Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Surprising Role Of Book Reviews Today

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“Shall we frankly declare that, after the most deliberate consideration of Mr. Darwin’s argument, we remain unconvinced.”

That’s the review of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1860, some 159 years ago.  It was a review that appeared in The New York Times.

The newspaper of record also called Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov, in 1958, “dull” and “repulsive.”

Both are important classics of our modern-day world.  The book critics get it wrong often – and many times they elect to not even review a book that goes on to be a best-seller or culturally significant book.

So should we even bother with book reviews when it comes to plotting a book marketing strategy?

Well, there are different types of reviews out there.

First, you have big review publications focused on books, such as Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, The Foreword, and Library Journal. They can be hard to come by-same with major newspapers that review books, such as The New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal.  But I say try them.  The potential pay-off is worth it.

Second, you have online book reviewers, from those who post on consumer sites like Amazon, bn-com, or other retailers, to those who post on social media.  These reviews are weighed by the pound, so the focus is on quantity more than quality.

Third, you have paid reviews, some online, and some with known publications such as Kirkus Reviews.  Until the buying public knows these are paid for, many are worth pursuing.

But book reviews are just one part of an author’s tool box to market a book.  Getting other media is very important, from radio and podcast interviews to byline articles at a magazine, to features in major newspapers to television interviews.

Beyond the news media, you have social media – that of others and your own.  Go tweet, post on Instagram and Facebook, send videos on You Tube, or blog like crazy.  Then get others to interview or feature you on their sites.

Speaking, direct marketing, advertising, and other means of marketing a book are just as important as getting lots of good book reviews.  So, bottom line, pursue book reviews at all levels, but make sure you diversify your book marketing portfolio because your book deserves to go beyond book reviews.

“Do not wait for art idea.  Start writing something and the ideas will come.  You have to turn the faucet on before the water starts to flow.”
--Louis L’Amour

“Do you realize that all great literature is all about what a bummer it is to be a human being?”
--Kurt Vonnegut

“Take five ice cubes, place in clean glass, add vodka.”
--Phil Mushnick

“Ideas are like rabbits.  You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”
--John Steinbeck


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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 ©2019. 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.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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