Thursday, February 4, 2021

Carolyn Howard-Johnson Tells Authors How to Pretty Up Their Review Copies Before Sending Them

 



 

 So a Reviewer Said Yes. Now What!


By Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning

HowToDoItFrugally series of books for authors


Sighhh. I so hate to see an author or publisher send out bare-bones review copies to a reviewer who has committed to reviewing a book.


Here are a few ideas from my newest book from my HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers, How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically, to dress that copy up a bit. The idea is to help your reviewer without violating ethics standards.


•   Affix a review label to the inside front cover of the review copy you are sending. It should have all your book’s key data: contact information including name, phone, fax, email, and website. This can be done on a 3.5 x 5 inch label. Print enough for your projected needs.


•   Enclose a media kit or a help sheet (sometimes called a sell sheet) about your title. It should include your media release. It might explain the benefits of your book or why someone would be interested in reading it and a bio of the author. Include the same information on this as the review label mention above. By doing this, you assure that your reviewer has the information he or she needs and that your name is spelled right. Further, if you include a nice synopsis, you may even be able to influence the reviewer to highlight what you find most valuable about your book.


•   Enclose a cover letter stating that this review copy is being sent in direct response to their request and how to reach you if they need any additional information. This information can also go on the outside of the envelope you are using to send your ARC. Do not say that say it is “requested material”, though, unless it is the truth.


•   Send the reviewer a brief e-mail and remind him/her of the request and that the copy is on its way. Double-check the address you have at that time.


•   Some reviewers, bloggers, and other media outlets use the information you send verbatim. In the third edition of the The Frugal Book Promoter now published by Modern History Press, I advise that your media kit include a review with permission for them to cut and paste exactly as it is. Be sure to give them guidelines for its use from both you and the original reviewer (Midwest Book Review, as an example, always extends permission for unlimited use as long as they are credited.)


•   Let your contact know—as part of the letter and the release and even the review slip—that interior art, cover art, and/or author photos are available electronically or as black and white glossies. Make the cover of your book and an author photo available on your website so they can be downloaded in either color or black and white, in either high or low resolution.


•   Don’t try to talk the reviewer into an e-copy if he or she request real paper.


Oh, yeah. Don’t forget to send a thank you for the review. Even if you weren’t that charmed with it. It’s a reviewer’s right to say what they want, although I always advise reviewers to tactfully send a book back if they feel compelled to slaughter it.

More About the Author

 



 

Learn more about how to make your book into a classic with forever reviews in the, How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing career. It’s fat, but it has a great index so you can find specific aspects of the review process from managing Amazon reviews to writing reviews of books you love.


Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. All her books for writers are multi award winners including The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor including awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award. The newest in the series, How to Get Great Reviews Frugally and Ethically, was launched as part of a promotional program to more than 20,000 new readers. All are available in print or as e-book. Learn more at https://howtodoitfrugally.com .


4 comments:

Terry Whalin said...

Carolyn,

Your experience of working with reviewers shines in this article. It is packed with valuable ideas for every author. I've written over 1100 Amazon reviews and been involved with print reviews for years. Wonderful advice and appreciated.

Terry

WiseOwlFactory said...

You have a wealth of information and are somkind to share! A label sounds better than a (or in addition to) a business card that could be misplaced. Thank you! Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

lastpg said...

Carolyn, I appreciate your post so much as I'm still in the beginning stages of seeking reviews for Secret in the Stars. I have saved a copy and printed it to include with your book, How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically, that's on my shelf. I am sharing on FB, Twitter, and Pinterest. Also, I have purchased your poetry chapbook, which I've been wanting for a long time. I will write a review for it and for Great Little Editing Tips (I haven't forgotten). Thank you for sharing your expertise. It is greatly appreciated.

Karen Cioffi said...

Carolyn, this is such a useful post. Most authors don't think about the things that should be included with a review copy. Thanks for the advice!

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