THE BLOG

The Good Opinion of Others

28/03/2014 10:11 GMT | Updated 26/05/2014 10:59 BST

So apart from the PR and marketing of your book how else can you get it noticed in the wider world?

One of the other ways, especially to get retailers and the media to notice, is to get good reviews for it. A good review can really add weight and gravitas to your efforts and if those reviewers happen to be well known, either in your field or in the public's perception, then so much the better.

In my case I was able to obtain reviews from a lead professor who works with me in one of my charity's, Sir Trevor MacDonald (broadcaster), Simon Weston OBE (Falklands veteran), Sir Roger Moore (actor) and Dame Kelly Holmes (athlete).

And how exactly did I get such great people to read and supply me with a review for my book?

The simple answer is that I asked them. In my experience the vast majority of people are more than happy to help, it seems to be an inherent part in all of us. However, the slightly more complicated answer is how I asked them.

With some I already had a connection but with others I had none or a tenuous connection through another person. I started off by undertaking research to find their agent or personal assistants details as my first point of contact. I then carefully drafted an email request remembering, above all else, to be polite, not pushy, to the point and finished by stating that I would understand if they were unable to oblige (after all we all get too busy to help everyone - if asking for a huge favour always give them a get out clause). I then walked away from my drafted email and looked at it again 24 hours later. Having tweaked it after this short break I then sent it to myself but did not look at it for a further 24 hours. I then read it as if someone else were asking me for the review and considered how the wording would make me want to respond which led to further small adjustments. Once I was happy my email came across the way I wanted it was just a matter of taking a deep breath, pressing the send button and crossing my fingers.

I actually sent my request to 7 people in total and 5 responded and produced the reviews as I have mentioned above. The other 2 did not reply and, again because I was asking for a favour, I didn't feel that chasing them was the right thing to do. However 5 out of 7 is a pretty good percentage return to my way of thinking.

Having said all this be prepared for the fact that you may get a bad review. Thank goodness this did not happen to me but I was prepared nevertheless. You cannot afford to take a bad review personally, remember it is just one persons opinion. However to try to avoid a bad review select the people you approach with careful consideration. If you find people who have some link to your cause or story they are more likely to understand and empathise with the content of your book. Provided you have written your book well and with care have faith in it and the chances are your reviews will be favourable.

So my advice is don't be afraid to ask, but be careful who and how you ask and always give your potential reviewer a way of declining graciously.

Pam's new book 'From Behind the Mask' tells the inspiring true story of Pam's experience before, during and since the Paddington train crash. Get your copy now from Pam's website: www.pamwarren.co.uk, Amazon or all good bookstores.

Join me: @pamwarren06 / Facebook: PamWarrenAuthorPM