#ETLBW · Random Ramblings

#RandomRambling #Authors ~ How to request a #blogger #reviewrequest #bloggers #bookbloggers

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

Genre

Blurb (in the email please,  NOT a link to the Amazon page or your website)

Release date

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

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35 thoughts on “#RandomRambling #Authors ~ How to request a #blogger #reviewrequest #bloggers #bookbloggers

  1. I actually just added a line to my review policy that I will automatically delete anyone who doesn’t at least address me by my name. If you can’t get that right, I’m pretty sure I won’t like your book (I’m VERY detail orientated. Go Army!)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Dave!

      It’s so annoying and while I was sat deleting request after request and huffing and puffing about it, my hubby asked if there was a chance people don’t read it and that’s really what got me thinking about it all properly.

      Debut indie authors may not know about the policies we put on and can just get swept away in trying to get the word out about their book, which I do understand, but perhaps this might just help authors gain a little insight into what happens when they pay no attention to what our blogs say. 🙂

      Like

      1. I loved it, made me think that its about time I actually got one made for myself…have been holding off because didn’t want to seem idiotic given I don’t have alot of followers but I do get the emails so they must be getting the addy off here lol

        Like

  2. Great post. I’m closed to review requests and have been for a while it’s stated twice in the review policy and yet I still get review requests which is very annoying as you immediately question whether or not the author has even read the policy page. I do state I’m open to guest posts, extracts, etc to help the author just not actual reviews yet even when I get emails about interviews/etc they still mention and push for a review to and I have to say, it annoys me, I like to think I’m polite and always used to reply but when I see a review request now days I mainly just ignore it.

    I also ask that they make the contact more informal than generic, I’d like to know that they’ve chosen to contact me and checked out and like my blog rather than they just came across it while browsing and sent out the same generic email to lots of bloggers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, I can understand generic content to a certain extent, authors too are short on time and so I wouldn’t expect each email to written out each time with all the books’ information but you are so right in terms of actually checking that you might like that particular book and that they have taken the time to read your blog and then add something personal in, especially your name!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, that’s true, I didn’t mean a completely personal email each time, just something that actually shows they’ve checked out the blog as you say your name or even the blogs name included makes all the difference rather than one that starts ‘to the blogger’ etc.

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  3. Nicely put! Now I feel a lot more confident in holding off from posting my review policy, I’ve already got too many books to get through, with a scattering of review request emails, so I wasn’t sure I wanted to put one up to then reject requests. I’ve got some good tips though for when it does go up now, thanks 🙂

    Like

  4. I love this post! So many valid points. I just recently went through and overhauled my policy for some of the specific reason you mentioned. While I try to be professional and respect the requesters time, if they cannot respect mine enough to read my policies, I often delete. Again, terrific post 😊

    Like

  5. “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.”

    Out of curiosity, is it okay to ask if/when a blogger/reviewer may be taking requests again please? Sometimes, you’re aware of bloggers whose policy is a really good match to your novel, but it’s difficult to tell if they’ll be accepting requests in the near future (in which case, an author could look at scheduling a request then), or whether they’re closed for a lot longer (‘move on’ time).
    And, if it’s okay, what’s the best way of enquiring e.g. a quick, polite tweet or an email titled, ‘Please don’t put me on your blacklist!’?
    Thanks. (Any thoughts appreciated.)

    Like

    1. Great question Toria and one which isn’t easy to answer as the chances are, it’s not an easy answer!

      Lots of bloggers will work with lots of different publishers who have books coming out constantly by lots of different authors and they tend to get first refusal of our time. As such it’s difficult to say when the TBR pile will be reduced enough to go back to accepting reviews.

      I love the idea of that subject line for an email and I personally would read that email, even more so if it said ‘I’ve read your review policy – this isn’t an official review request’ and then asking the question. I think that might work and come across well.

      I once responded to a request for reviewers in a Facebook group to an author I knew and liked, a day or later I received an email stating that the author had been following my blog for ages (which he had) and he had been regularly checking to see if I was accepting requests. He had seen my comment on the group and said he knew he was pushing his luck but his book had been out for a few months and he was hoping that I was in a position to look at potentially reviewing it. He stated that since the comment I made he had been checking my policy to see if I updated it but wasn’t sure if it was something I’d not gotten round to and he desperately wanted my opinion on his book.

      It worked for me and I’m on the blog tour for it really soon.

      If you find a blogger who you have researched, you’ve read their other reviews, you follow them, you honestly think that they will enjoy your book but they aren’t accepting, keep checking in, perhaps send an email as you mentioned but don’t pester or follow it up, maybe drop them one once a month just asking of they have a space on their TBR for you.

      I can’t speak for all bloggers in this but I think that’s the best way and I’d certainly pay attention to someone who was genuinely interested in my opinion and showed that level of tenacity to get their book in front of me as it were.

      I hope that helps! 😊

      Like

    1. Thanks, Sarah!

      Yes, you really must get one otherwise you will be inundated with emails which you will feel obliged to respond to. I also have it written in red, above my contact form, READ MY REVIEW POLICY BEFORE CONTACTING ME BOUT REVIEWS but people still don’t bother! They get blacklisted immediately!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Erica,

      So glad you think so! Some people are just plain rude but I know the majority just don’t know where to start once they have the finished book in their hands.

      If this helps just one author secure a review and one less blogger recieve a badly sent request then I’ll be one happy blogger!! 😊👊📚

      Like

  6. yes! I so agree. If an author actually follows me, I almost never turn them down. That earns them a spot in the front.

    Like

  7. I know how it feels on both ends. It’s frustrating for everyone, but less so if authors just read the review policy! (And a personal connection helps too! Comment/share/like my stuff and there’s a better chance I’ll review your book… if it interests me.)

    Like

  8. Fabulous post! I have started getting requests on my Goodreads, so I had to add on my Goodreads to not contact me for reviews there and that I am currently not taking review requests.

    Even crazier- recently I and another blogger both got a review request from an author…We were both on the blog tour for this particular author for the book they were sending the request about. I did an interview for the blog tour…. That made me not feel appreciated for what I did for the blog tour- interviews take some time to get the post ready on the way I do interviews. I emailed that author back and *nicely* said I was on the blog tour and did an interview and closed to review requests. I did not hear back from the author. Needless to say I wont be working with that author again. (Not one of your tours Emma!)

    Like

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