What book publicists need to know about reviewers
A couple weeks back, I wrote about What Journos Need to Know About Pubs, a follow up or sorts to Why Haven’t I Received My Review Copies Yet? and Why Haven’t I Received My Review Copies Yet? Part II. One very helpful (or perhaps very irate) editor wanted to point out there are, however, a few things us book publicists can do on our end to make his — and other reviewers’ — lives easier. Following are his observations.
— Books with no contact info. I like playing the “guess the publicist” game as much as you like getting emails about books that aren’t yours.
— Lack of response when requesting cover art. If we’re requesting covers, we’re running the book in the paper.
— Getting new releases months after the release date, and when we put in a request months before. Makes me think you’ve milked all you can from the top-tier reviewers and are now willing to work with us.
— Any imprint that uses the envelopes with the shredded newspaper as padding. If they’ve been torn in shipping, they go into a garbage bag and wait until someone has time to take them outside and empty them.
— Don’t put me on an email spam list that doesn’t have an opt out feature.
The easier you are to work with, the more of your books we review. If we request a book, you have a decent chance of getting it reviewed. No guarantee (unless we do promise), but better than if we didn’t ask. There are 18,000 books a month being published, we review at best 300 – 400.
On Friday, @RonHogan of Beatrice.com tweeted about this Flavorwire post about How to Alienate Bloggers and Boost Book Sales. (Bloggers had another bone to pick with publicists, for the pitch for a book du jour — although, happily, Kristen O’Toole, the blogger who wrote the post, begins with a nice nod to book publicists.) Make sure to check the comments section for the robust version of the post in which bloggers argue both for and against the efforts of publicists.
Journalists / bloggers: feel free to weigh in on what you like and don’t like about what book publicists do. What can we do better? What do we do that you find helpful? Comment at will; I will update this post when I can.