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How to Write a Cover Letter to Book Reviewers

written by: S Wood•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 11/18/2010

How to write a cover letter to book reviewers that works? Take a sales letter approach to pen your cover letter. In essence, you’ve to sell yourself to the reviewer for her to agree to write the book review. In the letter, strongly showcase your credentials and of your book to reach your goals.

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    How to Write a Cover Letter to Book Reviewers – Tips and Techniques


    It is important to know how to write a cover letter to book reviewers, as the letter is a key link in the book-sales chain. In today’s digital world, the options for book reviews are many. Book review sites and blogs add to the traditional review channels that include newspapers and journals. Exploit the new and old paths for your book review with a powerful cover letter to the reviewers. A clear, concise and professional letter should make the reviewer give extra attention to your request. In it, ensure to highlight the benefits that the review brings to the publication / site and the uniqueness of your book.

    Here are the tips on how to write a cover letter to book reviewers that moves you forward to getting a book review:

    - Book reviews can have a profound impact on its sales. So choose niches with care for your book reviews. Further, each review request costs you much money. Allocate upfront funds for the review phase of the sales process.

    - Research the publications, sites and blogs that would like to review your book. The more the match such channels have with the topic of your book, the higher your prospects for the review. Also, include general book reviewers in your list. Print dailies and online newspapers and magazines with a broad reader base fall in that category.

    - Call or e-mail reviewers and get the name of the reviewer, address and other relevant details. It is very important to get the name, as it helps personalize your cover letter. Also, be sure to ask politely in what time you can expect the review. This data helps you should you need to follow-up on your cover letter.

    - Input the above details into a spreadsheet like Excel or its free alternative. Enter the cost also after you send out a request. This method gives you a systematic way to manage the requests for book reviews. Update the spreadsheet to better harness your money, efforts and time.

    - Use the business letter format to pen your book review request.

    - In the first paragraph of your letter, explain its purpose. Also, tell why the publication / website should review your book. It is a crucial and success element of the cover letter.

    - Expand on the topic of your book and its unique selling proposition (USP) in the next paragraph. How does your work stand out from the crowd? Describe with examples where feasible and possible. Do not go overboard on the contents of your book. Why? It can wane the interest of the reader and extend the length of your letter. It should not – most times – exceed a page.

    - Give your bio and list your accomplishments and honors. If you are an experienced author with a track record of success, be sure to highlight it. If you have a website, give a link to it.

    - Attach the good, past reviews of your works. If you already have positive reviews on your present book, include that too. Such opinions on your book hold the mirror to your talent and can influence the reviewer to say “Yes" to your request.

    - Thank the prospective reviewer for her time and help. Make a call to action with a request to the reviewer to contact you if she needs additional info or has a clarification. Show that you are proactive by stating that you will contact the publication / website after a certain time.

    - List the enclosures.

    - Run a spell check on your cover letter and proofread it. Set the letter aside for a few hours or a day. Come back, proofread again to spot and fix any errors. Sign your letter.

    - Before you seal the envelope, check to ensure it has everything you wish to mail: the cover letter, book and attachments.

    Image Credit: Illustration created by the author.