In this section:
Reviews are the lifeblood of publicity. This section just covers print reviews, in magazines/newspapers/journals. Online reviews are covered in Chapter 12, as in Amazon.
One or two reviews are unlikely to make any difference to sales, but cumulatively they can add up, increasing your profile. Last year we offered 5,500 copies, and had 1,500 print reviews.
We haven’t put a limit on review copies in the past, but with "professional" reviews becoming less important than reader reviews and feedback, online reviews now more important than print, we have had to cap the number of print copies being sent out for review at 15. We do not have a limit on digital review copies, PDF or EPUB.
You can download the PDF of your book from the Publicty section on the Marketing page
You can download your e-book from the Workflow section on the Production Page
The default will be a PDF, even if you add a request for a hard copy. We realize the offices of national press, TV stations etc. tend to want printed copies, and we do send printed books, if the media themselves ask, but we never send on spec. To all other contacts we will send a PDF and will offer them the option of a hard copy or EPUB if they prefer. The PDF is on the Marketing page, the EPUB is on the Production page. More on how to send out digital review copies below.
To anyone who requests one. We do not send them "blind," as a rule. Apart from:
We submit qualifying titles for review to the trade journals Publishers Weekly & Booklife, Library Journal, School Library Journal, American Libraries Association’s Booklist and Kirkus Reviews in the USA and The Bookseller in the UK.
Library Journal: new academic titles or ones for mainstream general libraries for US readers - adult.
School Library Journal: all new Lodestone or Our Street titles suitable for US school libraries – children & young adult.
Booklist( American Libraries Assoc): new academic titles or ones for mainstream general libraries for US readers of all ages.
Kirkus Reviews: new adult hardcover or original trade-paperback fiction, general-audience nonfiction and children's and young adult books suited to US readers.
The Bookseller: all new titles are submitted for featuring in the Preview sections of this UK trade magazine.
If you see that your title has been submitted for review in a particular trade journal, please follow the guidelines on the Contact page for the journal to follow its progress. If you see that your title has been reviewed before we do, please update the Marketing Activity-Review Copy from Sent to Completed, and share with your networks and add to your Book details page in Reviews. This will feed to your page on our website and into newsletters.
This article posted back in 2011 has some good points: http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/2011/04/how-to-get-your-book-reviewed-by-avoiding-book-reviewers/.
Novelist Florence Osmund also makes some good points on reviewing http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2015/09/florence-osmund/
Reviews are important but how to get them is a question most authors ask. It does depend on genre and on the individual author and their standing in their market.
Starting from scratch is scary, and a first port of call is you own community, your friends, family and colleagues. There is advice on this in CHAPTER 9: MARKETING – BEING YOUR OWN PUBLICIST.
First you need to know if the contact you are sending to exists on our database. So, go to Contacts on the top menu. And in “Contact Search” enter your organization or the name of your contact; a short distinctive word with no ambiguous hyphens or apostrophes works best. If not found, go to “New Contact” in the blue menu at the top. There’s help on using Contacts in Chapter 10.
With our regular reviewers, we track when a review is appearing in print or online. We always request that reviewers inform us of these and offer to share relevant reviews on social media, which acts as an incentive. It is not always easy to track reviews though, so we ask that if you see a review of your book, please do check on the “Reviews” section of the “Book Details” page to see if it appears there. If not do add it, see below in the section called ‘Success’ on how to add these to the system.
These reviews feed through to the book page on the website. You are instructed to click on the circles below the shown review to see more reviews.
As publisher, we cannot add reviews to online sites such as Amazon, The Book Depository, Goodreads and others. You can do this through your own accounts, more on Amazon in Chapter 12.
If there are key individuals whose approval of the book you think could make a difference to sales, it makes more sense to send them the manuscript earlier and ask if they can provide an endorsement. We can then use it on the book or in the marketing material.
If you are starting this from scratch, then your task is a hard one. But if you are planning on a writing career, then it is an important part of your own marketing.
Your family and friends and colleagues are a good place to start, we discuss this more fully in CHAPTER 9: MARKETING – Being Your Own Publicist – Reviews are the lifeblood of your book promotion, so what do you need to do to get them?
Finally, keep your own spreadsheet of reviewers, identifying your ideal reader, by genre is important, again this is discussed in Being Your Own Publicist, as is contacting bloggers. In CHAPTER 9 –AUTHOR BRANDING we also discuss the importance of setting up an author email list, that you can build on.
Some reviewers will not review from a PDF, which can only be read on a computer. Reviewers may wish to read from their preferred eReader, but the ePub is not created until nearer to publication date; before this time we only have the PDF although this can be converted to other formats, see the notes below on Calibre, one of many free pieces of software that can convert files.
Every author and user of our system can access a review copy of every title:
Here are some more tips from the Huffington Post.
PDFs can go out once finished files and the PDF Review File are ready and the title has a publication date. Printed books reach the warehouses by the first day of the month of publication, and EPUB is uploaded just in time for publication.
If a printed copy is wanted, we have to wait until the book is in stock. The date should be within a few days of the "delivered" date given in the relevant Purchase Order, which you can see at the bottom of the Production page. Then we send the requests out in batches to the warehouse. The date given when a review copy is "Sent" is the date we send the instruction to the warehouse. It can take the warehouse a week to deal with them, more in the period before Christmas, and then, depending on where they’re being sent to, which country is handling it, there’s a variable postage time.
If the book hasn’t been printed yet, but the page shows a review copy as having been “Sent”, it will be a PDF that’s been sent.
Where practical we follow up reviews, and whenever we find out that a review has been published online or in print, we record this on your Marketing page in “Marketing Activities” as “Review Copy/Completed.” If you see one please do likewise. If reviewers ask you what to do with their review, please ask them to send it to you or email@example.com. We follow up regularly with reviewers who have been sent several hard copies.
First-time fiction author in a very specific genre. This author has no online offering and no endorsements.
I hope you are finding some much needed 'catch' up time. Would you or xxxx consider reviewing this Crime Thriller title publishing in November 2017.
The novel, Steal a Few Cents captures the essence of modern-day South Africa, with its legacy of Apartheid, the pandemic of corruption, and the ongoing attempts of ordinary people to adjust to a non-racial future. It is a gritty detective story which raises issues of morality, economics and politics.
Steal a few cents and they put you in jail. Steal a few million and they put you in charge.
Rupert is a retired attorney who studied languages at university, and spent a 30-year career intimately involved with the South African mining industry. He lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.
ISBN: 978-1-78535-607-0 (Paperback) £12.99 $20.95
EISBN: 978-1-78535-608-7 (e-book) £4.99 $7.99
Mpho Mamela, a young accountant at a coal mine in the Middelburg coalfields of South Africa is killed one night when he gets caught in the rollers of a conveyor belt. He is mangled beyond recognition. There will be an official State enquiry into his death, by the Inspectorate of Mining. Stephen Wakefield, the in-house lawyer and a director of the company, begins preparing for the enquiry, but he struggles to understand what happened – Mamela should not have been anywhere near the place he was killed.
Bit by bit, Stephen’s investigation uncovers a story far removed from a simple workplace accident. A web of deception and massive fraud is unveiled; fraud perpetrated by a person who publicly insists on high standards of morality and honesty. It becomes clear to Stephen that Mamela had tried to blackmail the guilty party to help his lover, who is in prison for attempting to steal a trifling amount from the mining company.
When the killer learns that his actions are about to be exposed, Stephen realises that his own life is now in danger...
KEYWORDS: South Africa, Crime, Corruption, Mining, Mystery & Detective.
Another opening, where the name of the blogger could not be found.
Dear Crime Thriller Hound,
I hope it is OK to address you this way, I couldn't find your name. We are a UK based independent publisher, and I am seeking reviews for a crime novel. My author will not be listed on your directory as he is just starting out in crime fiction.
The subject hook on this email was: Crime and Corruption in the South African Mining Industry, A Novel
I was targeting Crime Book bloggers. My first line was personalized to the blog, immediately telling them that I was requesting a review. The next part of the email is standardly sent to all those I am targeting and tells the reviewer about the author and book. Cover is always embedded into the email, and include the basic metadata. Back cover copy is useful.
In the second example, I knew the blogger was keen to review books from independent publishers. I highlighted the fact that I could not find his name. This particularly reviewer did request a review copy, and still didn’t give his/her name.
An example from an established writer/professional in a Non-Fiction genre. Here I highlight the author's credentials and supplied links to his online profiles. Early on I tell them I am seeking reviews. Standard information follows about the book and then I include Endorsements.
Thomas Lombardo, Ph.D. is the Director of the Center for Future Consciousness and The Wisdom Page, the Managing Editor of online journal Wisdom and the Future, and Professor Emeritus and retired Faculty Chair of Psychology, Philosophy and the Future at Rio Salado College. He has also been awarded Fellow of The World Futures Studies Federation for his significant and original contribution to futures studies.
Thomas' new book, Future Consciousness, will be published 27th October 2017 by Changemakers Books (an imprint of John Hunt Publishing).
Would you be interested in reviewing this book? A PDF is available immediately and reduces our carbon footprint, but hard copies are also available on request.
ISBN: 978-1-78099-985-2 (Paperback) £31.99 $49.95
EISBN: 978-1-78279-070-9 (e-book) £12.99 $17.99
How do our unique conscious minds reflect and amplify nature’s vast evolutionary process? This book provides a scientifically informed, psychologically holistic approach to understanding and enhancing our future consciousness, serving as a guide for creating a realistic, constructive, and ethical future. Thomas Lombardo reveals how we can flourish in the flow of evolution and create a prosperous future for ourselves, human society and the planet.
This book brings “future consciousness,” our most distinctive and empowering psychological capacity, to center stage and connects this capacity and our personal lives with the evolutionary vision of nature and the cosmos.
Lombardo has written a masterpiece, a must-read book, not only for futurists, psychologists, social scientists, scholars, and academics of every type showing them how to improve their thinking about future consciousness, but also for ordinary people to improve the quality of their future daily lives. Wendell Bell, Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Fellow, Koerner Center, Yale University.
Tom Lombardo is probably the single most impressive thinker, philosopher and author I have met in recent times. His unique perspective about wisdom and future consciousness, his eye for what matters in life and his depth of knowledge and experience make this book a must-have for those concerned about the collective future evolution of human society. Kiko Suarez, Lumina Foundation
A unique and empowering evolutionary vision of wisdom and the human mind, to guide us in creating a positive future.
KEYWORDS: Future Consciousness, Evolutionary Psychology, The Psychology of Wisdom and Enlightenment, Character Virtues, Self-Responsibility and Self-Control.
Working with a more established writer, here is another example.
The strapline is more creative:
Hospital High – New YA fiction by Mimi Thebo – "My life had been saved...and boy, was I annoyed."
We are delighted to bring you exciting new YA fiction from the popular children's author and Carnegie Award nominated Mimi Thebo. Uniquely developed from her own experiences, based on the day she died and the subsequent three years spent recovering from the accident, the writing is grounded in reality to help teens and young adults cope with the aftermath of injuries, illness and trauma.
Humour and attitude keep Coco going when things get grim. Her relationships with her mother, hospital staff and other injured teens sustain her when her school friendships fall apart. But although everyone's working to give Coco a normal life, Coco doesn't think 'normal' is enough...
Publishing 29 September 2017 on Lodestone Books (imprint of John Hunt Publishing Ltd) Hospital Highby Mimi Thebo
ISBN 978-1-78535-187-7 Paperback £7.99 || $12.95
ISBN 978-1-78535-188-4 e-book £3.99 || $6.99
Insert Cover Image
Endorsed by Nicola Davies: 'Hospital High' is a compelling story of survival and coming of age based on Mimi Thebo's experience...inspiring story of a girl who remakes her identity and life when both are crushed in a car accident.
Mimi Thebo's last book Dreaming the Bear has been chosen as a 'Future Classic' in the 2016 book pack and six copies have been supplied to all secondary schools in the UK.
Would you consider reviewing Hospital High? Please reply to ask for your review copy, we prefer to send PDF as it is immediate. Extracts are also available as are articles.
Thank you for your time and interest.
I hope you find something of interest to you here.