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Author Topic: Trade Reviews?  (Read 1264 times)  

Offline Harald

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Trade Reviews?
« on: December 07, 2017, 02:04:16 PM »
Getting close to publishing ebook and print in historical fiction genre. Looking for testimonial quotes for back-cover blurbs, book descriptions, etc. Apart from genre-specific bloggers, I'm aware of the major paid-reviewing places (e.g., Kirkus, Booklist/Blueink) and the non-paid ones (Publishers Weekly/Booklife, Historical Novel Society) that are free but very selective. Any others out there worth considering, free or paid? (English-language focus) Or any thoughts about pursuing Trade Reviews as a general idea? Again, I'm mostly interested in the blurb value (and for library distribution it seems to be a must-have). Thanks!
   
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Offline Outlawpoet

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2017, 02:39:51 PM »
Getting close to publishing ebook and print in historical fiction genre. Looking for testimonial quotes for back-cover blurbs, book descriptions, etc. Apart from genre-specific bloggers, I'm aware of the major paid-reviewing places (e.g., Kirkus, Booklist/Blueink) and the non-paid ones (Publishers Weekly/Booklife, Historical Novel Society) that are free but very selective. Any others out there worth considering, free or paid? (English-language focus) Or any thoughts about pursuing Trade Reviews as a general idea? Again, I'm mostly interested in the blurb value (and for library distribution it seems to be a must-have). Thanks!

Review swaps are against Amazon's TOS.

Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2017, 02:42:26 PM »
Review swaps are against Amazon's TOS.

That's not what he means.

I wish I could help, but I have no idea how effective this is, or how to go about it. Hopefully someone with experience will pop in and share soon.
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Online ImaWriter

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 02:56:00 PM »
Getting close to publishing ebook and print in historical fiction genre. Looking for testimonial quotes for back-cover blurbs, book descriptions, etc. Apart from genre-specific bloggers, I'm aware of the major paid-reviewing places (e.g., Kirkus, Booklist/Blueink) and the non-paid ones (Publishers Weekly/Booklife, Historical Novel Society) that are free but very selective. Any others out there worth considering, free or paid? (English-language focus) Or any thoughts about pursuing Trade Reviews as a general idea? Again, I'm mostly interested in the blurb value (and for library distribution it seems to be a must-have). Thanks!

Someone here just got a very nice trade review a few weeks back. I think it was Publishers Weekly. IIRC, he also said it did squat for his sales. So, yes it would provide some awesome quotes for blurbs--assuming a good review, but perhaps not much else. If you go the paid route, I guess you need to decide how much you're willing to pay for a few one liners from the review. Again, assuming you do get a good review. Kirkus can be brutal.

Offline Harald

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2017, 03:07:58 PM »
Review swaps are against Amazon's TOS.

As another says, it's not a swap. These are Editorial Reviews. Perfectly legit. I'm talking about "Reviews in the Trades" not "trading reviews" -- should have been clearer, I guess. Sorry about that.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 03:14:44 PM by Harald »
   
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Offline Harald

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2017, 03:12:52 PM »
Someone here just got a very nice trade review a few weeks back. I think it was Publishers Weekly. IIRC, he also said it did squat for his sales. So, yes it would provide some awesome quotes for blurbs--assuming a good review, but perhaps not much else. If you go the paid route, I guess you need to decide how much you're willing to pay for a few one liners from the review. Again, assuming you do get a good review. Kirkus can be brutal.

Thanks for this. Yeah, I've heard the same about Sales, but I'm more interested in the blurbs/testimonial quotes. The paid sites are steep ($395+) so I'm being very careful about that. But I didn't know about Kirkus being "brutal." Interesting. Adds to the overall picture. I'll probably start with the free ones and see what happens.
   
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Online Al Stevens

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2017, 03:20:09 PM »
For a blurb on the back cover of a new release paperback, I use this:

What others have said about [author]'s works:

" blah, blah..."
" blah, blah..."

...using brief glowing phrases from existing reviews of earlier books, phrases that do not get too specific.

Later, when there are positive reviews of the new book, I can revise the cover art and upload it.

Online David Greene

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2017, 03:33:12 PM »
If you're at least 4 months away from publishing, you can submit to ForewordReviews.com, which reviews about 150 books per issue of their quarterly magazine. I had a good experience with them. Their review of my first novel in 2010 resulted in several dozen libraries across the country buying copies. I also entered their Indies Book of the Year awards contest and won a bronze medal, which played a big role in getting me my early BookBubs.

Offline Athena Grayson

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2017, 03:34:23 PM »
Midwest Book Review? My crit partner sent them her first indie a few years back and they reviewed it. I don't remember if she paid (if she did, it wasn't much), but she got a nice pull-quote from it. That did just about nothing, although I hear Bookbub thinks they matter.

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Offline Guy Riessen

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2017, 03:55:56 PM »
she got a nice pull-quote from it. That did just about nothing.

While I question the ROI for any of these hefty-price tag reviews...I know for certain that there is no way to quantify their effect, let alone say they do nothing. Editorial reviews are non-quantifiable influencers of customer purchase decisions. They probably DO have significantly more influence than any single reader-review on amazon--but is the unknown effect worth the cost?

I also know, for a fact, that I do read or skim them when they're available--and even I can't say for certain how much they might influence my decision to buy a book. But it does have some level of effect.


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Offline CynthiaClay

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2017, 04:03:06 PM »
[quote ]
 Kirkus can be brutal.
[/quote]

My experience with Kirkus was terrible. I forked out the money, and when I read the review, it was really clear the reviewer had not read the book. It was full of "factual" errors [it was a fantasy book, that's why factual is in quotes]. I sent them a whole string of quotes from my fantasy showing they were in complete opposite with what the reviewer said about the book. Since I would not back down, they pulled that review and had another reviewer review it.

I did not find it worth it at all. They are known, rightly so, for being "brutal."

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Offline Harald

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2017, 04:30:15 PM »
For a blurb on the back cover of a new release paperback, I use this:
What others have said about [author]'s works:
" blah, blah..."
" blah, blah..."
...using brief glowing phrases from existing reviews of earlier books, phrases that do not get too specific.
Later, when there are positive reviews of the new book, I can revise the cover art and upload it.

Good point, Al. That's the default position, although I'm looking for attributions to start, if I can.
   
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Offline Harald

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2017, 04:34:29 PM »
If you're at least 4 months away from publishing, you can submit to ForewordReviews.com, which reviews about 150 books per issue of their quarterly magazine. I had a good experience with them. Their review of my first novel in 2010 resulted in several dozen libraries across the country buying copies. I also entered their Indies Book of the Year awards contest and won a bronze medal, which played a big role in getting me my early BookBubs.

I didn't know about this one, David. But 4-months in advance won't work for me currently. Maybe next time. And I see they also have their own paid version (Clarion) for post-publication: $499!
   
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Offline Harald

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2017, 04:35:24 PM »
My experience with Kirkus was terrible. [...] I did not find it worth it at all. They are known, rightly so, for being "brutal."

Another strike against Kirkus. Thanks.
   
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Offline Harald

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2017, 04:39:09 PM »
Midwest Book Review? My crit partner sent them her first indie a few years back and they reviewed it. I don't remember if she paid (if she did, it wasn't much), but she got a nice pull-quote from it. That did just about nothing, although I hear Bookbub thinks they matter.

Didn't know about this one; thanks. Will check it out.
   
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Online Laura Rae Amos

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2017, 04:45:42 PM »
Is nobody else bitter that all these hot-shot review venues want nearly $500 to review for indie authors? Yet traditional publishers can submit for free?

I'm bitter, lol!

That said, (last I checked), indies can submit to Midwest Book Review, RT Review Source, Booklist, BootRiot, and Library Journal if you have enough lead time. ~4 months before publication. There is absolutely no guarantee of a review, but you can submit without some ridiculous fee.

It probably matters more for some genres than othersnot in terms of sales, but maybe bragging rights. I'm in literary/women's fiction, and I sort of regret not setting up a proper pre-publication schedule to accommodate for trade reviews. If only for the quotes and possible library acquisitions. It would have been nice. For things like that, you only get one shot to do it right.

Online LilyBLily

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2017, 04:59:34 PM »
If you want to get into libraries, Library Journal is important. If you want to get into school libraries, School Library Journal is important and you need a lot of lead time for it. Research both for your next book.

Offline Harald

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2017, 05:07:38 PM »
Is nobody else bitter that all these hot-shot review venues want nearly $500 to review for indie authors? Yet traditional publishers can submit for free?

Yep, it's a hot new industry niche for them. But they'll have to pull hard to get that $500 out of my pocket!

Quote
That said, (last I checked), indies can submit to Midwest Book Review, RT Review Source, Booklist, BootRiot, and Library Journal if you have enough lead time. ~4 months before publication. There is absolutely no guarantee of a review, but you can submit without some ridiculous fee.

Same (free) for Booklife (Publishers Weekly), who wants post-published books.

Quote
It probably matters more for some genres than othersnot in terms of sales, but maybe bragging rights. I'm in literary/women's fiction, and I sort of regret not setting up a proper pre-publication schedule to accommodate for trade reviews. If only for the quotes and possible library acquisitions. It would have been nice. For things like that, you only get one shot to do it right.

While many of these are pre-publication, some are post-pub. I'm looking at those.
   
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Offline Harald

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2017, 05:10:08 PM »
If you want to get into libraries, Library Journal is important. If you want to get into school libraries, School Library Journal is important and you need a lot of lead time for it. Research both for your next book.

Thanks. My library's Acquisitions Director told me, in this relative order of importance: Booklist, Library Journal, PubWkly, Kirkus. Others will be different.
   
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Online Laura Rae Amos

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2017, 06:24:49 PM »
Same (free) for Booklife (Publishers Weekly), who wants post-published books.

That is news to me! That opportunity wasn't available when my last book released, so I'm glad to hear it. Thanks for sharing! :)

Offline Harald

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2017, 06:44:19 PM »
That is news to me! That opportunity wasn't available when my last book released, so I'm glad to hear it. Thanks for sharing! :)

Better check it out to be sure. :)
   
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Online Kay7979

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2017, 06:56:55 PM »
Is nobody else bitter that all these hot-shot review venues want nearly $500 to review for indie authors? Yet traditional publishers can submit for free?

I'm bitter, lol!

That said, (last I checked), indies can submit to Midwest Book Review, RT Review Source, Booklist, BootRiot, and Library Journal if you have enough lead time. ~4 months before publication. There is absolutely no guarantee of a review, but you can submit without some ridiculous fee.

It probably matters more for some genres than othersnot in terms of sales, but maybe bragging rights. I'm in literary/women's fiction, and I sort of regret not setting up a proper pre-publication schedule to accommodate for trade reviews. If only for the quotes and possible library acquisitions. It would have been nice. For things like that, you only get one shot to do it right.

To the best of my knowledge, traditional publishers dont get free reviews from the big name review services like Kirkus. They pay a steep annual membership fee rather than pay for each individual book they submit.


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Online Kay7979

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2017, 07:01:10 PM »
Another strike against Kirkus. Thanks.

I used Kirkus for my debut fantasy novel and was pleased with the review. Ive used one particular quote so much I feel Ive gotten my moneys worth!

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Offline blerg et al.

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2017, 07:19:01 PM »
Thanks for this thread.

I'll be watching to see what other ideas come out of it.

I like the notion that reviews and awards (if they come from a reputable place) can help with bookbub.

It is worth remembering that there are journals out there who will publish your short stories. And publication in those journals also gives you some cred, which makes other journals more likely to publish you, conventions more likely to let you sit on a panel, book fairs more likely to give you a good table. And improves your odds with trad pub if you feel like going in that direction.


Offline MClayton

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Re: Trade Reviews?
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2017, 08:56:08 PM »
Harald, BookLife is a Publishers Weekly subsidiary that works with small presses and self-published authors. It's free. You upload your book to BookLife and submit it to PW for review consideration. They may choose it; they may not. If they do, it goes right in Publishers Weekly along with the big boys and girls.

I've submitted all of mine, and thus far Publishers Weekly has only chosen to review one of them (Blessed Are the Wholly Broken, down below). Didn't do squat for sales, but made for some nice marketing material. Plus, they add the editorial review to Amazon and Barnes & Noble (but I didn't know that at first, so added it myself to Amazon before they got to it - patience is not one of my virtues).

Did I mention it's free?

Here's more about it: https://www.indiesunlimited.com/2014/09/08/the-authors-guild-and-publishers-weekly-for-self-publishers/

Edit to add - oops, I see someone already mentioned it.