Reviews sell books. They’re also a pain. Depending on what website you believe, as few as 1% of readers might actually write a review. For authors, that’s unfortunate. Reviews (as mentioned in the first line) sell books. Good, bad – they increase your presence online.
Now, there are solicited reviews as well as these random ~1%. In your contract, you’ll likely have a set number the publisher will say they’ll get you. This will not likely have a timeline. Make sure they have these lined up in advance! Learn from my mistakes!
I assumed (read: BLARING WARNING SIGNS) that my publisher had reviewers lined up in advance. Later, I learned they did an email blast of sorts to their known reviewers. This is fine – if your genre is your publisher’s main genre. Mine isn’t. Still, it might have worked, but the editor with my galley actually lost internet the week before my book was due out. The poor editor had a good number of books, and she’s really awesome, so it sucked a bit all around for us.
As you may guess, panic ensued.
I’ve sense make a nice 20+ list (still growing) of reviewers focused in my genre. It’ll be good to have long term. However, just because I have a list doesn’t mean they’ll all say yes. I’m still looking up the statistics on this one.
Summary? Find review sites beforehand. There’s plenty of databases (my fav’s the Book Blogger List).