In our last blog post, we talked about the three different types of reviewers. This week we’re going to talk about how to approach them to request a review.
For traditional reviewers, once you’ve done your research and listed those that are self-publisher or small-press friendly, read their guidelines carefully and follow them to the letter! Most of these reviewers receive thousands of publications for review annually. You will be set aside quickly if you haven’t followed their instructions for the proper way to submit your book or books.
For “grassroots” and avid reader reviewers, the process is one of persuasion and making sure that you align with their readership. Always be respectful and polite in your communication. Getting reviews can sometimes be a frustrating process, but even if you’re experiencing that frustration, you shouldn’t let it show. Be professional!
Step 1: Do they review your type of book?
Study the genres that a particular reviewer specializes in. Even in a specialty area such as children’s books, there are reviewers that may be interested in nonfiction books instead of fiction or vice versa.
Step 2: Read their policies and follow them.
All legitimate reviewers have policies for submission. These policies will tell you what to submit in terms of the form of your manuscript or book. They’ll also tell you where to submit. If they have other special requests, follow them.
Step 3: Write a personal letter or email.
No one enjoys receiving correspondence that isn’t addressed appropriately. Make sure you find out the reviewer’s name and spell it correctly. We’ll be supplying a quality query letter in a subsequent blog for you to use as a template.
Step 4: Proofread, proofread, proofread!
Everyone makes mistakes, but your book is important to you, and so is this review. Take the time to read through everything carefully to make sure that there are no spelling or grammatical errors.
Step 5: Remember, they aren’t supposed to be pleasing you.
This is the most difficult step. As an author, you put your heart and soul into your work. However, the reviewer is not always in alignment with your needs. It’s his or her job to give an honest opinion and it may or may not be what you want to hear!
About Linda F. Radke
Linda F. Radke is president of Story Monsters LLC and publisher of Story Monsters Ink® magazine, selected by School Library Journal as one the great magazines for kids and teens. For over 30 years, she has produced and marketed award-winning books for all ages. Clients and the media describe Radke as an industry leader in creativity, innovation, and customer service. She has received many publishing, public relations, and marketing awards, including “Book Marketer of the Year” by Book Publicists of Southern California. A former K-12 special education teacher and Arizona State University instructor, she has served as a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator for publishing and marketing. Radke is a member of the Children’s Book Council, National Federation of Press Women, and Independent Book Publishing Association. Based in Chandler, Arizona, she is passionate about helping authors make their dreams a reality. Radke’s motto is, “You can't compromise on quality. Do it right or don't do it all!”