What makes this funny is her profound exasperation. We can only imagine the clumsy invitations, the awkward dates that followed, and, quite possibly, a Liebman declaration to flat out give up dating.
The authorial equivalent of the date is the review. As with dating, no one has perfected a successful process to secure a review. But there are steps you can take to boost your odds and create a favorable impression.
Some tips to consider:
Research the reviewer. Get on the Web and find out who you’re pitching. Don’t send a vampire story to a blogger who only reviews Christian literature. Most reviewers have guidelines on their sites. Read the review policy carefully.
Adjust your expectations. This isn’t Santa’s lap, so don’t expect five stars from every reviewer. Most feel a responsibility to deliver honest critiques. That’s how they build their reputations.
Do it yourself. Don’t get someone to act as an intermediary with a reviewer. Involving a third party is like a high school kid getting a friend to chat up a girl he’s too shy to approach. Reviewers want to hear directly from authors.
Let it go. Know going in that some will not like your work. By responding to negative reviews, you extend a conversation you’d rather have die a quick death.
Know thyself. Be able to explain yourself and your work quickly and clearly. Include links so that reviewers can learn more if they want. Be ready to send a digital or hard copy of your novel if one is requested.
Get back to basics. No one owes you a review. Be polite. Send your query, but wait to be asked before sending a book. Do not suggest ways to review your book. And don’t pester about when the review will come out.
One reviewer told me that authors “need to learn to be assertive without overbearing, yet develop a backbone to take criticism.” Another said, “The only deal-breaker is calling me the wrong name. It drives me crazy.”
As for finding reviewers, do a Google search and you’ll see more than you could ever query. They’re also all over Goodreads and Twitter. The key is to remember that it isn’t a numbers game; it’s a new relationship that must be treated with respect, each time, every time.
Any tips to add here?