7 Simple Steps to Getting Your Book Reviewed
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7 Simple Steps to Getting Your Book Reviewed

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Guest blog post for Marketing Tips blog, October 2010.

Guest blog post for Marketing Tips blog, October 2010.

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    7 Simple Steps to Getting Your Book Reviewed 7 Simple Steps to Getting Your Book Reviewed Document Transcript

    • 7 Simple Steps to Getting Your BookReviewed by Paula KrapfAUTHOR: TONY ELDRIDGE | POSTED AT: 6:00 AM | FILED UNDER:GUEST AUTHORS, HOW TOI am excited to introduce our guest today, Paula Krapf. She is the Chief Operating Officer of AuthorMarketing Experts, Inc., a company that has its finger on the pulse of the publishing industry. Shewill be blogging on a subject that every writer wants to learn more about: How to get your bookreviewed.You may also want to check out the Publishing Insiders Wrap-Up: Blogging Ideas the Whole YearThrough. This is the summary of the Blog Talk Radio program that Paula interviewed me on as aguest. You can alsoreplay the interview on demand when you want to listen to it.Make sure you check out the great additional resources that Paula lists at the end of the post.7 Simple Steps to Getting Your Book ReviewedBy Paula KrapfYour book is ready for reviews and all you need to figure out is where and how to find the
    • appropriate reviewers – so you can add the reviews to your website (you were planning to add thereviews to your own site, right?), find blurbs for your book cover if you dont have any yet, and justgenerally spread the word about your book.But first, you need to know what to look for and where to go online to find reviewers.1. Google is your friendYou can always start with Google and type in your “genre” + “book reviews” to start building your list;or, if you are familiar with books already published that are in your genre you can type in the “booktitle” + “book reviews” in order to discover reviewers who have reviewed similar material and mighttherefore be open to reviewing your book. When doing these searches, be prepared to do someserious groundwork, however – youll need to visit each of these sites not only to collect contactinformation but to learn about the blogger and his or her site. Youll want to make sure theyre stillaccepting review requests, see the genres they typically review and get a general feel for the blogand its tone and whether you feel it fits you.2. Use the free toolsIf you can, download Googles free toolbar which includes the Google Page Rank (GPR) algorithm.This is a useful tool for determining the “weight” of a given site; the higher the rank (from 0-10), themore important Google deems the site. What you want to try to do is find the most active people whoreview in your genre. A rank of 3 is very good for a review blog; although that doesnt mean youshould discard anything below a GPR of 3. You should also read the blog and get a sense ofwhether the blog attracts readers; one sure sign of this is the fact that there are comments followingthe blog posts. Certain factors dont weigh as heavily – for instance, many blogs have Googlesubscribers, but this number can be misleading as those who join have to sign up to do so. Thereare many regular blog readers who simply wont take the time to sign up, so the number of Googlesubscribers may not mean much. Youll also want to see if the blogger is active on sites like Twitterand Facebook; if so, then the books they review are most likely posted to those popular socialnetworking sites, which is great additional exposure for you and your book.3. Read the fine print
    • In addition, most bloggers post their blog policies and genre/publishing preferences – its importantto read their policies in order to understand what they review, preferred genres, whether theyllconsider self-published books and how long they may need to review your book. Heres a greatexample of a review policy: http://blog.mawbooks.com/contact-me/. If youre working on a tighttimeframe and they indicate it could take 6 months to get to your book, well... you probably wontpitch them. Then again, if your book is in a small niche and this blogger and site seem perfect foryou, a longer wait might be worthwhile. Many authors do not read the review policies before pitchingbloggers, which is a bad idea. This information is readily available and there for a reason. Also,never send attachments via email but DO send links: to your author bio, photo, press release, booksblurbs and book excerpts. These should all be on your website, and including them in your pitch is agreat way to make it easy for prospective reviewers to learn about you and your book.4. Reviews versus blog tour considerationsThere is a difference between pitching for reviews versus seeking a blog tour. Requesting reviewscould lead to coverage at any time, really, unless you work out a timeframe with the reviewer, buteach situation is handled separately. A blog tour is typically coverage of your book by a certainnumber of bloggers within a given timeframe – a week, two weeks, a month. Blog tours can consistof reviews, interviews, guest posts and giveaways – there are many options. But before you seekbloggers to fill your tour dates figure out in advance what youd like to do, how long youd like to dothe tour (so you know how many bloggers youll need) and if you cant prepare guest posts inadvance at least have some topics ready to present. Some bloggers love blog tours, others dontwant any part of it. Your research will uncover the best prospects to pitch; just give yourself plenty ofadvance time to set up your tour. Bloggers are busy so you may find a certain number must declinedue to other commitments and youll need to seek others in their place.5. Be thoroughThe key is to do your homework – research the blog, the blogger and learn the things that matter,such as the bloggers name, contact information and preferred genres so you can send aprofessional, personalized pitch. If your genre is a natural fit for them its a fact you can use in yourpitch by indicating that your book is similar to other books theyve reviewed (and provide examples).
    • Also become familiar with their style – some bloggers tend to emphasize the positive and if theycant say anything nice, they may decline to review the book. Others prefer to be honest (brutally) ifneed be. Some bloggers are not afraid to tear and book and its author apart and are quite mercilessin their approach. You need to know this before you pitch and be honest with yourself – look at thetone of the blog as ask yourself how youd feel having your book reviewed the same way. If you canthandle it, dont do it. There are hundreds of blogs out there and theres room for you to decide that acertain blog or blogs dont work for you.6. Free versus paidOne final note regarding paid reviews or tours. There are some review sites that charge for reviewsclaiming that they must compensate their reviewers for their time. There are sites that will chargeyou for a blog tour. They do not do anything you cant do yourself – research and identify bloggers,pitch, schedule, send books – so let the buyer beware, as the saying goes. You may be much betteroff going the free route in the book blogosphere where hundreds of bloggers connect with each otherdaily and work hard to provide as much exposure as they can for each book.7. You do know bestDont be afraid to trust your gut, either. You might find a gem of a blog that has a low Google PageRank, but its a nice-looking site, well written, has regular commenters and basically demonstrates acommitment to reviewing books – if you like what you see dont sweat the statistics, make a pitch!There are things you can do to boost your reviews such as posting your reviews on Facebook,Twitter and other social networking sites, and those techniques will help you gain even widerexposure for that review. Once you find blogs you like, you can also look at their blogrolls foradditional blogs to check out – often bloggers who like similar books list each other on their blogrolls.Additional resourcesLooking for sites to pitch? Here are some great and useful lists:* Book Reviewers on the Web – this list includes industry standards, literary blogs, off the beatentrack blogs and the more opinion-driven book bloggers, http://robinmizell.wordpress.com/book-
    • reviewers/* Midwest Book Review – a listing of a number of sites to checkout,http://www.midwestbookreview.com/links/othr_rev.htm* Best of the Web blogs – blog listing with a description of each bloglisted, http://blogs.botw.org/Arts/Literature/Book_Reviews/* YA Book Blog Directory – bloggers who specialize in Young Adultbooks, http://yabookblogdirectory.blogspot.com/p/ya-book-blogger-list.html* Kidlitosphere Central – bloggers in Childrens and Young AdultLiterature, http://www.kidlitosphere.org/bloggers/* Book Blog Directory – a large list of blogs followed by a briefdescription, http://directory.kaysbookshelf.com/* FSB – search by genre(s) for bloggers,http://www.fsbmedia.com/book_blogger_search.php* Book Blogs Search – a huge listing of blogs,http://fyreflybooks.wordpress.com/about/book-blogs-search/* Things to know about Blog Book Tours -http://blogbooktours.blogspot.com/2010/06/blog-tips-to-consider.html
    • Paula Krapf is Chief Operating Officer of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., a marketing and publicityfirm that specializes in Internet promotion, strategically working with social networking sites, blogs,micro-blogs, ezines, video sites, and other relevant sites to push an authors message into the virtualcommunity and connect with sites related to the books topic, positioning the author in his or hermarket. In the past 15 months their creative marketing strategies have helped land 10 books on theNew York Times Bestseller list. Get free tips from ourblog,http://www.amarketingexpert.com/blog/ and our biweekly newsletter Book MarketingExpert, http://www.amarketingexpert.com/. You can find Paula onTwitter: http://www.twitter.com/PaulaatAME.