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The University Newspaper Review Niche

When my book came out, I immediately emailed my alma mater’s student-run newspaper. I asked if they would be interested in reviewing it, thinking that because I was a former student and was born in the city itself, that it was a sure thing. It’s been six months since that email and I’ve yet to even get a reply back. It discouraged me completely, making me wonder if my book was really any good at all, despite its 4 and 5-star reviews. The idea to submit to other universities at that time didn’t cross my mind because I assumed (being my own worst enemy) that if my hometown newspaper wouldn’t even reply, then why would some other school, with whom I have no affiliation, want to review it. Fast forward to June 24th  2018 and I decided to take a crack at other universities in my home state. Out of the 16 schools I contacted, whether it was through email/Facebook/contact form, only one of those schools got back to me. Granted, I had this idea to contact university newspapers after regular classes had ended, so perhaps I will be getting more responses, or perhaps not.

When you are considering which universities to contact, I would contemplate emailing universities with which you have some sort of familial link. I contacted the university newspapers in my mother’s birth state, adding that I’ve always felt a connection to the state. Two of those universities got back to me, and two reviews have been published in their newspaper and their online sites. While conferring with my research assistant, more commonly known as Ms. Google, I found a top 50 university newspapers list, and out of those 49, my alma mater was close to the top. I got four responses back from those emails, two from well-known schools. However, after sending my book and inquiring whether they are still interested in reviewing, it has yielded no response. All toes, eyes, and fingers are desperately crossed at the moment. As of August 23rd, I have had four reviews posted from the universities online, all very positive with comments that make me feel like I’m doing something right as a writer and just as a human in general.

A few suggestions when inquiring about a review from a university newspaper.

      1. Try to find a review of a book on their site similar to yours and make a comment in the email as to why you think your book will be a good fit for their paper.

       2. Although it didn’t reap many results for me, email universities that you can tie yourself to in some way whether it be your home state, or if you have a favorite author or person who went to that college and how it would be a privilege to have your book reviewed by them.

      3. Offer to send a physical or digital copy of the book, or both, so that they can get a jump start on reading it. And if your book is on Amazon, insert a link inside the email with a *note* about the look inside pages so that they can get a feel of your writing and whether they want to request the book in its entirety.

      4. This one is a “possible tip” - not sure how well it works - but when they ask for a physical copy I put a beautiful thank you note in with the package and I dab the card with my perfume, so that I am coming across as a real person and not just a name on paper. I also try to find a mailer that is one of the colors of their school. In physical stores I have found blue, green, and red mailers at Giant Eagle and a blue and white marble looking coloration at Target. But I am sure many more can be found online.

      5.   Tip for if and when they accept to do a review. Offer to have the kindle version free on the day that the review is published so that all the students can read it for free.

Remember not to give up. It can be discouraging not to hear back from so many schools (especially from your own hometown and alma mater, however I intend to follow up with them and include the college papers it’s been published in) but when you get a handful of affirmatives and you see their review in print, it’s a really great day as a writer.

Update: While in the process of writing this article, I was contacted by another university newspaper who mentioned possibly doing a video review of the book, which hopefully comes into fruition. I have yet to have my book reviewed in video form yet. If interested the university reviews on my book, can be found at:

The University Daily Kansan-University of Kansas:

The Lantern-Ohio State:

The Trumpet-West Liberty University:

The Gettysburgian-Gettysburg College



Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Erin Nicole Cochran