Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Reviewer's Tip - Contact Information!

I'm always amazed when we get a submission without any contact information.  An author/publisher/publicist has taken the time to send us his/her book, but either forgets or doesn't bother to enclose contact information.  Just last week a book came in from an author who included a cover sheet, with a short note.  Her name was on the letter, but that's it.  No email, phone, nothing.  Why do we need contact information?  First, we always send an email confirmation when the book arrives here at Feathered Quill.  Second, if we have any questions about the book, we'll need to get in touch with the author or publisher.  Finally, we send an email when the review is posted, along with a pdf tear sheet of the review.  Can't do that if we don't have an email address.  There are also times when we need to get in touch with the author, for various reasons, and again, we need that information.

In the above case, I googled the author in an attempt to reach her.  No author site.  BIG mistake.  I googled the book title.  No website.  Another BIG mistake.  All I could find was the publisher's site with a short, one page blurb on the book.  There was a "contact author" link at the bottom of that page and I used it in an attempt to reach the author.  I asked her to contact me immediately.  Never heard back from her.  We went ahead with the review and when it was posted, I again sent an email to her through the publisher's site.  That was a few weeks ago and I still haven't heard from her.  Now, this review included an interview but I can't interview her if I can't reach her.  Wow - an author missing a chance for an interview that will be posted to our site and blog.  What a shame.

Please don't make the same mistake.  Include the review site's submission form when you send a book for review.  No submission form?  Then include a cover letter with ALL your contact information!