I've been reviewing a few self-published books lately for KidsBooksNZ. Here's a heartfelt request to self-publishers - when sending your books off for review, please supply an information sheet including background details about the book and the author - and particularly important is the price of the book and where it can be bought. I get a bit crabby when I have to surf all over the net looking for the important details to put into the review. You need to make it easy for us reviewers!
on facebook I realised there was some information missing in my post and here was an opportunity to fill in these gaps.
When sending your book (whether print or digital) out to reviewers, please include an information sheet with a small quote from the book, a brief blurb on what it is about, and a paragraph about yourself. Also include the cover image and details about retail price and where it is available, the ISBN number, the age range it is intended for and the number of pages or word count. Last but not least include your contact information. My info sheet for Sally Bangle: Unexpected Detective looked like this (although better laid out cos I am a blunt instrument when it comes to rearranging images on blogspot).
New Title Information/ Review Copy
"She used the end of the pen to push her wispy hair behind her ears. Then she wrote My mother is Felicity Bangle (strict), My Father is Captain William Bangle (lost), she couldn’t bring herself to say ‘dead’ and anyway no one was one hundred percent sure that was true. My brother is a pain in the butt she wrote. She crossed out the last bit after is and put Malcolm Bangle instead. Then she couldn’t help adding, (annoying). She started a new section. Favourite foods: ham and pineapple pizza, salt and vinegar chips, chocolate. Hate: Mum’s Tuna Surprise and asparagus. Best friend - Abigail Fray. Worst enemy - Vanessa Blunt (I wish we’d never met). Greatest wish: to have my Dad back and go to a different school and never ever be bullied again."
Sally Bangle's sea faring dad was lost at sea seven years before. But is he really dead? When Sally is given a school project to research the very strange Professor Angstrom she turns up some interesting information about that fateful sea voyage. What really happened? Is that really the Professor wrapped up in bandages in St Olaf's? Sally won't rest until she has figured out the mystery, dragging her best friend, her best friend's chauffer, her brother and the school bully along on a dangerous mission to discover the truth.
Melinda Szymanik is the author of picture books, short stories and novels for young people. She lives in
with her family, runs a business with her husband, and won the 2009 NZ Post
Children’s Choice Award for her picture book The Were-Nana. Auckland
E-book available at Smashwords, Amazon, and other e-book retailers
For further information or interview requests contact Melinda Szymanik
09 000 0000, 021 000 000, email@example.com
Tale-Spin Media, 00
V----- R---, -- ----, Auckland, New Zealand
Other examples can be seen on the Scholastic NZ website here. Make one for each book you publish and send out. Make it easy for the reviewer. They will think fondly of you if you do.
A subsequent commenter on that facebook post had this to add
While you're at it then can we also ask for professional standard of information in the copyright page. I've had books with no contact info at all, lack of clarity of the name of the publisher, even the year missing. it shouldn't be hard to look at good quality published books and see what they do.
If you want your book to look professionally produced then it pays to provide the same information. These details are not put there to pad the book out, they are important information!
For Sally Bangle: Unexpected Detective my copyright page looks like this:
SALLY BANGLE: UNEXPECTED DETECTIVE
Published by Tale-Spin Media, 2012
Copyright 2012 Melinda Szymanik
This book is copyright. All rights reserved. Except for the purposes of fair reviewing, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner and the publisher of the book.
Front Cover Design by Cheryl Rowe,
Now you will spot that the publisher's contact information is missing. As this is my own publishing house I don't want to include my personal address and I don't have a PO Box number. In this case I hope any interested parties would look to contact me as the author and my website and blog addresses are in the back of the book. But this is something I will look to improve on in the future. It is all a learning curve...