Asking an author what he thinks about book reviewers is like asking a fire hydrant how it feels about dogs. However, as an author you need book reviewers—they are essential to your marketing efforts.
Writing the book was easy—now you have to sell it, and believe it or not, reviews sell books. Reviews are cheaper than advertising and it should be no surprise that readers believe in them more. Even an adverse review is better than no review at all. Remember, though, that book reviewers are not responsible for selling your book—that's your job. Reviewers are only responsible for telling people about the book, the rest is up to you (and your publisher).
Spring for enough review copies to send to those magazines and newspapers in your target market. Send review copies to the editors with a short cover letter asking for review consideration. More than 316,000 books are published each year through traditional publishing methods (1.2 million through non-traditional publishing methods), so there is stiff competition for limited review space. It is possible your book will not be selected for review at all, but the more review copies you send out the greater the odds of landing a review.
Once the review copies are out, don't bother the editors or reviewers. This is the perfect example of the squeaky wheel being ignored. Be patient. Reviewers work weeks or months out with their columns, and you are not likely to hear anything from them. Be aware, however, that there is a time limit for reviews. A book is only likely to be reviewed within the first twelve months after publication. A book more than a year old is not considered timely and will generally not be reviewed.
- William D. Bushnell
Guest Blogger Bio
Nancy E. Randolph operates Just Write Books, a publishingbusiness with the tag line: Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph quickly developed a reputation as a publisher of quality Maine books. An active community member along with two others she founded and serves as a member of the board of Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic Roebling designed and built bridge connecting Topsham and Brunswick. She co-chairs with Cathy Lamb theAndroscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk project--building a 2K walking/biking intown loop. To contact her directly: firstname.lastname@example.org