I know this topic has been done over and over again by various book bloggers who have been angered by the way they’ve been approached but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded every now and again. There’s a few general do’s and don’ts for approaching book bloggers about books but most of it really is just common sense and the way you approach a book blogger is crucial and that one email alone can either land you a review copy or not. If you’re a publisher, publicist or author wanting to get some reviews of your book please take into account everything not only I am saying here, but everything every other book blogger in the world has said about how to approach them! I’m not trying to dictate to anyone what they should and shouldn’t do, it’s a free world after all but there is the right way to go about it if you want the optimum result.
(I have based these points on authors/publishers who contact you for the first time about a book. If you have an exceptionally good relationship with an author then some of these may not apply).
Do your research
I’m not suggesting you sit there Googling us for hours on end and we don’t expect you to know our birthday, shoe size, favourite colour or the name of our first pet but we do appreciate it if you take a look at our blog before you email us. Take a look at some of the reviews we’ve wrote before and you’ll begin to get a good idea as to whether our followers would enjoy your book.
Don’t attach a copy of your book to the email
… until we have stated whether we want to read it or not! If you do attach it straight away, is gives out a bit of a bad impression – like you assume we have nothing better to do and we’re just going to read and review your book without and second thought. It makes you seem over-confident and unprofessional.
Do provide enough information
If the email reads, ‘Hi Jenny, I have a book called ‘XYZ’, would you be interested in reviewing it?’ although it’s polite enough, it doesn’t give me anything to go on! Provide the blurb, genre, publisher and links to Amazon or Goodreads so we can make an informed decision if we want to read it or not.
Don’t send out a mass email
Although your mass email might provide us with all the information we need to decide if we want to review your book, we know straight away if it’s an email that has been copied and pasted to hundreds of other book bloggers. It’s like second nature to us to be able to spot these things so don’t underestimate us! We want to review your book because you want us to review your book. Not because you just want reviews from anybody just for the sake of getting reviews. Make sure you like us as a reviewer before you go sending us your life’s work.
Do be patient
Book bloggers are busy people! We’re often multitasking, reading and writing at the same time, reading more than 2 books at once as well as sending emails, writing blog posts and keeping our blogs up to date. This is on top of all other non-blogging commitments so if we don’t reply to your email after a few days don’t email again and badger us about it. The same goes for if we do decide to read and review your book. It’s likely we won’t give you a specific date straight away of when we’re going to read it so don’t keep asking every few days, ‘Have you started my book yet?’
Don’t ask for reviews via social media
This is one of the biggest no-no’s and probably the most unprofessional thing you can do. Requesting reviews via Facebook/Twitter or any other social media site automatically paints you as an amateur.
Do read and respect our policies
I literally can’t stress this enough. If we are going to take the time to review your book for free, the least you can do is read our policies and respect our guidelines. Some bloggers may not be accept books at that given time, don’t email anyway “just in case” because the chances are the email isn’t even going to get read. Most bloggers will state in their policies what books they review/don’t review and what format they accept the books in. If they don’t accept e Book’s that’s their own choice so don’t email them asking them to review your e Book. Like I said, we’re very busy so we set our policies to suit us. Don’t waste our time by asking something that you’ve just read we don’t do. If you have written a horror book then email a blogger who only reviews romance we know that you haven’t taken a blind bit of notice of our policies and will result in an automatic delete.
Don’t bad mouth us
If we don’t review your book, there’s obviously a reason; no time or not the right genre. Or maybe we started your book but we couldn’t ‘get into it’ so to speak. That’s fine! Not everyone is going to like the same thing and if one book blogger in the entire world didn’t like your book, that doesn’t mean not everyone else will. We will be honest with you, whatever the outcome so please do us a favour and don’t bad mouth us if it’s not the outcome you were hoping for.
Are you a book blogger? What is important to you when being approached by an author/publisher?