Well hello and a wonderful Saturday morning!
Time for a Discussion post. Some of you might be blogging for years, some of you might just blog for a few month. But I figured that every one of us Book Bloggers faces the same issues and problems when it comes to “Review Request”. Requests can go both ways of course. I can be an author/publisher contacting YOU to review their books, or it can be YOU requesting a book from an Author or Publisher. Today, I’d just like to focus on the Request we get!
We here at the Bookworms have been blogging since nearly 3 years (soon…) and the amount of review request we got has been increased during this time! However, in the beginning I was squealing over ever email we got and we often books just because we’ve been contacted. That’s different now. I sort the request thoroughly, looking at each request carefully before deciding. We have been definitely become more careful!
Request I decline and mostly do not even answer:
- Request from authors that clearly have not read Review Policy! Because ..duuh! that’s what it’s there for! We ask there for a goodreads link and a cover image.
- Request from authors that do not adress us personally and send out a mass mail. I just do not answer! Sadly 90% of the requests are like this. Mass mails send out with no respect to our policy. I do understand how hard it is to market yourself, but well, we cannot read and review everything the mail has to stand out!
- Request, which are “masked” by sending me a “gift”. While this might sound like a great idea to some authors, I can assure you , it’s not!
- Request for a book where the cover just does not grab me….. Gosh I know I am shallow, but sometimes the minute I see a cover I know I am not going to read it!! *shutters* I know that I might miss on good books, but I feel like if someone didn’t invest in a great cover, did they invest in good editing?
Seriously, while this might sound harsh, with the amount of mails we get we need a way to sort out the ones we are genuinely interested in and also which author researched us and wrote us for a reason!
Oh, I have to shamelessly admit, that review requests from traditionally published authors are handled differently and not in such a harsh way!
I remember two shiny examples of Indies I think I would not have read if not for their incredible mail: Jennifer Sommersby wrote the cutest email ever and after writing back and forth with her I knew I had to read her book! And hell, I was glad I did even though the cover of Sleight back then was ugly (sorry Jenn!!)!
Also, just recently an author approached by saying she my blog mentioned on the NA Alley Blog . It was a personal email, where she looked up who we all are and I immediately answered! That author was Carrie Butler and I am now mega excited to read her book Strength! See? She was personal and won me over! (Well, and her cover because it has a hot dude on it.. but that’s besides the point).
Also, not long ago I got a request where the author said that I recently read a certain book on goodreads and therefore she things her book might be up my alley! I totally liked this approach! She looked me up and found something to grab my interest . Uhm, just sadly, I never read this book ..lol so .. 🙂 But, in theory that is a good idea I think, just a lot of work too;(
( I actually didn’t want to give any advice because I do not think it’s on me to hand out such advice, but… well, I think I can sum up my points nicely)
- Read the Review Policy of the Blog you are about to approach.
- Take your time to write a personal email! I know it takes time and sucks, but.. i am super sure that this will pay off!
- Maybe look up the reviewer, what does she likes in a book?
- Do NOT just send your book over! Not with a code to download, not attached and not via amazon!
- Do not approach bloggers via twitter and facebook, write an email!
But my best advice… do not be sad if bloggers do not respond and don’t take it personally. Some bloggers get soo many requests that they cannot reply to everyone .. Sad, but true.. I actually am really sorry I cannot reply to everyone who writes us. I appreciate every mail we get and I wish I would have the time to reply and explain why or why not I have to decline but.. seriously, I just have no time to do so..