On review requests and approaching the blogger

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I have been meaning to write this musing post for quite a while but somehow haven’t got around to it.

Anyway since getting my kindle I have been getting an increasing number of requests for reviews, understandably seeing as it’s much easier and cheaper to send a digital copy of a book than a paper copy.

This has made me see the different ways authors, publicists and publishers approach a blogger. Part of it I know is that sending an e-mail (especially to a person rather than a company) doesn’t really have a set format. It tends to be less formal than a letter but how informal should it be in order to still be professional. I must admit as a blogger I prefer a more chatty friendly approach, but I’m sure there are bloggers who don’t want o be treated like a friend.

Anyway this isn’t meant to be a post about e-mail etiquette. It’s about the pitfalls and successes of people who approach bloggers. I guess you could call it a bit of a how to guide.

Good Stuff to do:

  • Read the review policy: This is the most important one. I can’t count the number of times I was asked to read an e-book before I got my kindle. It’s a waste of everybody’s time if you are pitching a book a blogger has said it of the type they won’t, or can’t, read.
  • Address the blogger by name: My name is right at the top of my blog but it’s not so easy for everyone. If it’s not easily visible a few places you can look are at the tops and bottoms of posts, about me sections, and the sidebar (blogger blogs tend to have a little blogger profile in the sidebar in particular). If all else fails refer to them as owner of ‘blog name’. Just calling me blogger (or even worse webmaster) suggests that the only way you’ve looked at my blog at all is to find my e-mail address.
  • Tell the blogger about your book: just a simple synopsis will do. Saying ‘hi I have a book will you read it if I send it to you’ won’t get you many reviews. Most bloggers won’t accept every request and if you give no information about the book you won’t make the cut. If you want to put more information it’s nice but not essential. Do tell us if there is a date you’d like us to review the book by, most bloggers will try and do this for you but do give them a chance to actually read it! (Note sending an e-copy with your initial e-mail is a little conceited, it’s like you expect the blogger to say yes).
  • Offer to give interviews, write guest posts, or giveaway copies: not an essential one but sometimes it’s nice to have extra information on the book, or writing, for the blog’s readers. It’s a good way to engage your readers too. I always feel an author who is ready to talk really cares for their readers.

Things to Avoid

  • Adverts: I’m not an advertiser. Maybe you do have a book out but unless I have a history with your books, or have read the book prior to release I’m sorry but I’m not going to start shouting about it just because you’ve told me it’s out.
  • Expecting a good review: unfortunately opinions are subjective, just because you have had good reviews it doesn’t mean everyone is going to like your book. I can understand authors getting upset about negative reviews, I know time, and feeling and effort has gone into it, but unfortunately by putting yourself out there you are going to encounter people who don’t like it.

5 Comments

Filed under Musings

5 responses to “On review requests and approaching the blogger

  1. Excellent post. Great content.

    Stop by my blog if you like…….I have a giveaway going on. An e-book. 🙂

    Book is: THE DEMOCRAT by Olly Wyatt.

    http://silversolara.blogspot.com/2012/03/e-book-giveaway.html

    Elizabeth

    Silver’s Reviews

    http://silversolara.blogspot.com

    Like

  2. Found this post really useful, thanks! I am just trying to get my blog up and running and I’m curious about getting review copies. How did you start receiving review copies – was it a case of publishers approaching you or did you start by requesting review copies yourself?

    Like

  3. Lucybird

    Hi. You are more than welcome 🙂

    My first review book was offered me by the author, and that is how I get the majority of them. You can request directly from the publisher but I always felt a little unsure of doing that myself, however I do use netgalley which works in a similar way. A good way to start is by getting yourself somewhat of blogger profile. Comment on other blogs and most bloggers will at least visit you in turn. You can participate in memes (I used to use The Book Blog Hop before it closed down, I believe there’s one Saturday Round up of reviews still though. Another thing you can try in book blogger directories, there are a few around, have a look in my about this blog page.

    Hop that’s helped 🙂

    Like

  4. Pingback: Review of the Year 2014- Popular Posts | Lucybird's Book Blog

  5. Thanks for this post! I think I pretty much know these things … but it’s always great to have a refresher, right? 🙂

    Like

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