Today's Topic: How to keep Bloggers from auto deleting your Review Request.
The 2016 Discussion Challenge is hosted by Nicole @Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @It Starts At Midnight. “So often book bloggers mean to post more discussions on our blogs, but we just don’t quite get around to it. Well, we wanted to give everyone a little motivation to keep the discussions going, plus give us a place to link up our discussions so that more people will see our precious words of wisdom (or … you know … our GIF-filled rants).”
I have read at least half a dozen posts similar to this on other blogs, but I wrote and am publishing this post out of frustration. Despite the many bloggers before me who have tried to get this information out there, I continue to receive review requests that pretend to be personalized but are from people who obviously haven't bothered to check out my blog. I figure that there is obviously still a need for us to keep saying it.
Note: Just this week, I updated my own Review Policy, and implemented a mandatory online submission form for requests.
You will notice that all but 2 of these tips start in exactly the same way. That is because any Blogger will tell you that the #1 tip is to Read The Policies! To make them a bit easier to digest, I have underlined the relevant verb that starts the unique portion of each tip and bolded the tip's subject.
Read some of the blogger's reviews and consider whether a similar review is what you are looking for. (I recommend you check their index for books similar to your own, and also several you already have strong personal opinions about. Feel free to leave a comment or two.)
Read the blog's policies and make sure that they are currently accepting review requests (and whether they accept self-published books, if relevant).
Read the blog's policies and confirm that they review books in your genre.
Read the blog's policies and find out if they review for your audience (Children, MG, YA, etc).
Read the blog's policies and determine whether they dislike or are opposed to anything in your book.
Read the blog's policies and verify that you are able to provide a (free) copy in at least one of their preferred formats.
Read the blog's policies and decide if their review time frame is acceptable to you.
Read the blog's policies and discover whether they cross-post and/or promote on the review / social media sites that are most important to you.
Read the blog's policies and see if they are open to any additional promotional material you have to offer (such as interviews, swag, or giveaway copies).
Read the blog's sidebar or About page and learn the blogger's name.
Read the blog's policies and carefully follow the instructions for submitting your request (this includes both how to submit the request and what information to include).
Read the blog's policies and note if they say that only accepted requests will receive an answer (do not contact them a second time).
Bonus Tip 1 - If the policies in any way indicate your book or this blog is not a good fit (genre, audience, content, format, etc): Do not ask the blogger to make an exception, just Move On to the next blog.
Bonus Tip 2 - If a blogger ignores your request, declines your request, or posts a review you don't agree with: Do not keep emailing, or start an argument, just Move On.
Yes, it is a lot more work to do it this way; but anything worth doing is worth doing right. And I can attest that you are just ticking us off (bloggers) when you send us one those "didn't read my policies" requests. Even if your book is a perfect match for my blog, I prefer to fill my limited number of review spots with people who care enough to follow the instructions.
Talk to Me (pretty please)
- Bloggers: Did I leave anything out?
- Where are the authors getting all this bad advice about just grabbing someone's email and mentioning a review they've "seen" (which they haven't even read) before offering their own book? [Yes, that's a (mostly) rhetorical question.]
- If you are a first time visitor, how did you discover my blog?
Get a Second Opinion:
- "How to Get Book Reviews: 10 Tricks for Getting Your Book Reviewed by a Book Blogger" by Barb Drozdowich on Anne R Allen's Blog
"Generally speaking, bloggers get more queries/submissions than they can possibly read. To give you real numbers: 83% of bloggers who have been blogging more than 3 years receive more than 25 submissions/queries per month. Because they get so many, they need to pare down the numbers and people who don’t follow directions are easy to delete."
- "Review Requests – do’s & don’t’s" by Daniela @ books-to-get-lost-in
"I’m assuming writing your book was a lot of work. So many hours you sat and wrote, wrote certain things again, trying to improve it… don’t you want the book bloggers who review your book to be a good choice, tailored to your book? I’m thinking yes. So you have to read their blogs, otherwise you won’t know their likes and dislikes, their reviewing style, the sites they’re using to talk about your book….
Writing hi, please review my book, it’s great! I’ve attached it, thanks! may be quick, but it really dims your chances of having your book reviewed. Do you really want that?"
- "5 Ways to Make a Blogger Want to Stab Us in the Face" @ Kristen Lamb's Blog
"I know none of you—beloved followers—are guilty of these mistakes, but I will say that making that shift from unpublished newbie to “pro” is harrowing and we all do some really stupid stuff. It’s part of why I write these posts because none of us has this information embedded in our DNA. We have to learn some time, so maybe this can save you or someone you know some embarrassment.
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This week's discussion will also be linked up with the following (hover for descriptions):