Monday, March 04, 2013

For the Authors: How to Properly Request a Book Review from a Blogger

I'm sure many of you book review bloggers out there can relate to this- doesn't it suck when you get asked to review a book in the form of an email and it just looks like no effort has gone into it? When us bloggers receive emails from authors asking us to review our books, we're doing you a favour. We read and review your books for free, taking time out of our lives and putting time and effort into the review. After getting a lot of emails this year requesting reviews, I thought I'd just give some tips on how to properly request a review.

Tip 1: Use proper grammar
I hate it when I see grammatical errors in books, magazines, papers, emails... I need proper grammar and you would expect that to be a given with a published author. When you write us emails, don't use abbreviations like 'u' for 'you' or 'r' for 'are'. I got an email a few weeks ago that looked a little something like this: hi r u interested in reading n' reviewing my book? please let me know. Do you think I agreed to review that person's book? It's not hard to type the word you, and when you use the abbreviation like that, it just looks lazy. Don't do it (unless it's in a text or something).

Tip 2: Provide us with a blurb or summary of your book
We're not going to agree to review your book if we don't know what it's about! Give us a short summary at least so we know what to expect and also so that we can make sure it doesn't breach our review policies, for those of us who have them.

Tip 3: Be considerate of the fact that reading a book takes time
Don't expect your book to be read and reviewed the very next day because it won't happen. We have other commitments, so please be mindful of the fact that it does take time to read and write a review. Depending on the length of the book and what's going on in the person's life at that time, expect a couple of weeks before the review is posted, at least.

Tip 4: Ask, don't demand
The blogger may not want to review your book and authors need to accept that. It might be a bad time or they're not comfortable reading your book. Whatever the case, be prepared for a few declines when putting yourself out there. Make sure you request the review, not demand it. For example, you could say something like: 'Hi, I was just wondering if you would be interested in reviewing my book...?' Don't say: 'Review my book. I can send you a hard or electronic copy, thanks.' It's not nice, nor is it polite.

Tip 5: Send a picture of the cover of your book
Most bloggers like myself will probably put a picture of your book on their blog as part of a 'Currently Reading' type thing. So it's a good idea to send a picture, or ask if the blogger wants one.

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