As a just starting out book blogger back in 2013, I craved for the days where I would be contacted by authors and/or publishers asking me to review their books. That was something set aside specially for the top dogs in book blogging – those at the top of the game whose opinions and reviews were crucial for that particular books promotion and development. But what I didn’t really get was that a lot of it was down to me – and my blog. I needed to make it clearer that that’s what I could offer, too.
Now 3 year on and a helluva lot of book review requests later, I pride myself on being in a position where I could possibly help newer bloggers who may be unsure how to approach this blogging issue. Not in a patronising way but just because when I was starting out, I wish I had someone who could have helped me with these little, specific but important areas of blogging in order to move forward. So, you’ve got a book blog? Wicked! But don’t quite know how to go about your contact page and telling the world you accept review requests?
What type of genres are you accepting? Do you accept paperbacks and eBooks? Do you accept self-published authors as well as traditionally published ones? All of this information is important so an author knows if you’re a correct fit for them to contact. It’s better to provide all this information upfront, rather than having to send lots of, “I’m sorry, I don’t accept your genre…” emails.
Make your chosen contact method noticeable
Everyone wants things to be as easy as possible. You’ll know it yourself when you’ve been on a companies website looking for the ‘contact me’ page or a phone number and you get taken to 13 different pages, down the rabbit hole, into Narnia and back again in order to find it. Whether you use a contact form (like I do here) or you just leave your email, make it noticeable!
Don’t make it too long
You’ve not got to declare your life story on this page – save that for your ‘About Me’. Make it short, sweet and as clear as possible so authors who may be wanting to contact you can know everything they need to know within 1 minute so they can either contact you if you’re a right fit for their book, or go elsewhere and not waste anymore of their time.
Don’t be annoyed when people don’t read your guidelines
People don’t read your guidelines. A lot of people will but a lot of people won’t. I haven’t accepted review requests for over a year now but I still receive emails and Facebook messages asking me if I would review this or that book. Although now, my own ‘Disclaimer’ page includes information for brands and well as authors, it’s stated in bold on the very first paragraph that I no longer accept review requests so any I get, I simply ignore.
Always update it when circumstances change
If you feel you can’t accept requests for a certain period of time or no longer enjoy certain genres – always update it on your contact page when situations like that arise so authors know at the time of contact.
Don’t forget to state the “boring” stuff
All the stuff you’ve heard a million times before; that all your views and opinions on books you’ve read are your own and in no way biased. That you’re not paid for book reviews. That you’re sometimes sent books by authors and/or publishers in exchange for an honest review and that you’ll always state this in your review; make sure it’s all there!