The coveted Holy Grail!
If you’re with a traditional publisher, they usually send out the review copies. That doesn’t mean you can’t help locate reviewers, though. And if you’re self-published, this duty falls squarely on your shoulders.
Reviewers are not all the same, though. Some are industry reviewers, also known as pre-pub reviewers. They require an ARC (advance review copy) or a galley 3-6 months before the official street date. They rarely accept self-published books and never accept subsidy books, so these are target reviewers for your publisher to tackle.
Some examples of pre-pub reviewers - Publisher’s Weekly, Foreword Magazine, Kirkus, Library Journal, New York Times, LA Times, ALA Booklist, Bookpage, Horn Books.
Other early reviewers for both publishers and authors to consider include trade magazines, online reviewers, other authors, and book bloggers.
A great resource for locating other reviewers is Book Connector
Do a Google search for websites and book bloggers who review your genre.
If you’re with a traditional publisher, coordinate with their efforts. They may have a set number of review copies to send out.
If you’re self-published, many of these options will be unavailable to you. But you can still contact magazines, online reviewers, and book bloggers. Midwest Book Reviews is a major reviewer who accepts self-published books.
An excellent list of ideas can be found at Marketing Tips for Authors - Seven Simple Steps to Getting Your Book Reviewed by Paula Krapf
Some tips for self-published authors:
Send out books before the publication date if at all possible.
Include a review slip on the inside of the cover flap that lists title, author, ISBN, publisher information, genre, formats, page count, and distributors/wholesalers.
If submitting an eBook, do not include as an attachment when sending emails. Query first for permission to send an attachment.
Many reviewers do not accept self-published books - do your homework.
Budget! How many review copies can you afford to send?
Set up a Google Alert for your name and book title to catch online reviews.
Avoid paying for a review.