Thursday, September 11, 2008

So What About Those Library Journal Reviewers?

Q&A a la Ann Landers


Any ideas on how one would learn the name(s) of Library Journal reviewer(s) without moving mountains to do so? I ask because you ran this tip in your last issue:

Tip: If you don't get a review when you first submit your ARC to review
journals, don't give up. Research the reviewers who write for that journal
or site, send them personal queries. That's how I got my novel, This Is
the Place, reviewed by Library Journal and it really made a difference in
library sales. Warning: You have to find a reviewer who likes your genre
and submits reviews in it. Just any reviewer won't do. That's even true
for Amazon reviewers.
~ Virgil Jose, author of a murder mystery called
The Examined Life.


Go to the Library Journal site. I think you can sign up for their editorial schedule. If not, e-mail their marketing department and tell them you'd like to receive that list of what they plan to feature each month in your e-mail box. They may have a whole issue dedicated to your genre. The regular notice they send out may or may not give you the name of reviewers.

Another way to go about this is to get reviews by going around the system they have set up. Read a couple of copies of the magazine. Find out who reviews your kind of books then Google those reviewers. In fact, you should read more than just one issue. Some of their reviewers write regular columns, but others are freelancers. So the more you know about the different features, etc., the more likely you are to come up with a few names you can use.

The other good way is to phone. It's definitely faster, but often the operator can't or won't help with questions like this.

Hope that helps. There is never a really easy way to find reviewers though this week's Sharing with Writers newsletter gives you the URL for Jim Cox's (of Midwest Review fame) list of reviewers.

Reviewers and editors move around so you want to double check any information you get for you really must--I repeat must--not address your query to someone who was fired or has died.

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal." Some of her other blogs are and, a blog that helps writers and publishers turn a ho-hum book fair booth into a sizzler.

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