How do I mention that my book is guaranteed to be reviewed?

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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How do I mention that my book is guaranteed to be reviewed?

Post by K227743 » September 16th, 2011, 2:03 am

I have a question about whether to include something in my query letter and would very much appreciate some input. I am a journalist in Washington and, after finishing my novel, I sent it to some of my colleagues at different media outlets (I wanted to make sure to not only let friends and family read it to get objective feedback).
They all very much liked the book and several of them have committed to writing a favorable review when it is published.
Since platform does matter, should I mention this in a query letter? If so, should I go into great detail ("I have received firm commitments from colleagues representing publications and websites with a readership of over 10 million per month") or be more vague ("several colleagues who have reviewed the book already have pledged to write favorable reviews when it is released")?
Thanks for the help!


Re: How do I mention that my book is guaranteed to be reviewed?

Post by longknife » September 16th, 2011, 11:50 am

I would go with the latter statement.

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Re: How do I mention that my book is guaranteed to be reviewed?

Post by maybegenius » September 16th, 2011, 5:48 pm

Based off of what I've read from agents, I'm not sure it matters much for a novel. If you were a non-fiction writer, that would definitely be part of your platform, but when it comes to fiction, the number one concern for agents seems to be whether or not they connect with the work itself. Generally speaking, besides the actual manuscript, agents are only interested in what qualifies you to write a novel (your education/writing history), whether or not you've been published before, and whether or not you are a public figure of note (like a celebrity or political figure). If you're a well-known journalist with a large readership, that may be something to include.

Basically, unless you can throw a name at them that they'll recognize (a la "Oprah Winfrey has promised to review my book"), they're probably not going to pay it much mind. If any of the colleagues who've promised you a review are notable, maybe. Otherwise I'd focus mainly on your story and your relevant credentials. If any agents later contact you back, you might slip it in. But ultimately, it's up to you. If you think it gives you some clout, go ahead and say so. You never know who will connect with it.
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Re: How do I mention that my book is guaranteed to be reviewed?

Post by cheekychook » September 16th, 2011, 9:21 pm

First off, I'd post this question in the "Ask Nathan" thread---he was an agent and his opinion on this would be worth a lot more than any of our writerly guesses.

That said, if you feel this is significant enough to mention, then use the firm statement. No agent wants to hear something that comes across sounding like "my friends read it and they'll vouch for me" but agents ?DO like numbers. If you can make a solid statement that you have commitments and it will be well-reviewed and reach x-number of readers, or, better yet, if you can get an actual quote from someone noteworthy (ie; "So-and-so-important-person said 'a thrilling, breathtaking read....') then those things might catch an agent's attention. Might. From my experience there are some agents who really want to know numbers and want to know what you can do to market a book (which is basically what you're stating by telling them you have guaranteed high profile reviewers lined up) and there are others who don't want to know that stuff and only want to hear about the story (literally nothing else, just the story). When you are researching agents look for the ones who say they are interested in your social media presence, your marketing plan, etc---those are the ones I think might be more inclined to be swayed with this info.

Good luck!

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