Although there has been a steady decline in print readership, there are still millions of potential book buyers out there who turn to the book review pages in their local newspapers to see what interests them. Thousands of people in the book industry also study book reviews and book listings in newspapers and magazines. Thus, book reviews and book reviewers can have a tremendous impact on publishers and writers.
Although much of the available review space gets gobbled up by celebrities with virtually guaranteed bestsellers, not-so-well-known authors can get a fair share of publicity if they astutely organize their promotional efforts. If you are thinking about pursuing book reviews for your book, here are a few ideas you might like to consider.
1. You will probably become very frustrated pursuing the likes of The New York Times, Publishers Weekly and other prestigious mass-circulation review media. Go after less-in-demand sources.
2. Look for review media whose editorial interests most closely match with your book's subject matter.
3. Review space or electronic media time should not cost you a cent. However, be aware that ad sales departments may attempt to convince you to place an advertisement. Be aware that any review medium with credibility does not decide which titles it will critique on the basis of an advertising commitment.
4. Don't ever refuse to provide a review copy if the request seems valid.
5. Don't think a magazine or newspaper is unsuitable because it doesn't run formal book reviews. Many have sections that tell of newsy items or new products of interest to their readers. These mentions can be golden. So can ones in newsletters.
6. The Internet offers another approach to book reviews. If you are seeking to send out numerous review copies, it may be cost prohibitive to send everyone print copies of your book. The practice of sending a digital review copies of a book or of selected chapters to book reviewers is becoming a more common practice. And with the increasing use of ebook readers, digital review copies are becoming more accepted and even wanted.
Of course, book reviews are just the tip of the book marketing iceberg. Some of the other ways to get your book noticed include author interviews or profiles that compel readers to buy books, as they lend a personal angle to a writer's story. In future posts, we will explore how the use of offering enticing samples taken from a book as well as how write-ups such as op-ed essays can draw attention to your written works in much the same manner as formal book reviews.
[This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, 5th edition, co-authored by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier.]