Kind words about your work can be placed on the back or front cover, or inside the book. Usually reviews are punctuated within quotes.
Pre-publication reviewers can be found by searching Google or links found on my website
and in Links for the Independent Writer
. Since there are time constraints, a fee is often, but not always, charged. Different reviewers ask for different formats. Some accept a copy of the manuscript, but often a PDF file of the book can be forwarded. A PDF file of your book is sent to you from the subsidy publisher before publication. This pre-publication document is also called a galley. Since it is a read only document, final edits must be made on a separate sheet of paper. Only send this document out for review if it is fairly clean of typos and formatting problems.
Getting reviews before publication can put everything on hold. Not just in the time it takes, but once returned, they have to be edited, formatted, and placed wherever you’d like them to appear. Make sure the publisher is aware of any delays.
Another way of handling reviews is to find other authors, specialists in the field, or enthusiastic readers to say a few words. People enjoy seeing their name in print and if they like your book, it’s a win-win situation.
Reviews can also be added after publication. Ask your subsidy publisher how much money it will cost to add reviews to your book cover. Editing either the cover (front and back is one document) or the interior is another advantage of POD publishing. Still, beware of prohibitive charges. Presently, my publisher charges $50 for either a cover or interior change, along with an hourly rate of $50 to make such edits. In my case, since I do my own cover, adding reviews would cost me $50, the basic charge with no hourly expense.
Reviews sell books, but the review process can take awhile, often months after publication. Not to worry. Those kind words can be added at anytime to online venues, such as Amazon or your website. Reviews can also be placed on press releases, bookmarks, sell sheets, promotional material and, of course, on any future covers.
For my second book, Paloma
, I sent out twenty-eight review copies. About a third were reviewed. A couple of places went out of business and some I never heard from. One review came back over a year later. Review sites, papers, magazines often have a bank of reviewers who read books, but it’s often at their discretion. A book will be accepted for review, then put on a queue to see if anyone is interested. There’s no deadline in having a book reviewed. I’ve seen books reviewed three years after publication. The cost of getting a review is the cost of a book with shipping, but on occasion a review site will only ask for a PDF file that’s sent as an attachment. This means your book is reviewed for free
Of course there’s a downside to all this review business. Reading is subjective and some reviews may be less than stellar. No writer, self published or otherwise, is immune to a bad review. Be brave.