How to Approach reviewers? (Dos and Don’ts)

Approach reviewers.png

Hello guys !

I’ve “officially” been reviewing books for almost two years and in that time I got my fair share of review requests, some that were good, great even, and some… not so much. The latter are what sparked this particular discussion post, especially one I got recently that was just plain bad. Objectively. It was condescending and borderline rude, and it also didn’t contain any useful information. I debated posting a screenshot (that leaves out the book/author info out) but ended up not doing it. That being said, if you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw it, because I was really annoyed when I first got the email.

I thought I’d help out because sometimes new writers do not know how to go about this so I hope these few guidelines help.

Approach 1

I can’t say this enough, but this is not only the first step but the most important one, and I noticed that a lot of people do not do this before contacting me. If you spot a reviewer that you think about emailing for a review, read their review policy first (and reviewers -especially bloggers- have a review policy somewhere, it’ll make things easier for both you and the author). There are a lot of reasons for this. First of all, it saves you time and work because if the reviewer doesn’t accept the kind of books you write, emailing them is useless. Make sure your book fits the age category and genres the reviewer reads.

Review policies are also helpful in knowing what to expect once you email the reviewer, in which cases the reviewer emails back (because there are some, like myself, who do not email back unless it is to accept the review request, it’s just because of lack of time really), maybe even what time frame to expect an answer in.

Approach 3

Okay, we all agree that greetings like “Hello Blogger”, “Dear reviewer”, “Hi wordwoonders” and the like need to go. Unless the reviewer doesn’t state their name anywhere, please use it, it’s the least you can do when adressing someone. This irks me and is a sure way for me to not give the email the attention it could’ve gotten if the author had taken the time to look my name up (which is literally all over my blog). Also, MAKE SURE YOU SPELL THE NAME CORRECTLY!! That doesn’t take too much effort either.

Another thing that guarantees rejection is when authors approach reviewers like they’re doing them a favor… I. No. I know that being able to read arcs I’m excited for ahead of time and for free (in exchange of an honest unbiased review of course) is a privilege but it’s also work, a butt load of work. And when the author is the one requesting, they’re asking for us to work… for free. So, condescending isn’t the way to go about it. Think about it as a transaction, the benefit goes both ways. And like, it’s generally a bad look to be rude or condescending.

Approach 2

Name of the book, synopsis, author site, time frame, retail links, goodreads link, anything that might be useful to the reviewer needs to be in the email. If you are requesting a review, I shouldn’t be the one to do all the work to find out what the book is about etc… The least you can do, it you don’t email the synopsis, is a goodreads link, that should ALWAYS be in the email if it exists.

The email that sparked this post didn’t have any of the things mentioned, barely the name of the book and author, no synopsis, no links. I had to go look for the book myself, which if I was busy, I wouldn’t have done and I realistically cannot do that for every book I get emailed about, it’s just too much. So, please, for the love of all that is blue (my favorite color), put that info in your email or make it easy to find. Preferably, in the email though.

Approach 4

If you get a rejection (in the form of an actual email or not getting a response) do not take it as an attack on your person, there are various reasons the reviewer could refuse and none of them have anything to do with the author, some of which are:

  • The time frame doesn’t work with their schedule or they’re all around busy.
  • The book doesn’t fit their reading preferences. (this is why review policies are important)
  • It might fit, but the premise itself doesn’t sound like something they’d personally enjoy.
  • The email was lacking in one of the ways stated above.

So, please do not turn passive aggressive or insist on them taking on your book if this happens, it won’t change your mind, it only makes matters worse. Things like “you don’t know what you’re missing out on”, “you are missing the point” or anything that is rude are not recommended as a follow up email to a rejection. I know rejections are hard but it’s only one reviewer and you’ll find other that are a better fit for you.

Well, folks, this is all I have for today’s discussion. I know it’s a bit different from what you’re used to seeing from me, as my posts are normally targeted at readers and other bloggers but this is something that has been bugging me -and others- and I thought I should address it.

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That’s it until next time.

If you’re a reviewer, have you ever gotten any emails like these?

What are some extra tips you’d give authors who want to email you?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.


33 thoughts on “How to Approach reviewers? (Dos and Don’ts)

  1. YES these are all such good points! I’ve had so many requests from writers who barely even explain their book and don’t link to it, and clearly seem not to have read my review policy or any of my posts….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic post, my twinnie. I love all of your points here. It’s crazy the number of times I get emails from people who haven’t even read my review policy or just, well…didn’t even mention my blog or my name. I once got an email telling me, that I loved some genre and that this book would fit my reading taste and… I can’t remember the genre now, or it was even non fiction or something, something I haven’t ever reviewed on my blog.. I just don’t get it. I understand it takes time to find reviewers for your book, but bothering and finding the right kind of reviewers, write a sweet and easy email with all of the information already provided, being polite and everything…well, it’s really the best thing anyone can do.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I definitely agree 100% on all of these! I get so many requests for thrillers and I am just like “Have you even been to my blog?!?!?!?” and also, my review policy currently states that I do not accept requests, so I would prefer if I didn’t have to decline them. It’s gotten to a point where I just ignore requests I am not interested in and I hate being rude, but I just don’t see the point anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is great. I’ve definitely received emails where it was clearly a mass-email, or unprofessional ones, or those that obviously didn’t read my review policy. As well, gotten responses from rejections that were rude, passive aggressive, and even one that tried to attack my personal beliefs. I find it so strange, because while I get that rejection and putting yourself out there is hard, there is no reason to be a jerk to another person, especially one you want to do something for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Fadwa! I absolutely agree that writers should not take reviewers for granted. Even though we get the book for free, it takes time to read and review it, so even if we are being paid hourly on a minimal wage to do it, this is WAY more than the cost of the book copy itself. They should appreciate reviewers that we are offering this service for free, because we love books. And we definitely have the right to choose which books to accept or reject. That’s too bad to hear that you’ve been getting some rude requests!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is GREAT advice. There are so many times where I get requests and can’t help but roll my eyes because the author clearly didn’t take the time to read my review policy or really learn anything about who I am as a blogger. I recently got a request from an author asking me to review their new book and they didn’t even include the title of their book! They just told me it had released a couple of weeks ago and was similar to other books I reviewed (without even mentioning a specific title, so honestly they probably were making that up). I don’t have the time to sit there and do spy work just to figure out what book someone is trying to get me to review, so that email went right in the trash lol Anyway, I’m starting to ramble, but this is a great post with lots of fantastic advice!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Amazing advice! So glad you’ve wrote this, you’re my go to person for advice like this as you’ll know! It is so annoying when people don’t read your review policy and try to get you to read a book you have zero clue about (say if it’s non fiction on a specialist subject) or a genre you don’t read.
    I also find it frustrating when you politely say no and they continue to email asking each month or if they send it anyway just in-case and then email to see if you got a chance to look at it. I mean i’ve looked at the synopsis and I told you it wasn’t for me… I always feel so guilty turning people down.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I totally agree with this post! Honestly, I’ve made a restriction on my review policy- so far, I only take physical copies. That’s because it’s a LOT easier for me to want to read a book that I have in physical, honestly, and it also cuts down on the number of review copies!

    Honestly, I almost NEVER reply to a review request if I don’t want to accept it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I haven’t been reviewing books for long, but I’ve already gotten some requests lacking important information. I recently got one, on Instagram, and the words were something like “Hi, would you like to read and review my book?”. It didn’t even mention the name of the book. I had to search it online, but the Goodreads page wasn’t very useful either. It’s a shame, because I might have accepted it. Everyone should read this post for future reference!


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  12. THIS. ALL OF THIS. I WANT TO TAKE THIS BLOGPOST AND SEND IT TO ALL THE AUTHORS AND PRINT IT AND HANG IT EVERYWHERE. It’s SO frustrating when it’s obvious an author hasn’t read your review policy. At first I sent a polite email back, but at some point I was just done. If you’re not taking the time to read my review policy, why should I take the time to respond to your email?

    Also!! Not accepting rejection!! Oh my goodness!! Like dude no is no. One author kept pushing, saying that my readers would be interested in reading an interview with them *eye roll* Please don’t do that.

    The most annoying thing that happened was an author who emaild me with a request (which was a fine email) but then emailed me again like two days later because I hadn’t responded yet?? I was in the middle of my exams, but even if I hadn’t, please have patience?? I stated in my review policy that I’m busy with school, but even if I hadn’t said that, dude I’m a human being who’s doing this for free. Chill. It doesn’t stop there though, because a few days later they emailed AGAIN saying it was the last time they’d try. I was soooo pissed. Sorry for the rant haha. I seriously love this post!! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

      I honestly was done from the start hahaha i never respond to emails when there’s no effort put into them.

      Yikes, double emailing is a sure way for me to not want to work with an author. There’s this one who emailed me constantly and when I didn’t answer he DMed me on twitter 🤦🏽‍♀️ JUST WHY

      Liked by 1 person

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