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Thursday, July 15, 2010

It Doesn't Hurt to Ask -- Politely

Getting your book(s) noticed by readers is a formidable challenge for self-pubbers working on a tight budget. I can't make the process much easier for the rest of you -- or for myself for that matter. But I can (and do) pass on, in this blog, certain observations I have made, or truths I have discovered during my self-publishing journey.

This week I have come to firmly believe in a very simple principle -- It Doesn't Hurt to Ask. As an author, you can apply this axiom in many circumstances.

-- Don't be afraid to ASK an agent to represent your book. Send an email together with a PDF Media Kit and links to some good reviews, if you've got'em. Ask if you may send them a copy of your book to consider.

-- Don't be afraid to ask ANY newspaper or magazine editor to review your book in their publication . . . unless their policy specifically excludes self-pubs.

-- Don't fail to ask Reviewers who have enjoyed your book to help you promote it. Maybe they would like to interview you on their blog? Maybe they will let you re-print their review as a "Guest Book Review" in a newspaper? (And then remember to ask the newspaper editor, too.)

-- Don't be afraid to ask a Reviewer if they will write you a "TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN" recommendation letter. If the Reviewer really liked your book, maybe they'll give you some extra special documentation of that fact.

-- Don't be afraid to send press releases to EVERY newspaper, radio station or TV news program you think might have ANY ANGLE AT ALL on your book -- or on you, yourself -- for a story. You never know when they'll have a last minute cancellation and need to have some quick filler.

-- Don't be afraid to ask a Reviewer if they would consider writing a Letter to the Editor of a local or regional newspaper where you live, telling the readership what a fine local author they have in their midst. Make sure to provide a link to the paper's "Letters to the Editor" page and a description of submission requirements so it's really easy for the Reviewer to help you out.

-- Don't be afraid to email big name authors seeking permission to send them your book for a review or a blurb. Some of their websites (usually named actually have a procedure to address requests for "blurbing."

These are examples of some of the things I've been asking lately. I've had some surprisingly positive responses. And many of my emails have gone unanswered. But so what!

If you don't ask . . . you don't get!

So by all means ASK. But please ask politely.

BTW, would you please consider clicking on one of my book links, or the link to my website, at the top of the page? You might be pleasantly surprised at what you find. (I HAD to ask. LOL.)

That's it for today.

Happy writing!



  1. Inspirational stuff, John. Thanks again.

  2. Inspirational stuff, John. Thanks again.

  3. Thanks Moses. Sorry I missed your earlier comment. I need to be more diligent about check comments on all my posts.

    All the best,


  4. Great list of advice. I particularly like the fact that you mentioned the 'hanging out' as I'm a firm believer in 'sell yourself, you'll sell your profuct'!

    Blessings & a bit o' sunshine!