Wednesday, July 15, 2015

10 tips for asking a blogger to review your book

I'm sure most book reviewers have noticed a trend by some authors and marketers to send out a mass email asking for their book to be reviewed. 

This annoys the shit out of me and I usually follow those emails up by immediately hitting the delete button. Sometimes I don't even read the whole email. 

Why is that, you might ask? Almost every blogger I know has submission guidelines that are super easy to follow. It's simple things like how to ask, what kinds of genres they are willing to accept and if they require a social media follow.  

I know authors are busy people who probably send out hundreds of review requests. But keep in mind, bloggers are just as busy.

Here are some tips on how to get a blogger to accept your publication for review:

1. Include my name in the greeting. My first name is all over my blog. (It's Ashley, by the way). It's at the top of my Meet the Nerd page and it's at the end of every single post I make. If you can't put forth the effort to find out my name, I can't put forth the effort to read your book. #sorrynotsorry

2. Include a summary of your book and a link to Amazon/B&N/Goodreads. I don't have a lot of time on my hands. Meaning, I don't have a lot of time to go searching to find out what your book is all about. Cut out the extra steps and just tell me what it's about. Sometimes, I also like to read other reviews to find out if there's certain things I'm not a fan of, such as a insta-love. I do try my best to pick novels I think I will enjoy. I'm doing both of us a disservice if I read everything that comes my way.

3. Do NOT ask me to review books I don't accept per my review guidelines. I detest contemporary romance, it makes me want to gouge my eyes out, and I state that in my guidelines. Why are you asking for a one star review? Don't waste my time or yours. Instead, find bloggers who DO like contemporary romance. 
 
4. On that note, follow my rules for request. I have just one rule really. You have to follow me on Twitter. This is for two reasons. First, I like to be able to tweet out the link once the review is up, as well as build my connections. Secondly, I use it to weed out people who obviously haven't read my guidelines.

5. Mention something about a blog post you read. I had two great authors recently who commented on one of my posts when they asked to be review, and it pushed them to the top of my review list. It's can be as simple as "I totally love your review of XXX" or "I see you still need a K title for your A-Z reading challenge." This shows me you've at least perused my blog, which I appreciate. If you expect me to read your book, I expect you to read some of my posts. It's a give and take. 

6. Don't tell me that you know I will love reading your book. You don't know me, and you don't know what I like to read. I don't like being told what to do or how to feel. Just ask my mother how well that's worked out for her.

7. Make sure your initial email is well-written and concise. No joke, I've had authors email me and I can't even tell what they're asking me. Example "i would love for to read my book. I'ts about a boy who is an alien but loves a girl who is not. please let me knwo and i will send to you." Now, an error or two can be overlooked. I know authors send tons of requests and emails every single day. But, if I can barely get through your email without cringing then I'm probably not going to want to read your book either. Thanks, but no thanks.

8. Don't resend the same email if you haven't heard back from me. I either haven't had a chance to respond to you yet, or I'm not interested. Sending me the same exact email won't help your case. If you want to send a follow up, that's perfectly reasonable. Something as simple as "Just wondering if you've had a chance to look over my request I sent on [date] and your interest level if you have."

9. Email me. I like email, it helps me stay organized. I'm a nut who has 10 subfolders to sort things into. So if you think asking me over Facebook or Twitter is the best move, think again. I'm usually on those two for about five minutes for a quick check and post, but that's about it. It also means there's a very good chance you haven't even looked at my blog. Does that mean everyone prefers email? Not at all. But it's probably the best bet. 

10. Don't be offended if I don't respond ever. While I try my best to get back to authors who do follow my guidelines, I lead a busy life. We all do. Sometimes I read an email and I'm not interested in reviewing for whatever reason, so I put it in the back of my mind to respond to later. Then I forget, because I'm human and sometimes forget things. It doesn't mean I hate you, but after a certain amount of time I'm going to assume you've probably forgotten about me.

In short, be personal, polite and include as much information as possible in your first contact. 

Edit: Here's a great example. I received this just one day after posting these guidelines.  I took out the name and title so as not to embarrass anyone.

Hi,

I am XXXX and my debut fantasy novel, XXXX has been released recently. So, it would be really great if you could please review it.
Regards,
- and he didn't even sign his name

Yea, and it'd be great if you could please go away.