What to Prepare for Your Book Review?

05 Apr

While having a good review can sell hundreds of books, however it can sell a lot more:  Post excerpts of good reviews on your website. Put it on your Press Releases and on the back cover before print or after, when you reprint.  Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal or Midwest Book Review and Booklist all go to libraries. 

What is in involved in preparing a book kit before sending it out to a reviewer who had already agreed to read it?  You need a plan for both pre-publication and after publication reviews to submit your book to a book reviewer, an organization and library, journal or newspaper company.

Homework and Research
Set aside time to go onto the Internet and find out which reviewers, journals, libraries, and companies require that you mail in your manuscript BEFORE the book goes into print. Then, find the reviewers, journals, libraries and companies requiring that you mail in the book AFTER it’s published and read careful their directions. For example, the list below is for self-publishing authors only.  Assemble a kit which includes: a cover letter, testimonials, book excerpts, a marketing plan, Advanced Copy Review or book copies, but always according to reviewers submitting rules.

PRE – Publication:

Horn Book Magazine
56 Roland Street, Suite 200
Boston, MA 02129

Kirkus Reviews
VNU US Literary Group
770 Broadway
New York, NY 10003

Publishers Weekly
360 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10011

POST  Publication:

Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575
Midwest Book Review for sample gives priority consideration to small publishers, self-published authors, academic presses, and specialty publishers.  To submit a book for review they require:

  • Two finished copies of the book (no galleys or uncorrected proofs).
  • A cover letter
  • A publicity release or media kit

There is an approximate 14 to 16-week “window of opportunity” for a book to be assigned out for review.

You’ve done your homework and selected the reviewers you want to submit your ARC (Advance Review Copy) or finished book (Published).  What’s the author’s next step?

To prepare ARC’s:
At an office supply shop buy a package of Heavy Duty Report Covers.  These covers come with a front and back side, metal fasteners and holds up to a three inch capacity of paper.  Make sure that the box indent shows on the front cover.  Here you place your author’s information, Title of book and your name.  This ARC represents you and your book. It’s the first thing that a respective reviewer will see!

Never send out an ARC without a proper cover letter. What is a cover letter? A cover letter tells the prospective reviewer who you are, the book’s title, and what the author is sending to that particular reviewer. Print out at least three testimonial reviews from (from well-known writers or editors) who had already read the book, each testimonial on a separate page.

Include the first three chapters of the novel. Staple them together.  Include a picture of the cover done by a professional graphic artist. Great publicity for them and a professional looking cover always helps the author.  Offer them a jpeg and TIFF version as well.

It is not impossible to receive a book review from one of the above-mentioned prestigious journals.

These same steps can apply to well-known libraries, people reviewers, and newspaper reviews IF the author does his/her homework and research first.  Write ahead of time to individual reviewers and make sure they want to review your book and it’s in the genre they do their book reviews in.  Find out if the review is FEE based. Some reviewers, organizations and on-line groups charge to review. Make sure you understand the directions and follow them to the letter.

Include a cover letter to let the reviewers know what you’re sending them.  Make sure you send them the material as specified in the directions. ARC’s, media kits, cover letters, testimonials, book location, publisher’s name and address, release date, and ISBN number.

Write in inner book cover, “NOT FOR RESELL.” That means that the reviewer can’t sell your book or ARC. Do specify what you want done with your ARC’s or books. Suggest they give it to the local library, hospital, charity or a school.  When sending out your books for review, always include always your author’s business card and always SIGN your book and date it.

Getting your book reviewed isn’t impossible. However it requires paying attention, planning and following instructions. Keep these in mind and your next book review will turn into a success.

There are many more possibilities for reviews.  To receive a full free list of reviewers, just drop me a line: 111publishing ..



Hyper Smash


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One response to “What to Prepare for Your Book Review?

  1. Oladipo Emmanuel Olayinka

    April 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    You have done a great job, keep it up.
    I also just published an eBook in PDF Version.


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