Review Copies: Why They Matter and How to Send Them with PublishDrive

Review Copies. Why They Matter And How To Send Them Through PublishDrive

Sending out review copies is a crucial step in the journey of publishing a book. It's a strategic move that amplifies a book's visibility and credibility. 

Advance reader copies, sent to critics, bloggers, and influencers, connect authors to their potential audience. They generate early buzz, which is essential for building momentum pre-launch. 

Moreover, reviews provide valuable feedback, often highlighting strengths and areas for improvement, which can be vital for new authors. When positive, these reviews act as powerful endorsements, enhancing the book's appeal to readers and booksellers alike. 

Strategic Distribution

Strategic distribution refers to the carefully planned and executed dissemination of books to reach the right audience, maximize sales, and increase visibility. 

Distribution timing is crucial, aligning the book's release with market trends, seasonal peaks, or significant events that could heighten interest and demand. This strategic timing aims to ensure that the book enters the market when it's most likely to capture attention and drive sales.

Here is how to achieve that. 

Why do review copies matter? [in a nutshell]

1. Building anticipation and buzz

Before a book's release, review copies generate early interest and excitement. Reviews published by influential readers create a buzz that can significantly boost a book's visibility at launch.

2. Gaining credibility and reviews

Reviews from reputable sources lend credibility to the book. They provide prospective readers with valuable insights, often influencing their decision to purchase.

3. Feedback and improvement

Early reviews can offer constructive feedback, allowing authors or publishers to make last-minute improvements or corrections before the official release.

4. Marketing and promotion

Reviews are powerful marketing tools. Positive reviews can be used in promotional materials, on the book's cover, and online listings to attract potential readers.

5. Reaching target audiences

Well-chosen reviewers can introduce the book to its intended audience, ensuring it reaches readers most likely interested in its content.

6. Enhancing online presence

Online reviews, especially on platforms like Amazon and Goodreads, can improve the book's searchability and ranking, making it more visible to online shoppers.

7. Creating a network of support

Reviewers, particularly those with a solid following, can become advocates for the book, recommending it to their followers and potentially creating a support network.

Targeting the right audience for book review copies

When sending out review copies, authors should target individuals and entities that can have the most significant impact on their book's success.

1. Book bloggers and reviewers

  • Focus on those with a strong following on platforms like Goodreads, Amazon, and personal blogs.
  • Look for reviewers active in the book’s genre.

2. Social media influencers:

  • Identify influencers on platforms like Instagram, X [Twitter], and YouTube specializing in book reviews and discussions.
  • Consider those with engaged audiences in the book's genre.

3. Literary critics:

  • Target critics in newspapers, magazines, and online literary journals.
  • Prioritize publications that align with the book’s theme or genre.

4. Popular authors [subject matter experts]:

  • Reach out to well-known authors or experts in the book’s field for credible endorsements.

5. Librarians and bookstore owners:

  • Contact local and national libraries, as well as independent and chain bookstores.
  • They can influence readers’ choices and stock the book.

6. Online reading communities and forums:

  • Engage with niche communities on Reddit, book club forums, and genre-specific online groups.

7. Book clubs:

  • Approach local and online book clubs interested in the book’s theme.

How to Send Review Copies Through PublishDrive

With PublishDrive, you can send out review copies through Apple and Google Play Books. Here is how to maximize your book’s visibility.

1. Head over to the PublishDrive dashboard under Promotions > Review Copy

2. Fill out the steps below:

  1. Select book title
  2. Select store [Apple Books, Google Play]
  3. Fill in the country of the reviewers
  4. Add the readers’ email addresses
  5. Include the sender’s name

Yes, that easy!

💡Here is what the authors need to note:

1. For ⚡ Apple Books:

PublishDrive can redeem a code from Apple Books for you.

This code is valid for use within 28 days from the date of issuance. It's important to note that these codes are only functional for users with access to Apple devices.

To redeem the code, please follow these steps:

  • Ensure iTunes is installed on your device. If not, download it from here.
  • Log into your iTunes account, or create one if you don't have one.
  • Open the iTunes software and navigate to “Redeem” under your account section.
  • Enter the code there – you're ready to send your review copies!

Please allow up to 48 hours to receive the code.

2. For ⚡ Google Play Books

PublishDrive can send review copies directly via Google Play Books. To facilitate this, we need the Google account addresses of your chosen reviewers (note that review copies can only be sent to Google email addresses).

Once sent, reviewers will be notified and will find the review copies available in their Google Play Books accounts for downloading and reading.

These review copies are secured with DRM (Digital Rights Management), ensuring that only the intended reviewer can access and read the book. Unlike a loan, these review copies are permanent additions to the reviewers' accounts and will not be removed.

Please expect a timeline of up to 48 hours to receive a review copy.

Wrapping Up

Review copies are an invaluable strategy for garnering early attention and feedback for your work. It amplifies a book’s initial impact through credible endorsements and lays a foundation for broader reader engagement and long-term success.