Book Review Requests: Checklist Of What You Will Need

A.S. ChungPosted by A.S. Chung.
Award-wining author of children’s picture books A Brand New Day: about divorce and Wishful Wedding: about LGBT equality and same gender families. Creator of Pigeonhole Books and blogs about self-publishing, writing, online book marketing, peer bloggers and illustrators.


Good Reviews = Sales.

So how do we go about getting them? In my short experience so far, I can attest to the fact that it’s very hard work and requires some back bone in soliciting them. I am not great at this process and I still continuously trawl through the internet requesting for them. This is not to say that I haven’t received any and am proud to say the reviews have been flattering. I have also learnt a thing or two about requesting for reviews and wished I had a simple checklist of what I would need to get me started.

When requesting for a review, you will come across reviewers of all shapes and sizes. They all have different requirements and it is much easier to have everything ready prior to starting the process. Typically, these are some of the recurring requirements I have encountered so far.

Reading with books on head

Reading Can Be Difficult by Alexandre Dulaunoy

Title of the book
Name of the series (if applicable)
Number of pages
Word count
Synopsis of the book

Author bio – have a short and long version. Some have character restrictions
Illustrator bio – have a short and long version

Author/book website/blog address
Website links of where to purchase your book – have at least 3 of the main players
Social media links

Book in PDF, ePub and mobi formats
Image of the book cover
Images of a couple of pieces of artwork from the book if it’s a picture book
Images of some extracts from the book if it’s a picture book
Sample chapter or extracts
Professional image of yourself

Cover letter to accompany print edition reviews
Cover email for all online requests
Create a follow up email template.
Create a thank you email template should you receive a review

I cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring you read all submission guidelines properly. Every reviewer has different requirements, down to the heading of the email you are sending. If you must, print the requirements and check each one off one by one. All it takes is one small deviation and you end up in the trash folder. These reviewers literally get hundreds or thousands of requests. This is their way of filtering through the slush pile and deciding what they wish to read. They don’t have the time to be chasing for the information they need from you.

And my last piece of advice is, don’t underestimate how much time and effort this will take. Be organised and pay attention! Good luck!

7 thoughts on “Book Review Requests: Checklist Of What You Will Need

  1. You know, after reading all that, it hardly seems worth the effort if you have to jump through so many hoops/guidelines for a simple review of a picture book which would take five minutes for the reviewer to read and form an opinion.


    • Sigh……it is a lot of work however self-publishing authors need reviews to gain a wider readership. Also it helps to know your book is actually good too I guess! These reviewers do it for free and on their own time so it is only courteous to follow their instructions.


  2. Great article. And gave me this idea! I will not be so rude as to leave a link here, we all know how we can get in touch with each other. I would be happy to review anyone’s work in exchange for an review of my own kids illustrated book that would take no more than 10 mins to read through! Any takers I will let you have the link to download the PDF of ‘The Tale of the Greedy Fish’. It can be really hard work building your book or project – as if it wasn’t hard enough work creating something to start with! Any support we can give each other like A.S.Chungs great articles and advice the better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great idea, Greedyfish! I become very frustrated trying to get my children’s books reviewed as so many reviewers / bloggers weren’t interested. It was if children’s literature was beneath them. So, I decided to showcase great children’s books on my blog. Anyone who would like to swap reviews or be a guest, let me know.

      Liked by 1 person

      • OK guys will just throw this out there then, hope Ms Chung doesn’t mind!

        If anyone would like me to review their book for free (shorter the quicker of course!) you can email me

        Here is a shortlink to my short kids picture book: feel free to download and pass on to any kids/parents you wish (esp. as it’s Children’s Book Week here in the UK!).

        Here is the Amazon page I would appreciate ANY reviews on!: you don’t have to buy it, just log in and leave review.

        This is at least a quick/easy way of supporting each other – as A.S. Chung has shown it can be quite a task getting ‘professional’ reviews, and sometimes expensive.

        For me every review is valued and seeing the numbers of reviews slowly building is a great feeling – a reminder of why we are all putting in so much hard work.

        Good luck to us all, and I look forward to reading some of your works! Thank you again Ms Chung for raising this subject and giving us all some ideas 🙂 Off to follow you on Twitter etc right now!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s