Sending Your Book to be Reviewed?

Sending Your Book to be Reviewed?

Check out what can happen if you send your book to be reviewed and do not provide accurate information.

I have quoted Jim Cox of Midwest Book Reviews before, as I consider his company quite reputable and fair. His love of books and providing this service is second to none. This month’s newsletter from Jim included some interesting stats.

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

Spring has now well and truly sprung in my little part of the world. The spring titles for and about gardening are currently getting my personal attention — as they usually do around this time of year.

But it’s not that I wish to comment upon today. Instead I want to bring to your attention as an author and/or publisher how important your contact information is with respect to your investment in sending out review copies to freelance book reviewers, book review publications, book review web sites generally, and to the Midwest Book Review in particular.

Here at the Midwest Book Review we continue to average about 2,300 titles a month coming in seeking review. We are able to generate around 700 to 800 reviews a month — roughly one out of every three submissions makes the cut and gets reviewed.

When a book is reviewed it is our policy to notify the publisher (who is responsible, in turn, for notifying their authors, editors, illustrators, publicists, and anyone else they deem appropriate) and along with that publisher notification letter we also include a copy of the review for their records.

That means once a month in a letter writing process that takes a full week to complete, we mail out publisher notifications and reviews to 600+ publishers.

Unfortunately, every month we get “returns” from the post office with such stamped messages as “Return to Sender, Attempted – Not Known – Unable to Forward”; “Return for Better Address”; “Return to Sender – No Such Number – Unable to Forward”; “Box Closed – Unable to Forward – Return to Sender”; and the ever popular “Forward Time Expired – Return to Sender”.

So for the publisher review notification letters I sent out for our May reviews last month I got the following “bounce backs” from the post office:

Gold Mountain Ventures
Spellbinder Press
Atlatl Press
Aqueous Books
Alternative Views Publishing
Echelon Press Publishing
A&E Videos
Aric Davis
Conciliar press

Fortunately for Conciliar Press the post office return notification included a new post office box address for them so I was able to re-send the publisher notification letter to the new address. As for the others, the only way they will ever know that their books make the final cut and got reviewed is if those titles are to be found on Amazon where our reviews are automatically posted in our role as a content provider for the largest on-line bookseller in the business.

You may think that 10 out of 700+ isn’t such a bad track record. But the same thing (in about the same numbers) continues to happen month after month after month.

So the moral of the story is — always be sure that the reviewer or review publication to which you’ve made a financial expenditure to provide them with a copy of your book for review has a current address for you so that they can provide you with a copy of the review for your own marketing and promotion campaign.

Otherwise what’s the point?

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI, 53575

CityRoom, JustLuxe, Big Blend, Spa Review Magazine, Global Writes

Finalist in the Writing and Publishing category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, “$uccess, Your Path to a Successful Book,”

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