While I was trying to find contact information to send out books to local libraries, I started seeing a pattern of replies: some of the bigger libraries want to see book reviews from major sources before they’re willing to stock your book in their library. So I guess I need to back up the truck a little. In researching reviewers, I’m finding some of those major sources cost some major money, so I had to do a little sifting to figure out how much a review was worth from which reviewers.
I’ve spent the last few weeks getting everything together to send copies of the book out to the reviewers I’ve narrowed the list down to. Different review places want different things, and that meant I had to not only write what they were looking for (media kit information), but I had to design some stuff, too (Hairy Eyeballs Press letterhead and business cards). It’s a a wee bit time consuming, but I guess that’s what you’re in for when you’re a one-person operation.[the places I sent to…]
Publishers Weekly—I think PW will be a bit of a stretch if I can get a review out of them. The first thing you have to do is register your book in their quarterly supplement (it costs money). Then, if the stars align for you, you could be one of the 25 or so books that PW picks for review. Twisted will be listed in their March supplement and, if it gets reviewed, that review will print in the same supplement. I would say, “Don’t hold your breath,” but I’m holding mine, so who am I to stop you?
American Library Association—ALA doesn’t charge anything for a review, but it’s looking like your chances of them picking your book to review are pretty slim. Their site says they get more than 60,000 submissions each year. Ouch.
Midwest Book Review—Midwest Book Review might be a little more promising when it comes to getting picked for review. I’m not really sure why I feel that way because right on their site they say only half of the books submitted make it to final review for various reasons, and they receive 50 book submissions each day (I did the math for you: that’s 18,250 submissions a year. Unless it’s a leap year which, of course, this is, and then it would be 18,300). I guess I feel a little hopeful because they give special preference to self-published books.
I’m keeping Kirkus in my back pocket for now. They’ll do your review for you, but it will cost you $425. I’m not sure if I can justify or afford the cost right now. Maybe if I sell a few more books on Amazon? Maybe some more people could write a review on Barnes & Noble? Maybe you can tell your friends? Your family? The person sitting beside you on the bus?
In the meantime, I’ll be watching to see if I get any reviews from the ones I sent.
Crossing them fingers.