Posted 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.
BOOK REVIEW REQUESTS: CHECKLIST OF WHAT YOU WILL NEED
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
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.
Title of the book
Name of the series (if applicable)
Number of pages
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!