Book Review Tips for Self-Published Authors
But, in an ever-growing, ever-crowded self-publishing world, how can DIY authors land an encouraging review from a reputable publication / site without shelling out big bucks to GET a review?
Since book review space in newspapers and magazines continues to shrink and many top newspapers are unable to review every book that crosses the desk, authors need to take pro-active measures to increase their chances of landing a review.
- Plan ahead. A book is a total package. Take a close look at every detail associated with your book: paper, photographs or graphics, binding styles. Poorly edited, difficult-to-read text on a strange color of paper sends the wrong message. Once you've set a publication date, create a list of possible reviewers and if possible, send ARCs. You'll want to synchronize reviews with the launch of your book.
- Think local. Quite a few regional or alternative newspapers publish book reviews. Why not discuss the possibilities with the reviewer? (Local presses contact me regularly and ask if I'm interested in certain titles.) Non-fiction authors may want to contact trade or specialty publications. A stellar review from this type of reputable publication may lead a "name brand" book review pub to take a look.
- Seek praise. A recommendation from a published, respected author lends credibility.
- Practice patience. Reviewers generally have a stack of books waiting. (I know I do.) Sometimes, it takes awhile to get books read and the review published. (I'm about nine months out at this point.) Sending a friendly follow-up doesn't hurt, but don't overload a reviewer with "when will you be finished" e-mails.
- Offer incentives. What types of enticements can you offer the reviewer? Interviews? Contests? Giveaways? Memorabilia? Quite a few publications will work with authors to help spread the word - and goods - for a book. Ask the reviewer what ideas they have about promoting your work. (It may "hurry" the review!)
Authors who choose the self-publishing route need to take the lead, network, and connect with reviewers. Consider it self-promotion. Consider it an investment. Consider it a necessary step to getting your book in front of a reviewer.
by LuAnn Schindler. Read more of LuAnn's work at her website.