Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What I Want to Know

Welcome to TNBBC's "What I Want To Know" - a mini series of sorts that will hopefully answer some of the questions and quiet some of the concerns I know fellow bloggers, authors, and publishers have regarding how to choose a reviewer or book to review, review etiquette, how to pitch and be pitched.. among other things.

Last week we heard from the bloggers on what they look for in a review pitch. This week I throw it back over to the authors and publisher and want to know:

How do you decide who you will pitch for a review of your novel?

Here is what they had to say:

"I look for magazines, journals and online sites that have reviewed work I feel is similar to mine. In the case of my poetry, the publications who regularly review confessional, experimental and free verse poetry. For my novel Conquering Venus, we looked at sites and magazines that focus on gay and lesbian writers, as well as those willing to read debut work and literary fiction." - Collin Kelley, Poet, journalist, social media consultant, author of Conquering Venus

"Familiarity and history with our genre. Mostly we just look for someone who reviews our genre, which is literary work for younger adults. So, if they review that, we'll pitch them. Since we're new and indie, we'll pretty much take any review we can get :)- VagabondagePress, Arts/Lit Online 'Zine The Battered Suitcase

"I sort of started from the bottom rung, so my only needs were: did they review books; did they cover the kind of book I write; do they have an email address. The size of the audience didn't matter, which is to say that while of course a reviewer with a very large platform is important, I wouldn't turn down a review from a smaller site. From my perspective, exposure is key." - Gene Doucette, author of Immortal

" Word-of-mouth and recognition in the blogosphere." - Lucinda, Book marketer

So there you have it! Familiarity with their genre and your ability to spread the word tend to be the number one factors that influence an author or publisher when it comes to pitching you. And this makes absolute sense, because if I was looking get people to talk about my novel, I want to make sure I am marketing it towards an audience that is going to be most open and interested in it. If someone dislikes memoirs, and I pitch them one, my chances of getting a positive review are very slim.

As an obsessive reader, and reviewer, I make it as easy as possible for authors and publishers to see what my reading preferences are as well as how I plan to spread the word about their novel. Taking the guess work out of it and being honest goes a long way. And once you start getting pitches, don't feel you need to say yes to each and everyone of them. Research the author, publisher, and novel to see if it is going to be the right fit for you. If it isn't, email them back and thank them for the opportunity by clarifying what you're most interested in reading, so they will continue to pitch you novels closer to your tastes.

What did you think?

Was this post helpful and insightful? Was there anything here that shocked you? What interactions have you had with publishers or authors that support or negate what you read here?

Next week, we will find out just what the bloggers are willing to accept pitches on, and how they decided what they say yay or nay to. So authors and publishers, be sure to check back next week to see what they say!


  1. I think that is the hardest thing about me is that I will read just about anything and I think some publishers (I'm looking at you, YA publishers) only give books to strictly YA blogs. I could be wrong but this is my experience thus far. I have a lot of readers who read a little bit of both but I feel like I don't get looked at because of that.

  2. Jamie, that could be a valid point. Have you reached out to those publishers, or the authors themselves to let them know you are interested?