Review Copies

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In this section:

    Your publicist will look for reviews, you should too

    Your publicist will pitch your book to the the media where they think you’ll get most reviews. They will focus on sending out electronic review copies, and save the print copies for important contacts and opportunities.

    You have access to both digital and hard review copies

    There are a limited amount of hard copies, and we impose no limit on sending out digital review copies (PDF and EPUB). PDFs can go out once finished files and the PDF Review File are ready and your title has a publication date. Printed books reach the warehouses by the first day of the month of publication, and EPUB is uploaded a few weeks before publication.

    How many hard review copies are available for my book?

    We allocate 15 hard review copies for every book.

    How to request a hard review copy to be sent out

    Drop us a line on the Review Copies Author Forum.

    We don’t send out review copies willy nilly on spec. Only ask if there is a serious request for a copy, from an important contact. The review copy could take up to a few weeks to arrive, depending on how many copies are in stock.

    Please be aware that if you request advance copies in the US, we will delay stocking our warehouse at NBN, as copies might arrive more than two months before the planned publication date. This is because NBN will advance publication date and distribute it to all databases, including Amazon, which causes confusion.

    How to download a digital review copy

    You can use a PDF from your Marketing page, or an ebook file (EPUB) from your Production page in the ebook Workflow section.

    Download your PDF Review Copy by clicking on No trims on your Marketing page.

    Download your EPUB review copy from the e-book Workflow section

    Will people pirate my PDF?

    It is quite safe to send out PDFs for review, as far as possible piracy goes. Or as safe as can be. If someone is going to pirate your title there are easier ways of doing it.

    I think someone famous/important should read this book, can you send them a copy?

    If there are key individuals whose approval of the book you think could make a difference to sales, it makes more sense to send them the manuscript earlier and ask if they can provide an endorsement.

    Help! Someone wants to review my book but they want a different file to PDF and EPUB

    We recommend using Calibre, one of many free pieces of software that can convert files, to change your PDF or EPUB to the file type you need.

    Calibre is not perfect. If you do convert, leave a note:

    "This is not the final ebook, but a converted PDF for early review purposes, please forgive any rogue formatting."

    If you struggle to convert, and need some help, drop us a line on the Review Copies forum.

    Tell us about the reviews copies you send out and the reviews you get!

    We keep a record of our review pitches on your book’s Marketing page as Marketing Activities. If we receive good reviews then we add them to your Book Details page where it feeds through to the website. Please do the same!

    How to add a review

    • Click +add an activity
    • Click select activity type and choose Review Copy
    • If you are sending out the copy, add the date in Offered or Requested. When you receive the final review you can update the date in Completed.
    • Add the relevant Contact.
    • Add any relevant info to Notes & Comments.
    • Click Save.

    I've got a good review! What should I do?

    • Add it to your Book Details page under Reviews (edit it down to a paragraph of the best bits). Remember, reviews here feed through to the CI website.
      • We will use the review in future press releases, in newsletters to subscribers, and feed especially good reviews by high-level media contacts to Amazon and other trade through our Amazon Advantage and NBN accounts.
    • Share it on social media! Let people know! Celebrate your success!
    • Add the review, with short description and buy link if necessary, to any online site you control such as: Amazon Author Central (see Chapter 15, you can do it for and, but will need a different account for each), Blog, Website, Facebook page, Good Reads, Twitter… and all other social networks.
    • If reviewers ask you what to do with their review, please ask them to send it to you or

    Can you add my review to Amazon or GoodReads?

    As publisher, we cannot add reviews to online sites such as Amazon, The Book Depository, Goodreads and others. You can do this through your own Author Central account.

    Help! I got a bad review! What should I do?

    Bad reviews: Inevitably, it happens. It's one person's opinion, maybe not a well-formed one. You cannot get them removed, unless they are libelous.

    How can I get people to review my book?

    • Generate reviews on launch day by reading our How-to here.
    • Do not expect reviews in national or general trade media unless you have already published, are well known, and have had such reviews before. It is a waste of time sending to the New York Times Book Review (and if you try and are disappointed, cheer yourself up by reading The Death of the New York Times Book Review:
    • Concentrate on niche, limited-circulation media – readers who are interested in your particular subject offer by far the best chance of reviews. In the truly specialist journals, blogs and magazines, with circulations of less than 1000, the chances are higher.
    • Ask a CI author to review your book – and return the favour. We encourage authors to review each other’s books. The principle here is that we are collaborative as a group. So reviews can be shared on blogs, Facebook, Good Reads, Twitter, LibraryThing and other social media, and don't forget to post your reviews on any online retail sites where you buy books, e.g. Apple, Google Play, Sainsbury’s, Waterstones, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Hive, Powell’s. Amazon has issues with authors reviewing other books – check their Customer Review Guidelines (UK here, US here), they change frequently. Online retailers may remove reviews they deem to be used as promotion.
    • Read How to get your book reviews – by avoiding book reviewers.

    How to review another CI title

    Every author and user of our system can access a review copy of every title.

    • Navigate to your Books Page
    • Click on Search Books
    • Navigate to the book’s Marketing page and download the PDF

    Online reviews are more powerful than professional journalist reviews

    Online customer reviews in places like Amazon, Hive, Apple, Google, Powell’s , Barnes & Noble, Blackwell’s and Waterstones now have more effect on sales than print reviews by professional journalists. Amazon is increasingly the main online space for reviews, particularly for debut authors.

    Readers tend not to buy books without good reviews. The minimum for "legitimacy" is variously put somewhere between 10 and 20. There's an interesting article on Amazon reviews at

    We encourage authors to review each other’s books, and in 2014 have set up Author Groups on Facebook to facilitate this (more in Chapter 13).

    We don't pay for reviews and don't use the Amazon Vine service.

    Book Blogger reviews can help

    Book Bloggers have proliferated the internet, and some have got themselves quite a following and reputation for reviewing. Many are genre specific; this is particularly so in fiction, which covers so many genres. Most review not only on their site, but also on Amazon, Goodreads or at NetGalley.

    Pay attention to how current the blog is, and the kind of followers they have.

    Two sample review pitch emails

    First-time fiction author in a very specific genre. This author has no online offering and no endorsements.

    Dear xxxx,

    I hope you are finding some much needed 'catch' up time. Would you or xxxx consider reviewing this Crime Thriller title publishing in November 2017.

    The novel, Steal a Few Cents captures the essence of modern-day South Africa, with its legacy of Apartheid, the pandemic of corruption, and the ongoing attempts of ordinary people to adjust to a non-racial future. It is a gritty detective story which raises issues of morality, economics and politics.

    Steal a few cents and they put you in jail. Steal a few million and they put you in charge.

    Rupert is a retired attorney who studied languages at university, and spent a 30-year career intimately involved with the South African mining industry. He lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    Press Release

    Cover Image

    ISBN: 978-1-78535-607-0 (Paperback) £12.99 $20.95

    EISBN: 978-1-78535-608-7 (e-book) £4.99 $7.99


    Mpho Mamela, a young accountant at a coal mine in the Middelburg coalfields of South Africa is killed one night when he gets caught in the rollers of a conveyor belt. He is mangled beyond recognition. There will be an official State enquiry into his death, by the Inspectorate of Mining. Stephen Wakefield, the in-house lawyer and a director of the company, begins preparing for the enquiry, but he struggles to understand what happened – Mamela should not have been anywhere near the place he was killed.

    Bit by bit, Stephen’s investigation uncovers a story far removed from a simple workplace accident. A web of deception and massive fraud is unveiled; fraud perpetrated by a person who publicly insists on high standards of morality and honesty. It becomes clear to Stephen that Mamela had tried to blackmail the guilty party to help his lover, who is in prison for attempting to steal a trifling amount from the mining company.

    When the killer learns that his actions are about to be exposed, Stephen realises that his own life is now in danger...

    KEYWORDS: South Africa, Crime, Corruption, Mining, Mystery & Detective.

    How to write a good review

    • Start with a sentence saying what the book is about.
    • Say what you liked, which chapter, character, setting, argument, style or literary device.
    • Did it change how you think or feel about anything?
    • Say what you disliked.
    • Round off your review with advice for the reader or author and a snappy soundbite summing up why you liked the book.
    • Rate the book out of five.

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