Things to Consider When Looking for Feedback on Your Writing

by Lindsay 11/24/2017 10:05:00 PM

Guest Post by Sophia Anderson


Did you say you just finished writing your book? That would have been remarkably hard work, so congratulations are in order.


Experienced writers will point out that the journey is only half-way through. Next is the arduous task of bringing the book to the market, and putting it in front of as many people as possible. Isn’t that what a good book deserves?


Book reviews are one of the best and the quickest methods of introducing a book in the market. A good book review is a valuable social proof that signals to the readers: others have read and enjoyed this book, it may be worth having a look.


A book review is not only a marketing tool - it is also an important part of the feedback loop that ensures your writing is sharp and effective. Just as you get your manuscript reviewed during the writing process, it is important to ask for reader feedback after you have published the work.


Things You Need to Keep in Mind

Whether you are a new author, or an accomplished writer with several published works, book reviews can provide the much needed boost to your new book. Getting things right becomes easy if you follow this 7-step process:


1. Prepare the Essentials


Make a ready kit of all the material that you can send to the reviewer - this will help them to get a clear and complete picture of your work. The kit should include:


      PDF copy of the book, preferably with covers

      A print copy

      Cover letter

      Author bio and photographs


2. Look For Quality Sources of Reviewers


Fortunately, internet has made it easier to find comprehensive resources like this top 10 ways to find book reviewers. The best thing is - you can find a plenty of great reviewers that do not charge a fee for reviewing you book.


The trick is find the best quality resources with experienced reviewers. There are some great communities of book bloggers and writers where you can showcase your work and ask for feedback:


      Writer's Market

      Professionals Writing Community

      The Art of Writing


3. Get Plenty of Reviews


Make efforts to secure several reviews from different sources. Always remember that two reviews are better than one. This will make for a more comprehensive feedback and review, and will highlight the important points of your book. A range of different opinions will also help to connect with different target readers, maximizing the overall exposure of your work.


When looking for multiple sources of book reviews, it is important to optimize your efforts in case you are exploring paid review services, especially if you are on a tight budget. Check different services to see if they provide packages or special deals if you want multiple reviews.


4. Ask The Right Questions


When sending a review query, you may add any specific questions, or requests to focus on any particular aspects of the writing (for example, style/organization/characters, etc). Of course, there is no guarantee that the reviewers will accept or answer - but that is OK.


The requests or queries can also pertain to what the reviewers requires to complete a review. For example, some reviewers may want you to send them a press release about the launch of your book. Some reviewers may only require physical copies, some may review only e-books. Check with the reviewer first to save time and effort.


However, there is one request that you should NEVER make: asking for a positive review.


5. Explore Professional Book Review Services


In addition to ‘free’ book reviews, serious writers should also consider professional book review services. These services provide extra benefits for writers like:


      Qualified and experienced subject matter experts

      Starred reviews

      Extensive sharing on social media

      Author profile and links to other works

      Facility to use the reviews in marketing and promotion

      An ability to reach librarians, book agents, publishers, and major booksellers


Mike Kingly, a professional writer with an online writing service, says, “Book reviews take time and effort, and there is only so much a writer can expect from free book reviewers. Paid review services are more than simple book reviews - they provide a full suite of marketing and promotion services that can quickly extend the reach of your book.”


6. Take Care of Your Deadlines


Obviously when you send a book for review, you will like to get the feedback in a reasonable time frame. You can clearly mention the date of the publication, but it is considered bad form to ask a reviewer to publish their review on or around a specific date.


It is also not proper to send frequent reminders. But you can surely follow up after a few weeks to inquire if they intend to complete a review.


You get more leeway in deadlines when you access professional review services. Such services usually provide well-defined turnaround times, and even offer the facility of ‘fast track’ reviews. You also get an alert when the review is completed.


7. Accept All Kinds of Feedback


Even with an objective review, it is natural that a reviewer’s opinions will shape the final feedback. As a professional writer, you will need to accept all the feedback - whether positive or negative. A healthy mix of reviews will make your work more believable and trustworthy.


This is the point of a review by a human being and a fellow reader - an honest feedback on the merits of the writing. Remember, a book review is meant to benefit the prospective readers, not the author. Use the feedback received to improve your future works, or even to revise the book for later editions.


Book reviews are an invaluable tool to help readers with social proof of the merits of a book, and are proven to boost sales. They also provide a mix of different interpretations that add more value to the book content, and widen its appeal.


Are you a writer looking to invite book reviewers to get feedback or your writing? Or perhaps you are an experienced campaigner, with several books under your belt. Please help your fellow writers by sharing your experiences in the comments section below.

Sophia Anderson is a freelance writer and blogger from Australia. She is passionate about covering topics on writing, business, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes that learning something new every day is a must. Her inspiration comes from reading books and online blog posts that cover a wide range of her interests. Meet Sophia at @Sophia7Anderson.


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