This is actually more of a rant than a discussion, but I’m sure many bloggers have been through the same thing and have plenty to add. These kinds of posts are not new (in fact, Ashley, our revered Zombie Queen, posted one just last week). But I am left to wonder if they are being read — or even worse, disregarded. I have received a few review requests lately that have clearly disregarded my review policy, to which I have responded with a link to said policy and a “No, I will not review your book,” answer.
So, without further ado, if, as an author, you want me to consider your review request, you should follow these basic rules:
- Read my review policy — seriously: READ. MY. REVIEW. POLICY. It will save us both a lot of trouble if you do. My review policy is there for a reason.
- Follow my review policy — I think this should go without saying, but far too many authors don’t follow my review policy. Again, my review policy is there for a reason. If you don’t follow it, this means that before I even read your pitch, I am annoyed at you for thinking you’re above the rules. You’re not. I will not accept your review request if you do this, even if your book sounds interesting.
- If you disregard ANY part of my review policy, explain why — Right now my review policy states that I am not accepting review requests.
The statement that says I am not accepting review requests is this size. I get requests anyway.
If you submit a review request anyway, you most definitely should say why you disregarded my policy. Even if it’s to say, “Please consider my request when you are accepting requests again.” Or, “I know you don’t normally accept review requests in the [x] genre, but you recently read and enjoyed [book title], which is similar to my own book. If you are willing to take a chance…” Make an effort to show that you are doing more than writing the same email to every blog you come across.
- Don’t quote other reviews or tell me what your average rating on Goodreads or Amazon is — I am not your other readers. I don’t know them, and I only trust reviews by people I know. In other words, I don’t care what your other readers said or thought, because I am not them. I am me. Furthermore, only having positive reviews is more suspicious than proof that your book is amazing.
- Personalize your request — Address your pitch to me, Amanda. But don’t flatter me by telling me that you read and love my blog. Unless you have posted comments on a somewhat regular basis, I have no way of verifying whether you are telling the truth or buttering me up. If you can compare your book to other books that I have loved — and mention these books by title because without the title, I have no basis of comparison — that’s even better.
Bloggers: what would you add to this list?