This week in “Ask a Reviewer” I’m delighted to feature Irene Watson, Managing Editor & founder of ReaderViews.com. Reader Views reviews books and offers publicity for well known authors such as James Patterson and those that are unknown, self-published or published by a small press. Besides reviews of books, they provide services for authors such as book publicity services, editing, author interviews, literary book awards, as well as coaching to write book proposals. They will also act as an author agent and send book proposals to a traditional publisher on their list. Irene is also a host of Inside Scoop Live, a podcast that specializes in author interviews. You can learn more about Irene at her website: http://www.irenewatson.com.

This series shares advice to authors on how to make sure your book submission is likely to be read.

Do’s:

1. Look for and read the guidelines thoroughly provided by the review site. Each one is different.

2. Autograph the book. Reviewers appreciate it.

3. Send the book with a postal tracking number so you know the book arrived safely. (See #3 in Don’t.)

4. Thank the reviewer for the review. They have given you a service and an acknowledgement would be very appropriate.

5. Check the site to see if they review the specific genre your book is in.

6. Indicate what genre/category your book is in if it’s not indicated on the book. We often have no idea where to place the book if it has no BASIC code.

7. Include your contact information with the book. Yes, there are people that just send in the book – no contact info, no supporting documents. We automatically put those in the “donate” pile.

8. Check the site for other reviews. Does it look like the book was read or a review written just from the supporting documents that were sent with it? You decide whether or not you want to send your book for a potential review based on what you see.

Don’ts :

1. Deface the book by stamping “review copy” on it. Reviewers love to keep the books in their personal libraries.

2. Stamp “requested material” on the envelope in hopes your package will get opened and the book reviewed. This is a turn off. We do keep a list of books we say we will review.

3. Ask the review service if they received the book. We get hundreds of books and do not have the time to hunt for your book. Get a postal tracking number to confirm your book has been received.

4. Publish a book without the BASIC code on the back. Don’t have the reviewers guess the genre of your book.

5. Ask the reviewer to contact your publisher or publicist to have the book sent. It is your responsibility to get the book to the reviewer.

6. Send in your sell sheets, press releases, and “stuff” to the reviewer without knowing whether or not they will even read it. Most reviewers don’t ask for books basic on the “stuff” they receive because we get hundreds of books sent into us on a weekly basis.

7. Think that your book is the best book on the market and get upset with the reviewer if they didn’t like it.

8. Expect a raving review because you think you have the best book on the market or your friends/family said it was. No, no, no. Consider the reviewer as your reading audience. Not everyone will like your book, not will everyone not like your book. Every person has a different preference and you have to accept that. Sending a nasty note to the reviewer is totally unacceptable. If you can’t accept another person’s opinion, then don’t send the books out for review or even attempt to sell them. You can’t control your audience.


You can find out more information about Irene Watson online: