Friday, October 29, 2010

Finding Book Reviewers

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.

Any questions?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My publisher said I could forward up to ten review sites, so I contacted bloggers that reviewed books.

Golden Eagle said...

Great advice for getting a review done!

Jemi Fraser said...

Great advice! I wouldn't have thought of some of these :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

There's a lot of options I didn't include, but wanted to keep it simple. The main point is review copies need to go out before the book is released.

Talli Roland said...

These are great tips! I think even if you have a publisher - or even an in-house publicist - the author still needs to do a lot of the marketing. Thanks for all these wonderful resources.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Diane .. thanks .. these make so much sense - especially the 'do your homework' .. Paula's post is a very good read too ...

The Google Alerts - made me sit up and take note .. not to say I've a book ..but for general purposes in the future ..

Thanks - Hilary

~Sia McKye~ said...

EXCELLENT information Diane.

I do agree with the thought of doing your homework. It shows you are a professional and that's important in this business.

I'm keeping track of the links to pass on, too.

Helen Ginger said...

As an author, if you get a so-so review, how do you feel? Would you rather the blogger or reviewer simply did not do a review at all rather than give you a bad or skirt-the-edges review?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Hilary, Google alerts are very important.

Helen, if it's a personal attack like Karen's or they hated it just because, I'd rather they skipped the review. Or ones where it's obvious (to me) they didn't read even half the book.

Dr. Mohamed said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing :)

Eric W. Trant said...

Now, is it worth it to review a book multiple times to the same general audience?

I figure people buy things the third or fourth time they hear about it. Familiarity breeds confidence, even if the facts don't change with time.

I'm seeing this right now, on the blogo, with reviews of the same books from multiple bloggers. You start to wonder -- is his/her book really that good?

The point is to also think about saturation. A one-time exposure is good and all, but the second and third time may lead to sales.

- Eric

Elana Johnson said...

I love this post. I'm emailing to myself right now, as I'm thinking about digital tours and who my ARC is going out to. Thank you, thank you!!

PK HREZO said...

Great info! I'll file it away for when it's my time. :)

Karen Lange said...

Nope, no questions, I think you got it covered! Thanks for all the info and links.
Happy weekend,

Jai Joshi said...

Great tips, Diane!


The Words Crafter said...

I love that there are those of you who go untangles much of the way for those of us following behind. Thanks for all the great advice!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Great tips. Always looking for reviewers. Thanks.

RaShelle Workman said...

Such great infomation! Thank you. I've saved this post. I'm sure my publisher has all of this. But, I didn't, so thanks!

Bob Sanchez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Sanchez said...

Hi Diane,
If you're self-published, you can query the Internet Review of Books at While we mostly review books by traditional publishers, we do review some self-published work. Authors may contact me for non-fiction and Julie McGuire for fiction. We publish a new review every day.

N. R. Williams said...

I've been wondering about that. Thanks for posting this.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Anonymous said...

These are all great points. I used to send attachments. Now I know better. As first, then send if the reviewer responds.

Tony Eldridge said...

Thanks for mentioning Paula's post on getting your book reviewed. I was away on the weekend so it was a great surprise! She really knows her stuff! said...

I thought I'd commented before. Anyway, I'm returning because this was so helpful. Thank you, Diane.