The Children’s Book Review on getting your book reviewed.
Getting a Book Review
As an author, you may have questions about how to get your book reviewed and who to contact about reviewing it. In addition, you may be wondering about the appropriate way to request a review and whether or not paying for a review is a worthwhile investment. As a professional, it’s important to approach each of these questions with a level-headed and objective mindset in order to make informed decisions that will benefit your work and career in the long run. We’re here to support you every step of the way!
What Is the Importance of a Book Review?
You’ve written a book, it’s soon to be released, and you’re ready to get the word out. Your editor, family, and friends all say it’s great, but you’d like some unbiased feedback. Maybe you want a blurb or praise from a reputable source to include on the book cover, your website, and other marketing materials. Or, perhaps, you wrote a story, had it published, and sales are going nowhere. Garnering honest book reviews from industry experts is an excellent start for all these situations.
As a professional, it is imperative to recognize the significance of book reviews. Authentic, positive reviews from influential reviewers can be worth their weight in gold. Not only can they aid sales, but they can also help improve your writing for future books.
What are the benefits of a book review to an author? A well-written book review can:
- Elevate a book
- Increase its readership
- Establish an author’s reputation
- Enable readers to make informed decisions about what to read or purchase
Opinions shared in reviews play a vital role in both the sales and the literary world, as publishers and agents use them to assess the marketability of a book. Additionally, reviews can spark discussions, introducing new ideas and perspectives to readers and writers alike.
How Do Authors Get Their Books Reviewed?
Now that we’ve established that book reviews are the way to go, let’s explore how authors can go about getting their books reviewed!
- When is the right time to submit your book for review?
- Who should you ask to review your book?
- How do you submit your book for a review?
- How do you ask for a book review?
- Is it worth paying for a book review?
When Is the Right Time to Submit Your Book for Review?
To ensure the best chances of success, you may be curious about the optimal moment to submit your book for review. Absolutely anytime in your book’s life is a fine time for a book review. However, if you would like reviews to be completed before or at the time of your book’s release date, you should start submitting your book 2 to 3 months—if not longer—before the special day. This time frame should give you time to source reviewers that are the right fit for you and your book—allow for mailing, reading, and reviewing time.
Who Should You Ask to Review Your Book?
Determining who should review your book can be crucial to its publication success. Considering potential reviewers with relevant expertise and a strong understanding of your book’s subject matter is important. Additionally, targeting reviewers with a reputable history or strong industry standing can provide valuable validation for your work.
Take your time researching book bloggers, influencers, and industry experts—sending your book to a reviewer who is not invested in your genre can lead to a negative review. Ultimately, selecting the right reviewer can help increase exposure and credibility for your work, leading to a higher chance of success in the publishing field.
Once you begin identifying reviewers, start a spreadsheet (or any kind of document) and make your list of reviewers that have an interest in your specific genre. You can kick off your list with The Children’s Book Review—we cover all genres of children’s and teen books (traditionally published and self-published). Julie A. Gerber and Carole P. Roman’s Navigating Indieworld: A Beginners Guide to Self Publishing and Marketing Your Book and this list of book websites (https://blog.feedspot.com/childrens_book_blogs/) are two good places to continue your search for reviewers. And here’s a list of the top library journals and magazines that publish quality book reviews.
Reviewers active on both a blog/website and social media platforms should score bonus points with you—if they review your book positively, it’s quite possible they’ll share it with their wider group of followers, too.
How Do You Submit Your Book for Review?
After identifying potential reviewers, direct your inquiries regarding book reviews to the publication’s editorial office or book review editor. The submission process for book reviews varies between publications and may be subject to specific guidelines or policies. You may need to dig around a website to find the review policies, but it’s worth the time. Not following the guidelines could result in wasted cost and effort.
Be sure to review the submission guidelines provided by the corresponding publication or to consult the book review editor directly for further information on the requirements and procedures for submitting a book for review. Proper adherence to submission guidelines and policies can increase the likelihood of a successful book review.
How Do You Ask for A Book Review?
Always address reviewers by their names when possible—with correct spelling. Make your pitch personal, share any relevant qualifications, and provide a clear, concise summary of your book and why you feel they would be an ideal reviewer—be sure you send the final and most polished version of your book and cover.
Sending review copies is rarely a guarantee of a book review. Sending your book is at your own risk, but hopefully, one worth taking. Remember, most book reviewers are giving up their free time to write a review of your book. Unless stated otherwise in the individual review policies, send a follow-up letter to the reviewer if you haven’t had a response in the timeframe stated in their guidelines. Always be humble and say thank you—even if your book is not selected for review or you find the review isn’t as shiny as you had hoped. Maybe they’ll love the next book you write and submit for review—burned bridges can be hard to fix.
Is It Worth Paying for a Book Review?
In today’s highly competitive literary industry, gaining exposure and promoting your book is more important than ever. Investing in a well-written and expertly crafted book review can make a world of difference. While traditional feedback methods are still essential, obtaining a paid review can have a significant impact on the market exposure and promotional activities of your book. These reviews serve to authenticate the quality of your book and help guide potential readers in making informed decisions about purchasing your work.
Understandably, some may be skeptical about paying for a review, thinking that it could reduce the authenticity of the literary work. However, when looking at the bigger picture and casting aside doubts, you will find that investing in a review can offer positive outcomes, such as better promotion and broader circulation of your book. Investing in yourself can propel your writing to new heights.
Beyond the Book Review: You Received a Review, so What Now?
As an author, taking any positive or negative book reviews as valuable feedback that can further hone your writing skills is essential. Receiving solid critique, negative or positive, means you’re in good shape. There can almost always be an excerpt or blurb to be pulled from any review and used to your advantage. Look for the shiniest section of the review and use it to your heart’s content. Put the blurb on your cover (if you haven’t already gone to print), add it to your website, share it via social media, and use it to pitch your book to more reviewers! More quality reviews mean a greater awareness of your book and a broader reach to potential readers.
Do you still have questions? Let us know in the comments.