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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The In's and Out's of Asking for a Review

Now that I’ve been blogging for a few years I’ve begun to become quite familiar with review requests. As with anything, there are the good…and there are the bad. Now, review requests aren’t make-or-break for getting a novel reviewed. If I’m not a fan of the way a person requests a review, it doesn’t automatically mean I won’t review the book. However, I’d be lying if I said they didn’t play a role in it. A request is a book’s first impression and a good one can make me accept a book even if it’s not something I normally would review.

That said, in light of some rather interesting review requests, I thought I’d make up a list of dos and don’ts to keep in mind when putting together a request.

Do:

·      Tell a bit about yourself
·      Include a link to your website
·      Include a bit about your book
·      Include a bit about your writing background and previous novels
·      Refer to the blogger by their name and/or blog name (I like feeling like it’s not some mass email and I’m just one on a loooong list)
·      Be nice (If you know me from Twitter or read my blog frequently, it’s okay to mention. That makes the request personal and makes you stand out from the crowd.)
·      Research the blogs you request (I’m not going to review an adult non-fiction about dealing with depression or weight loss or feeling younger. Now a YA book about a girl with depression who struggles with her weight and has a crazy mother who’s obsessed with looking young? That is more down my ally.)
·      Be understanding if they can’t accept your request
·      Tailor your request to fit what you want (If you want me to post your book trailer, mention that first. Don’t pitch me a book and then at the end change what you’re asking for.)
·      Offer alternatives if they can’t review it (Just because I’m overrun with books doesn’t mean I don’t want to help you publicize your book.)


Don’t:
·      Send the book first and then request a review (You’re pretty much forcing my hand)
·      Send a mass email
·      Burry review information in superfluous information (If I have to scroll way down the email to find out what you want, you may never get my response)
·      Make it too difficult to accept the request (If you email me a request, don’t make me have to email someone else to accept the request.)
·      Be overly chummy (If I don’t know you yet, being super chummy may scare me off. You don’t want to be the overeager kid. A bit of formality is good.)
·      Complain or whine about how your book is “ignored.”
·      Bash other books in the genre to make yours look better (I like YA, so bashing it isn’t a way to earn my favor.)
·      Pitch a book that you don’t have copies of (I know there aren’t an unlimited number of books, but if you can’t provide a copy say that first.)
·      Ask too many things at once (Asking for a review, interview, book trailer post and contest all at once can be a bit overwhelming. Have a main thing and then put the option out there, if I’m interested I’ll follow up with you.)
·      Change the subject on each email (My inbox is hard enough to keep track of, thank you.)
·      Request review of things that are completely unrelated (I review books, not food or water.)

These are some of the things I've come up with that are preferable for me. They may not be for everyone else though, so don't take my word as law.

Now that you've seen my list, what's on yours?

5 comments:

  1. I'm a new blogger, (aka no review offers yet), but this sounds like a pretty fair list.

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  2. I totally agree with everything you said. I, too, have been getting tons of review requests that bore me out of my mind and it's obvious that they send it to a long list of people AND know nothing about my blog. I've started just deleting them.

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  3. That's a wonderful list :) I hate it when they ask for reviews of books of genres I don't read-if they've been to my blog then they'd be able to see my review policy.

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  4. Great list. You've actuallyy had review requests that bash other authors/books? That's so unprofessional. As for my list, I'd only add 'have something *to* review' when emailing. I don't necessarily mean review copies, but an actual product to begin with...not some future yet to be written product. (Yes, I recieved a review request for a non-existent product.)

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