Helllllo readers, a slight musing today on mylittlebookblog; I saw a post about requesting reviews and thought I would write my own. The good, the bad and the downright ugly I thought I’d share a couple of pointers on that all important email. I think each blogger will have their own views on how it’s best to go about it, but these are my personal pointers for scoring that book review.
1) Make sure to have a nosy through their review request policy:
Although for me I accept almost all genres of books (which may explain my incredibly messy and well-stocked to-read-list) some bloggers have genres that they won’t read. It’s their blog, their choice to read certain books and sending a review request that doesn’t fit with their blog will only waste time for you and for the blogger you’ve contacted.
2) Do not assume
I have had so many requests over the last two years that are almost blank emails with the book attached saying, ‘Please find my book attached for review.’ Firstly, it doesn’t help the reviewer at all because we then have to go and search for the book and then reply, but it also puts us in a difficult position. I know sometimes I feel the want to delete the email but the polite blogger in me will email back, wait for a response as to why I should read the book or even a little bit of blurb. Just don’t assume and give your book the time it deserves for a blogger to really understand what it’s about
3) Hook us in
This I think is really important; tell me why I am going to enjoy the book. I guess imagine we’re talking face to face, I’m holding a cappuccino and I’m looking a little tired. Make me sit forward and ask questions, give me your book all wonderfully wrapped up so I forget about the coffee and instead have a sudden desire just to read your book.
4) Why my blog?
We as bloggers know that authors will of course request reviews from a number of bloggers but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to feel a little chosen. Just a line saying, I like the way you reviewed this book, or I know you adore historical fiction so you may enjoy this, it makes us think, yes, this is an author who understands what I’m trying to do here. Also, addressing the email to the bloggers name makes a big difference, there is often an about me page so if you can try to pop it in there.
5) Be Patient
For me as a blogger I seem to acquire at least a couple of review requests a day and I definitely don’t have the capacity to stay on top of it which means that I am constantly overwhelmed. Recently an author sent two emails almost exactly the same within two days infuriatingly. Give us a little time and you will receive.
6) Saying that: Give to receive
Sometimes I get requests telling me where to purchase the book the author would like me to review. For me it has to be a no because I earn utterly no money from mylittlebookblog and being a recently graduated student living away from home there isn’t lots of money to go on books. A pdf is perfect for me, but I would say if you’re can’t give your book to bloggers without their purchase then reviews may be a little hard to come by.
7) Practice makes perfect
It will take time to get that perfect pitch written and sent but practice makes perfect and you will get responses. I know of requests that have been brilliant. One request recently mentioned my adoration of Malteasers which is mentioned on my about me page it made me really smile and that’s what you want to do; get that reader/blogger so invested they can’t say no.
8) Don’t mislead me
Most of these points are quite general but this is my own personal quibble. I often get reviews from marketing agencies or PR interns stating ‘Read [inserts name] best-seller, adored by the masses, winner of so many awards…blah.’ I then head over to Amazon and there are no customer reviews on Goodreads and I cannot find a blogging review. Us bloggers do our research and often it not being a best-seller will not stop us from reading the book. Misleading us may though.
All of these points are really just ways to not start on the wrong foot with a reviewer. This blogger is going to read and review your book and that’s a big deal. This review could be shared and seen by so many of their readers, don’t spoil it with an under par review request. As always these are my tips and they are not an extensive list. Any bloggers that have any comments, additions, critiques I would love to hear your thoughts.