Do’s and Don’ts of Asking for Reviews

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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.

Show gratitude.

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!

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39 thoughts on “Do’s and Don’ts of Asking for Reviews

  1. Really interesting read. 😊 On my review request page I state what books I like reading, will consider and won’t read, I don’t read Y-A but got an email from an author about their new Y-A series the other day and I was like, didn’t you read the request page!

    I really like that you added the make it personal bit, on my request page to I’ve actually wrote that I’d prefer it if the author/publisher makes the request more personal than simply ‘will you read my book’ adding that personal touch adds a lot as you can see that they have taken the time to check out your blog before they contact you.

    Great post. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of the things that bugs me is when people tell me all about their book, and then just end the email. I’m like, do you want me to read it or are you just letting me know it’s out there? lol. The personal touch definitely helps and makes you feel like you are actually making a difference for that author.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, I was pointing out only yesterday to an author that we didn’t want the extra step of getting a code to go to the publisher’s site to download the book, we just one e-mail with the book attached in our chosen format, sent direct to the reviewer, we already give out time freely, it is a simple request.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Just Can't Help Writing and commented:
    Do you review books? Can you add to this good advice? What makes you decide to write a review—or makes you decide not to? I find that I’m least likely to review something I’m reading if I’m unsure whether I’m reacting to the book itself or to conventions of a genre that I just don’t understand or care for. What about you?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great post. I found you on the Reading Ape’s blog. I have a question – I’m a new author (two books self published so far). I would love a review done on my work! Am I correct in thinking that I can send a book through an email as an email attachment, as if its a manuscript and you will read it , and then put a review on Amazon? I’m so new to this, would love some thoughts.:)

    Like

  5. Bravo! I received 2 emails this week that started with ‘Hey,’. This already annoys me to no end because I have a name y’all! I got double annoyed because my contact page is clearly stating that I’m not accepting any requests until further notice. Mailing someone with “After reading your guidelines I believe this book would be a good fit for your blog.”. Yes, if you’ve actually read my guidelines, you would’ve known I was on a request hiatus…
    Reblogging this as soon as I get access to my laptop 😁.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I also have that I am not accepting book reviews on my site right now, and I still get them daily. Sometimes I feel it’s rude that people look past that-but also feel flattered that they want me to read their books lol. One of my other biggest pet peeves is when people spell my name wrong. This has been one of my biggest irks my whole life. If I sign my email Kerrie, please do not write back and spell it Karrie, Kerry, Kari or anything else. My name is literally right there. It makes me feel like you didn’t really take the time to fully read the email that I sent and care about what I wrote. I make it a point to spell peoples names correctly because I can’t stand when this happens to me. Thank you for reblogging!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. D’awwe. I know what you mean with feeling flattered at the same time. When someone adds a note like “I saw you’re not accepting any requests right now, but…”, I usually feel so flattered that I decide to make an exception anyways :’). But it’s all about treating you as the awesome person you are. I’ve been called Anna a couple of times; I feel your frustration 😉

        Like

  6. Reblogged this on Inked Brownies and commented:
    Since I keep getting review requests which clearly show the people who sent them didn’t read any of my guidelines at all, yet starting off with ““After reading your guidelines I believe this book would be a good fit for your blog.”…while I’m on a request hiatus…I came across this post this morning and thought it was definitely reblogging material. I’m always honoured to receive review requests but for the love of books, treat me like a person instead of PR-opportunity #1244.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Besides being an author with two books under my belt: a sweet MG/YA Paranormal romance novel, and an anthology of 100 Flash Fiction, I’m also a Book Review who’s so far as read/reviewed almost 360 books on Amazon in the past two years. Shortly after I began reviewing books I received a request to read/review a book from an author, a book I had no desire to read, Being an author I know how it feels to ask some stranger to read a book you’ve written and then ask for them to write a review, so I don’t do this any more, but how do I say “NO” without making that author feel rejected. The only solution was to be honest, so I posted an entry on my blogs which spells out the selection process I use in reviewing books, a selection that is unbiased,

    All of my reviews are for books I’ve won through the various giveaways/contests I enter each week [I only enter the ones which have books I’m interested in reading] or for books I’ve bought.

    NEVER FORCE A BOOK REVIEW ON SOMEONE – YOU MIGHT GET THE REVIEW, BUT IT MIGHT NOT BE THE KIND YOU WERE LOOKING FOR

    Like

  8. I missed this post when it was written in July. Found it today when cleaning out my email.

    When my 2nd book in the series come out, finding a reviewer for SciFi will be on the top of my list.

    Thanks for providing advice to writers. We’re an odd bunch, I know. We need all the coaching on etiquette we can get. 🙂

    Like

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