Reviewing me...Part II - the response
Updated: Oct 6, 2019
Last week I sent out six requests to well-known authors asking them to read my manuscript and write an endorsement quote. I made sure to include in my request a few words about the scenes I enjoyed reading from their books, why I respect them as an author, and then I asked if they would write me a review. I spent the next few days biting my nails and checking my inbox.
I’m happy to say I heard back from half the authors I reached out to. Most of the feedback has been positive. I have only received one outright rejection letter, but it was phrased in such a supportive and loving way, I count it as a win.
The author started by congratulating me on writing my first novel and then she thanked me for the interest in her books. She told me that she thought my story idea was intriguing and then went on to list other authors she thought would be a better fit for my genre. She concluded the email with best wishes for my success. I was so blown away, I cried.
She’s an award-winning author and I'm sure quite busy. She could have simply replied that she was too busy and wished me well. But instead, she took the time to write me a beautiful email and give me recommendations. I’m still in disbelief when I see her email in my inbox and reread the wonderful response.
I took her recommendations and sent out a request to one of the authors she recommended, stating that this famous author had given me their name. I got a positive response; the author was willing.
The process hasn’t been all cookies and sunshine. I made few mistakes; one that I hope other new authors can learn from. I had been in contact with another award-winning author, who generously agreed to read my work. They asked me when I needed an answer by and I gave them a very short time frame, thinking that it would help keep my publication date on track. Yet I hadn’t considered the time of the author reading my work. They were kind and we worked it out, but in general it’s polite to give at least one to two months for authors to read your work. Rushing is not helpful for anyone.
Overall, I’m very pleased with the outcome. While nothing is set in stone, at least I know that authors, even famous ones, are approachable. I recommended that you do your homework before sending out a request email; asking specific questions, being considerate of their time and never forgetting they are doing you the favor. And if you are lucky, you just might get the response you were hoping for.