Monday, March 11, 2013

When A Book Reviewer Says No, Don’t Worry

Life is about how you handle rejection, because truthfully, we are rejected far more often than we are accepted. This is true when applying to a school or for a job, or when we pursue a date, seek to raise funds for a charity, or lobby the government for changes in the law. Rejection is all around us.

We learn it early in life when nagging our parents for toys or candy and we continue to run up against it when we try to defy the natural course of aging. We hear “no” far more often than “yes,” but the balance sheet of life only requires a handful of yeses to truly be successful and happy.

If anyone knows rejection it is the creative artist. He or she struggles to find a publisher, then to build readership, and then to get sales. When pursuing the news media, expect reviewers to reject you more than 90% of the time. Depending on your book’s subject matter, timing of your outreach, and style of your approach, you may get turned down by almost all of the book reviewers that you contact.

But you can still sell a huge amount of copies of your book without the help of book reviewers. And you can get lucrative book deals even if you don’t have many book reviews. Why? Because so many things can drive your success often don’t involve reviews. It depends on how creative and resourceful you can be.

There are no less than dozens of ways to sell a book, from speaking engagements and book signings, to social media, savvy marketing, convention exhibits, affiliate sales, bundling with other services or products, catalogs, advertising, media campaigns, road tours, etc.  No need to get caught up in the book review game when you can take matters into your hands and seek out other ways to promote and market your book.

Book review space in printed publications is shrinking and online book reviewers are growing. It’s still good if you can get the book reviews, but realistically many authors are shut out because:

      There’s still some prejudice against the self-published.
      Most authors fail to submit a galley 3.5 months prior to publication to all of the right reviewers.
      Way too many books are released every single day.
<    Some genres don’t get reviewed as often as others.
<    The pitch letter accompanying the galley failed to inspire the reviewer.

Remember, rejection is part of the game of life. Pursue the book reviewers if you can, and maybe you catch a lucky break. But regardless of your level of success with them, realize that 99.8% of your sales success will come from the efforts you make to promote and market beyond the book reviewers.

Good luck.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2013 ©

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