If you're an author, you need to be aware that your publisher might not be sending your book to everyone who wants to review it. Except Harriet Klausner of course. I've had reviews blurbed on the finished book, and the following year never even see the book by the same author. If you have a favorite reviewer or reviewing source, check to make sure they got a book.

At Crimespree we deal with an awful lot of different publicists at a lot of different companies. Some are really great, like Rachel Eckstrom and Danielle Bartlett. And some are not very good at all.

I understand they are doing a lot of work for a lot of books, but what I'm getting at is you need to keep track yourself. If Mystery Scene loved your first three books, make sure they got the fourth, don't just assume it was sent. You don't need to ask if they are reviewing it, just let the reviewer know you wanted to make sure they got a copy.

That said, just having an arc doesn't mean we will review a book. There are a lot of different factors that go into deciding what gets reviewed, and we just can't review them all, but that's another topic.

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Thanks for the info, Jon. I'm only now beginning to realize what needs to be done in this regard. It's a bit disheartening to know that some publicists don't follow through.
Especially since the ethical reviewers won't be asking for your new book, even if they loved your previous ones. Where I trained, a reviewer who begged a review book was fired. That was policy. It doesn't hurt to keep an eye out for reviewers who seem interested.

Joy Too Busy To Review Anymore :(
Asking for review copies is more common now with the amount of reviews
being done on the internet and sources besides newspapers. Publicity
and marketing have changed an awful lot in the last five years.
Publishers actually send out catologs and tell us to ask for what we want to review.

I don't think asking for a review copy is a unethical.Maybe if you are
being paid by a major publication, but the whole point, especially at
Crimespree and places aimed at genre readers is to get good books into
the hands of readers.

However if as an author you are being asked for review copies and you
don't know the person, don't feel bad about checking them out.
I don't think it's unethical, but I had a few reviewers asking me to go after books, so I checked things out.

Apparently the standard line most review sources cite these days is if you're sent a book you're under no obligation, if you ask for it you're expected to review it. So for the most part I don't ask. A publicist who recently contacted me (from a very large publisher) said I could look through their catalogues and ask for anything I wanted. They have 24 catalogues and do a new one each season - I don't have time to read the catalogues. And then I'm asking for those books. We've had a few problems with the other reviewers, agreeing to take books they thought sounded interesting but then hating them so much they didn't do the review because they didn't want to put their honest opinion in print. There remains only one publicist I take a catalogue from.

But on a completely different topic, I get an email yesterday from a publicist sending me a book (already arranged) and he needs my street address because those books are only sent by courier. Wow. No way no how is that cost efficient, at least not where I live. I suppose I can say there problem, not mine, but it seems such a waste.
Reviewers' Choice gets queries from authors and publicists. If one of our reviewers volunteers, they send it. The only publisher who sends copies without asking is an e-pub, for whom copies cost nothing. ;-)

An article I read surveyed several large-subscription periodicals for their policies on handling the review copies they get. I believe the consensus was that about 2% of unsolicited copies get reviewed.

The most likely place to get coverage is from a publication whose reason for existance is to review. Review space is severely limited in publications with other purposes.

It depends on your publisher and your publisict. I know some one who had a first book out this year and the publisict listened to suggestions on where to send copies. They had a limited number so the author contacted a printer and had more arcs made so they could send more out. I would talk to the publisict and see what they have planned and see if they will let you make suggestions.

If they are willing to share the list with you, you can always get extra copies made to send to places you think would review your book that they are missing.

Most major places like entertainment weekly will most likely not be an effective use of a limited number of arcs due to volume of books they get compared to what they can review. You should target places that are mystery freindly.

There are reviewing venues who get most things sent to them automatically, from what I understand Harriet Klausner gets a copy of everything.

With the larger periodicals Joy is right about the numbers. Of course they also get all fiction and non fiction as well.

At Crimespree the percentage is a bit higher because we only get Mysteries. We average at least 10-12%.

Sandra makes a good point about there being no obligation to review a book that is sent unsolicited. We don't actually request very many books, and we try to make clear when we do request a book that while we will try our best to run a review, we may not be able to.

Advance copies are a funny thing. I'm guessing on average for every 100 sent out you may get 10 reviews. The trick is not to get to caught up in the numbers because it will make you crazy!

Something to look into is alternate ways to gtet attention for your book to add to the buzz factor.
I'll chime in but dont know how much of a contribution it will be. I've done it all -- I've requested books; I've been sent books; I've been queried about books; I've bought books -- In all of those cases I've both reviewed and not reviewed the books in question. But the scale leans heavily on the side of reviewing it.

If I request a book I try my damndest to write a review because I at least owe the publicist that much. But if the book is a stinker then chances are I wont continue to read it. While I make no guarantees for a review I always try hard to review everything that I have finished reading.

I dont think that I agree on the idea that it is unethical for reviewers to ask for books.

But let it be said that I will accept any queries for purposes of a book to be reviewed. If me or my other reviewer are interested then we will follow up with you for further arrangements.


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