Getting a good book reviews is a challenge; no doubt about it. With hundreds of thousands of new books being produced every year, statistics show that only one in 10 ever gets formally reviewed.
It is also important to note that Publisher’s Weekly and The New York Times rarely look at self-published books, which is also true of many of the larger urban newspapers. You might get a brief "review" online via social media but that is a far cry from a professional book review and can do more harm than good.
There used to be plenty of periodicals and newspapers that would look at your book if a significant segment of their readers had a particular interest in your topic. It would be worth your time and effort to find any publications that have an editorial interest in your book’s genre and its specific subject matter. And don’t overlook individual editors and columnists who cover your topic in any kind of publication. Even a mention in one such column can create interest. Finding publication “matches” increases your ability to get attention, which may be rewarded by a significant increase in sales.
Because you are a local person, you can sometimes persuade the editor of your local community publication to consider a story on you and your writing endeavours, if not an actual review of your published work.
Plan to give away a generous number of copies of your book. The results may give it a healthy sales life, which is where the quality of the book editing will pay off! If readers feel there is literary merit to what they are reading, you are more likely to get consideration and higher marks than if your book comes off as poorly focused, sloppily edited, or written by an amateur who failed to appreciate the value of having it edited.
Another tactic you’d be wise to try is to call all of your writer friends, freelance book reviewers and respected authorities on your topic. A portion of them will be especially receptive to your book. Ask if they’d be willing to write a piece on it and submit it to any publications with which they may have an “in.”
Whichever method you choose to get a review, always contact the prospective publications for specific guidelines and advice before mailing copies to them; otherwise you may be wasting everyone’s time and energy.
When trying for your share of the library, church, public, or school market, remember that spiral bindings can become the kiss of death for ever getting into a library system. In order to accommodate shelving and cataloguing, it is almost mandatory that a book have a spine.
A media list can run into thousands of contact names. If you are economizing, you will have to be wise in picking your targets. Most will not announce a book simply because you send them a press release, announcement, and/or sample write up on your book. They want to see the book for themselves.
Publications that specialize in the area of your book's topic should also be on this list. Remember not to overlook related periodicals and newsletters, even church newsletters and local community newspapers.