Tips from Patty Inglish, MS on Getting Your Book Reviewed

HubPages’ Prolific Patty Inglish, MS recently published a Hub reviewing a book entitled Jake’s Final Days by Hubber W. R. Shinn.

While you may read about the occasional published Hubber in the forums, Patty Inglish, MS hears from quite a few newly published authors because she writes reviews professionally.

I asked Patty if she might share some tips on reaching out to reviewers, and she most generously obliged. If you plan to publish your first book soon, or already have a novel you would like to promote, these tips may really come in handy!

I wrote about W. R. Shinn and his bookJake’s Last Days, because of the manner in which he asked me to read it, the content, and Mr. Shinn’s use of HubPages to offer book information and an author interview to promote his book. Hubbers Immamartin and Enelle Lamb have accomplished this similarly and I also enjoyed their books. HubPages is a good platform for testing scenes, chapters,and ideas; inviting others to read; and gaining constructive feedback. Those who have no writing group to access locally can come to HubPages and enjoy the same benefits and camaraderie.

Other Hubbers with recent books include:

Hubbers publishing books offer readers better fare than some others. For example, many popular books in romance and mystery genres include uninteresting themes on pages printed in huge font sizes that disguise reduced book length. Hubbers seem to be more interested in developing substantial talent over pulp.

Hubbers sometimes email me and ask that I review books they have written. Even though I write reviews professionally, I do not charge a reading and reviewing fee to Hubbers, because I am part of the community. Writers in general (a small handful of which are Hubbers) send me hundreds of requests and I can’t accept them all, so this is how I choose which books to review:

First, I consider the quality of the email message. Messages that are professional, courteous, and that offer to send a book (including graphic novels) or email attachment of the manuscript (I don’t have an eReader) make the first cut. A poorly written message asking me to purchase a book as well as to read and review it gratis is discarded.

If I don’t know the Hubber well, then I read the HubPages Profile and several Hubs to get a feel for writing style, purpose, and content. High quality Hubs and an interesting profile grab my attention!

Next, I search the book title online to find public information, such as its popularity, the related publishing house and its reputation, excerpts, author interviews, and other reviews (like those offered on Goodreads.com). Some related criteria are:

  • Some publishers produce cheaply-made books with erratic margins and a lack of editing, so these books are difficult to read. Once I’ve had a bad experience or two of this nature with a publisher, I won’t review further works.
  • If a book has many reviews already online, I will be less likely to review it.
  • Reading level can be important. For example, a book targeting the average adult reader, but written at a 3rd grade level is not one that I would review.
  • Books about current topical issues and new findings in historical events always catch my eye. For instance, Graham Sclater’s Hatred Is the Key that I reviewed on HubPages is very successful in UK and USA in these Bicentennial Years of the War of 1812 – 1814.
  • Some other specific topics catch my eye: sciences, science fiction/speculative literature, some humor and satire, and mysteries; but I also review books on other topics.

Those are some very helpful tips. We hope you find them useful when promoting your first novel, and if you haven’t even considered publishing your own work… well, there’s no time like the present to get started, and no community like HubPages to help you on your way!

[Photo by nSeika on flickr]

5 thoughts on “Tips from Patty Inglish, MS on Getting Your Book Reviewed

  1. My current book, “Walking Through Walls and Other Impossibilities,” concerns UFOs and extraterrestrials. It is my second on this subject and, like the first is non-fiction. If you would like to review it, I will be glad to send a copy.
    Milton Brener

  2. Thanks for the valuable tips. This is really the community to join since all writers need validation as well as constructive criticism from fellow hubbers.

    Should a creative non-fiction on inter-cultural communication interests you, I’ll be glad to send a copy of my first sojourning experience.

    My Africa, a sojourner’s memoir (at amazon.com)

    Juan C. De los Santos

  3. Comment about large fonts – those have been adopted over the years to help low vision impaired readers. Not all shorter novels are bad in my opinion, such as classics like My Antonia and Oh Pioneers! Some prolific writers can be pure drudgery, so I never base talent on word count or font size. You have to mesmerize, inform and entertain me if you want to captivate me with your novel, as it were.

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