to give you a review. Start small, work your way through newly published authors who will be happy to have their name publicized on your web site or book cover.
- Small Reviewers – Again don’t start with the LA Times. A quote is a quote if it comes from a reputable reviewer.
- Niche Reviewers – Send to reviewers in the same genre or non-fiction topic your book is about.
- Blog sites – There are many blogs on the web that do reviews. Again start small.
- Local newspapers and magazines.
- Independent Bookstores
- Niche stores – If you book is about bikers, try talking to someone who works for a biker dealership.
Before you send out to local newspapers, independent bookstores or other potential reviewers, put together a press release. Don’t be cheap on on time or money. This is one of your largest marketing tools.
The Dos -
- Follow up. Check back in several weeks to ensure they received your material but don’t inundate them with phone calls or emails.
- Read submission guidelines and follow them.
- Do your research. Before submitting to a reviewer, find out what genre they review. Sending a romance to someone who only reviews horror is a waste of time for both you and the reviewer. Also check they’re previous reviews and make sure the story or topic you have is in the same vein as to what the reviewer likes.
- Always be positive when dealing with a potential reviewer. Never trash another author or include other reviews including your own to that potential reviewer.
The Don’ts -
- Don’t pay for a person to review your book. I can tell you right now, if they are asking for money, they are not reputable. Run away, far, far away.
- Don’t give the person any time constraints. Like agents and editors, reviewers are inundated with material. Be pleased that they are willing to take the time out of their busy schedule to look at your book.
Remember the best cover quotes may not increase your sales. It is just one of many marketing tools at your disposal. Times may have changed from how it was in your parents day, but one thing hasn’t changed – Word of Mouth. With today’s lightning speed communication avenues, word of mouth information spreads like wildfire. Either in a positive or negative way and it always comes down to the product. Just write the best book you can.