Things bloggers want to tell authors: Requesting reviews

Requesting reviews

One of the perks of being a book blogger is the number of books that we receive for review. For a book lover, there could be nothing better. With the rising number of books we receive for review between the e-galleys and the ones sent by the publishers and PR agents themselves, it is a miracle that we even have a social life, if at all we did. So why would I respond to an unsolicited email from a never-heard-of self-published author requesting reviews for his books, leave alone review them?

Okay, that might have been harsh. But that is kinda the truth.
The only thing that we book bloggers love other than reading books is talking about them to other book-worms, a.k.a their blog readers. We are absolutely thankful for the review copies and the giveaways the authors and their publishers offer because let’s face it: otherwise, we would be broke AF.
Requesting reviews
Some of us are alive mostly for the books delivered in their inboxes (e-books) or on their doorsteps. Okay, that may have been a tad too grim, but let us not make it about me. Yes, you get it, we LOVE the freebies.
But again you have not seen our inbox and the number of emails we receive soliciting reviews in a week. I can only imagine the state of the popular bloggers out there. And to add to the issue, there are several blogs that do not accept indie books for reviews.
So if you are an indie or self-published author, who does not have an army of agents working on social media profile, promotions like book tours and seeking out reviews all over the world and the internet, it, sure, is all the more difficult to handle it all. Of course, this post is not to make you dampen your spirits but to help in some way or the other.
So how can you, as a newbie/self-published author, make your attempt to reach your blogger more successful? Read on what book bloggers want to tell you, the authors about book reviewing.

1) Get to know us

It is always better to over prepare than none at all. Please spend a few minutes on our blogs and try to get to know us. It always helps if you address us by our names or the handle (if you found us on social media) than a generic “dear blogger”. I am not asking you to read every post in the blog (even though I would totally love it if you do) but at least know if I am interested in the genre that you write about.

That brings up the second point.

Requesting reviews

2) Read the review policy

Most bloggers have a separate page detailing their policy and preferences; a few just mention them on the sidebars. It would hardly take a minute or two to read them. This might sound like a no-brainer but it would be surprising to know the number of people who skip this. It is not only silly that they won’t read it but I feel it is downright rude.

3) Do not pester

The policy page usually has the instructions on what to do further. Not all bloggers review all genres and they do not accept all the books they receive. Most of them will let you know if they accept to review your book. Do not send us your books before say YES. The policy page usually tells you about the expected turnaround for their reviews, if they accept. So wait for a while say, two weeks or so, before you follow-up. Follow up, not pester or antagonize them already.

4) Do not ask for more

Many book bloggers talk about the books out of love and passion. They do not owe you much. If they agree to a review, do not expect or demand more out of them. Even if you are paying for their services, make sure what they offer and agree to. Ask them where they would post and promote their review, and thus your book. Demanding them to post the review in too many places, asking them to tag you everywhere, etc can be too exasperating for them too.

Requesting reviews

5) Respect their views

Not everyone is going to like your work. Not everyone can fall in love with your characters. You are approaching strangers from the internet for an unbiased review. They might give a negative opinion; be prepared to accept it. Do not ask them to remove them, or demand them to not post them. Do not argue about their rating system or their scores. Most bloggers do not even expect to hear a ‘thank you’ from you after the review, much alone an argument with you. Respect their views, especially the one you sought for.

6) Avoid badmouthing

Of late, there have been quite a few instances where authors and bloggers got into a verbal feud. Of course, keyboard warfare is not new, but having badmouthing a particular blogger for their opinion is not encouraged. If you have a problem, be adults and discuss them privately, not on social media. I am sure the news travels and would hit you out of nowhere.

7) Help us help you

Lastly, provide us with all the required details to make a decision about reviewing your book. Once they agree to accept to review your book, you can provide them with Amazon and Goodreads links, and your social links to help to tag you once the review is up.

Requesting reviews

With the Amazon’s new restrictions, many bloggers are wary of being ‘friends’ with authors in the social media, lest making their reviews may be brought under scrutiny and may even be removed. So if they are not accepting your ‘friend’ requests, do not take it personally.
In short, be as polite as you would be when you meet a stranger. Do not let the anonymity presented by the internet spoil you. Do your research.
We love you requesting reviews
If you are an author, let us know what’s your say? If you are a book blogger, link your review policy page here and let us know what else you wanna tell the authors that approach you.

41 COMMENTS

  1. This blog came at a great time for me. I just reached out to a number of book reviewers/bloggers to request a review for my latest release. Before doing so I did read their genre interests, review policies and complied to their requests in terms of Title, page length, Goodreviews and Amazon links, etc. I understand there are many review requests, especially for popular bloggers and reviewers, therefore, why waste their time or mine. In fact, as I was seeking reviews for my recent release, a historical romance/coming of age I came across several reviewers seeking paranormal reads and instead put in a request for my Paranormal novella released at the beginning of 2017.

    As an author, the hardest part for me in sending out these review requests is not getting a reply. I’m always wondering, did I do something wrong or did they receive my email. It takes less than a minute to say, “Sorry not for me. Or thanks for the submission, will have to pass.” Or, an automatic response saying, “it was received and is under consideration.” There’s no sense in replying to the reviewer’s initial status reply, but it does make sense to continue in the search for reviewers. I’m speaking for myself, of course. I do agree, all authors should take the time to read the review policy and attempt to properly address the blogger/reviewer. For the record, I’m so very appreciative of reviewers taking the time and putting forth the effort (blogs, reviews, giveaways, etc.) to read and review my books. As a professional author, I’m grateful to all of the professional reviewers out there. KUDOS.

    • Thanks for your long comment and for taking your time to read the policies before you mail off the book.

      And as for the getting no reply about the statusqro of the review request, I am guilty. I may have not replied to some of the mails in the past, and I will do my best to change that.

  2. I’m a lifestyle blogger—so not only a book blogger. In my experience, authors have been more personal and respectful in terms of pitching me than many of the brands that have wanted to work with me.

    With that said, there are some things that have frustrated me/made me feel bad, because I don’t have a way to adequately read e-books at the moment, so I only review print books (and not every author has print books available, so having to reject someone whose book summary intrigues me, or them having to reject me, blows).

    The main issue I experienced was when an author got upset that I rated his book 2/5 (which I didn’t have to do, but I don’t rate books on feelings alone, because my brain doesn’t work that way), and interacted with me really negatively and traced me to Twitter. It makes me feel a bit…eh. I’m feeling nervous about it. He hadn’t pitched me, but…I don’t think that sort of behavior helps other authors when one author does that. D;

    As far as the links to Amazon and Goodreads go, however, I personally want them—I want to be able to see the book is legit and listed somewhere, whether for pre-order or “coming soon” (whatevs), because such is my way of validating newbie authors and doing a bit more research about the book. But then, I have trust issues (heh).

    P.S. I’m including my backup blog email, but I don’t like to—the comment form isn’t letting me use my email address, because it’s calling it “incorrect”.
    Jane recently posted…Jane Lately #38My Profile

    • I have seen some cases of authors harrassing the reviewers and I can’t help asking ‘what are these authors thinking?’ or ‘this is can’t do them any good at all.’ Thanks for visiting my blog and your long comment made my day.. erm. I mean night!

  3. I completely agree with you. There was even an incidence where an author was asking reviewers not to post three star rating on Amazon.

  4. I agree with all of the points you’ve made, especially the getting to know us one! It annoys me so much when I get random requests of genres I don’t read and the author has not even bothered to include my name in the message!

    I think a lot of people underestimate how time consuming blogging and reading can be!

  5. I always tell authors that there is going to be a long wait and then asked them to confirm that they are happy to proceed. I used to reply to everyone, but now I only reply to those that use my name, or blog name. Those that just start with, Hi, I don’t even read, I just delete, as it tells me they haven’t read our policy – quite clearly states who to address email too. http://whisperingstories.com/review-policy/ Perhaps I’m being harsh.

    • I find that totally rude. They are initiating the contact and they do not do the one thing we ask them to – read the damn instructions!
      And any mail that comes as a mass mailer with ‘Hello blogger’ goes straight to trash. That is so annoying as well.

  6. Haha you made me laugh. That comic is so true!! I go into Barnes & Noble and come out with like 5 books or more and then go into a clothing store and say…. um maybe later. hehe

  7. Love this – and would like to add – don’t send an ARC riddled with errors and expect a high rating – I understand a few errors but not errors on every page. If the ARC is of such poor quality, I cannot trust that all those typos will be corrected.

    • Totally true. Poorly edited ARCs truly get on my nerves too. Even with the promise that they would be edited, I cannot give them great reviews.

    • Here, here, we can only review what we see.
      I can never understand sending a poor quality product to bloggers who are more likely to write and post a review and shout about the book all for free, than most paying customers.

  8. These are good. I’ve been thinking about a post like this too. If I could add one suggestion, it would be please don’t send your book until after I have agreed to read it. I don’t like the responsibility of having a book that I don’t want to read. The other thing I hate is when the only contact you have with the author is when they want you to review a book. Here’s the link to my review policies. http://terriluvsbooks.com/index.php/policies/ Thanks for letting my share.

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