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How and why to get book reviews
San Francisco Writers Conference San Francisco Writers Conference
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: San Francisco , CA
Friday, June 26, 2020


Carla King interview with Christopher Locke, Membership Liaison, IBPA

Subjects covered
The main subject of this episode is book reviews.
IBPA prefers the term “author-publisher” because term “self-published” makes it sound as though au author do it all themselves; but, if they’re doing it right, they’re hiring people to help with the process.
Trade reviews are reviews by trade publications such as Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, etc. intended for book professionals, i.e., entities that buy your books to sell them to readers, e.g. bookstores, libraries, etc.
Authors want trade reviews because bookstores and librarians most likely will not carry a book if it does not have a trade review.
The main trade publications for reviews are: Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal, Booklist, Foreword Reviews
Each publication has its own submission guidelines. Some only review prior to publication. Once a book is published, some trade publications will not review it.
IBPA members get discounts on reviews with some trade publications.
When deciding whether or not to get a paid review (e.g., Clarion or Kirkus), authors should ask themselves whether libraries and bookstores are the market for their book, which is not a given, particularly today when most books are sold online.
If an author wants to target the bookstore and/or library market, they should first try for free reviews; if their book is not chosen for a free review, they should consider getting one or two paid reviews.
Library Journal and BookList are the main trade reviews for libraries.
One caveat about reviews: they will be honest. So, authors should be prepared for that.
There are free and paid options for getting reader reviews.
If a book is in KDP select (i.e., ebooks made exclusive to Amazon), authors can use a giveaway program to help garner reviews, the hope being that giveaway recipients will leave reviews.
Authors should also ask people in their network for reviews, but not their family, since Amazon will remove reviews it identifies as being from a family member.
Two ways to get paid reviews are using Goodreads giveaways and posting a book on NetGalley.
IBPA members get a discount on NetGalley subscriptions.
Genres that typically do well on NetGalley include genre fiction, children picture books, and poetry.

Podcast editing and episode notes by author and podcast producer and host Matthew Félix (matthewfelix.com).

The San Francisco Writers Conference and the San Francisco Writing for Change conference are both produced by the San Francisco Writers Conference & San Francisco Writers Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. The SFWC Director is Laurie McLean.  For registration help, contact Richard Santos at registrations@sfwriters.org. For SFWC sponsorship opportunities, contact Carla King at Carla@carlaking.com
The SFWC website is: www.SFWriters.org

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