The do’s and don’ts of pitching a book blogger for a book review
by Dan Cross
If you’ve ever emailed a book blogger requesting a review and not received a response from them, there’s a good chance it’s because you broke one of the “rules”.
Now, these aren’t blanket rules across all book blogs, they’re individual to each blogger, so it’s important that you read and understand them.
Book bloggers are not a new phenomenon, in fact, they’ve been around since blogs began. They’ve also got a good record of helping to raise awareness of books that may not otherwise be visible to potential readers.
They’re a fantastic resource that is so easy to tap in to, you just have to follow the proper steps.
Throughout this post, I’m going to give you the do’s and don’ts when it comes to requesting a review from a book blogger.
- DO read their book review policy
- DO try to understand the way they write
- DO make sure you write in the genre they read
- DO point to a specific post of theirs that you like
- DO tell them how you found their blog
- DO Include the book blurb
- DO include any review deadlines you have
- DO make it easier for them
- DO thank them after they’ve reviewed your book
- DO NOT send an electronic copy of your book to the initial request email
DO read their book review policy
Book bloggers spend a lot of time writing their review policy for a reason; it’s important to them.
You need to look at the review policy as being your manual for requesting a book review. All of the important information you need will be in there, you just need to take your time with it.
The review request should be viewed as a job interview. Before you prepare for a job interview, you read the job description first, right? Well, it’s the same here, it’s good to do some preparation first and ensure you’re targeting the right blogger for your book.
DO try to understand the way they write
Before you pitch a blogger to review your book, it’s well worth 10 minutes of your day just visiting their site and reading through some of their previous reviews. After all, it’s your book and you need to know what tone they might be writing in.
A lot of book bloggers swear in their reviews and aren’t afraid to rip your book apart.
Personally, I wouldn’t do that as I believe there’s an audience for every book, but there are some who won’t be so accommodating.
Are you okay with this? If not, the last thing you want to do is to pitch that particular blogger without actually understanding how they blog.
DO make sure you write in the genre they read
As a book blogger, this is one of my biggest bugbears. When I’m contacted by an author to read and review their romance novel or their how-to guide, I just despair.
The feeling I have when this happens is just overwhelming frustration, for 2 main reasons;
1. The author clearly hasn’t read my review policy or any of my blog posts
2. What a waste of their time
This is so easy to avoid and it would take the author less time to do a bit of research than it took for them to craft a really good email.
DO point to a specific post of theirs that you like
Bloggers are people too, and it’s always nice when we get an email from an author and they highlight one of our posts that they liked.
This doesn’t need to be a real kiss-the-ring session, just a little acknowledgement of the blogger’s previous work.
DO tell them how you found their blog
A lot of bloggers list their sites on blog directories, and sometimes it’s really helpful to find out where you found their blog. If you follow them already, whether it’s on social media or via email, let them know that.
I previously received a book review request but I was on the fence about whether it was really for me. But the author dropped a little gem into the email; they told me that another blogger (and one I know really well) had recommended me. This worked for the author and I really enjoyed reading their book.
DO Include the book blurb
You’ve spent a long time writing the perfect synopsis for your book, so include it when you pitch the book blogger.
At the end of the day, it’s one of the biggest things they’ll be looking at when deciding whether or not to review your book.
DO include any review deadlines you have
Book bloggers love ARCs so if you’re giving them one, let them know.
If you’re hoping to receive the review before its publication date, then let the blogger know.
Hopefully, you’ve sent the request well in advance of the publication date and the blogger has enough time to read and review the book. It’s just a case of being explicit with your deadline.
DO make it easier for them
You don’t have to write the review, just make it a little easier for when the blogger does.
I’m different to a lot of book bloggers in that I don’t mind searching through an author’s online presence to find appropriate links, but a lot of bloggers don’t like having to do this, and rightly so, it can take a lot of time.
It’s the nicest feeling as a blogger when an author sends you a reply email with their book and a media pack. When things like social links, author bio, high res images, and buy links are included, it just makes it so much easier.
DO thank them after they’ve reviewed your book
There’s nothing more galling for a blogger than having to do all of the book promotion on their own, actually, they shouldn’t have to do any aside from their review, but they will if that relationship has been built.
This has stopped me from reviewing an author’s second and third books in the past.
They went missing as soon as I had agreed to review the book and a year later asked me to review their following books. The simple answer was “no”.
I have found that I’m willing to do more for authors that take the time to read build a relationship with you and I’ll go out of my way to promote reviews of their work by other bloggers.
The book blog community is a very tight-knit one, and bad experiences are sometimes shared.
DO NOT send an electronic copy of your book to the initial request email
Running before you can walk is not always a good thing, so try to avoid it.
Attaching your book to an initial review request email is just too assumptive and can really turn a blogger off.
It’s best to wait for their reply before you send your book to them.
If you follow all of the above tips then there’s no doubt you’ll have reviewers pasting their views about your book all over the internet.
It’s important to remember that book bloggers are readers, and if you’ve targeted the right reviewers, they want to read your book, just give them the opportunity to love it.
Related reading: Where Are You Going With Your Facebook Marketing For Books?
Dan Cross is a reader first and a blogger second. When he hasn’t got his face buried in a book, you can find him over at Dansbookblog where he posts book reviews, book spotlights, and the odd author interview. Dan’s interests lie mainly with self-published authors where he aims to use his blog as a platform for their works.