This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at

Monday, April 27, 2009

Maximizing the Most out of Book Reviews

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Most authors worry about book reviews and whether or not it will be a good one. While we can't control how someone will like or dislike our books, we can take a few steps to help facilitate the process and make it more enjoyable for the reviewers, besides trying to write the best book possible.

As much as we authors would love to have our feelings and our career on the reviewer's mind, the bottom line is, the reviewer's first responsibility is to the reader. It's their job to help a reader decide if our books are the type readers will enjoy and would like to invest their time in reading and their money in buying. We must be prepared to hear anything from great, good, to not so good, and bad. Keep in mind that what one reviewer will love, another will hate. 

Research reviewers who you want to read your book. Make sure you know the type of publication that is reviewing your book, and if possible, the specific reviewer. How have they treated other books of your genre? What are their preferences? If you write romance and you send your book to a reviewer who hates romance, if that person chooses to do the review, your chances of getting an excellent review are slim to none and it may not have anything to do with the writing or the story. Remember, in some cases, bad publicity can be worse than no publicity. It's okay to be selective. 

When you contact a reviewer, be sure to include the "on sale" date as well as the "release month". Some reviewers need 2-3 months notice, while others may need 4-6 months notice. Be aware of their time frame and deadlines. There are no guarantees that the reviewer will review your book, your submission is for "consideration only". 

If your book doesn't get reviewed in spite of all your best efforts, try not to take it as a personal slight. Publications often make changes in their printing schedules that could have affected your review. Space allotments could have been adjusted for breaking news, too many books similar to yours may have come in, or a number of things could have happened. 

Be sure to send them a thank you note for their review, even if it wasn't all you had hoped it would be. A little appreciation could make a difference for next time. 


Yes! Good advice. I've been on both sides of this situation now...first as a reviewer, and now as the author.

We'll all get there...someday. ;)

Thanks for the good tips--it's definitely something to keep in mind as one trudges up the hill.

Thanks for stopping by my blog a few weeks ago! We seem to be over most of our germs here in Sweden and I pray you and your family are healthy as well =).

I loved this post and I agree with Weronika, it is definitely something to keep in mind as we trudge up this hill. It's something that hasn't entered my mind before and I'm thankful I ran across such helpful advice before I needed it =).

Thank you for the great advice! I mean I'm not an author but I would want to publish my book someday! Thnx for commenting to in my blog! gonna follow ur blog, k?

As someone who reviews books all the time, this is very good advice! Thank you Jennifer I believe it will make my job much easier! BTW, thanks for stopping by my blog a few weeks ago!

Laura Davis

thanks for the excellent tips. I don't see this subject covered very often.

Susan :)

Your ideas and insight on book writing has been of great help for me. Thank you.

I sometimes browse your posts and find great help with the various stages of writing.

The work you do on this blog has assisted many people, I am sure. Thanks again.

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Sorry for offtopic