Let’s face it, competition is stiff in the publishing world. With hundreds of new electronic and print releases each month, how do you make your book stand out amongst the crowd? Well a review is one way that may capture the attention of a reader who has a smorgasbord of choices for new reading material. But as mentioned, there are hundreds of releases each month vying for a review, so getting a review for your book is sometimes easier said than done.
Here are some tips:
- Research: Are your review inquiries targeting review sites or venues that except or focus on the genre or theme of your book? This is important to consider, sending your book to the right place can increase the odds of getting a review. For instance, although PNR Reviews will review books in all genres, our focus is paranormal romance and speculative fiction; so review requests in that genre receive priority over mainstream requests. An internet search will help you find review outlets that fit your needs. Another good source of information is your colleagues. Ask other authors where they are getting reviews for their work, take names.
- Making Contact: After you’ve done your research it’s time to make contact with the review site. Most sites have review request contact information on their site or general contact info at least. If you have the name of the reviews editor or coordinator, use it. Speaking from experience, it’s helpful to provide your book information (title, author, publisher, ISBN, release date) and an interesting blurb when inquiring. Your blurb may be the key to capturing the attention of a reviewer who has countless review books to choose from. Keep in mind that the majority of review sites are staffed by volunteer (=unpaid) reviewers. Although you’re understandably anxious for a review, please be considerate and polite when making inquiries about the status of your review. Many print and electronic publishers regularly offer review sites their new releases for review. Don’t be afraid to request a review even if this is the case with your publisher. An individual request may help your book stand out from the crowd.
- Name Recognition: If a reviewer has heard your name, even if you are a new author, it increases the chance that your book will capture their attention when the request comes in. Most review sites have social groups, such as Yahoo, MySpace, Facebook, etc. Additionally, reviewers are readers as well and many join promotional groups and author groups. Join these groups to get your name out there. Many offer the opportunity to participate in author chats or to be interviewed. Make yourself visible, but be mindful of the promo rules for each group you join. Investing a little time in this area will yield huge pay offs.
- A Word About Professionalism: Be aware that when you are requesting a review, you are asking someone for their opinion on your writing. In doing so, you need to realize you may not agree with their opinion. What a reader brings to and expects from a book is very individual, and a review is simply their perspective. In my experience, there are few reviewers that give a negative review out of spite, and there may be some constructive criticism that can be taken away from this experience; or you can chalk it up to a difference of opinion. In any case, short of out right bashing or major plot spoilers, if you do not receive a positive review it is not in your best interest as a professional author to contact the review site to complain or otherwise react.
If you need any additional information or would like to request a review from ParaNormal Romance (PNR Reviews), feel free to contact me at pnr4staff (at) yahoo.com