Thursday, August 22, 2019

Asking for an author review quote

Search through any author group on Facebook or publishing-centric threads on Twitter and eventually the topic of author review quotes comes up. As in: what are they? Do they help? Do you need one? And - arguably the most important question of all - how do you ask for one???

What are author review quotes?
Short answer: They're nice things other authors say about your book.

Long answer: They're nice things other authors say about your book that you can use for marketing purposes, editorial reviews on Amazon, even your front cover. They're pithy, smart and quotable, and ALWAYS positive.

Do they help?
Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Still yes. An author review quote from an author with whom you share a potential audience is ideal - although maybe it would be cool for marketing purposes if I got a quotable quote from Stephen (a horror writer) for one of my romances? Will think on that one. An author review quote from an author with name recognition in your genre is helpful, too, especially if you're putting his/her quote on your cover.

Do you need an author review quote?
Short answer: No.

Long answer: That space on Amazon for editorial reviews looks awfully empty without any editorial reviews. You can wait until reader reviews come in - and it's great to have a few of those, as well, but an author endorsement or two definitely helps. You can also use author reviews in your pre-publication marketing.

How do you ask for an author review quote?
Short answer: Nicely.

Long answer: This is actually a pretty long answer.

  1. Do your homework!
    1. You've read some books by the author you're asking to review your book, right? If not, get on that.
    2. Check out her website and look at recent/upcoming releases. If she's got a book coming out next week, you might want to hold off on your email.
    3. Check out his social media. Is his Twitter feed filled with deadline stress? Or maybe his Instagram shows that he's spending the month at the lake with his family. Either way, it might not be the best time to ask this particular author for a review.
    4. Look at her website again and click on CONTACT. How does she want to be contacted for review requests? Via her agent? A PA? A form on the website? An email address?
  2. Once you know the preferred method of contact for submitting your request, use that. For most authors, it is NOT Twitter DM, Facebook Messenger or Snapchat. Email is the most likely scenario.
  3. Think about the tone of your email before you start writing it. On the one hand, your review request is kind of like a business letter. On the other hand, it's...not. To some extent, it could/should reflect you, the writer. 
  4. If you know from doing your homework that there's something you and the author have in common, or something you think they'll really connect with in your book, mention it. E.g., I saw on Instagram recently that you were in London.It looks like you had an amazing time! My book is actually set in London, and I lived there for five years before trading in city life for a tiny English village.
  5. Indicate how you'll use the review. Will you use the author quote on your print cover? In pre-publication marketing? In release week marketing and on Amazon?
  6. Set a date!!! This is especially important if you're going to use the quote on your cover or pre-publication, but it's also important for your sanity. Something as simple as: My book releases September 27, and I need all author reviews completed by August 27.
  7. But give them an out. Something like: If you can't make that date, I totally understand, but I'd love if you could let me know so I won't be stalking my email inbox.
  8. Offer a full manuscript and a sample. Some authors will eagerly read the whole thing. Some might prefer the first six chapters, but can still provide you with a great review quote.
  9. Include your blurb, cover, social media links, website, etc. You can cram a lot of this into your email signature and some people might argue that it should be there already anyway.
  10. Spell check, proofread, send.
  11. Obsessively check inbox for a reply, despite said date conversation. :) 
It also doesn't hurt to google "Asking for author blurbs" and reading through some sample emails. I did that, in addition to the above, when I was asking for author review quotes for my last book and, well, it worked for me!

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