As an author, you want people to read the book into which you’ve poured so much of your time and energy. Great reviews turn more people on to your work. So the question is: How do you get people to review your book?
Before Your Book Publishes
Send the reviewer a personal note with a copy of the book (PDF or manuscript) asking for a review to include in the book. In general, people are flattered when you send such a request. Let the person know you value their opinion and expertise and would be honored to include their review in your book.
If you want celebrities or experts to write a review that you can include in the book, consider providing a few sample comments that they can choose from, tweak or put into their own words. Sending these sample remarks makes it simple and easy for super-busy people to respond to your request for a review. Note: IMO, you shouldn’t do this for someone who is in media; they’ll want to write their own unbiased-sounding comments.
Getting Media Attention
If you want a magazine editor, radio or TV personality to review your book, make it easy and enticing.
Easy = at-a-glance info.
Include a press release that highlights your book’s key points. Do your homework and tailor your press release to show why the book would appeal to that specific audience. Don’t make the editor search for a reason to select your book for review; make your book the obvious choice.
Enticing = “credibility bling” + a great cover.
- If you already have a review, foreword or introduction from someone noteworthy or interesting, make note of that person in the press release. If you have relevant credentials, share them. If you’ve been featured in other media, make sure people know that. This is the time and place to let people know how great you are!
- An amazing cover should be a given. We judge a book by the cover. Period. A book cover isn’t a DIY project. Hire a book designer to create a stellar cover for you. After all, you’ve invested months, if not years, into this project. The cover is a representation of you and all the hours you’ve put into your book. Don’t skimp where it matters most.
When publishers or authors send me books to review I like for them to include:
- a book (galley copy, manuscript and/or PDF)
- a press release that includes the key points the book
- author bio
- interview questions and/or suggestions of articles the author is willing to supply or be interviewed about
What I don’t like to get: Books that aren’t relevant to my audiences.
Personally, if I don’t know the author or the publisher, I prefer to get an email that introduces the author and book and offers a galley copy. That way I can request a review copy if it sounds interesting.
If you know the reviewer, you can send an email to let him/her know you’re sending a book in the next few days.
After you go to the effort of crafting a press release and mailing your book, be sure to follow up. Email and/or call reviewers to make sure they’ve received your package. It’s OK to follow up several times! Remember: Everyone is busy. Even promising books that come in today can get quickly buried in the “to-review” pile. Touching base helps keep you and your book top of mind.
What has worked for you in the past when it comes to getting reviews? Share your comments or questions below!