Hello my lovely bookworms! I spend a lot of time talking about what to do in order to GET books to review, but today I wanted to switch gears a little and address authors that want to get their BOOKS reviewed. Some may not know this, but there is actually etiquette that goes into asking a reviewer to read your book. Reviewers are not obligated to read your book, and they certainly aren’t required to like your book, so here are a couple of pieces of advice for the author who is looking to get their book reviewed.
Take into consideration what the reviewer likes to read.
Many reviewers, but not all, have a section on their blog that tells authors, publishers, and other people what their interests are regarding the genre of books they like to read. I do not have a specific list of genres that I will read, because I am usually open to anything. That doesn’t mean that there are genres I won’t refuse. If you are serious about having a reviewer check out your work, take a look at the other reviews they have done. If you don’t see any books with in the genre that you’ve written, most likely they are not interested in that genre. This doesn’t mean you can’t ask for a review, just be aware that they may possibly decline.
Give a synopsis of your book in the query email.
This one may be obvious to some people, but it doesn’t always happen. If you want someone to read your book, tell them what it’s about! I love when an author or publisher sends me a synopsis or a blurb from the book so I can see if it’s my style. There may be a book that is in my wheelhouse genre-wise, but I read the synopsis and realize it doesn’t sound like something I would be interested in reading after all. Instead of having to go through hoops (because typing is hard guys), to find out what the book is about, having the synopsis right there for your viewing pleasure is simply magical.
Don’t hound the reviewer.
This could mean, don’t send 5 emails asking A.) If they have read the book yet. B.) If they have read the book yet. C.) If they have read the book yet. D.) When they are going to post a review. E.) If they are going to post the review on Amazon. F.) If they have read the book yet. And so on.
I think you get the picture. One query email will suffice, if the reviewer emails you back, please only send ONE more email with either the information for the book if it’s a PDF file, or letting the reviewer know that you have sent the book in the mail. Reviewers are busy reading many books, and being constantly hounded about when/how long/where they are going to review seriously makes us want to put the book off until the last possible moment. I have had this happen recently where a person, who I am not even sure HOW they are affiliated with the book or author, constantly contacted me “just checking in.” As soon as I sent the review, she has not contacted me, no thank you email, no social media contact, nothing. Needless to say, I will not be doing much work with them in the future. Reviewers are doing authors a service, and that needs to be recognized and appreciated. (Yes, I do know that authors are doing reviewers a service as well, but the respect goes both ways.)
Don’t get upset if the reviewer doesn’t like your book.
You can’t please all the people all the time, so if a reviewer doesn’t like your book, it’s not the end of the world. Yes it sucks, but don’t belittle or be rude to the reviewer if they did not enjoy your book. Take it as a learning experience and ask for reasons why. Maybe it’s the book, maybe it’s just the reviewers personal interests.
Don’t expect the reviewer to search out the book.
If you are offering your book to be read, make sure that you are sending the book for free, and that the reviewer does not have to jump through hoops- like contacting the publisher- in order to get their hands on a copy of your book. I do understand that writing a book is hard work, and it takes a lot of time, money and effort. That being said, reviewers can be used as a tool to get others to buy your books, but don’t expect the reviewer to purchase your book. That’s a little unfair, and also it’s not the reviewers job to get in touch with the publisher in order to obtain a copy of the book.
Say thank you, share the review on social media, help the reviewer get the word out about your book. Reading takes a lot of time as well, and coming up with a review that has heart can also be time consuming, the least you can do is say thank you to the reviewer.
Make it personal.
I feel special when an author emails me and tells me that they like my blog, or my story really made them feel more connected to me. This shows that they actually took the time to check out my site, and that they really feel that I will enjoy their book. Having a personal relationship with an author will make the reviewer more likely to read other books by you, and also to show your books to friends and family-which will increase your sales.
That’s about all I can think of for now, just remember that it’s all about respect both ways and we reviewers appreciate you sending us your books!