Of Writers and Prose: Constructing a Book Blogger review request.
April 27, 2015 4 Comments
Well, I jumped into the insanity again. No, I’m not talking query letters, but close. I’m referring to the state of mind one eventually falls into, sending out requests to book bloggers for reviews. I call it insanity (in the good sense) because it’s exciting and a learning curve and if you don’t have a plan to go about it, you will end up pulling your hair out.
The last time I sent out requests I didn’t do very well. Out of the three-hundred or so I looked at, only a fraction of them were either 1) reviewing the genre I wrote, 2)open to new requests, and 3)reviewing self-published books. Finding reviewers who fit all three was a challenge but I did manage to find a few. There were considerable changes this time around. Mainly more reviewers, and that’s a good thing. More book reviewers means more chances for us to have our book reviewed, so I want to pass on a few things I do to make the process easier to navigate.
Like querying for an agent, looking for a book blogger for your precious piece of work falls under the same category, and it’s been my experience that you must look at it the same way. So…
First, you *must* have a plan. This will go a long way in keeping your sanity. I submitted to only five a day. I looked over each site, and there were a few days when it took up most of my morning ,which is why I set up a specific number.
2. Look for –AND READ – any guidelines and review polices. Don’t assume anything. If the reviewer says they don’t read YA or romance, don’t think your book is the exception, because it isn’t. They have these guidelines and policies listed for a reason. The day when you can send out emails en masse is OVER. Be smart and professional about this.
3. When you find a site that looks promising, read over the content a few times. Check to see what the date was for their last post. I found a few that were perfect, but abandoned for whatever reason and the owners didn’t remove the link from the book bloggers site or put up any kind of ‘Closed’ sign.
4. Give them what they ask for. Each review site is different and they’ll ask for different things. This is what can drive you crazy as you navigate all the small bits of info you need to have handy. It happens most when they have a form for the author to fill out instead of you emailing them your request.
Speaking of emailing requests, for the review site that asks you to send them an email this can get a little nerve-wracking. Making sure you put in what they need to make a decision on your book can take up a good chunk of your time. I have a template I’ll share with you. I was complimented on it by one reviewer, even though they didn’t take my book.
Good morning [add name here]! <<<try to personalize this. If you have the name of the blogger, put it in.
I am [your name]. I found your blog through [place site here], and I was wondering if you would be interested in reviewing my [genre] [novel/novella, etc.] [name of book]. It is a [word-count, YA, Adult, etc.] [here is where you put your great tag line or pitch!].
[I put the cover blurb here.]
If you are interested, I can provide either an epub, mobi file, or send it in PDF format [or if you have print. NOTE: If you have only print books, please read carefully where the blogger is. It costs money to ship books overseas.] I would also like to be open to any promotional idea’s (eg. giveaways, blog tours, advertising opportunities) offered by you. <<<THIS is important. It shows that you are interest in them for more than just the review, and many times, you can get just as much promo for your book with these other tools as with a review.]
I look forward to hearing from you!
Here’s what it should look like:
I am Darke Conteur. I found your blog through The Book Blogger List, and I was wondering if you would be interested in reviewing my paranormal/urban fantasy novella THE WATCHTOWER. It’s the first book in a series about a motley crew of paranormal individuals, defending the world from demons, while dealing with a few of their own. It is not a YA or a romance, and has a word count of just under 30k.
His first day at Terin Global wasn’t what Martin Cunningham expected. A sultry boss, a classy receptionist, the drama-queen foreigner, and a painfully shy techie who prefers hiding to human interaction, was the oddest group of characters he’d ever met. When an assassination attempt is made against his new boss, Martin comes face to face with the stuff of nightmares.
Now he and his new co-workers must race to prevent another attack, but where do they start? There’s very little to go on, and the only solid piece of evidence escaped through the u-bend in the toilet. By the end of the day, Martin becomes one of the privileged few who really understands what lies in the shadows, and what it means to work Terin Global.
Author Bio: I’m a writer at the mercy of my Muse. I write stories in several genres, but I prefer to create within the realms of the three ‘S’; Science Fiction, Steampunk, and the Supernatural. A gamer at heart, I also enjoy knitting, gardening, cooking and good music. When not busy writing, I look after one husband, one wannabe rock star, two cats, and one ghost dog.
If you are interested, I can provide either a epub or mobi file, or send it in PDF format. I would also like to be open to any promotional idea’s (eg. giveaways, blog tours, advertising opportunities) offered by you.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Pretty straight forward. Look over the sites. Some will give you a time frame for when they will reply. Generally, after eight weeks, if you haven’t heard anything, you’re not going to. Out of the sixty or so places I emailed, forty did not reply, for whatever reason. I’m not sure if this is an average, but many people I spoke to had the same experience.
Like everything else about your novel, have fun with it.