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6 Reasons for Making a Long-term Investment as a Book Reviewer

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Antique-Library
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Earning cash through writing book reviews is not really the primary reason for becoming a book reviewer. The more important reasons for a writer to become a book reviewer have nothing to do with money making, but have an intrinsic value to them that are a long-term investment.  Allow me to share six reasons for becoming a book reviewer.
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Feeding Your Passions.
As writers, we tend to develop our skills in only one or two genres. Essentially we have and must limit ourselves to our specific genres in order to compete well in the market. However, it is very likely that you love reading books of other genres and often not only desire, but need to remain linked to those books that fed your passion to become a writer in the first place.
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Making Friends With Other Authors.
I have reviewed several hundred books and have therefore exposed myself to the opportunity of friendship with several hundred other authors. That does not mean that they have all become my friends, but there are a few with whom there is a special connection. Something within their writing or within my review sparks a special relationship. The special relationships that you develop with people who suffer through the same maladies that you do, will serve you well as you continue to face the ups and downs of your career.
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Building Up Your Knowledge.
If you are wise, you will review books from which you might also learn new skills. In today’s world writers have also become business owners. By reviewing books that teach you the skills necessary to understand your role as a business owner, publisher, marketer and web site manager, you can expand your knowledge and become a better informed businessperson. You might also review a book that happens to be a part of the research for your next novel; something that you were going to do anyway.
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Improve Your Writing Skills.
Sometimes our dialogue can seem forced and dull or a particular, non-cliché words or phrases elude us. Often times, when I am reading, I come across a well turned phrase or a particular way of describing something that captures my attention. Just like I learned from the masters when I began reading the classics and studying their style, I often pick up contemporary tips and tricks from the books that I review and add them to my toolbox.
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Increase your library of ideas and characters. Besides running across well turned phrases which become a part of my tools, I sometimes create an image in my mind that develops into a new book. In the past year alone, I have added at least a dozen novel ideas or character sketches that lend themselves to, at some point in the future, become novels or be incorporated into other novels. The author does not even have to be writing in your genre to foster an idea in your mind that can grow into something bigger. If you take notes, you will find plenty of ideas to boost your collection.
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Helps avoid writer’s block.
Every writer has a different method for avoiding, preventing or overcoming writer’s block. The methods suggested are as numerous as there are authors, but two that often show up in nearly every author’s suggestions are inspiration and action. Inspiration can easily come from a well turned phrase or image that is gained from reading another book. The second, the action of writing out a review, often times, will get a writer’s mind flowing in the right direction and get them back on track.
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Bil Howard is an indie publisher and novelist whose works include: “The Wolf of the Highlands”,  “Zipaquirá” and “Rionegro”. Bil is also the author of a blog, which discusses reading, literacy and language development.  Bil lives in a small town near Medellin, Colombia where he teaches English, writes and reviews books.  Enjoy his blog or visit his website at Bil-Howard.net.
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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars   Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,015 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing
http://www.111publishing.com
http://www.e-Book-PR.com/
http://www.international-ebooks.com/
http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Posted by on February 21, 2014 in Marketing

 

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Has No One Told You This?

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Riverbank

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There are lots of possibilities to let everyone know about your book, without even incurring any costs.  Browsing through our more than 1,500 blog posts, you will find an abundance of book marketing tips!  

However, most important is, to have a solid amount of friends and followers on Goodreads, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook  – at least 2,000 on every Social Media site, and a long list of opt-in email addresses to send out invitations for your book launch or any other news-worthy events – or for your readers to download single chapters or short stories as a teaser.
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Check out the genres that are popular and announce your books on these book reader’s blogs and websites:

http://www.Wattpad.com

http://www.ebooksjustpublished.com/about

http://jcphelps.blogspot.com/p/submit-content.html

http://www.manicreaders.com/index.cfm?disp=authors

http://www.Goodreads.com

http://books.google.com/googlebooks/tour/

Google writes:  “Once you send Google your titles (or upload them as PDF files), we’ll add them to our index for free. By matching the content in your books with user searches, Google Books connects your books with the users who are most interested in buying them. Each Google Books result will display the book’s title and author, a short excerpt containing the highlighted search terms, and other public data about the book.”
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Get as Many Book Reviews as Possible:
Finding reviewers is so much easier if you are well-established in Goodreads communities and other writer / book forums. Start a book giveaway on Goodreads at least a month before your book will be printed (create “dummies” with the help of a digital copy/print company or through “espresso book machines”. When giving out these early copies, try to solicit as many reviews as possible. Use the best reviews for blurbs on your final book cover.
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http://bookreviewclub.blogspot.ca/

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=47

http://www.amazon.com/tag/kindle/forum

http://www.GoodReads.com

http://www.Wattpad.com

If you have an Amazon account, you could visit the Amazon Kindle forum, where Kindle users share their experiences with the Kindle reader, and also talk about books available for the Kindle. Many authors also post about their new books and join the conversations. When you introduce yourself, consider telling folks there about your book.  Be polite and conversational in tone, and be sure to provide direct hyperlinks to your book page.
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Benefits of Content Marketing
Why asking for (media) 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 as an added benefit: You get valuable back-links to your website/blog or book sales page!
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Make use of your assets!
The three main assets you have as an author:

  • your writing skills
  • the content you already wrote
  • the research you have done for your book(s)

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Again: Start Early!
If you’re waiting until the book is finished to start marketing, you’re already behind the curve. As an author, you should devote a portion of every day to get your name out there and to build relationships with prospective readers, partners and friends.  And with relationships I don’t mean advertising your book (tweeting: buy my book, buy my book, buy ….) this is not relationship-building!
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All books live or die, based on word of mouth!
If you try to build your network after you release your book, you’ll face a more difficult challenge. If you build a large social network BEFORE you release your book, your marketing efforts will be much more successful.
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Help is on the Way:
If you have a full-time job and / or other commitments and not at least an hour per day left to build your platform and network with potential readers, let us do a good part of your book PR, and at the same time we will coach you over the phone and teach you how book marketing can be done on a very low budget – all for less than two dollars / day.  Read more about this valuable and extensive package we offer to authors.

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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.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 900 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing
http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK
http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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How to Prepare Your Book for Reviews

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Antique-Stamps

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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 Booklistonline.com: their reviews all go to the libraries!
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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.
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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.
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PRE – Publication Reviewers:

Horn Book Magazine
56 Roland Street, Suite 200
Boston, MA 02129
www.hbook.com

Kirkus Reviews
VNU US Literary Group
770 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
www.kirkusreviews.com

Publishers Weekly
360 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10011
www.publishersweekly.com

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POST  Publication Reviewers:

Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575
www.midwestbookreview.com
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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.
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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?

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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.
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It is not impossible to receive a book review from one of the above mentioned prestigious journals!
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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.
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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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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 970 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing
http://www.111publishing.com
http://www.e-Book-PR.com/
http://www.international-ebooks.com/
http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Posted by on August 1, 2013 in Book Reviews

 

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Million Dollar Question: How to Get Book Reviews?

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100dollarbills

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Not just a handful, but lots of reviews!

They are crucial, not only for Amazon’s algorithms, but also when selling through other online retailers, such as Kobo, Barnes&Noble or Waterstones.  Polls revealed that 70% of book buyers are paying attention to reviews before they make their purchase. They don’t read the reviews necessarily, but check the numbers of reviews a book has accrued.  Book reviewing, in the past a privilege of literary magazines, became mainstream, encouraged by the likes of Amazon and without any editorial controls. There is an ever-shrinking newspaper space for reviews, while the number of books published is increasing tremendously. However, book bloggers and book lovers all over the world become armchair critics at the click of a mouse.
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So, how can a writer find reviewers?

  • paying for reviews, Kirkus Reviews comes to mind, who charges several hundred dollars
  • asking followers and friends in their Social Media network
  • getting to know book bloggers and hobby reviewers

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The worst method is to write an email and send it out to dozens of reviewers, without a salutation and without checking their websites/blogs carefully or reading their submission guidelines. If you would be a reviewer, would you answer a mass mail?
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Always remember that book reviewers don’t do it for a living.
They often have busy lives, full-time jobs, partners, children, ailing parents and other obligations. They barely can keep up with the growing demand for reviews.  Imagine if you would get an email from a total stranger, asking you to do several hours of work for free. Would you be excited?
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Get to know book reviewers and bloggers.
Careers everywhere depend on networking, same with a writing career.  Start making “friends” with reviewers, long before your book is finished: Search on your social media sites for reviewers, reviews, book bloggers, etc. when using the search function on top of Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and Google+ pages. At Goodreads, reviewers are listed, so you can conveniently choose them as friends and follow them for a while, see which book genres they  prefer,  before you approach them.
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Check out the bestsellers in your genre (in bookstores or online) and find names of reviewers. If these reviewers have a blog (and most do), comment on their articles.  Offer them well-written guest blogs, geared to their topics and readership.
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These are invaluable and important contacts, as those readers do not only review books, but post their reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and the like.  On top of that, they often write a blog post about the books they read, which stays there for years to come. They are actually promoting those book reviews to readers and indirectly even to industry decision makers: librarians, booksellers, agents, publishers – like a publicist does it (for money). If compensated it would mean at least a couple of hundred dollars worth, what they provide you for free!
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Again: It takes often months until getting a review, start early with your search.
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If you write non-fiction, it’s a bit more difficult, as most book reviewers prefer fiction books.  Look for magazines that write about the same or similar topics and find out if they review books. You could also offer an article and in your intro at the end of the article, you could offer readers a copy in exchange for a review of your book. For sample, if you write about aviation safety, you search for aviation magazines, but also for history magazines, travel magazines, even more local publications where a certain incident happened in the past. Or if you write about nutrition, check out all magazines of health food stores, women’s magazines, medical magazines etc. to find out if they write reviews.

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Paid book reviewers
are not hard to find, just type into Google: Book Review Submission Guidelines and you will find lots of them. The most famous:
https://www.kirkusreviews.com/
http://www.bookrooster.com/
https://www.forewordreviews.com/

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Free book reviews
The best source are friends and followers on social media site, starting with Goodreads. Offer a print version of your book as a giveaway (you can do this several times a year). In average, half of the recipients write a book review.
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But again: just don’t email them out of the blue, friend them on social media, read their blogs and get to know them, before you make an approach for a review. If they state in their submission guidelines, they will only read print books, don’t tell them to “just print out my pdf or word file”.  If you have e-books only, get a couple of digital prints (bound) from a copy shop or use one of these espresso book machines, mostly located in big cities, but available online, just add the postage for delivery.

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For US writers: The Midwest Book Review (free!) has contracted with Cengage Learning to provide them with electronic copies of book reviews. Cengage Learning then makes their reviews available to library systems nationwide. Read our former blog post, “How to Find Reviewers for Your Book” where lots of reviewers are listed.
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If you are looking for reviews to use in your books blurb (print or e-book) send out galleys, which can be produced by espresso book machines as well, at least 3 – 4 months before your book’s launch, especially for print books, to be sure to receive it in time.

http://www.rtbookreviews.com/magazine/editorial-submissions (4 months before launch!)
http://bookpage.com/content/submission-guidelines (at least 3 months before launch!)

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Another question is the quality of book reviews, not only on the internet… I think about an extremely unfair review, a good friend of mine has received from a “Librarian” at Goodreads! She wrote about a book that has amassed more than 90 percent 5-star reviews. The “reviewer wrote: “I tried to like the book, really. But I just can’t.” That’s it, this was the whole review! No description what the book is about, no mentioning of the writing style (excellent!), not about the plot, the characters, nothing. And gave it a 1-star. So much for the quality of reviews…  Check out the reviews for world bestsellers and you will find some of them with more than 150 of these 1-star reviews!
And then there are those people who are downloading tons of free books on Amazon – without even checking the content, just because they can get something for free – they are also infamous for writing scalding and unprofessional book reviews. What about the writers’ competition, who could theoretically write an unfair review?  In all these cases, just keep your cool, and work even harder to get more reviews to “bury” those unfair ones.

Take reviews always with a grain of salt. Sure, reviews, and lots of them, are important for writers. But keep in mind, they are always subjective!  And don’t forget to thank a reviewer for their work, no matter if 3 or 3 stars. They will be more inclined to do another review for you when your next book is finished.

Kate McMillian compiled a great number of articles about book reviews, check them out.

BTW: How many books did YOU review recently???

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 700 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK
http://bit.ly/VmtVAS      111Publishing @ Google+

Don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks

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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Book Reviews, Social Networks

 

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What to Prepare for Your Book Review?

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
www.hbook.com

Kirkus Reviews
VNU US Literary Group
770 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
www.kirkusreviews.com

Publishers Weekly
360 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10011
www.publishersweekly.com

POST  Publication:

Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575
www.midwestbookreview.com
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 .. gmail.com

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