How to Prepare Your Book for Reviews

01 Aug




A great book review can sell hundreds of your books, but it can sell a lot more: an excerpt of the review can be posted on your book’s cover, on your website and even on your Press Releases and on the inside dust cover – when you received it before print – or after, for your future re-prints. Midwest Book Review, Kirkus Review, Library Journal or their reviews all go to the libraries!

What is Involved in Preparing a Book Kit ?
A reviewer, who had already agreed to read it, that is.  You need a plan for both, pre-publication and after publication reviews to submit your book to reviewers in an organization, a library, a magazine or a newspaper company.
Do your homework and research
Find out which reviewers, journals, libraries, and companies require in order to 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. The address 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 the reviewers submitting-rules.

PRE – Publication Reviewers:

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 Reviewers:

Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575
Midwest Book Review for example, gives priority consideration to small publishers, 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 are certainly many more reviewers, the above mentioned are only a small selection, however they are the ones, recognized by librarians and magazine editors.

You have done your homework and selected the reviewers you want to submit your ARC (Advance Review Copy) or finished book (Published).  What is your 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 (part of your manuscript). Make sure that the box indent shows on the front cover. Here you place your author’s information, the book’s title 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, a letter tells the prospective reviewer who you are, the book’s title, and what you are 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 should be 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. A professional looking cover always helps the author. In your cover letter offer additionally a jpeg and TIFF version.

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, private reviewers and newspaper reviews IF the author does his/her homework done and researched.  Write ahead of time to individual reviewers and make sure they want to review your book and if it is in their favored genre.  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.

Always make sure you send them the material as specified in their directions. ARC’s, media kits, cover letters, testimonials, book location, publisher’s name and address, release date, and the ISBN number.

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

Getting your book reviewed is not impossible. However it requires paying attention, planning and following instructions. Keep this in mind and your next book review will turn into a success.



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Posted by on August 1, 2013 in Book Reviews


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2 responses to “How to Prepare Your Book for Reviews

  1. RetepAdam

    August 5, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    BlueInk Reviews is also an option. It provides services similar to Kirkus but is a little less pricy.

    • ebooksinternational

      August 5, 2013 at 5:13 pm

      Hello Adam,
      thanks, I know, but just a little bit less than the other. We did not include them because they do not give their address and not the slightest hind on their website in which country they are residing.
      Cheers, Doris


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