Tuesday, March 20, 2018

This Is How You Get Book Reviews!

Authors want lots of good media for their books.  They always ask me:  “How do we get more reviews?”  Here’s the answer.

To get book reviews, a number of things need to happen. First, in order to get reviewed by a print media outlet you will need to follow their instructions.  For instance, a publication like Library Journal generally wants to receive a galley (an advance review copy of the book) some three and a half months prior to its publication date. If you send it later than that you essentially undermine or destroy your chances of getting reviewed there.

Second, some publications do not want self-published books for review.  If that publication won’t review such books and your book is self-published, don’t bother contacting them.

Third, some publications, such as Publishers Weekly require that two copies be sent to them, not one. Please honor that request.

Fourth, you need to identify which book reviewer or person your book is to be sent to.  Don’t rely on someone at the publication to sift through mail and make a choice for ypu.

When it comes to digital media, bloggers and online reviewers need to be contacted, usually by email.  Many of them would like to be pitched at least six weeks prior to publication, but many are fine with being contacted within a few weeks or months after publication date.  If they want a copy of the book, many will ask for a digital copy.  Net Galley and Good Reads can be helpful, but they are not a substitute for you reaching out to online media.

For online websites, like HuffPost, or others who may do book reviews, you can send a physical copy or solicit them with a digital copy. It depends on the particular needs of the media outlet.

So what should you send to them with the book?  A press kit is helpful but what they really need is a short letter that gets to the point of why the book is unique, relevant, and interesting.  Identify your credentials and show why you are perfectly positioned to pen this book.  Lastly, highlight why the book is timely, better than competing titles, or what stands out that they should feel obligated to review it.

Think about the specific media outlet that you are contacting and not so much about your book.  Put the focus on them – not you.  Ask yourself: What would they want?  What type of coverage do they give to books in this genre?  What do I know about the individual I’m contacting at a specific media outlet? How can I make the pitch customized and personable?

Understand that book reviews can come out of luck and the odds are against you, given the numbers of books published and the number of submissions for review. They also come based on a book’s merit, personal connections, and how well you pitch it at the right time. In the end, if your book really is special – and you’ve done everything right, you’ll get some reviews and those reviews, if favorable, may help you get additional book reviews or other types of media coverage.

When it comes to print media, consider the following outlets to approach for book reviews:

·         Publishers Weekly
·         Library Journal
·         Kirkus Reviews
·         Foreword
·         BookPage
·         Booklist
·         New York Times Book Review
·         Wall Street Journal Books
·         USA Today Books

Then think of general or specific magazines to approach. For instance, if it’s a business book, submit a copy for review to business publications such as Inc, Forbes, Fortune, Fast Company and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Don’t forget book reviewers at newswires, such as Associated Press, Gannett, UPI, Reuter’s and others.

There are dozens of leading daily newspapers to approach, from Miami Herald, Boston Globe and L.A. Times to Houston Chronicle, Denver Post, and San Diego Tribune.

There are general magazines, such as Time, Newsweek, Parade, and Reader’s Digest, to women’s men’s, sports, psychology, science, politics, and others to explore.  There are also trade publications of a specific industry, regional magazines, and major newsletters.

Getting book reviews is one of the many important things authors and publishers need to pursue. Do it methodically, thoughtfully, and on time and you at least stand a small chance of breaking through.

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource."

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