Monday, September 26, 2011

Giveaway - How to Get Your Book Reviewed

Dana Lynn Smith is a whirlwind, and founder of The Savvy Book Marketer. I've watched her from afar for a while, but when she announced her book How to Get Your Book Reviewed, I perked up. After all, I have a novel release coming up in February. Admittedly, I wondered what could she teach me other than the standard of finding book reviewers who read my genre. What else was there to know about book reviews?

I asked for a review copy - e-book form - and started reading. I was humbled. First of all, the book is designed well and reads easily. That's always a first for me. But the initial open-your-eyes part of this book came for me in Chapter 2, when Dana started putting me in the reviewer's shoes. She bluntly stated that the odds of your book getting reviewed go up based upon the quality of your book's appearance, the accompanying promo material, the match between the book and the reviewer's interests, and who you are. Of course, it can also depend on whether the reviewer is having a bad day or just read a book similar to yours.

You are offering the book as a gift. You may or may not get reviewed. Face it. Don't question the reviewer's choice of book to review. She's usually overwhelmed with books, and somebody's will be cast aside.

Dana does an excellent job telling you how to organize a list of reviewers, the material to send, and when to send it. Some want to review three months in advance - others around release - others up to a year after release. Don't confuse them, or it's like sending your child rearing feature article to a Popular Mechanics or National Geographic magazine editor. Follow reviewer guidelines, just like you would anyplace else you pitch your work.

I was intrigued by the promotional material and the best ways to submit it with the book. You will see samples and templates and guidance on how to complete your own. Don't forget your website that should link to all these pieces, that in essence serves as your online media room. She likewise gives you all the items to post there as well.

This is a hands-on, excellent guidebook for getting your book reviewed. I devoured it, and post-it-noted it and intend to use the heck out of it. I'm always for a book that nails a point and avoids the fluff. This is my kind of read.

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Giveaway: Toby Lynne won the giveaway for How to Get Your Book Reviewed.

18 comments:

Kathleen Basi said...

Book reviews definitely make a difference in how I choose books. I am way too busy to waste time on things that I'm not going to enjoy, which is why I enjoy detailed and honest reviews. Specifically, I want to see a reviewer talkk about *why* something fell flat or *why* it worked so well. My favorite reviewer (up to now, at least) has been RAnn at the blog This, That and the Other Thing (https://bitly.com/). She doesn't pull her punches, and I've picked several winners off her site.

Kelly Robinson said...

I've seen so many review blogs where every review is just fawning. Honestly, those serve no purpose to the author. It's so clear that their taste is not discriminating in any way, so the effect is that nothing is really recommended, either, if that makes sense.

Margay said...

I think book reviews can play an integral part of how I choose my reading material. But, I also know that it's very subjective - one person may love it while another doesn't. In the end, I think it's a good way to get your book noticed.

The Sass Hole said...

Book reviews do occasionally sway me, although I must admit I am more likely to judge a book by its cover! Eye-catching covers draw me in, and I will take a chance on an unknown writer if the first few pages grab my interest in a bookstore. As far as e-books go, price is usually more the determining factor, though a good cover (and blurbs from people I respect) definitely help.

julienilson said...

I don't follow individual reviewers so much as certain publications. For instance, I tend to agree with the reviewers in Entertainment Weekly, and they give a lot more ink to sci-fi/fantasy and other genre books, so their opinions on those books matter more to me. I don't agree with every review, but they've steered me toward a few AMAZING books that I might not have foudn otherwise, so I always look through their book section carefully.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I have a handful of go-to book review sites/book reviewers. One reviews books that might fly under the radar and another reviews more mainstream, popular books. I also pay attention when bloggers I enjoy talk about books they read and enjoyed.

Nikki said...

Ooo, this could come in very handy in a few months. It' so important to get your book into the hands of quality reviewers. And I have no idea how to go about doing that... yet. :)

Christina Rosalie said...

I would love to receive this book! I'm just finishing my first book... sending to the publisher this week, so the timing couldn't be better...

Marylane Wade Koch said...

I definitely look at book reviews when deciding to buy a book. I will Google search to find a review if one is not given at the purchase site. I usually Google the reviewer and the author of the book to get insights and sometimes read a sample. A review from a writer I respect will tip my decision.

Marylane Wade Koch
http://www.writelifeworkshops.com/

Andrea said...

I look at book reviews but the opinions of the reviewer don't matter to me. Instead I look for details about the book and decide for myself if it is worth my time.

www.andreadorn.blogspot.com

Stephanie Suesan Smith, Ph.D. said...

I am glad someone wrote a book on how to get things reviewed. To the neophyte, getting a reviewer to look at a book is as mysterious as turning lead to gold.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

As a reviewer, I don't want or need the marketing package or care about the cover. My focus is only on the actual story in the book. I would hope most reviewers would feel the same way.

I also don't read other reviews when I am working on my own read and review. Far too often it seems like a lot of folks who "review" on Amazon and elsewhere give away far too much of the story. I don't want to read elsewhere major plot points, or heaven forbid the ending, before I read the same details in the book.

I know a few things about reviewing having done so for over 11 years now with reviews online and in print. I know I am probably not the target audience for this, but I would like to check it out.

Kevin

Clara said...

I write from the other end of the spectrum as well, that of "book reviewer". I'm amazed at the adacity of some folks who want to be the first in line to have their books reviewed! So glad this behavior is addressed in the book.

As a new author, I find it hard asking people to review my ebook and so I'm thankful for this guide to having books reviewed.

Clara.

JG319 said...

I will usually read the reviews for a particular book. If they are really bad, I will see if an excerpt is available before deciding if it's worth my time to read. I can't base my choice in a book solely on what other people say. As for what I look for in a review…I want honest opinions, not just a summary of what the book is about.

Civil War Horror (Sean McLachlan) said...

One thing to keep in mind is that book reviewers are a bit like publishers. They're swamped with submissions and may never get back to you. It's not nice, but there it is.

As I'm about to launch my novel though Kindle Direct Publishing I've been planning a marketing strategy and reaching out to my contacts.

Proper reviews for KDP books are essential, because so many authors write a string of five-star reviews themselves. Amazon shoppers know this, of course, and so look at a whole string of reviews from people they've never heard of with a skeptical eye.

Toby Lynne said...

I usually read the book reviews to get more information about the book. Many times, the little marketing blurb that you get isn't enough to determine whether this book is a fit for me or not. I do find though that book reviews are much more important when I'm buying on line. If I'm in a bookstore and I can pick up the book and look at it, open it and read a page or two, then I find I don't even read the reviews. So absolutely I think book reviews are essential in these on-line times.

Hope Clark said...

Using Random.org, the number 16 came up. That's Toby Lynne! Congrats. You've won a copy of How to Get Your Book Reviewed. Email me at hope@fundsforwriters.com with your email address and we'll get the e-book right to you.

Dana Lynn Smith said...

Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments and congratulations to Toby!