Let’s get to the most important part of book marketing . Getting Reviews from Bloggers . This is often the most essential part of book marketing and I think you won’t be surprised to know that it is also what most authors fail at . It should be simple , with the number of bloggers out there . But no..it’s not . So , how can you get reviews from them ? What will make you request more acceptable ?
First , why would you need bloggers to review your book ? Because blogs in all shapes work wonders at promoting a book . Bad reviews or good reviews , your book will get exposure . Bloggers are open to promoting your book on their social media too . I have personally set automated posting but I do know a few bloggers who will take pains to manually promote everything they post . These wonderful people have readers who actually trust them , and this means their review is an influence .
But , the question comes back to , how do I get bloggers to review my books ? The answer is very simple : You have no choice but to risk a rejection . However , there are things you can do to increase your chances of getting accepted .
1 . Check the submission guidelines / review policies of the blogger
Almost all bloggers , myself included , have a page for that alone . Some are more specific of what they need and others are more loose . But whatever it is , it doesn’t hurt to go through it . Nothing irritates a blogger more than the knowledge that an author clearly disregarded their review policy .
2. Email them
Most bloggers have a lot of accounts at different platforms . We simply do not have the time to go through all the accounts to see review requests . So , don’t send requests via twitter/facebook /instagram texting , etc . We want all the requests in one place , in an order .
3. Social media spamming
Social media is a nest for all bloggers , but please don’t spam them with automated messages with a link to your book . Don’t get me wrong , but if you do keep messaging them with links , they will get ignored . This doesn’t mean you can’t DM a blogger . I actually recommend following them on a few social media and making yourself familiar . But don’t plug in your book at every turn , that is spamming .
4. Make yourself familiar
I can’t speak for others , but I personally love being romanced ( not literally ) . A follow here and a follow there will grab attention faster than you can imagine . I usually do keep tracks of my followers and I’m more inclined to accept someone who appears interested in what I do . Leave a comment on their blog or just retweet / fav or something like that . It is good manners .
5. Before sending requests , get them proof-read and edited
Books with formatting problems , even if they are accepted , will not receive a review . I only review these books because I feel obliged . But what do you think I will say ? Exactly , that it is a wall banger . There is nothing that irritates any reader more than formatting and other errors . This is not a major problem with ARCs , but if it is a finished copy , people are going to expect something better.
6. Try not to get trapped in the spam pile
Seriously , don’t throw weird subject lines . This is why I have set a standard subject line and if the bloggers you seek have it as well , please follow them . This is to avoid getting in the spam mail list . While greeting them , use their name . Or if the name is not available , use the blog name or their blogging pseudonym . Emails with a general “Hello Mam/sir ” risk getting Gmail to filter them as spam . Mass emails might also get trapped in spam list , so don’t do that .
7. Short and cute requests
Not cute, but you get the point . Sorry , but no blogger has the time or patience to go through a huge email . The first step to this is , stop talking about yourself and your publisher . We don’t care ; Atleast I don’t . Talk about the book instead and please don’t tell us what other reviewers are saying . We need a short something that will sell the book to us . Review requests are more likely to get accepted with only what the blogger wants on the request .
8. Don’t be afraid to contact them again
Don’t contact them multiple times for the same book , but you can contact them for other books . Most of the time , the blogger actually isn’t rejecting you or your book , but the chances are , they haven’t even opened your email . On an average , bloggers will get 10-20 emails per day . We don’t check emails everyday either . So you do have a chance of getting your other book accepted .
9. Don’t expect them to pay for the copy
Remember , we are doing free publicity services here . It is in no way right to ask for us to pay to get a review copy or the postage . Funny thing is , most of them claim that “Free copies for review are paid reviews ” . They forget that a book we buy is ours to do with as we please-to review or not is our choice . You can’t expect us to review if we buy it .
10. Don’t bug them
TBH , we are busy . We get a lot of books to review . If you gave us a timeline , don’t keep nagging us until the timeline is up . You can email us once the timeline is over . Sometimes , it is likely that we forgot the book , and your email after the timeline will remind us .
11. Never bad-mouth a blogger on social media
If you ever receive a bad review , take it easy . Your book might not work for everyone . Honestly , even the best of books get bad reviews and opinions . If you complain online about the review someone provided or that they decided not to review , chances are they will find out . Trust me , you don’t want to get on their bad side ( especially those who are super influential )
12. Check the bloggers’ influence
Normally , I would be happy to provide you with my stats detail than have you whine to me later for not getting the sales you expected to miraculously pitch up after 24 hrs of my review . So if you you want ask , just do . And no , the sales will increase gradually and never a see a peek so soon , even with a big-time blogger .
Now all that aside , I’ll show you samples for bad pitches and good pitches
Sample : How a bad request looks
Hi , _________
I hope you’ll go through my book and provide a review . I’ve attached the book in both epub and pdf version . It’d be amazing if you can do a review within two weeks and send us a link to the review so we can share it !
(The attached files )
Now , that is exactly how you submit a bad review . Unfortunately , this is a format of request I’m constantly receiving . What do I do ? Delete them .
Sample : How a good request looks
Hey , __________
My name is __________ . My latest book , ___name of book___ is a _____genre_____ . It was released on __________ by __________ publisher . I have attached the cover image and a synopsis .
(Synopsis of the book )
I am looking for reviewers and wondered if you would take my book into consideration . I have ________ formats available and ready to be dispatched .
(purchase links ) (link to Goodreads )
Hope to hear back from you soon !
(attached cover image )
Best wishes /sincerely /whatever ,
The above is how a good request usually looks like . I only bother with these requests , personally .
However , don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear back . It is , as said , more about time consumption than your book sounding cool enough or such .