At times, finding a reviewer can feel like the quest to destroy the One Ring. And reviews are important. Not only do they send a positive message to the world that your book is worth buying, but it gives we writers crucial affirmation that we have the ability to do the thing we’ve poured our hearts and soul into.
I’ve spent countless hours searching for book reviewers and one day I came up with the bright idea of making a list. And here it is, in all it’s splendour. Most review all genres from all authors and publishers, from traditional to indie and everything in between. And they’re all truly wonderful people!
Here are a few tips on making those queries.
- Don’t send your book to a reviewer straight off the bat. You have to pitch it to them first, pique their interest and hope they request a copy for review.
- Give a brief description of your book and state why you think it would be of interest to them and their followers, and wrap it up by offering to send them a copy in the format of their choosing. If you also mention that you have no time frame for the review in mind, reviewers tend to appreciate that.
- Be prepared to send reviewers a copy of your book in the format of their choosing. More often than not it’ll be MOBI (Kindle), EPUB, PDF, or on the odd occasion, paperback. If you just have a Word Doc and need to convert it to other formats, try using Calibre eBook Management. Totally free and converts your docs to a high standard.
- Have your blurb, book links and cover image ready to send along with your book. All of them may well be requested.
- Read the guidelines. Each reviewer has their own preference with what to include. Some like the blurbs, others prefer links to the likes of Goodreads. So be sure you have your Goodreads page ready to rock too.
- Make a list of who you’ve written to. Better still, the downloadable version of the list below features extra columns to help you track your progress.
- Be patient. Reviewers are busy, with a long list of existing commitments before they probably even get to read your query. It could take a while for you to hear anything, and then it could be a few months before they get to your review. So if you’re planning the launch of your book, take this into consideration.
- Subject lines I recommend are kept simple: “Review Request/Review Query: __________(name of book).” Given how many emails these reviewers must receive, I’ve recently begun experimenting with emojis. Love them or hate them, your email subject line is going to stand out more. I wouldn’t go mad with them, mind. One, two at a push, of something that’s related to the book. Here’s a handy list of the little critters.
Everyone who joins my writing community receives a free Excel version of this list with added columns to help you track your reviews. To join, simply fill out the form below. You’ll also receive an ebook on the craft of writing, lists of publishers of short and long fantasy fiction, and a few short stories!