I’m not writing this post with the intent to complain…okay maybe I am but here goes anyway. I love to read. I love books of all shapes, sizes, formats and for the most part subject matter. I love new authors and I adore spreading the word about what they have written and helping to promote it. As you can see, there is no advertising on my blog other than the books themselves and where you can find them for sale. I love getting emails from authors that are excited about their work. What I don’t love, are emails like this:
Dear Martin, —Martin is my last name
I saw your name in the list of Amazon Top Reviewers. Okay, no problem there. I’m the one who put my email address in there for people to find me.
I have written a book. You don’t say?
This book what book? is gripping says you?, comes highly recommended by everyone who has read it and those people would be? and is currently available on amazon.com for a discounted price. (usually 8.99 now only 5.99) Okay cool, I buy books too.
If you would purchase my book and leave me a review on amazon.com and good reads that would be great. I bet it would.
Here is the link for the book. Being nice and leaving that out. If it isn’t too much trouble I will need the review to be finished next week as I don’t have very many reviews yet and I know it is important. You’re kidding, you don’t have many reviews? Wow next week is loads of time!
Can’t wait to see your positive feedback! Posssssssitive? hmmm…
What is the book called? What is the book about? Did you just ask me to buy a book with no info and then tell me when to have my review done by? Oh you silly, silly boy!
No Joke, this really happened to me this morning. Wow that was a mess. I would like to use this opportunity to talk about book bloggers and how to submit a query to them for a review request.
At the risk that I might sound like a know-it-all, I love book review requests as much as the next blogger, but I also appreciate it when the person makes it a little more personal.
- Tell your potential reviewer where you discovered them. Was it Twitter, Amazon, their blog, another blog???
- Have you seen other reviews they have done in a similar genre?
- Tell them why you have chosen them Vs. a million other bloggers.
- Tell them what your book is about, but briefly. If they are reading your email for three hours they won’t have time to read your book.
- Offer them a link where they can learn more about your book at their convenience.
- If you have won any awards etc. let them know.
- If you are a first time author, let them know. (This tends to make me want to read the book or at least soften the chip on my shoulder.)
- Try to spell everything right, including the title of your book and the reviewer’s name. There is a stigma about self publishing, and I don’t agree with it, but if your email has misspellings you may decrease your chances of getting a blogger to look at you.
- Be understanding. Thank them for their time and consideration even if they don’t accept your book. Book blogging can keep a person pretty busy.
- Understand that the person you are addressing may be holding a portion of your fate in their hands if they do decide to write a review for your book. Never be rude to a reviewer no matter how long it takes them to respond to you or what they have to say.
- Never assume that a reviewer will buy your book, even at a discounted price. I buy books and review them as well as taking ARC copies, but it is always nice when the person who contacts you is offering you the book as a review copy without expectation. If you are asking them to read your book, then in my opinion that is a fair trade. It takes time to read a book, especially if it isn’t in a genre you would normally choose.
- Expect that it will take them time to get to the other commitments they have made and be patient. Never tell them it has to be done by…blah blah blah date. That only works for publishing house titles and review publications.
- Find the guidelines the reviewer has posted on their site if they have any and read through them carefully. If the blogger only accepts women’s fiction, sending them a book about the war of 1812 probably won’t impress them much.
- Never make the assumption that they will love the book. (I tend to appreciate it when the person inquiring mentions that they understand they are going to get my honest opinion.)
- Finally, when you end your email, be sure to include your pertinent contact info.
You would think that this is all common sense, and for the most part it probably is, but I know I can’t be the only one who gets the first variety of email. I thought I would make an attempt to outline the basics. I used to get all stressed out when I would query a publishing house about my manuscript and I know how terrified I felt. I don’t mean to make book bloggers in general seem unreachable or like an evil entity, I simply wish to point out that no matter what you are trying to sell, a book or whatever, if you are asking someone to do you a favor, you should do it professionally. This is just my opinion and the requirements and expectations of other book bloggers are as a broad a spectrum as the universe.