Increase Your Chances of Landing a Review for Your Fiction Novel

Welcome to part seven of my Fiction Writing Tips series, which I should have posted last Thursday, but due to a family emergency, I’m posting it a little later. Since this post is meant to focus on how to get your book reviewed, I won’t discuss the family emergency. My next post, however, will talk about the camping trip I took with hubby and the kids over the holiday weekend, and in that post, you’ll find out more about the family emergency that delayed this post. But for now let’s focus on getting your book reviewed.

In part six of my Fiction Writing Tips series, I listed five things you could do while waiting on responses from research contacts and compile a list of book reviewers for your fiction novel was among that list. “Why would I gather book reviews before my book is published?” you ask. Because you can use book reviews on the back cover as well as in promotional materials you’ll send to the media announcing the upcoming release of your novel.

While book reviewers are easy to find, it doesn’t mean you’ll get the reviewer to give you a review. With that said, let’s explore a few of the things you can do to increase your chances of landing a review for your fiction novel. Not only will the following techniques increase your chances of landing a review, but they’ll also save you time and money.

Determine the genre of your fiction novel: Only contact book reviewers who will review your genre. For example, if you’ve written a fantasy novel, a book reviewer who only reviews Christian fiction and romance will not be interested in reading your fantasy novel.

Contact the reviewer before sending a copy of your book: Don’t waste your money by sending a copy of your fiction novel to every reviewer on your list. Instead, contact the reviewer first. When contacting the reviewer, let him or her know what your novel is about, and then ask him or her if they’d be interested in reading your fiction novel and giving you a review.

Follow the book reviewer’s submission guidelines: Before contacting the book reviewers on your list, read their guidelines and follow them. Some reviewers only review certain formats, genres and etc. By reading their guidelines, you’ll know if you have what they want, and they’ll appreciate the fact that you took the time to read and follow their guidelines.

Let the reviewer know what formats you have available: When contacting a book reviewer with a description of your book, mention what formats you have available. If your novel is only available in PDF format, then they need to know this, because some reviewers only review hard copies. Again, check their guidelines to see if they’ll accept your novel in whatever format(s) you have available. If they don’t accept the formats you have to offer, then it would be a waste of your time to contact that reviewer.

Send a follow-up e-mail: If you sent your fiction novel to reviewers and haven’t heard back from them within one month, send a quick follow-up e-mail to those reviewers.

Join me Thursday for the final part in my Fiction Writing Tips series. On Thursday, you’ll discover a few ways to promote your fiction novel before it hits the bookstores. Then, on Friday, July 18, I’ll post the winner of the Mentoring Session Contest. If you’d like to enter the Mentoring Session Contest, comment on this post. To receive a second entry, subscribe to receive free e-mail updates from Life of a Writer.

Photo credit: Mia3mom


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