Whether your book is coming out soon or it has been out for a while, sending out review copies of your book can lead to a variety of opportunities:
- Acquire reviews on Amazon and beyond.
- Attract media coverage, podcast interviews, etc.
- Build word of mouth.
- Gain exposure with influencers through blogs, social media, etc.
- Entice a new prospective client to work with you.
- Get your book considered for bulk purchases.
- Be invited or hired as a speaker.
It’s important to be really clear about your target audience, who should receive a copy of your book, and why you’re sending it to each person. I can’t emphasize this enough.
Many authors and publicists send me books, and while I appreciate the gesture, it is often a wasted effort because I don’t review books. Our author community is huge, consisting of over 14,000 people. While I wish I could review and recommend every single book, there will never be enough hours in a day to do so.
The books I do examine are those related to helping authors with writing, publishing promoting or profiting with nonfiction. Well-produced books in these categories can lead me to invite the author to be interviewed for our weekly series or speak at one of our events. Books that aren’t relevant to our audience, such as cookbooks, poetry, children’s books, and novels, are more likely to end up in my giant pile of unread books because I simply don’t have enough time and they don’t fit in with what I do.
Remember, it’s essential to be clear about your target audience and your goals before sending out books, otherwise you’ll waste time and money unnecessarily.
Where to Send Review Copies of Your Book
Anyone Mentioned in the Book – If within your book you reference someone as an example, a case study, or recommend them for any reason, you should send a copy. It’s flattering to be mentioned in a book, and many people who are honored this way will likely want to tell others about the book.
Endorsers – Anyone who provides a pre-publication endorsement or foreword should receive a signed copy from you along with a note of thanks.
Beta Readers – People you give early access to your manuscript prior to publication are known as beta readers. In this case, you will typically share a digital copy of your book with the goals of receiving early editorial feedback plus reviews posted online once the book is released. New to the concept of beta readers? Download our free report on how to leverage this powerful strategy.
Amazon Reviewers – Look at competing books in your genre on Amazon and you can click on each reviewer to see their public profile on Amazon. Some include an email address or website addresses so that you can contact them and offer up a review copy.
Bloggers – Search for bloggers in your genre who review books, publish author interviews, publish book excerpts, or conduct book giveaways. You can either reach out first to ask if the blogger would like to receive a review copy, or you can mail a copy with a personal note.
Book Review Bloggers – See the following directories to find bloggers who review books in your genre. Also try searching Google for <genre> + “book review.”
Podcasters – I consider this one of the top opportunities for authors to gain exposure. Search podcast directories like iTunes to locate podcasts that reach your target audience, then locate the website for each program and search for submission guidelines. Ideally, you should craft a polished pitch to be a guest on the show, and then send along a copy of the book to the host prior to your interview. You want the host to be familiar with your book so it’s recommended during your appearance.
Power tip: offer to give away a few copies to show listeners.
Social Media and YouTube Influencers – Locate the most influential social media stars who reach your target audience and send a copy of your book. For best results, always try to create a win-win situation. Instead of asking for promotion, what can you offer these leaders? Can you interview them for your own blog or podcast? Can you co-promote a book giveaway or contest? Top social media influencers are often inundated with requests for promotion. If you want to get their attention, you’ll need to get creative.
Media Pros – Reporters who cover topics in your genre are ideal recipients of review copies. Keep in mind that book reviews aren’t the only point of media attention. You might send along a copy of your book along with a well designed media sheet that features you as an expert in a variety of related topics, making you a great potential source for a future interview.
Online Groups – One wildly underutilized opportunity for authors is with groups that reach your target readers, most often on Facebook or LinkedIn. For example, if you’ve authored a memoir about your mental health journey, locate groups where members discuss thriving with mental illness. You could send a review copy to the group moderator and perhaps offer to host a giveaway with group members. Offering to give away three copies as a promotion to a group with thousands of members can bring a tremendous amount of exposure.
Association and Nonprofit Leaders – Locate groups where your target readers are members and send copies of your book to the board of directors or planning committee members. You may want to speak for these groups, contribute to their blog or newsletter, have your book featured in their online store, or even have your book given away to their new members. Associations can bring tremendous opportunities!
Prospective Clients – If you’re a consultant, coach or advisor of any kind, you can use your book to impress potential clients. You can send books out as lead magnets to hard-to-reach prospects, or send a copy after you’ve made initial contact to help close the deal. Authoring a book is a big accomplishment and can help boost your credibility with new clients.
Specialty Retailers – Want your book considered for sale in specialty stores, gift shops, restaurants, pet stores, garden centers or other non-bookstore retail outlet? Send a copy to the store owner or manager.
Corporations – If your book would make a great giveaway to corporate employees or clients, send a copy to the head of the right department at any company that would be a good match for your book. For example, if your book assists with emotional wellbeing, pitch it to the head of human resources for a progressive company like Google or Intel.
College Professors – If your book would make a great text or case study for certain college courses, research professors who teach those courses and send a copy. If your book is selected for the course, that can lead to ongoing sales each quarter, trimester or semester.
Speaking Opportunities – Whether you’re seeking to get free or paid speaking engagements, delivered in-person or by webinar, your book can help you stand out and capture the attention of event planners and hosts.
Your Tribe of Influence – Many authors think they have a small platform, but yours might be bigger than you realize. Consider all the people you know, including those from your past. This can include former schoolmates, coworkers, clients, neighbors, parents from your kids’ school, trade association or nonprofit contacts, industry peers you have a relationship with, relatives, and personal friends.
Here are some ways your personal tribe could potentially help:
- Buy your books in bulk for the company they work for or introduce you to someone who could make a bulk purchase.
- Invite you to speak at an event, in-person or by webinar.
- Post a positive review on Amazon, Goodreads or other online retailer.
- Announce your book via social media or an email list.
- Connect you with key media contacts.
- Connect you with a podcast interview opportunity.
- Host a contest or giveaway with a key target audience.
- Interview you for a blog or print publication.
- Connect you with a corporate sponsorship opportunity.
For more ideas on how to leverage your personal network, download our free Tribe of Influence report.
Do you have other ideas for who to send review copies? Please share with us in the comments below.
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