For many authors, sending review copies can be the least expensive and most effective book promotion they can do. The secret to getting good reviews in publications that you believe your book audience reads, is to send review copies to category magazines.
For example, if your book is about scuba diving, sending review copies to scuba diving magazines could generate a 100% response and a review. Editors like to report on new products, and their readers like to find out about new products.
Sending a review copy of your book to someone like The New York Times would be a waste of your time and money. They do not have space to mention your book, and readers of the Times are most likely not your book's targeted audience. Large city newspapers are aimed at very general audiences. You want a targeted audience whose interests match the content of your book.
The easiest way to identify where to send your review copies is to go online and make a list of magazines, newsletters, ezines, blogs, etc. that match the subject matter of your book. Do not email an editor asking if he or she wants to see your book. They are too busy to answer you. What's important is to get your book into their hands. Your book is its own ambassador and should speak for itself. You can't possibly describe your book as well as it can present itself.
When in doubt, ship it out.
And here's another great tip. Each 30 days after you have sent out a review copy, send an article for publication to the same recipient. Just take a page from your book, add a headline, introductory paragraph, closing paragraph and ordering instructions. As a published author, you are a prestigious contributor to magazines in your field. Editors will want your material as part of their content - and the value of the content is what they sell to their readership.
The bottom line? Make review copies part of your book promotion strategy.
[The above post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from Self-Publishing Manual, Vol. 2, written by Dan Poynter.]