Before you start reading these tips: Be aware that big media reviewers do not even accept 10% of the submissions they receive – and as an independent author you are competing with well-known traditional publishers. However you might be the lucky one, so give it a shot. Read these tips to whom you should send your submission, when, how and what.
1. Always check carefully submission rules!
Most review sites want hard copies of the book at least 3 months prior to publication. Even if you have planned to publish an e-book, get 30-50 copies printed at a digital printer, at CreateSpace or use any of the new Espresso-Publishers that are in major cities, but also deliver via mail or UPS. Having print copies is not only important for reviewers, but also for your book launch or book signings and to sell them to people who prefer print instead of e-books. Other reviewers, especially top book bloggers take books also after their release and more and more accept e-books.
Don’t reveal right away that it is a self-published book. If you will be asked, by all means be honest. If your book can pass the “looks-like-it-is-professionally-published” test, then not mentioning it’s self-published will increase your chances of getting a review.
3. Don’t Overlook Local Newspapers
You may start sending out your review submission to your local newspapers, even weekly papers or to your former alumni magazine and test the waters first before you head out to the nationals. A review is serving your purpose as well as a feature article, mentioning your book. Start with preparing an Excel spread sheet or any kind of list, where you type in the title, name, address, phone/email of the recipient, the date of submission, their guidelines. Never, ever sent it: “to the editor” or “to whom it may…”
4. How to Approach Reviewers
There are a tons of books vying for attention, however, there is only so much space/time in a reviewer’s calendar. You may call or email a reviewer first to see if they have an interest in your book. It will save yourself time and money if they tell you no. If you have been given an okay, address it to the specific person you corresponded with and write Requested Material on the envelope.
5. Follow Editors/Reviewers Directions Carefully
Don’t give reviewers a reason to disqualify your book right off the bat. If they want a press release, make sure you send one. Don’t send galleys, if they want finished books. Verify that they review your genre of book before you submit. Follow their publication-date deadlines.
6. When should you send out your review submission?
January & February for spring and July & August for fall, because there’ll be less competition from major publishers. Avoid October and November as you will have too much competition. Don’t send it out to arrive at the editors office on a Monday. Best arrival days for your request are Thursday or Friday.
7. Things to Include:
Make sure that you include all your contact info: name, mailing address, website address, phone number, and email address. Use http://about.me to create an appealing info site about yourself and include it in your contact info. Important: Don’t forget all the book information: price, ISBN number, number of pages, and genre. Carefully pack your book in padded envelopes or in boxes. You want them to look professional and brand new when they arrive at the editors office.
8. Add a Media Kit
Include your biography, high-resolution (600 dpi) pictures of both, you and your book cover(s), a book trailer link, a synopsis of the book, any press releases you may have, and contact information for you. Everything in your media kit/press release should look professional and polished.
9. Most important:
Send a thank-you note/email to anyone who reviews your book. They took a long time reading and reviewing your work so you take five minutes and write them a thank-you!
Here a some links to reputable reviewers
- Los Angeles Reviews
- Armchair Reviews
- ForeWord Reviews
- Library Journal
- Midwest Book Review
- NY Times Reviews
- Indie Reader
- USA TODAY
- Publishers Weekly
10. Write Your Own Article to Promote your Book
In former blogs I showed you how savvy authors use their writing skills to promote their books (and often get paid) for their articles – also not on HuffingtonPost, they are infamous for giving authors just the exposure to a million audience. Read about Steven Raichlen’s brilliant coup: He wrote an article for Huffington Post Foodie Paradise: 10 Great Places to Eat in Martha’s Vineyard. In a salute to some of Steven Raichlen’s favorite local restaurants, coffee shops, lobster shacks, and ice cream parlors on Martha’s Vineyard, he had his characters visit the same places which he usually patronizes with his wife.
Or this Salon.com article by Sean Beaudoin:
“Sean has a publisher, however, as with all big (and small) publishers, he is responsible for his own book promotion, as he is not John Grisham. And even John Grisham bitches about his promo budget.” Sean explains: “Publishers used to do most of the marketing for the books they put out. The best an author could do was finish the last chapter and then show up reasonably sober for a tri-city book tour.”
So, what can we learn from Sean Beaudoin?
He makes almost everything right: I have never heard about him or his books. Now I do! Why? He is
smart and wrote a guest post on Salon.com, a really great and funny peace of writing that makes readers wanting to see his books. And it allowed him to include lots of links to his website, his Facebook account, his Twitter handle and his YouTube trailer for his latest book.
Writing articles for newspapers and magazines allows you certainly to end your articles with an author bio, including mentioning of your book and where readers can order it. And you might “meet” the editor, with whom you can network for a review of your next book. They are certainly more inclined to review a book from an author they personally know.
11. Literary Review Editors
are not the only ones who might accept your books for review, try columnists as well, especially if you write non-fiction. If your book is about an adventurous bike tour in Jamaica, you can send your review submission to both, the travel section editor of a major newspaper or to the sport editor of this publication.
If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.international-ebooks.com/book-promo to advertise your new book, specials or KDP Select Free Days.
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Tagged: book reviewers, content marketing, Goodreads giveaway, how to get book reviews, Kirkus Review, Literary Reviewers, Midwest Book Review, National Media Book Reviewers, writing articles for magazines