Why your last book didn’t get reviewed

Why your book didn't get reviewed

Did you put your heart and soul (and time and money) into writing and launching your last book project? And did you release it into the world with grand expectations — only to be ignored by the media, critics, and book bloggers? No one reviewed or even acknowledged its existence?

These people are BUSY. They probably had dozens or even hundreds of other books vying for their attention at the time, and you gave them some cause to add your book to their ever-growing pile of ignored literature that will not be reviewed.

Here’s a list of reasons (adapted from the advice of long-time music publicist Dmitri Vietze) why you may have been throwing your book against a bunch of closed doors.

7 reasons the media may have said “no thanks” to reviewing your last book

1. You didn’t give the media enough advance notice.

The week before your book launch is NOT the time to put a PR campaign together. The media needs AT LEAST 6 weeks in order to cover your story and write about your book. 3-6 months advance warning is even better, and gives you more time to target the right outlets, craft your pitch, follow-up, etc.

2. You sent your book to the wrong people.

If you’re going to send a press release and/or book to folks in the media, make sure they cover your genre or subject matter, and that they have reviewed and written favorably in the past about similar books. Otherwise you’re throwing good books away.

3. Your book cover sucked.

If the outside of your book is shoddily designed or ugly, why would a book critic want to read what’s inside? Your book cover is your first and best chance to make a positive impression. Put that cover to good use!

4. Your pitch had no unique hook.

What’s special about your book? Or about you as an author? Why is THIS book important or helpful? You better know the answer to those questions, and then compress that info into a few captivating sentences — oh, and THEN make sure those few sentences don’t sound like every other author’s pitch.

5. You weren’t doing any readings, signings, panels, or lectures

One of the easiest ways to get the media to mention your book is by getting them to write about an event in which you’re participating. So get out there and be all… public-like.

6. Your book seemed like a ripoff of something else.

Are you a bush-league Tom Clancy? Are you trying to write the next Twilight? Or are you putting out the 218th book this year on Social Media marketing? If you’re not carving a totally new path for yourself, your work has GOT to be better than whatever similar work came before it.

7. You forgot to follow up.

Like I said before, bloggers and book critics are busy. They might have to answer a couple hundred emails every day, on top of all their other duties. So make sure you follow up with everyone in the media that has received your press release or book. If they say, “no thanks,” move along. If they show any interest at all, give them a week or so, and then write or call them back to see if they’ve had time to consider covering your story.

Ready to get book reviews? Here are some places you can get your book reviewed.

Don’t forget, BookBaby authors have access to a powerful set of book promotion tools and services with guaranteed book reviews! Learn more about BookPromo.

The End

Chris Robley
Chris Robley is an award-winning poet, songwriter, performer, and music producer who now lives in Portland, Maine after more than a decade in Portland, Oregon. His music has been praised by NPR, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and others. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.” Robley’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Magma Poetry, and more. He is the 2013 winner of Boulevard's Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2014 recipient of a Maine Literary Award in the category of "Short Works Poetry."


  1. As an author of a self-published book, I could not get any book reviewer, in any publication, to give me the time of the day.
    I was simply ignored.

    I joined a couple of sites to promote my book. I found BookReads and Facebook to be somewhat effective. BookReads is a site that you can join as reader and as an author. They have a feature called “Ask the author a question.” Which leads members to first buy my book and then to ask me questions. I have actually made a number of friends that way.

    Incidentally, my book is entitled, “Memories of Evil — Recalling a World War II Childhood”


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