One of the elements of the marketing plan for BIG MOTHER 40 was a list of magazines that printed reviews of novels of my genre – military historical fiction. So, now that the book is out I’m actually following the plan and so far, to my surprise, it is more or less surviving first contact with reality. With a little luck, reviews will appear in several magazines right after the first of the year.

Like most of what I’m learning as I go forward, the process is sort of well defined. Here are the four steps I’m following since I am both the author and the author’s publicist:
1. Identify the publication and determines whether or not there is a possibility a review;
2. Contact the editor in question and sends material on the author and the book;
3. If the publication is interested, the editor will ask for hard copy of the book. Most publications want the actual book, not an electronic file; and
4. Publication assigns someone to review the book and decides whether or not to print the review.

Many of you may not know how far in advance staffs for monthly or even quarterly publications work. It is not uncommon for a staff in October to be putting the finishing touches on the editorial content of the January issue. While the editorial calendars are generally set early in the year, there are always changes. This is done to give the editors and the publications contributor’s time to research and write the articles. Book reviews are “fillers” and the more ads that are sold, the more pages that have to be filled.

As you know from reading prior blogs, in my case the author and the author’s publicist are one and the same. The cost of the book and the shipping cost is paid by the author. Granted, it the cost of the book that the author pays which is not retail, but it is a cost nonetheless.

So far, I’ve contacted five publications and am pretty sure there will be at least three reviews. As soon as I know the publication dates, I will let everyone know. I’m waiting for the answer on the other two and hopefully, the review will be favorable. Both Fireship and I will add the reviews to our websites as soon as they are available.

Most important, it will be third party validation that it is a good book and I can leverage that for other reviews as well as promotional events.

Marc Liebman
11/11/12