Book Reviews - Are They Really Necessary?
You have just received your masterpiece in print, and it's both exciting and scary at the same. Perhaps you've just realized that you aren't the only new author out there, and nobody knows who you are. Perhaps you've just asked yourself, "How competitive is the book publishing industry anyway?"
The statistics may surprise you. According to a recent survey of the top book publishers, an estimated 25 million people in the United States consider themselves writers, but only 5% have actually been published. Even more surprising is the fact that an astonishing 5 to 6 million manuscripts are still looking for a publishing home at any given time.
So the real question is, in this flooded field of book writers, how would a lesser-known novelist get noticed? In this highly competitive industry, how can you, as a first-time author, turn your dreams of having a best seller into a reality?
Possibly the most important step you can take in ensuring the success of your book is to be actively involved in your own promotion. If you have just written your first, or even second, book and you are not yet well-known in the literary world, your chances of getting signed by a major agent who could "take you all the way" are pretty slim. Once it's published, promoting your own book takes hard work and diligence, and you have to be resilient.
As your own book promoter, it is common to be anxious and you may want to start your book tour right away, or begin scheduling book-signings at retail bookstores nationwide. However, getting stores and retail outlets to promote a book that no one has heard of is unlikely. So, now what do you do?
One of your first tasks is to get your book reviewed. If you are like many other new authors, you have probably always thought that book reviews are typically unsolicited. Now that your book is in hand and ready for sale, however, you don't have time to wait for the local columnist to stumble across your book, read it at his leisure and then hopefully be inspired enough to write a review in the town paper.
In the real world of book publishing, reviews are indeed solicited and are sometimes a fee-based service to newly published authors. Contracting a professional book reviewer has many benefits; the first and most obvious is a well-written book review. The book reviewer will not only critique the book, but the author as well. It's important the review be favorable, as a less-than-favorable review would be detrimental to not just you and the sale of your book, but also your publisher.
Your professional book review will probably be posted on many review sites, directories, and online bookstores. The review can also be used in all of your promotional material. If you acquire a book reviewer prior to publication, the endorsement can be included in the book cover. Typically, the review should be the foundation of your campaign.
Book reviews are by far the best way to let the public know your book is available, and is worthy of being read; the review can be vital in the success of your book. Using a book review service is a good idea, especially if you are a self-published author, as it is extremely difficult to grab the attention of media and potential readers in this saturated industry. Be sure your book review is not a sales pitch; that's your job. A book review should entice a reader to pick up your book, and hopefully not want to put it down.