Top Tips for Getting Great Reviews
Brought to you from the BookSurge monthly "Surge Newsletter" for self-published authors
Book reviews are a great way to give your readers confidence in your book, but it's not just great content that wins over book reviewers. Here are a few helpful hints to make sure that your book shines when it makes it onto the critics' desks.
Prepare a brief, but thorough fact sheet. There are five essential elements to a good fact sheet: the author biography, a list of any previous publication credits you may have, book information and website details, an excerpt, and accurate contact information. The book details should include the publisher, number of pages, ISBN, and where it may be purchased. Try to keep the length of this document to under a page, and to differentiate your fact sheet, consider adding graphics, like your book cover, or quotes from other reviews. Remember, a fact sheet must be compelling and informative to give reviewers a reason to review your work.
Look professional before you request a review. Is your website ready? Is your contact information clear? Spend some time polishing your website or your author bio before you submit your book to reviewers. Remember, should your book be chosen for review, your reviewer may be equally interested in learning more about you.
Strictly observe submission guidelines and deadlines. This means that you must critically determine if your book is thematically appropriate for the reviewer, and following the posted instructions for submitting your work is essential. If guidelines are not posted, ask what they are before you prepare your query. Because reviewers receive so many submissions, it is in their best interest to select books that conform to the rules, and often, if a book is not received in accordance with the rules, it will not even be considered, regardless of the content.
Stand out from the crowd. Many authors will submit review copies of their books that are unfinished, but some reviewers want to assess the final product for its quality as well as content. To make your book stand out from the rest of the books on their desk, consider autographing the title page or including a note of thanks in the front cover.
Patience is a virtue. As soon as your book is in the mail to reviewers, you may feel the urge to check your mailbox or email every five minutes until you receive a reply. However, you must resist the urge to leave dozens of messages for your reviewer- after all, he or she needs time to actually read your book. If the reviewer did not specify a timeline for reviewing your book, send a handwritten note of thanks to him or her that lets them know you are appreciative of the opportunity.