Ever so often a blogger posts an article about the right and wrong way to contact bloggers for reviews. I have not posted one so far- but now, it’s time.
There will probably be a few tips that you’ll see on other blogs- but mainly, I want to tell the tips from my point of view or my personal stories about review requests,
Listen, I don’t want to sound like I speak for the entire blogging community, or that I know everything or that I am Queen Blogger. I understand that you, said author, wrote this book. You spent months/years/previous lifetimes/etc working on this book- and you want everything: To be recognized on a best-selling list, a contract to write as many books as you would like, movie/TV show options and all the hoop-la. So, I get it. I get it from the top of my head to the tips of my coral painted toes.
Here’s where tough love is beginning. Tough love is shooting all over the place.
You are asking a person to read a book- to invest time in a book. A book that may sound wonderful from the blurb/excerpt/first chapter- however, it’s not guaranteed to continue being wonderful. You are asking a book blogger to put the hours/days/weeks into reading and then review the book which can take hours/days because most bloggers are doing this in their “free” time.
Blogging is not our job and while many of us would love to find a job where we could read and then write our thoughts on books- it’s just not happening. This is not to say that we don’t love getting review requests- we do. Most of us would just like a review request that is straight-forward, to the point and concisely put-together.
1. Not reading the review policy. It’ll save you much time and energy. It’ll tell you the type of books that said blogger prefers. Preferred modes of reading material (paper or e-versions). If they are accepting new review requests or taking a break. The review policy is a fountain of information. Use it.
2. Addressing the blogger by the wrong name. Listen, let’s just cut through some of the smoke and mirrors here: Many times, even when you “personalize” your review request- it’s a cut and paste job. And you know, I don’t blame you. I understand. Here’s where things get dicey: When you don’t check to make sure you are addressing the correct name of the blogger.
True Story: I get a review request from XYZ author saying “Hey Sue Ann” and then complimenting me on my blog. Well, thanks so much- but I’m not Sue Ann. In a further communication with the author, when XYZ realized that I was not Sue Ann- the author went on a long apology stating that the sky was blue, the Mets had lost the latest ballgame, Mickey Mouse called, and on and on about why they had called me the wrong name. Listen, I know you copied and pasted. You know you copied and pasted. A simple “I’m sorry” would have been much better. Moral to the story: Just make sure you are addressing the email by the right name.
But, T, you say- what if I don’t know the name? A-ha! Well, for me, I use the name Traveling With T- so review requests to T, to Traveling With T or my real name are appreciated. For others, they usually have their real names in their About Me section or their email address. Just be aware!
**If all else fails, the title of Most Wonderful Book Blogger Ever could work in a pinch,** (Just kidding!)
3. Sending a PDF only for review. Can we just stop with the PDF’s? They are hard to read (the scrolling from side to side, etc) I don’t know what the reason is- but more and more I am seeing the requests with mention of a “I can send you a PDF for review.” Stop the madness, please.
4. Not sending the book in a timely manner. Some authors are taking pro-active roles and lining up for bloggers for potential review months ahead of book being released (this is a good thing!) So I understand if you contact me with the fact that book will be released 6 months ahead of time- you won’t get paper ARC’s till X time before book is released. But if your book is already out and you have been wanting me to give you a time-frame of when my review might be published- and 6 to 8 months go by before you send the book- well there was your timeline. In other words, send the book as soon as possible. *Note: This is more for indie authors.*
5. Spamming social media accounts. You see me talking about books on Twitter- and think “I have a book! Let me mention that.” Don’t. Go to the blog and send an email. Use your time on social media to chat with accounts you find interesting, to try to begin the first steps in building a relationship. Spamming the blogger is not advised. Even less advised is tweeting “I know there is a process in getting books reviewed, but….”
What are some of your “no-no’s” that you think authors should know about? Tell me in the comments!
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T