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Self-Publishing a Book: Targeting Reviewers – What to Say and What Not to Say

Great reviews for a book means greater sales!

Reviews play a vital role in the sales of a book. Any established author out there would consider reviews to be critical in the sales process, especially online. Seeking reviews ethically is important. Before getting the book published, marketing it, soliciting reviews, sending out review copies and generating a buzz are the first steps. This introductory guide will help you to understand targeting reviewers, what to say and what not to say.

What NOT to do

  • Do not expect only positive reviews and don’t ask for one.
  • Just because a reviewer has accepted the book doesn’t mean he/she guarantees a review. With that said, reviewers don’t accept books they have no intention of reviewing, but at times they may not be able to do it. So, don’t fret! Just move on!
  • No bribes! Reputed websites will not allow paid reviews, these might get you in a world of trouble and banned from the website.
  • Don’t expect answers to all your review queries – reviewers, especially highly ranked ones, get hundreds of review requests per day and it takes too much time to reply to them all. They do answer back to those they have an interest in reviewing so if you haven’t heard back from them, move on.
  • If your book does not receive desirable reviews, accept it. Critics are prone to give reviews that are mixed. Accept it, don’t ask why, thank them for their review if necessary and move on. Always try to stay on good terms.

What to do

  • Research thoroughly and try to contact reviewers who are interested in reviewing the book that you’ve written.
  • Read the review policy of the reviewer. Find out the genres they are interested in reading. Check whether they are currently accepting new books. Look to see if they prefer e-books or printed books.
  • Once you have your list of reviewers, contact them each individually by email.
  • Spell check and proofread before sending your email.
  • Always be polite and let them know that you are appreciative of their time.