I posted my first “Why Book Bloggers Aren’t Accepting Your Book” article a while back. That information is still relevant and helpful but I’ve been blogging for 2 years longer at this point. That’s quite a long time in the blogging world so I’m going to share some more advice.
No Personalized Email Request
To me, getting addressed as “Dear Blogger” is annoying and a bit insulting. You expect me to spend a considerable amount of time reading and reviewing your book (at least 2+ hours) and a generic email is all you can give me? I’m not saying you need to write a 100% original email to each and every blogger you send a request to but I’d like to see an email that looks like more than a form letter.
Along the same lines, don’t EVER send out a mass email request. The only way that might be acceptable is if you have a newsletter and mention in it you would like some reviewers.
Little to No Information Given
I’ve received several review requests that list little more than the title and author in the email. That’s a surefire way to get an email deleted. How is anyone supposed to make a decision about a book based on that? Don’t ever assume that book bloggers will go look up your book on their own. We’re busy people. If you don’t include links (Amazon or Goodreads) or a summary in a request, we more than likely won’t look up the information on our own.
Lately if a book sounds like I might enjoy it, I try to find an excerpt to try out the book. That gives me a chance to test out your writing style to see if we’re a match. I’d much rather try your excerpt and hate it rather than taking on your review request, hating the book and write a review for a book I hated. Make sure to have an excerpt of your book on your website. Yes, Amazon typically allows you read a sample on their site but if you can get me to your website, I might look around. Excerpts are especially critical when your book isn’t out yet and there’s no other way to sample the book.
I know walking the line of professionalism and friendly is hard. I’m sure you’re a fun and likeable person. I want to see your personality come across in your online presence (email as well as your website/Twitter/Facebook/etc) but still remain professional. If your email sounds bland like a PR news release, I’ll probably skip over the request.
Don’t Focus Solely on Selling Your Book
This is tied into personality. If I go to your website or other web presence and the only updates I see from you are “Buy my book”, “My book is on sale!”, “Free book!”, and other things along those lines, I might be deterred from accepting your request. You’re not an adverting machine. Shouting “Buy my book” at the internet really won’t help you sell books.
I want to see other things from you. Talk about your life if you feel comfortable. Talk about your hobbies. Talk about the books you read and movies and TV shows you watch. If I feel like I can connect to you on something else (we both love Doctor Who or we enjoy the same books), I might be willing to take on reviewing your book even if at first glance your book doesn’t fully grab my attention.
As with everything in life, your results may vary but these are just some additional things to consider when building relationships with bloggers/reviewers as well as developing a web presence.