Book Reviews

111 Tips to Get FREE Book Reviews

111 Tips to Get FREE Book Reviews
e-Book, covering the best strategies for getting lots of great reviews – including over 1,200 direct links (clickable links to each website!) to reviewers and book bloggers.

Book-Launch

THE most valuable guide to gather book reviews

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Book Bloggers and Reviewer contact addresses can be found at the end of each chapter.  And if you send us an email, using our contact form at 111Publishing.com, you will receive twice a year the latest reviewer contacts.
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Even More Benefits for REVIEWERS:
Send us a link to your review at Amazon or Goodreads of our latest book 111 Tips to Get FREE Book Reviews  o r  for:  111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free and we will refund you an Amazon gift card for two book purchases.
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Table of Contents

  • WHY ARE REVIEWS SO IMPORTANT
  • HOW TO GET FREE REVIEWS?
  • THE IMPORTANT LAST PAGES
  • WHERE ELSE TO FIND REVIEWERS
  • VIRTUAL BLOG TOURS TO GET REVIEWERS
  • WHAT BOOK REVIEWERS LIKE
  • EXAMPLES OF REVIEWER SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
  • HOW TO CONNECT WITH INFLUENTIAL BOOK BLOGGERS
  • HOW TO PITCH TO BOOK BLOGGERS / REVIEWERS
  • PLANING YOUR PITCH TO BLOGGERS / REVIEWERS
  • PAID BOOK REVIEWS
  • EXAMPLES OF PAID REVIEW SITES
  • NEWSLETTER MAILING PROMOTION SERVICES
  • PAID BOOK REVIEW CONNECTING SERVICES
  • PAID REVIEWS FOR TRADE PUBLISHERS
  • GOODREADS REVIEWS
  • AIM FOR AMAZON TOP REVIEWERS
  • EDITORIAL REVIEWS
  • AMAZON READER REVIEWS
  • UNCOVERING FAKE REVIEWS
  • APPLE iBOOK REVIEWS
  • AUDIO BOOK REVIEWS
  • HOW TO PREPARE YOUR BOOK FOR REVIEWS
  • ADVANCE REVIEW COPIES (ARC)
  • REVIEWS READ BY LIBRARIANS
  • WHY STAMP YOUR BOOK “REVIEW COPY”?
  • IMPORTANCE OF PRESS KITS / MEDIA KITS
  • ENDORSEMENTS FOR YOUR BOOK
  • MEDIA BOOK REVIEWS
  • TIPS ON HOW TO GET MEDIA BOOK REVIEWS
  • READER WEBSITES / FORUMS / COMMUNITIES
  • BOOK GIVEAWAYS at READER COMMUNITIES
  • JOIN GOOGLE+ REVIEWER COMMUNITIES
  • JOIN THESE GROUPS TOO
  • HOW TO WRITE BOOK REVIEWS
  • HOW TO DEAL WITH NEGATIVE BOOK REVIEWS
  • WHY READERS – YOU – SHOULD WRITE REVIEWS
  • CAUTION: DON’T LOSE YOUR REVIEWS
  • HOW TO LEVERAGE YOUR BOOK REVIEWS
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Getting your book reviewed is the direct outcome of these three factors combined: Preparation – Presentation – Luck of the Draw.

You can at least totally influence the first two! For the last one, I cross fingers for you!

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Finally Available: The Guide to Find Reviewers

Everything You Need to Know About the Topic “Book Reviews”

Book-Reviews

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M2Y3E5W/

NOW AVAILABLE at Amazon
111 Tips to Get FREE Book Reviews
More than 1,200 direct links to book reviewers – clickable links to each website! and 111 tips and insider information will provide authors on 240 pages with all aspects of finding, following, and networking with reviewers and influential book bloggers.

Many important steps, such as researching which genre book reviewers prefer and how to connect with them, or how to get media reviews will help you to successfully market your books. How to prepare professional ARC’s (advance review copies) in order to get reviews before your book’s launch, is described in detail.
Practical insider information, such as how to get endorsement for your nonfiction book, how to leverage your reviews, how to deal with negative book reviews, why join many reader communities or how to plan book blog tours – including tips from bestselling authors and publishing industry professionals who explain how to get lots of free book reviews.
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Some of the Many Topics in this Valuable Book:

  • Book Reviewer Links
  • Advance Review Copy
  • How to Find Media Reviewers
  • Book Review Tips for Authors
  • How to Find Book Reviewers
  • Strategies for Getting Lots of Reviews
  • Tips on How to Get Free Book Reviews
  • How to Get Endorsements
  • How to Aim for Amazon Top Reviewers
  • How to Deal With Negative Reviews
  • Difference between Editorial and Book Reviews
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Get it now at the INTRODUCTORY PRICE (until October 31st)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M2Y3E5W/

… and don’t forget to write a review : )

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111 Tips to Get FREE Book Reviews

COMING SOON:
111 Tips to Get FREE Book Reviews
e-Book, covering the best strategies for getting lots of great reviews – including over 1,200 direct links (clickable links to each website!) to reviewers and book bloggers.

 

free_bk_rvw_aug30-copy
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Book Bloggers and Reviewer contact addresses can be found at the end of each chapter. And if you send us an email, using our contact form at 111Publishing.com, you will receive twice a year the latest reviewer contacts.
.
Even More Benefits for REVIEWERS:
Send us a link to your review at Amazon or Goodreads of this upcoming book 111 Tips to Get FREE Book Reviews  o r  for the already launched: 111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free and we will refund you an Amazon gift card for two book purchases.
.

Table of Contents

WHY ARE REVIEWS SO IMPORTANT
HOW TO GET FREE REVIEWS?
THE IMPORTANT LAST PAGES
WHERE ELSE TO FIND REVIEWERS
VIRTUAL BLOG TOURS TO GET REVIEWERS
WHAT BOOK REVIEWERS LIKE
EXAMPLES OF REVIEWER SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
HOW TO CONNECT WITH INFLUENTIAL BOOK BLOGGERS
HOW TO PITCH TO BOOK BLOGGERS / REVIEWERS
PLANING YOUR PITCH TO BLOGGERS / REVIEWERS
PAID BOOK REVIEWS
EXAMPLES OF PAID REVIEW SITES
NEWSLETTER MAILING PROMOTION SERVICES
PAID BOOK REVIEW CONNECTING SERVICES
PAID REVIEWS FOR TRADE PUBLISHERS
GOODREADS REVIEWS
AIM FOR AMAZON TOP REVIEWERS
EDITORIAL REVIEWS
AMAZON READER REVIEWS
UNCOVERING FAKE REVIEWS
APPLE iBOOK REVIEWS
AUDIO BOOK REVIEWS
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR BOOK FOR REVIEWS
ADVANCE REVIEW COPIES (ARC)
REVIEWS READ BY LIBRARIANS
WHY STAMP YOUR BOOK “REVIEW COPY”?
IMPORTANCE OF PRESS KITS / MEDIA KITS
ENDORSEMENTS FOR YOUR BOOK
MEDIA BOOK REVIEWS
TIPS ON HOW TO GET MEDIA BOOK REVIEWS
READER WEBSITES / FORUMS / COMMUNITIES
BOOK GIVEAWAYS at READER COMMUNITIES
JOIN GOOGLE+ REVIEWER COMMUNITIES
JOIN THESE GROUPS TOO
HOW TO WRITE BOOK REVIEWS
HOW TO DEAL WITH NEGATIVE BOOK REVIEWS
WHY READERS – YOU – SHOULD WRITE REVIEWS
CAUTION: DON’T LOSE YOUR REVIEWS
HOW TO LEVERAGE YOUR BOOK REVIEWS
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Getting your book reviewed is the direct outcome of these three factors combined:
Preparation – Presentation – Luck of the Draw.

You can at least totally influence the first two! For the last one, I cross fingers for you!

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Tagged: Advance Review Copy, ARC, Book Bloggers, book critiques, book reviewers, editorial reviews, media reviews, Tips to get free reviews



AudioFile: 38,500 Audio-Book Reviews

Audio-Book-Tips

Are you in the planning stage for an audio-book version, or do you have already some produced?  Get tips from AudioFile Magazine, which was founded 23 years ago, since then recommending and reviewing audiobooks, profiling audio-book narrators and authors.

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In an interview they explained ACX rights holders how to cast the best voice for their book, and share how to submit for a review.  Their – up to 50 reviews a week – are published in a print bi-monthly magazine, weekly e-newsletters, on the AudioFileMagazine.com website, at AudiobookREX.com, and featured by content partners who sell audiobooks.  Listeners, library purchasers, authors, narrators, and publishers are their readers.  AudioFile’s editors and reviewers even create podcasts about top recommended titles using sound clips from the audiobooks.  SoundReviews let you hear why these audio-books are worth your listening time!  Subscribe directly in iTunes, or follow them on SoundCloud.

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Robin Whitten, Editor & Founder of AudioFile Magazine:
“We receive review copies from all major publishers and in increasing numbers directly from authors, rights holders, and narrators. Our AudioFile reviewers –about 120 individuals from all over the country with a few scattered around the world—help us create 40-50 professional reviews each week.”
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He Explains the Professional Review Process:
“A professional or editorial review is often different from a user-review.  Editorial reviewers step back and consider each audiobook from a wider perspective.  They use their audiobook listening experience to evaluate and assess the quality of the narration, the overall performance, and the alignment with the author’s intent.  A professional’s critique is considered alongside the many other audio-books they’ve experienced. AudioFile reviews very specifically focus on elements of the performance, and what sort of listening experience to expect.”

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Tips to get Your Audio-Book Accepted for Review:

  • Listen for more than “a great voice.”
  • Choose a narrator whose vocal style and tone is aligned with your written style and tone.
  • Make sure the narrator emotionally connects to your intent.
  • Think about how much “performance” you want from your characters.
  • Consider whether big accents will define your characters or distract from them.
  • The choice of the right narrator is essential.
  • Sound quality is also something noticed by all listeners.

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Audiobook Review Submissions:
“AudioFile strives to find the best audio-books to recommend to our subscribers and visitors. If you follow our advice above and end up with a great audiobook, we’d love to hear it! Please send it in for review.”
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Send audio-books for review to:
Editor …. at AudioFile
37 Silver St
Portland, Maine 04101

For the current list with names of the editors check their web page.  For digital audiobook submissions: Please email editor@audiofilemagazine.com with a download link (Dropbox, Hightail, etc.) or a link to your title on Audible.com.  Please include the high-res audio-book cover art (300 dpi), ISBN, and distribution information.
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Short Excerpt from our upcoming book:  

111 Tips to Get FREE Book Reviews: Best Strategies for Getting Lots of Great Reviews.

 

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Book Lovers Can Be Found Here:

Reader-Groups

You might have already posted your book’s cover on Pinterest, Google+, Flickr, Snapchat, Facebook or Instagram, and other image-based social media sites with some success.  Sometimes readers are even able to order your book right away from these sites, such as from Pinterest.

But you can do more: most reader / writer book communities and forums are also places to show your books cover, and meet future readers, and find even reviewers for your books.  Always read carefully the guidelines on forums you want to join, and their policies.  Some are very generous, such as many Google+ communities, others are stricter, and you can only show a stamp-size picture of your book.
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Popular Meeting Places for Bibliophiles:

http://www.librarything.com/

http://www.BookLikes.com

http://www.kindlemojo.com

http://www.Wattpad.com

http://blog.booksontheknob.org/

http://www.goodreads.com/

http://www.booktalk.org/

http://www.booktalk.com/authors/

http://bit.ly/1e1pCCN

http://bit.ly/1a827Xv

http://bit.ly/13NFyBT

http://bit.ly/HwcJpA

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS

http://bit.ly/1dy6IU9

http://bit.ly/1dy6IU9

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More book forums and reader communities can be found under 99 Top Forums.
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After you joined a group, contribute and be an active part of conversations.  Don’t sign in and start immediately talking about your own book.  Other members will find out about it from your profile.  To be more engaged in discussions is the key for success on these places.  There are many ways to provide writing advice and book recommendations.  Offer to become a beta reader for others writers.  Ask members for their favoured books.  Your suggestion to read your book will be welcomed more once book lovers get to know you – especially when you announce your giveaway to the group.  Do write lots of book reviews for other writers – it will make you and your books popular!
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Find Not Only Readers, but also Reviewers:
Goodreads comes to mind, where are ten-thousands of groups await readers and writers, and also reviewers.

Google+ has a dozen or more book lovers / reviewer communities.  They built a large community of users online, sorted by interests – for example these communities of reviewers and authors:
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Book promo-review group
“Writers/readers/bloggers group. Join if you love to read, write, review and promote books. There are for example two sections: ‘Books Need Reviews’ and ‘Readers Offering Reviews’.”

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MODERN GOOD READS Free Ebooks 4 Review
“FREE ebooks available to all, but please leave an honest review.”
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Indie Author Book Reviews
“The Place to promote and be promoted. Modelled on the Indie Author Review Initiative on Goodreads, this is the place to write and get reviews for your Indie published books.”
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Book Reviewers.
“For readers, writers, and reviewers. This is a place to introduce your books, share your reviews, post giveaways, author interviews, or just simply be creative.”

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Join at least a handful of online communities or forums to find beta readers, mentors, book buyers and writing buddies.  Contribute through comments, messages, friending, and active participation in forum discussions.  Spread the good Karma!

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Excuses: Myth & Truth About Book Reviews

Book-Reviews


After writing reviews for many years, I am often encouraging others to do the same once they finish a book.  Giving a honest opinion of the title they just read is also a thank-you to the author.  And as often I hear quite an interesting array of excuses:

“I never wrote a review before”.
Sure, there is always a first time.  But it is easy: just read lots of reader reviews for other books to learn from excellent written ones and also to learn which platitudes to avoid – such as: “I could not put it down” or “it kept me up all night”.  Sign up at Amazon, look for: “Write a Customer Review” on the book’s sales page (scroll down, past the existing reviews).
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„It will not be interesting for others.“
What you think about the work is certainly interesting for readers and potential book buyers. Even if you are not interested in reading reviews: many others do! Book reviews are a form of social proof…  When a reader is deciding whether or not to buy a book, one of the things they look at are the reviews.  Missing reviews might drive potential readers to move onto other books.  It’s obvious how important reviews are.  And even those who are not reading reviews will glance at the number of stars that are given to the book.
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“I can’t write as good as those book bloggers.
Book bloggers are often working with publishers and receive free books from them or from authors.  Their reviews need to be elaborate and in a professional style.  Amazon requires only twenty words to consider your review. t’s certainly advisable to spend a bit more thought into a book review.  In one of our blog articles we gave plenty of tips how to write book reviews.

A review gives the reader a short and concise summary of the content. This includes a relevant description of the topic as well as its overall perspective, argument, or purpose.  And most important: Your task is not to champion or chastise the author – it is to evaluate the merits of the work – and if the author accomplished it.

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“The author doesn’t care about reviews”
Everyone who published a book will read reviews of their books!  And might even learn from critique.  And they certainly appreciate if readers post their review on several platforms, such as Goodreads, iBooks, or in several Amazon “countries”.  It doesn’t take much more time to place a book review in ten countries than it does take for one country. How to post a review on all Amazon sales pages can be found on our blog under the title: “Amazon Book Reviews Worldwide?”
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“It doesn’t help the author”
It sure does!  Authors get a lot of positive motivation from reviews, and even negative critiques help them for future projects.  It also shows the author which stories and protagonists are popular with readers – and why.  Reviews might even encourage writers to start and finish the next book faster.  Knowing that their readers care is very encouraging!
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“My Review is considered Not helpful”
There are dozens of reasons why people click on “Not helpful” when reading reviews on Amazon.  Mostly because they do not agree, or because they want to push their own, or the more elaborate – or the positive reviews to the top.  Just don’t care about other opinions, important is your own!  After all, a review makes an argument.

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The most important element of a review is that it is a commentary, not merely a content summary.  It allows you to enter into dialogue and discussion with the work’s creator and with other audiences.  You can offer agreement or disagreement and identify where you find the work exemplary or deficient in not reaching its merit.  Short excerpt from the upcoming book: 111 Tips on How to Get Free Reviews.

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Important Tips on How to Write Book Reviews

Book-Reviews

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Reviewing can be a daunting task.  Someone has asked for your opinion but you may not feel qualified to evaluate this book.  Who are you to criticize a book if you have never written a novel or a nonfiction book yourself, much less won a literature prize?  You might have questions, such as:

  • What should the review contain?
  • Can I really voice my opinion?
  • What are the do’s and don’ts of reviews?

Above all, a review makes an argument.  The most important element of a review is that it is a commentary, not merely a content summary.  It allows you to enter into dialogue and discussion with the work’s creator and with other audiences. You can offer agreement or disagreement and identify where you find the work exemplary or deficient in not reaching its merit.
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Review Writing Techniques
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While Reading:
Take notes while reading the book, including the page number of interesting content, to make the review writing easier and to remember important points.  Record impressions.
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Opening
Try to capture the reader’s attention with an interesting opening sentence.  The introduction should state your central thesis, and set the tone of the review.  Outline the title of the book, the genre, the author and maybe if it is a newly launched book. What is the general field or genre, and how does the book fit into it?
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Content
Describe the content or theme, what goes on in the story, introduce some of the main characters and elements. From what point of view is the work written? What is the author’s style?  Is it formal or informal?  Does it suit the intended audience?  Write it a briefly, general story line, as not to spoil the reader’s experience.  This rule must always be followed: never give away the ending.
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Plot
Here you should write down how good the plot was. Was the plot fast paced or subdued’, was the plot a good length, or was it all over too quick, was easy or difficult to follow. This part of your review is really important, as the plot is what drives a story in a fiction book.
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Characters
How does the author portray his characters? How do they develop? Are the characters in the book interesting or not, did they fit with the plot? Or has the author a very distinct writing style? Use quotations to illustrate important points or peculiarities.
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Non-fiction Books
What sources did the author use – primary or secondary?  How does he make use of them?  What has the book accomplished? Is further work needed?  Compare the book to others by this author or by other writers.
Typically, reviews are brief.  In newspapers and academic journals for example, they rarely exceed 1000 words, although you may encounter lengthier assignments and extended commentaries.  In either case, reviews need to be succinct. While they vary in tone, subject, and style, they share some common features:

A review gives the reader a short and concise summary of the content.  This includes a relevant description of the topic as well as its overall perspective, argument, or purpose.
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However, more importantly, a review offers a critical assessment of the content.  This involves your reactions to the work under review: what strikes you as noteworthy, whether or not it was effective or persuasive, and how it enhanced your understanding of the issues at hand.
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Finally, in addition to analyzing the work, a review often suggests whether or not the audience might appreciate it.  It can include a final assessment or simply restate a thesis.  Reviews should be about the book.  If you think a book is a masterpiece, tell people why.  If it had potential but fell short, share your perspective.
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Introduce the book title and its author and why you wanted to read it.  Tell readers what the book is about in two or three sentences.  Name the main characters and basic plot, but don’t give away any secrets or the ending.  Share some of your favorite parts or quotes from the book.  What did you think of the main character?  Did this book remind you of any other books you’ve read?
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Before you Publish Your Book Review:
Edit, spell-check, correct grammar, refine.  Allow some time to elapse before going over your review.  Carefully read through the text, looking for clarity and coherence.
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Reviews Don’ts:
Unfortunately there are these “collectors” of free books on Amazon, who click on every book that doesn’t cost anything on a particular day, no matter if it interests them or not.  Later they might read it – and often slash it in a very unprofessional manner.

Even when it is most difficult, a review is not an emotional response to a book, and should not be used as an opportunity to criticize an author’s personality.  A book review should never be used as a “bully pulpit” for the reviewer to preach to others about his or her own beliefs.

A review is not a synopsis of the books content.  A review should tell readers what the reviewer thought of the book from multiple perspectives, not to repeat the book blurb.

Try to avoid platitudes, such as “I could not put it down”, “a page turner” or “it kept me up all night”

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Reviewers Role
It doesn’t really interest others if you liked the book or not!  Be impartial.  If you are reviewing a book by a favorite author of yours, approach it skeptically.  If you disagree with an author’s philosophy or politics, keep an open mind.  

***Your task is not to champion or chastise the author – it is to evaluate the merits of the work – and if the author accomplished it.***

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Tips from the The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC:  A great place to learn about book reviews is to look at examples.  The New York Times Sunday Book Review  and The New York Review of Books  can show you how professional writers review books.  Nobody expects you to be the intellectual equal of the work’s creator, yet, careful observations can provide you with the raw material to make reasoned opinions.
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Tactfully voicing agreement and disagreement, praise and criticism, is a valuable, challenging skill, and like many forms of writing, reviews require you to provide concrete evidence for your assertion.

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Part 2: How to Get Media Book Reviews

Book-Reviews

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You might have read Part 1: Amazon vs Media Reviewers. Here are more tips and a couple of links to Media Review sites. Our next book “111 Tips on How to Get Book Reviews” (launch in late spring) will contain over 600 direct links to book reviewers.
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Steps Before Sending Your Review Submission.
Your first step is to read book reviews of the publication you want to pitch with your reviewer request.  What type of books do they usually review?  If possible read some of the titles and compare your own insights with those of the reviewers.  What does he or she especially look for in a book of the same genre you are writing?  And most important:  What is the name and title of the reviewer?

Prepare an Excel spreadsheet or any kind of list, where you type in the title, name, address, phone/email of the recipient, the date of submission, and their guidelines.  Write a personalized email to the potential reviewer.  No one likes to get a form letter, or spam.  Use a salutation, and their name.  Never, ever sent it: “to the editor” or “to whom it may concern…”, always address it to the reviewer’s name.  An exception is for example Kirkus Reviews, where each book is assigned to a different reviewer, who could be a freelancer.
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Book 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.

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Always Check Carefully Submission Rules!
Most media review sites want hard copies – Advance Review Copies (ARC’s) of the book at least 4 – 6 months prior to publication.  Other reviewers, especially top book bloggers take review books also after their release and more and more accept e-books.  Even if you have planned to publish an e-book, purchase 30-50 copies printed at a digital printer, at CreateSpace or use any of these Espresso-Publishing machines that you can find in major cities, but who will also deliver via mail or UPS to your place.  Having print copies is not only important for reviewers, but also handy for your book launch or book signings and to sell them to people who prefer print instead of e-books.
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You may start sending out your review submission to your local newspapers and even weekly papers 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.  There are a tons of books and lots of writers seeking reviews, however, there is only so much space / time in a reviewer’s calendar.  You may email a reviewer first to see if they have an interest in your book.   To capture interest and establish credibility an effective email pitch should answer these questions:

  • Why is this worth reading at this moment?
  • What’s the news hook? Why should people care?
  • Why am I the best one to write this piece?

Don’t give reviewers a reason to disqualify your book right away:

  • Mail or email your submission to their name.
  • 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.

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 cushioned envelopes or boxes.  You want them to look professional and brand new when they arrive at the editor’s office.  Add a media kit, including your biography, high-resolution and professional (600 dpi) images, a book trailer link, a blurb and the synopsis of the book and contact information for you.

When Should You Send out Your Review Submission?January & February for spring and July & August for fall, because there will be less competition from major publishers. Don’t send it out to arrive at the office on a Monday, the busiest day.  Best arrival day for your submission is on a Thursday or Friday.

Follow Up:
Thank the editor for responding, even if they said “no.” A “No” can be the beginning of a conversation that can eventually lead to “yes.”  If you don’t hear back for two or three weeks, send a friendly follow-up email to the editor asking if your book is considered for review, mentioning your launch date.

It is not easy to get your book reviewed in these journals: however, it is possible. Librarians read reviews — at least those in Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews.  Both are paid review sites, so are a couple other professional book reviewers, which are often used by Trade Publishers, and are open to independent authors as well (for a fee).

Here a couple of useful links to (mostly) reputable reviewers, many more in our upcoming book:

Los Angeles Reviews
Armchair Reviews
MacLeans Canada
ForeWord Reviews
Midwest Book Review
NY Times Reviews
Indie Reader
USA TODAY
South China Morning Post Intl
Dallas News
The National UAE
The Huffington Post
San Francisco Book Review
Library Journal

 

Paid Reviews:
Kirkus
Publishers Weekly

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!  If they reviewed your book, thank them not for showcasing you – but for giving space to the ideas and issues in your work.

If you want to become a beta reader / critic of our upcoming book (digital advanced reader copy – before the final edit) drop us a line via the contact-us form on top of this page. Thanks.

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Amazon vs Media Reviews

Media-Reviews

Part 1 of: How to Get Media Reviews

A newspaper article about the Harvard Business School paper’s conclusion regarding book reviewers reported in the Guardian:

“The Harvard report compared “professional” reviewers (e.g. those working for newspapers and magazines) with their new competition: the folk who leave reviews on Amazon. Though they limited themselves to Amazon reviewers, they could have cast their net much wider; these days the ivory towers of book reviewing are under attack by an army of humans, dispensing their reviews and their ratings across Amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing, blogs, Twitter, Facebook and the whole glittering panoply of the social web.
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The conclusion of the Harvard academics was broadly this: that professionals are slightly more likely to review and approve of books written by writers who worked for the same titles as they, or books that had won prizes.  On the other hand, Amazon reviewers were rather more eclectic, and also in particular seemed to be more supportive of debut authors.
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It concluded: As the paper’s authors say, what is actually going on here is a secondhand audience bias: writers who write for the Guardian are more likely to write books that people who read the Guardian will like.  Similarly, a book that has won a prize has a badge of assumed quality; someone else has already done the filtering.  But this bias also sparks the immemorial cry of the debut author who doesn’t know anyone on the books desk: how on earth am I to get noticed?”
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Write for Magazines and Newspapers!
You might have noticed that I am a big preacher of writing  articles for magazines and newspapers.  One of the benefits – besides often being well-paid – is to “meet” your colleagues, or at least to be known by name and your writing, which is what the Harvard academics also found in their study.  Why Asking for (media) Book Reviews – when you could get both: book promotion and at the same time (often) being paid?  I know, it is a new concept to many writers, but when you think about it – it makes really sense: why use your time and effort to chase reviewers, when you can use your energy to leverage your books content and your research content – to create articles that you can pitch to both, print and online newspapers and magazines – and become known to the book reviewers?
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Why Books Don’t Get Reviewed by the NY Times.
In a Washington Post interview article some insights into the decisions of book review editors were revealed:

“We have such small space. . . . Every time we skip a book, we have to write up a reason. A couple of sentences saying that ‘you know what, [this is] an incredibly worthy book but I just assigned something very similar,’ or ‘this is rehashing arguments that we’ve seen,’ or some sort of justification.

“There are some authors who are pretty automatically review, because even if we don’t necessarily think, for example, the latest thriller by X Big Name is necessarily his best, we know that our readers are going to want to know that. So, it’s worthy of review not necessarily because of the quality — and I’m not speaking of David McCullough here, I think everything he writes pretty terrific — but we know that it’s going to be of interest. So we’ll assign a review and the review might not be positive, but it’s worthy of attention.
“There’s are a lot of factors that go into figuring out what books are going to be in an issue. The most obvious is pub date — the date of publication, because we’re a newspaper so it should be a relatively new book. But then we think about the mix in terms of fiction vs. nonfiction, all the genres within both of those categories. Within fiction you want to have, let’s say, science fiction, you might want to have a British novel, something in translation, include poetry. And then on nonfiction you want to have a mix of biography, foreign policy, science, hard science, mathematics. We’re kind of balancing in so many different ways.

On self-published books: We get them, and we don’t review them. We review about 1 percent of the books that come out in print from publishers every year. So 99 percent of those (published) books are being discarded. At some point you kind of have to say “okay, we’re just going to look at these books.”
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Well, they did!  According to several news articles, like this one by Forbes for example, proclaiming: “The New York Times, one of the most important source of book reviews, published a long and enthusiastic review of a self-published book, written by Alan Sepinwall, a famous TV critic.”  
Watch the full interview with these NYT book reviewers here.  http://www.c-span.org/video/?326362-1/tour-new-york-times-book-review

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Tips from a Publizist:
If you want mainstream reviews, make “the package” (industry speak for “the book”) as professional looking as possible. One rule of thumb is to use cream colored “stock” (industry speak for “paper”) because bright white stock signals short-run digital printing, in other words: self-published.

Make sure you begin your publicity and review outreach at least four months before your chosen on sale date.  Pamela Paul, the editor of The New York Times Book Review, says that one way she chooses titles for review is by reading the starred reviews in the trades like PW, Kirkus, and Library Journal. Those trades will only consider books for review if they are received some four months in advance of the on sale date.

Manage to hide that your book is a self-pub by creating your own imprint with its own logo and a publisher name that’s not yours. List a couple of your friend’s books on your website, or books that you have written under a pen name.  Some outlets, like PW and Kirkus will try to force self-published authors into their paid review service, so be smart and let an “employee” of your book’s “publisher” make the contact. But never use a vanity company to set up your book!

Do lots of early reader giveaways.  You can run them for free on Goodreads and LibraryThing and lots of bloggers are open to covering your book in exchange for a few free copies to run contests for their readers. Start this at least 4 months prior to your book’s launch.

Read lots of more detailed tips in Part 2 of this series.

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Getting Reviews from Reader Communities

Book-Communities
Reader and Writer Forums and Communities seem to be the best places to solicit book reviews.  Why, you might ask?  Well, as a member you are known and appreciated and you have “personal” contact with these folks.  So they are way more inclined to write a review for you.  Joining Wattpad, Goodreads, or any other book club, and network on these sites is a great possibility to make a name for yourself as a writer anyway.
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FanStory
A community for writers of all skill levels, comparable with Wattpad. They invite writers: “Make connections and friends. Enjoy sharing your writing. Learn from feedback that will be written on everything you write.  Share your poetry, stories and even single book chapters. Fun writing contests with cash prizes.  Choose from over 50 writing contests every month.  There is no limit to the number of contests that you can enter.  You keep your copyright and all rights to your writing.”
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FanStory organizes Reviewing Contests:
“We recognize reviewers who stood out more than others.  We are looking for quality, not quantity.  Someone well rounded when reviewing both poetry and prose.  Someone who views every piece as a whole, not just focusing on one aspect of the work.  Someone who inspires a writer to improve, not beats them into the ground.  It is a Quality Seal, but for reviewers.  We want people to see the gold stars, and to know that a review by this person is honest without being cruel, and thorough on all aspects.  The panel is looking for honest and detailed reviews that offer authors constructive feedback.  Members have the ability to nominate four reviewers each month to go before the Reviewer Recognition Panel.  Each month the Reviewer Recognition Panel takes the member that receives the most votes and decides on the winner of the contest.  The winner receives a prepaid $100 visa gift card (or optionally an Amazon gift certificate or 110 member dollars). Write reviews and you will automatically be entered.
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Canadian Book Clubs
Canadian Book Clubs are now open to authors who want their books reviewed, organizing these reviews: “We have finally enlarged our mandate to review books for a small fee.  The reviewer is not part of our staff, nor a free-lancer, but from one of our registered book clubs! We ask the person who would like to submit a book for review to send us a book, along with a small fee.  In turn, we redistribute that book to a member of one of our book clubs.  All people who review books have requested reviewer status.  If you would like to submit a book, please send them an email to: books@CanadianBookClubs.com.”
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Goodreads List of Most Popular Reviewers
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Click on “community” at the top of your Goodreads page, then click on “people” and on “most popular reviewers” at the right site of the opening page, where it says “meet people”. 
 There is a list of people published who wrote reviews that got the most votes on Goodreads this week (there are also lists for this month, in the last 12 months, or all time):
Most popular 100 reviewers this week in The United States
Most popular 100 reviewers this week in Canada
Most popular 100 reviewers (worldwide) this week

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What you will do is to invite these popular reviewers – or “top reviewers” or the ones who wrote the “best reviews” to join you on Goodreads.  Follow their reviews, “shelf” their books if they are writers too, and find out their blogs, websites and social media accounts to follow them too – long before you ask them for a review.
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BookBrowse Online Book Magazine
Their mission is to seek out the diamonds in the rough from the approximate 200,000 books published each year in the USA alone, so that you can spend more time reading exceptional titles, and less on books that don’t live up to your expectations.
BookBrowse’s concept is simple: “We combine the best features of a highly selective bookstore – hand selected and personally recommended books, with the best features of a newspaper book review column – except you can read the opinions of multiple reviewers not just one!  They also offer many things that you won’t find in a traditional book review magazine – such as reading guides, interviews, extended author biographies and literary quizzes; plus the ability to browse for books by time period, setting and theme; find read-alike suggestions from one book to another and much more.”
Under the section “contact us” authors will find “Info for authors wanting to be reviewed by BookBrowse”.
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Don’t forget to thank all your reviewers personally.  Keep in mind that these wonderful people are taking the time to read and write up a review.  Many of them are donating their precious leisure hours or days to you and your book.

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