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Greenwolf103
04-10-2005, 12:20 AM
Hi everyone,

I've been getting a lot of review copy requests from people for my book, 365 TIPS FOR WRITERS. Some of these people say they'll post their review up on Amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com. But can't just anybody else do that -- like someone who buys the book? Should I send them review copies, anyway? Or does Amazon have its own staff of reviewers? I know that every single review helps but I don't know if it would be wise to send a copy of the book to every single person who requests it. Also, it's not like I have a whole lot of copies on hand to send out and what if one person who promises to post a review on Amazon gets the review copy while someone else who is a reviewer for a newspaper or whatever doesn't? I'm happy I'm getting lots of review requests but I just want to be sure I don't go about this the wrong way.

Also, what do you do if, when you reply to a review request, the email bounces back?

And is it really a big deal to check a book reviewer's credits? I've had mine checked when I requested a review copy of books, though not by everyone and not all the time.

Finally, I've gotten a request for the book to be sent along electronically. I have it as a Word doc -- two files -- and I'm worried it'll take up a lot of storage space on the recipient's end. And the Word doc doesn't have all that copyright info on it. Should I get the file converted into a PDF? Or is it okay to send as a Word doc WITH copyright info in there?

Thanks all for any advice you can offer on this. :)

--Dawn

book_maven
04-10-2005, 07:52 PM
Hi, Dawn.

I can't really answer your questions, but I will give you my thoughts on the subject. I review for a newspaper, and am always on the lookout for interesting items. (Publishers routinely send catalogs and books, but it doesn't stop me from reading PW for suitable upcoming books.)

I don't ask for a book unless I think I am interesting in reviewing it. That said, I don't review every book I request, and I always make it a point to let the publicist/publisher/author know that a request is never a promise to review. It is a promise to seriously consider it. And whenever I request an item, I give the company a link to the newspaper and column as well as my editor's name and my full contact information.

Though I have heard of people who try to build a library or eBay sales stock by requesting review copies, I don't know if this is true. It's certainly unethical. Good luck with your decision.

Ella
04-14-2005, 03:19 AM
Hi Dawn.
You may have a lot of writers looking for a free book.

Definitely check their references. Who are they, and where do they plan to publish or submit a review? Many are hesitant to send books to smaller publications, but here you may find a more loyal reading audience.
I know a few people who review professionaly, but they still have a submission process to go through with various publications. It's not a sure thing.

I would suggest NOT sending out copies just to get good reviews on Amazon. May not be worth the monetary value. And I also strongly suggest that if you ask friends and family to post reviews on booksellers' sites, ask them to be honest, instead of mushy-gushy. I've seen a few reviews applauding a novel, saying it's the greatest read, when the book itself is horrible. Reflected badly on the reviewer - it was obvious they were doing a favour.
If the review doesn't mention any problems, or the fact that the writing struck a personal note with the reviewer, then it's not a good review.

If you're having a hard time making a call, then set yourself a budget and a limited number of books to send out for free. Narrow down the choices on priority. If you only had five books, which would you choose first, and take it from there.

If you decide to send an electronic file, definitely make it a PDF and put your copyright information on each page as a header or footer.

Congrats on getting your book published!

Lauri B
05-13-2005, 08:11 PM
Hi everyone,

I've been getting a lot of review copy requests from people for my book, 365 TIPS FOR WRITERS. Some of these people say they'll post their review up on Amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com. But can't just anybody else do that -- like someone who buys the book? Should I send them review copies, anyway? Or does Amazon have its own staff of reviewers? I know that every single review helps but I don't know if it would be wise to send a copy of the book to every single person who requests it. Also, it's not like I have a whole lot of copies on hand to send out and what if one person who promises to post a review on Amazon gets the review copy while someone else who is a reviewer for a newspaper or whatever doesn't? I'm happy I'm getting lots of review requests but I just want to be sure I don't go about this the wrong way.

Also, what do you do if, when you reply to a review request, the email bounces back?

And is it really a big deal to check a book reviewer's credits? I've had mine checked when I requested a review copy of books, though not by everyone and not all the time.

Finally, I've gotten a request for the book to be sent along electronically. I have it as a Word doc -- two files -- and I'm worried it'll take up a lot of storage space on the recipient's end. And the Word doc doesn't have all that copyright info on it. Should I get the file converted into a PDF? Or is it okay to send as a Word doc WITH copyright info in there?

Thanks all for any advice you can offer on this. :)

--Dawn


Hi Dawn!
Congratulations on publishing your book! When Jenna's book, Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer, first was released, I sent out word that "qualified" writers could request a review copy. I was absolutely inundated with people requesting the book for review, but a lot of the requests were by writers who either had no credits but "hoped" to start writing book reviews based on what they learned in the book, or said they'd put their review on amazon, or wanted to know where they should send the review after they read it. Ding those--you want a professionally written review published in a widely-read, respected publication.

If a staff writer wants to review your book for any print publication, I'd send it. If a freelance writer with review credits in legitimate and widely read regional or national publications requests a copy, I'd send it. But you should definitely do a quick check on credits. Review copies can get very expensive to send, and it may do nothing to help your book.

I would be wary of sending electronic files to someone to review. I sent PDFs to people overseas who wanted to review Jenna's book (Mirdu Khullar had no problem reading pdfs and reviewing the book in India).

Be careful and good luck~

maestrowork
05-14-2005, 08:38 AM
Do not send Word file. Send a PDF -- better yet, send one that is password protected and disable copy/paste.

Greenwolf103
06-23-2005, 02:26 AM
THANK YOU book maven, Ella, Lauri and Ray!!! :D

All good advice and I sincerely appreciate the congrats. I'll look into getting a PDF file of the book from the publisher. Yeah, I think being choosy would be my best bet, particularly since I only have one review copy left!

This was very helpful information. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!! :)

Have a great day!

--Dawn

Cathy C
06-23-2005, 03:32 AM
Since your book is FOR writers, then the two reviews that will best sell your book are from Writer's Digest and The Writer magazine. Most reviewers will want your book well in advance of the release date (from 1-3 months before), so they have time to read it and write the review by their deadline for publication for the month of release.


Next, you want to go visit Reviewers International Organization ("RIO") (http://www.rio-reviewers.com (http://www.rio-reviewers.com/) ) THESE are the professional reviewers that will have an impact on your book sales. A member of RIO must qualify for membership by writing a certain number of reviews per quarter for pay.

Here are some of their guidelines:


The goals of RIO include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

To encourage and maintain high quality in the art of reviewing.
To uphold ethical standards of fairness and integrity by defining, maintaining and encouraging such standards and pursuing goals toward education and professionalism in its membership.
To provide support and encouragement among its members.
The membership of the RIO shall be composed of those persons actively and seriously pursuing book reviewing and other related professionals such as web site editors, print publication editors, and others on the staff of review publications and websites

General Membership shall consist of those reviewers whose reviews are published at least six (6) times a year in any medium

You can search for reviewers by type of book and it walks you through the process of how you apply to each reviewer. Good luck with your book! It sounds interesting! :D

Kiva Wolfe
06-26-2005, 06:19 AM
I would start by interesting published authors in doing book blurbs, before I tried to solicit the media or public in reviewing my work. The publisher and author can benefit from endorsements from publisher authors, which serve to interest the media in doing reviews and the public in buying/reading your work.