How to Find the Right People to Review Your Book

I was taking my dog for her usual afternoon walk and listening to a podcast that was all about how to find your first ten book reviews. 

I already knew that reviews were important to a book’s success, but the podcast made me realise that reviews aren’t important — they’re vital! 

The truth is, I had been burying my head in the sand in regards to finding book reviewers because:
1) it sounded hard
2) it sounded time consuming
3) I was in the process of editing and formatting my novel, so looking for reviewers seemed premature. 

Boy howdy was I wrong. 

As it turns out, points 1 and 2 are very true and point three is sitting over in the corner with climate change deniers. 

Here’s the thing … because finding book reviewers is both hard and time consuming, you need to start early.

After listening to that podcast, I made finding book reviewers a top priority in my pre-launch plan. (Yes, I created a pre-launch plan. Yes, you need to do this too). 

In this week’s blog, I’m sharing all the things I wished I’d known a year ago. 

Book reviews are vital to a book's success
Finding book reviewers is time consuming, but you can’t skip this step!

Finding Book Reviewers

In the beginning, I had no idea how to find reviewers, but my early research encouraged me to reach out to book bloggers, YouTube reviewers and bookstagramers (people who review books on Instagram). 

I started out with Googling phrases like “Australian book bloggers”, “Crime fiction reviews” and “Best bookstagrammers” and I was delighted to see that many people had already curated websites listing the top/most relevant reviewers in my genre. 

Now, buckle up kids, because this is when it gets time consuming. 

Now it’s your job to check out the websites and accounts of all the reviewers who appeal to you: reviewers that read your genre, live in your country, are highly active (for example, don’t email someone who hasn’t posted a review in a year!) or have a large following.

Familiarise yourself with their content and be sure to read some of their latest reviews. 

Familiarise yourself with a book reviewer before contacting
Read the review policy page before you email a book reviewer.

Read the Review Policy Page

Before you reach out to a book reviewer, you must read their review policy page. Every website and YouTube channel will have one. In terms of Instagram, you’ll have to get a ‘feel’ for the reviewer’s book taste from their former posts or see if they have an official website linked in their bio.

You must read the review policy in order to avoid looking like an ass.

Pitching your romance novel to a crime reviewer is going to make you look stupid and the reviewer will know that you’re unfamiliar with their website/account and that you were too lazy to do your research before contacting them. 

It’s also important to check their policy page to see if the reviewer is open to requests. 

A reviewer may have an active site but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re open to requests. Emailing a reviewer who is not open to requests is a waste of time, plus they’ll know you haven’t read their review page and your email will promptly be deleted. 

Be polite and professional when contacting book reviewers
Be polite and professional when contacting book reviewers.

Be Polite and Be Professional

Most book reviewers publish their reviews for free. Basically, they’re the guardian angels of writers.

For this reason, make sure that you take the time to write a warm and concise email that contains all the relevant information they need to know about your book or follow the specific guidelines provided on their review policy page. Many reviewers post these guidelines as a way to weed out the ‘spammy’ requests from newbie authors.

Some of the basic information you’ll want to include are:

  • Elevator pitch (1 sentence)/brief synopsis (2-3 sentences)
  • Genre
  • Audience
  • Publication date
  • Length (word count or page count)
  • When you’d like the review published
  • Author bio
  • Links to your social media pages, website, Goodreads and Amazon pages

Of course, you don’t have to write a brand new email for every book reviewer you send a request too.

Everyone knows that you’re using a template, but you must tailor that template to reflect that reviewer’s website and review policy page.  

The information I dot pointed above can be prepared in advance, but make sure that your introductory paragraph/s are relevant to the reviewer you are emailing. 

Introduce yourself and your novel at the start of the email. In the following paragraph, tell the reviewer why you think they’re the right reviewer for your book. Maybe they have recently reviewed a novel that is similar to yours or maybe they enjoy reading within the same genre your book is written in. This is why researching a reviewer is so important and why you must be familiar with the type of content they publish or post. 

You’ll also want to state the type of format you are able/willing to send them. Will you send them a paperback or ebook? If sending an ebook, what type will you send, epub, PDF or mobi? 

Including a press release makes you look professional and a little bit fancy.
Including a press release makes you look professional and a little bit fancy.

Press Release or Media Kit

Attaching a press release or media kit to your email will make you look professional and a little bit fancy. It shows that you give a shit. 

A basic press release should include additional detail about your book including:

  • The book cover image
  • The official (full-length) blurb
  • Previous reviews or endorsements 
  • Longer author bio
  • Purchase links
  • Contact information

A press release adds a level of professionalism to your request and the reviewer will appreciate the chance to read the book’s full-length blurb and to see the cover image. 

Keep track of every book reviewer you contact.
Keep track of every book reviewer you contact.

Track Your Progress

Trust me guys, you’re gonna want to keep track of every reviewer you email because you’re going to be sending a lot of emails!

I recommended creating a spreadsheet that includes:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Website
  • The platforms/websites the reviewer will post their review on 
  • Preferred format
  • Accepted/rejected

Keeping track of the reviewers you have contacted will help you avoid: 
1) re-emailing a reviewer who has already said no
2) emailing a reviewer you’ve already queried but haven’t heard back from
3) trying to locate old correspondence because you need to double-check a small detail.

Finding book reviewers easily
My success ratio for finding book reviewers was 1:5

Success Rate

Once you start emailing reviewers, it’s important that you keep things in perspective.

For the first six-months leading up to the publication of ETHD, I emailed 165 book reviewers. That’s a lot of emails to keep track of. So, what was my success rate? 

Of 165 reviewers, 33 said yes. That’s a 1:5 ratio. 

I’m pretty happy with that number, but it took me six months to find and email 165 RELEVANT reviewers. This is not something you can do over a weekend. 

I don’t need to unpack why reviews are so important, you know they’re important. 

If you’re releasing a novel in the next six-twelve months, don’t skip this step. 

Don’t put off finding reviewers. 

You may think six-twelve months is too early to start email people, but many reviewers appreciate hearing from an author who is so organised; it shows that you are in control and that you are confident in your ability to produce and publish a novel by a certain date. 

Finding reviewers may be hard and time consuming, but reading their reviews – at least for me – has been a total joy. 

When you do the work, you reap the rewards. (You know … usually!)

Now, I’d love to hear from you. What has been your experience with finding and contacting book reviewers? Do you find the process intimidating, fun or a hassle? What have you learned from the process? Leave a comment below! 


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Five Things You Need To Know About Every Time He Dies

We’re only five days away from the official publication of Every Time He Dies. YAY!!!!

If you haven’t already, click here to pre-order your copy of the book. Everyone who pre-orders the book automatically gets access to the first five chapters as a thank you.

Pre-orders are vital to a book’s success as these sales are included as part of the release week sales. If pre-sales are strong, the book has a far better chance of getting on a best-seller list, appearing in algorithms or being included in Amazon’s weekly “recommended for you” email newsletter.

This increase in exposure is invaluable. 

So please, if you have been following this blog for a long time or if you are planning on buying a copy of Every Time He Dies anyway, then please consider pre-ordering the book. I sincerely thank you. 

Now, on to this week’s topic.

You guys have been asking a ton of questions about ETHD, so I thought I’d put this blog together as a way to answer them!

1 / ETHD is a Hybrid Novel

When you boil it down, ETHD is a mystery novel as the book is shaped around a central mystery. Dah.

However, labelling ETHD this way is slightly misleading.

ETHD is not a tidy, read once, throw away mystery novel. Oh no, this baby’s got layers. She is about something. 

ETHD draw upon many different genres. There are elements of crime, thriller, horror, supernatural, mysticism, romance and speculative fiction.

Basically, it’s Frankenstein’s monster: a stitched together beast whose parts I’ve pilfered from robbing the graves of multiple genres. But, that’s what makes her so damn beautiful — if you can get past her lopsided smile!

2 / ETHD is Not Your Average Girl Novel

This is connected to the last point, but it’s also a little bit different …

Though the book opens at a crime scene, a double homicide, ETHD is not a crime novel.

In fact, the crimes that occur in this novel do so as a way to keep the story moving forward.

The book isn’t about an unsolved crime, not really, it’s about what happens we bury our grief and isolate ourselves from our community and ourselves. 

What this novel is really about is the characters. An early title for this book was Haunted. Not because the book has a ghost, but because ALL of the character’s are haunted by their past mistakes; mistakes they can never undo.

This book is an exploration of how our mistakes can have huge ramifications and how we can move through this. 

3 / ETHD is Funny

After reading points one and two, you’re probably thinking, “Damn! This book sounds heavy!”

Look, a good book should contain both light and dark passages.

There are some sad moments and some moving exchanges, but this book is also very funny.

I mean, how could it not be?

I attached a ghost with amnesia to an embalmer who is suffering from PTSD and who doesn’t believe in anything woo-woo … I mean, that kind of character friction can’t be anything BUT funny. 

4 / Research

I covered this a bit in one of my last posts, but it bears repeating.

One of the elements that makes Every Time He Dies so unique is the volume of research that informed the writing process.

I interviewed cops, psychic, mechanics, nurses, pharmacists, Filipino witch doctors (boy, howdy!), embalmers, funeral home directors, medics, detectives, and other crime authors. 

Basically, I bought a lot of people a lot of coffee. 

The reason I am telling you this is because I embedded all of their glorious knowledge into my book.

As a result, the scenes are visceral and authentic.

I describe the embalming process, the smell of the chemicals, the equipment used. I go deep into the psychological ramifications of working the beat and I’ve included colourful adaptations of stories told to me by Western and Eastern Healers. 

Basically, ETHD is pretty awesome. 

5 / Effort

I’ve made a lot of sacrifices in order to write this book: financial and personal.

I chose to invest in a master’s program where students spent one year developing their novel under the guidance of established writers and teachers. I worked with a brilliant mentor and hired a slew of professionals. 

I quit my job, moved to a different city (three times!) and rented rooms with strangers (now friends) in order to study. 

Much to everybody’s horror, I turned down a lucrative job in order to dedicate more time to study and writing. 

And I haven’t even touched on the effort it required to write the book.

Needless to say, I’ve totally lost count of how many revisions this book went through.

There is only one scene (the climax) and one single paragraph (the opening paragraph) that has remained virtually the same since the day I wrote them. Everything else has been rewritten more times than I can count. 

But it was all worth it.

When I started writing ETHD, I knew that I’d be figuring out how to write a novel while writing a novel.

It was a long and windy path, but I did reach the top of that summit. Eventually.

There’s no guarantee that my next hike up the novel-writing mountain will be any easier, but at least I will have a map and well broken-in shoes.  

There you have it guys, the five things you need to know about ETHD. Remember to pre-order your copy BEFORE publication date (Tuesday, November 5) and enter my book giveaway. DETAILS BELOW!



‘Who knew that a book about murder, grief and disintegrated families could be so funny?’ – Paul WilliamsEverytimeHeDies_3D

‘A unique modern mystery that is one part psychic practices and one part police procedural. The fast pace, dynamic characters and intricate plot will keep readers hooked until the end.’ – Gregory James

‘It’s rare to find an Australian-set book of this scope and genre that could stand among its international peers and hold its own, but I won’t be surprised to see this book find its success in all corners of the crime genre reading world.’ – Shayla Morgansen

‘Can someone please make this into a TV series? This is a fabulous read and I want to see Liam and Daff on the small screen.’ – Carol Seeley


Amazon Australia

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barns & Noble






Everyone who preorders a copy of Every Time He Dies (paperback or ebook) will go into the draw to win one of THREE MAJOR GRAND PRIZES.

To celebrate the release of Every Time He Dies, I’m running an EPIC book giveaway. The three grand prize packs include signed copies of:

🎉Dying in the First Person by Nike Sulway
🎉Bordertown by Gregory James
🎉Haunted by Shayla Morgansen
🎉The Spark Ignites by Kathleen Kelly
🎉Every Time He Dies by Tara Louise East

Book Giveaway! (1).png

If you preorder a copy, simply take a snapshot of your proof of purchase and fill out the entry form here. 


Everyone who preorders a copy will ALSO receive the first five chapters straight to their inbox. Not only will this tide you over until the book arrives, but it’s also my way of saying thanks!


You don’t normally hear from me on a Monday, but today is a very special day because…

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Every Time He Dies is now available for Preorder!

To celebrate this AWESOMENESS, I am hosting a MASSIVE book giveaway.

EVERYONE who preorders a copy of Every Time He Dies (paperback or ebook) will go into the draw to win one of THREE MAJOR GRAND PRIZES.

These grand prize packs include signed copies of:

  • Dying in the First Person by Nike Sulway
  • Bordertown by Gregory James
  • Haunted by Shayla Morgansen
  • The Spark Ignites by Kathleen Kelly
  • Every Time He Dies by ME!


I provide a quick description of these books in this week’s video, which you can watch here.

If you preorder a copy, simply take a snapshot of your proof of purchase and fill out the entry form here: or email me directly at


Everyone who preorders a copy will ALSO receive the first five chapters straight to their inbox. Not only will this tide you over until the book arrives, but it’s also my way of saying thanks!

You can preorder the book from the following retailers:

»Amazon Australia:

»Barns & Noble:

» Kobo:

Need to know more before you commit? No probs.

You can read the first THREE CHAPTERS of Every Time He Dies right here