Getting Permission to Use Reviews and Extracting Blurbs from Them by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically Stephanie recently highlighted the importance of endorsements for writers and it occurred to me that I could share some excerpts from the third in my multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers, How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing career that would help fellow members extract collect and ethically extract blurbs (endorsements) from their reviews With extracting blurbs from reviews in mind, this first post is about getting permission from the reviewer to reprint as needed (accredited, of course) when you first get a review.

Here is that short excerpt from Chapter Ten.

Making Reviews Work for You
 “Very simply put, reviews are the gift that keeps giving.” ~ CHJ

So you have a review now. Maybe it’s your first. Maybe it’s your umpteenth. You may be able to determine that sales resulted from it. You may not. If not, you may be disappointed. Don’t be. The work a review can do for you has just begun. Here are a few ways you can extend its usefulness.

PERMISSION TO REPRINT THE REVIEW

The sooner we ask for permission to reprint any review we get, the better. That gives us the freedom to use it as a need arises. As our file of reviews-with-permission grows, we come to understand that it is an unmatched cache of promotion jewels.

The best way to get permission to reprint from amateur and reader reviewers is to ask them personally. If your review is in a journal, you may not know who the reviewer is, but you can ask the editor or publisher for permission. Tell either contact you would like to reprint. Ask them how they would like to be credited and what link and other contact information they would like you to use. Just these two questions should suggest to your reviewer that they could benefit from giving you that permission.

Keep in mind that copyright law gives you the right to quote excerpts from a review without asking. So if all your grant-permission-rights efforts fail, you can choose, quote, and credit a positive sentence or phrase from the review when you can’t get permission—and when you can—as long as you credit the reviewer. The guidelines for quoting from a review are called fair use and they are different from genre to genre and situation to situation. But for novels and full books of nonfiction, Amazon uses twenty-five words as a guideline and I trust they have great copyright attorneys advising them.

Caveat: Getting unnecessary permission can be cumbersome and counterproductive. When you’re working with reviews, asking permission can slow you down, but it can also earn you friends as you work with those who reviewed your book. They are influencers in communities of readers. So balance your decision making process each time you get a review. Think, “Which approach is best for my book and my career?”

I’ll include the excerpt on how to extract valuable excerpts from your reviews from them in the next post in this series and you’ll find more on how to use both the reviews and blurbs in the rest of the 300 plus how-to book at http://bit.ly/GreatBkReviews.

Author Bio:

Carolyn is a new member of Nonfiction Authors Association. She brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and founder and owner of a retail chain to the advice she gives in her multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. All her books for writers are multi award winners including both the first and second editions of The Frugal Book Promoter and her multi award-winning The Frugal Editor won awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award. Her newest book in the HowToDoItFrugally series for writers is How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically.

Howard-Johnson is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community’s Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly’s list of “Fourteen San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen” and was given her community’s Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts.

The author loves to travel. She has visited eighty-nine countries and has studied writing at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom; Herzen University in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Charles University, Prague. She admits to carrying a pen and journal wherever she goes. Her Web site is www.howtodoitfrugally.com.

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1 Comment on "Getting Permission to Use Reviews and Extracting Blurbs from Them by Carolyn Howard-Johnson"

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  1. Reviews are among my top marketing techniques for a whole slew of reasons. I call them forever-reviews because they’ll work for you as long as you want them to! Thank you to Sue Canfield for making this little series possible.

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