Lately, many authors and publicists have tried to dictate the time a review runs.
Some have even suggested that they won’t send books unless reviews post when they want them to.
It’s not a bad thing to tell reviewers what period of time you’d like a review to run, but to try to specify a specific date – or a short time-span – that it runs is a bit obnoxious.
Trying to dictate a blogger’s editorial schedule is like telling the editor of a newspaper what stories they will run and when. (Anyone who has dealt with the media knows just how far that goes – and also knows it alienates the media.)
Sometimes bloggers just cannot guarantee a review’s post date – or even a time frame. Unlike virtual book tour slots – which are typically set in stone – reviews are much more fluid and are more likely to be bumped for breaking news or other items.
Bloggers might be able to post them during a certain time period, but likely won’t be able to accommodate a specific date demand – and if they are smart, they will never do so. It sets a terrible precedent and gives authors and publishers too much control over blog content, which will eventually put the blog’s reputation.
There are many reasons why reviews could take a while to post. Reviewers could be snowed under with ARCs. ARCs that have an earlier street date will take priority – especially if your book has been out a while. ARCs get lost in the mail and have to be resent. Reviewers quit. Servers go down. Natural disasters can hit and put everything on hold. (Yes, it has happened.)
One thing to remember is that many online reviewers are volunteers. They read and write reviews because they enjoy it. Sometimes, though, these review assignments must take a backburner to higher life priorities. That means that the deadline you’ve set simply cannot be met.
Most reviewers are going to post the reviews as close to the street date as possible. However, it never hurts to let them know your heaviest promotional time when you pitch your book to them. Be subtle, not demanding. Here is an example:
I think my latest SF/F novel would be a terrific fit for your site. The book will be available beginning Nov. 21 in bookstores everywhere, and on my Web site. I would love to offer a copy to your reviewers. From Nov. 15 to Dec. 21 I will be promoting the book through virtual book tour stops. If you have a date available and would like a guest blog or interview, please let me know.
Thanks for your time!
When you pitch your book, do you request a date for the book review?0