Thursday, September 5, 2019

Fine Art of Asking for Reviews

The Fine Art of Asking for Reviews, Blurbs and Anything Else

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Excerpted and Adapted from the third in the multi award-winning How To Do It Frugally Series of books for writers, How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing career

To find even more support for your book or your career, we often need to get more comfortable with asking. You can put your reporter’s hat on and ask—tactfully—questions that will help your career or for favors that will help you expand your base (including reviews, blurbs, advice, etc.). Make the point that your contact’s answer or help is a gift to you, and that you would be pleased to reciprocate when the need arises. Try some of these possibilities:
  • Ask fellow attendees at writers’ or other conferences.
  • Ask directors of conferences if they offer a review exchange or provide an area where you can distribute fliers or sell your books. If the answer, is no, ask if they have other suggestions or know of other resources that might help you.
  • Ask instructors and presenters if they have a list of pertinent resources or know where you can find one.
  • When you’re on the Web, look at the resource pages of the Websites owned by bloggers and other online entities to glean ideas and help. Use the contact feature to ask questions or send queries.
  • Think about classes you have taken. The instructors may have a policy against reviewing students’ work but may be a resource for other needs; , ditto for your fellow students. (I hope you would try to do the same for them!)
  • Ask members of your critique groups or business/professional organizations.
  • When you read, make a note of books and their authors, columnists, experts in your field. Almost all magazines, newspapers and journals list publishers, editors, columnists, etc. and you might be surprised at how many might say “yes” to a request for a blurb or a mention of your service or book as a resource. 

This little how-to article was extracted and adapted from my giant (415 pages) of How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing career third in the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers by Carolyn Howard-Johnson.                                                        There is just so much to know about putting reviews to work for your book and endorsements (for your book or business!) Learn more about my books for writers and visit my free Writers’ Resources pages at:                                                                    It’s also easy to use my review blog. Just follow the submission guidelines in the left column at  I am also proud to celebrating the launch of the third edition of my The Frugal Book Promoter which—in its first edition—was the flagship book of my #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers.  My publisher, Modern History Press, is helping me with the launch with a discount  on his website at


Betty Jo said...

This is quite helpful! Thanks for the tips, Carolyn.

Karen Cioffi said...

Carolyn, these tips for getting book reviews are very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

Debra Eckerling said...

Perfect timing for me. Thanks, Carolyn.

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