After getting too many review requests which were doing all the wrong things I thought we needed another one of these posts. The blogosphere is full of instructions on how to ask reviewers for reviews but apparently we still need more, so here are a few
useful tips on how to go about it if you want to request a book review from a blogger and how to not get your request deleted. This post is mainly addressed to authors but the same principles apply to publishers or anyone that is in charge of contacting bloggers (I’ve gotten request from sisters, husbands, even friends) and requesting a book review.
It’s important to keep in mind that every blogger is different and there’s no one format fits all here which brings me to my first and most important thing to do and be careful of. The review policy, authors.
There’s not a book blogger out there who does not have this page on their blogs, so look for it and whatever you do, don’t skip it.
I KNOW WHAT YOU DIDN’T DO
READ THE REVIEW POLICY! This might sound like the most obvious first step in the world but for a lot of authors, it’s obviously not. A review request has one very specific goal, get the blogger to read your book. So if you happen to find a blogger you like or a blogger you just found, randomly on google, the first thing you need to do if you’re hoping to get the best result is to check out their review request policy and not just copy-paste their email in a mass review request and wait for a response.
A blogger can tell whether you read the review policies or not. Don’t tell me you read the policies because I know you did no such thing.
First of all, YOU WOULDN’T BE ASKING FOR A REVIEW IN THE FIRST PLACE. My review policy for almost a year now specifically states, not accepting any review requests. In red, bold letters, I’m not trying to be difficult or anything but blogging is something I do for me, for fun and I’ve been doing it for years to the best of my ability so the least you can do is take 2 minutes to read it. If you didn’t read the part where I’m not accepting any requests, you didn’t read the other part where I’m listing genres I accept.
Or you simply ignored it. Can’t tell which is worse. You want to give the best possible first impression, you are trying to promote a book, so going about it the wrong way will only get your email deleted.
TIP: Don’t send a request twice and don’t send a follow-up email asking for a reply.
Learn the name! I’m not your Dear Blogger, or your Dear Admin of Blog, and no a simple Hi won’t do, if my name is not included in your email then that means you didn’t bother to browse my blog long enough to get to my name, which is insane since it’s everywhere, like the bottom on my review police for example, or any post. Or literally on the blog’s side.
But you can call me Khaleesi.
TIP: Browse the blog and maybe read a couple of reviews/posts and mention those in your email.
ADD FUNCTIONAL LINKS
Double check your links. You’d think this should be easy but, again, you’d be surprised at how often review requests don’t include ANY links and when those requests come from debut authors, that might not even have a Goodreads profile or anything up on Amazon yet, the search becomes impossible.
Also: if your email address is not professional, meaning it goes like this [email@example.com] then avoid sending review requests from it. If you don’t have a website and an email that goes with it then all you have to do is create a new one. Be as professional as you can even if this is your debut book. It matters. Would you send your book to this email: firstname.lastname@example.org? I don’t think so.
GRAMMAR PROOF YOUR EMAIL
Proof-read it until words don’t make sense anymore. I mean, come on, the fact that I even have to write this actually causes me physical pain. You’re promoting a book, with words in it. If your barely 100-word email is grammatically incorrect (especially when you have to send it twice to get it right) then how am I supposed to want to read an entire book? English is not my first language, hell it’s not even my second language so I completely understand when authors write books in English even though that’s not their first language and I do overlook a lot of grammatical errors because I know I might not even have the final copy, but proof-reading your email is essential if you want to get a (positive) answer.
DON’T EMAIL YOUR BOOK WITHOUT APPROVAL!
Read the review policy and based on the format the blogger accepts, first ask for a request and then if you get a positive answer, send a copy. I’ve gotten lots of ARCs attached to the review request without any warning beforehand and that is not okay. DON’T. SEND. YOUR. BOOK. WITHOUT. PERMISSION. Seriously, I could be anyone behind that email and you’d just send me your book?! Be careful with whom you share it and that will most definitely not get me to read it, what makes you think I will download just anything on my computer? Delete.
MAKE IT EASY FOR THE BOTH OF US
Don’t make it hard for me to download your book. If I have to spend extra time trying to figure out what format your book is in then I’m going to be pissed and you don’t want me to read your book while I’m pissed.
Recently I had to go through a long process to get my ARC copy and it pissed me off tbh. If I have to download a million different apps and sign up for another million websites, I’ll kindly pass. If you don’t know how to approach the right way to send a book to your preferred blogger and it is not mentioned on their policy then ask them in your request.
A BILLION INSTRUCTIONS
I know how, when and where to share my reviews; your billion instructions are not going to make me want to read anything by you ever again. I had an author once who asked me to post on Facebook every day with teasers and captions, and links. That’s a full time job, are you crazy?! If your book is THAT GOOD then I will willingly do my best to put it out there, otherwise, you’re just making me never want to see your email on my inbox again.
No these are not demands and no I don’t think very highly of myself.
I totally do. Bloggers do this for free, and for fun *ugly crying* so muuuuuch fuuun we love helping books find their audience and readers find their next favorite story so please don’t ignore our policies.
I hope this will help you in the future, I’ve had the privilege and honor of reading some of the most amazing books ever because authors took a chance with me as I did with them. Finding the right blogger for your book can be hard but you can minimize the risk of choosing wrong simply by devoting a few minutes browsing through their blogs. And trust me, the last thing you want is the wrong (genre) blogger to review your book. Not all publicity is good publicity.
One more time, r e a d t h e r e v i e w p o l i c y!
After this I will never get another review request, will I?? 😭😭😭