I read a lot of books every year (the goal this year is 150 books, and I’m on track so far), and many of these books are not actually purchased by yours truly (or Mr. Yours Truly, when he can’t think of another birthday or Christmas gift I’ll otherwise gush about).
In fact, many of the books I read each year actually come from folks who are seeking endorsements, reviews, or thoughts on their manuscripts. I love this, welcome this, and am always looking for new, interesting reads. I love supporting new (and existing) authors, and if you’re looking for a friendly face to give an honest quote, I just might be your gal.
That said, there are some basic rules I wish every author who wanted someone to provide insight on their manuscript knew, and that’s what I want to talk about today. (Want the audio version? See my podcast on the topic.)
Let’s break them down.
- Be Clear About What You Expect. Don’t give a reader a copy of your manuscript saying you want “feedback” when really the final draft has already been turned into your editor and you’re honestly in the market for endorsements. It’s a waste of their time, and yours. Be clear about what you’re looking for, and state it upfront.
- Give The Reader Enough Time.
- Don’t Assume Your Reviewer Is OK w/ a Kindle Copy. Some of us out there love us a good Kindle, and love us a good Kindle book. Some of us also know that it’s easier on an author (or their publisher) to accept a digital version of a book (as opposed to a hard copy) when writing an endorsement. But not everyone. Ask before you allocate your copies to endorsers. If you only have a limited quality, make sure those who need the paper copies get the paper copies;)
- If You DO Provide an Electronic Copy, Make Sure it’s Not a PDF (unless they specifically state it’s OK). Congrats! Your potential reader is a Kindle or Nook friendly reader and you (or your publisher) has to spend less to get them a copy for endorsement. No shipping fees! No haggling with your publisher for more free copies. Hurrah! Not so fast. Don’t take “electronic copy-friendly” to mean “desiring of a PDF”. Some Nook and Kindle readers (no names named) are useless at transferring PDFs to Kindle/Nook, and some don’t want to. Some don’t have ipads, or don’t want to read on ipads. Again, the name of the game here is understanding that someone giving you a review is doing you a favor, so don’t make it difficult for them. If you’re sending a PDF, clear it with them first.
- If You Happen to Use Someone’s Endorsement Front and Center, Send them a Hard Copy of Your Book. When it’s all said and done and your book is out, make sure to send a real hard copy to any endorsers who proved essential (read: jacket copy) and didn’t get a hard copy the first time around.
Are you an author who has sent out copies of your book to be reviewed? Have you followed the above tips above?