It’s been a fair while since I last rambled (not the walking over rolling hills type, I think I’ve done that once and it was forced upon me on a school geography trip to Malham Cove) I mean a little ramble on here about the bookish/bloggish things that pop into my head and I then convince myself the rest of the world will want to know about it.
Well you lucky lot, I’ve been thinking again!! And I’m going to ramble . . .
Those of you who know me will know that I’ve been ill recently, a serious bout of flu turned into pneumonia and it’s been about six weeks since I last felt like an actual human being! This last week has been spent catching up on everything I missed during that time and one thing that has really wound me up is the number of review requests I’ve had through my blog, where the author in question has totally ignored my review policy (I’m not accepting review requests so the fact I’ve had over fifty is rather annoying!!)
It’s something my fellow bloggers and I talk about ALL the time, how to respond to these requests, how annoying they are, how rude people can be (I know right!!) so I thought I’d have a little ramble and hopefully give a bloggers account of this process that authors will understand and hopefully take some value from.
Pretty much EVERY blog will have a review policy. Some have given them their own page, some have a note on their contact page, but somewhere, on a blog there is a review policy. Now I know that not everyone will know to look for this, but if you’re reading this, now you do and you have no excuse in the future 🙂
The review policy is really important, it sets out the terms that particular blogger will read and review a book under. For example, it will have details on the genre of book they will read (this will also be fairly obvious from the blog itself which you should also be reading and will most probably be in their About Me section too), it will detail what format of book they will read (EBook [Kindle, iBook etc.] paperback) it might detail how much notice they need/want, some will say how long they expect to be able to get the reading/review done and it will TELL HOW TO request a review.
Most importantly, it will say if they are actually accepting review requests.
In my opinion, this is the bit that a lot of authors seem to just ignore.
I don’t know why, but I know it happens all the flipping time and not just to me.
It’s a real bone of contention for bloggers and to be perfectly honest, authors who ignore this tend to go on a blacklist, a very private list that most bloggers keep, to remind them who couldn’t be bothered to read their review policy.
I have one.
I know others do too.
You don’t want to get on one of those lists!!!
Next step then for an author, you’ve found a blogger you love and whose review you would really value (because you don’t just send your precious book to everyone ~ it’s pointless) and having read their review policy, you know they are accepting review requests. What now?
First of all, find out the correct way to contact them. They may have a different email address to send review requests to. Make sure you are following their preferences.
Second, tell them EVERYTHING without boring them with an email reminiscent of War and Peace. I personally want to know the following in the FIRST email:
Use our name! Do not send a generic email without at least adding the bloggers name at the start (thanks Dena @ D.E. Haggerty)
Name of book
Blurb (in the email please, NOT a link to the Amazon page or your website)
When you want it reviewing by
Is the review for a blog tour you are organising?
The format you can send it in
A little bit about you
Are you self-published?
Who is the publisher?
Is it your debut?
Part of a series?
NOT your CV or life story – bullet points will do!
If I am interested after this, I will email you back.
Bloggers don’t have time for twenty emails back and forth to get all the information needed, so please, give us it all straight away, to allow us to make an informed decision. Imagine you’re on Dragon’s Den . . . You have one minute (probably less to be honest) to really grab our attention and make us mark your book as one we want to read and review.
It may not be immediately, it may not be that week but if an email has grabbed my attention it will get a response.
This is where authors perhaps need a little understanding that bloggers do this for love.
We don’t get paid.
We have lives away from the blogging world, husbands, wives, children, pets, jobs, all sorts of other things going on in our lives so we simply cannot respond to every email we receive immediately, especially from someone we don’t know.
Yes I know that sounds a little harsh, however, if I’ve got two emails, one from an author/publisher I am already working with and they need a response and one from someone whose name I don’t recognise and only five minutes to read and reply before I have to bath the kids, the first email will get my attention.
Anyway … Once you have sent an email, leave it, perhaps follow up a couple of weeks later as yes, things do happen, we may forget to reply, your original email may have gone into the spam folder, blah blah blah . . .
But don’t pester!
Please don’t hound us, as even if your book sounded brilliant and we were going to reply and you then send us ten messages a day, you’ll probably end up on the blacklist.
Again, bloggers are not sat at their laptops, all day every day, waiting for review requests to come rolling in (we wish!) and their blogging email is most probably different to their personal one and therefore emails aren’t always checked immediately.
If you don’t get a response to your second email, leave it and scratch that blogger off your list and move on. hey may surprise you with a response in a few weeks, they may not, either way you have kept yourself of the blacklist and saved yourself time not chasing uninterested bloggers.
Don’t be upset, don’t panic and think your book is pants, it’s just not that bloggers cup of tea. Find someone who will love it!
Don’t send another email telling them to fu*k off either (yes that happens more than you would think!)
Don’t start sending rude emails telling them how horrible they are for not replying and don’t tag them in arsy posts on social media, as those authors tend to be placed on our ‘public’ blacklist!
We will warn other bloggers about your behaviour and us bloggers like to stick together!
Nasty to one, nasty to all!!!
Hopefully though you will have done your research, you will have found the perfect blogger for your book, read their review policy, contacted them in the proper way and sent them a meaningful email the first time that has really grabbed their attention.
They will reply.
They will tell the rest of us about this brilliant book they’ve got to review. You might then end up with several other bloggers contacting you asking for your book! But, if for whatever reason your book isn’t of interest to them, they may know someone who will be and, due to how lovely and upfront you have been, they may mention you to them.
The possibilities are endless when that first contact is done properly!
Authors, particularly those who are doing this kind of thing for the first time, please take note, every blogger will be different but with this little bit of advice you may just stand out from a very long list of emails!
And most importantly, read the review policy!!
Anyway, that’s enough from me on this matter.
I’ve said a lot of ‘we’ in here when referring to my fellow bloggers and I hope that some of you agree with what I’ve said!
I’d love to hear any other bits of advice other bloggers have in the comments below 🙂
Have a super day guys ~ keep reading xx