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.
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.
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.
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.
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.