I get a lot of emails from authors and publishers who want to reach out to see if I’m interested in reviewing their book. This isn’t meant to be a humble brag (although it totally sounds like one)- but since I do this for fun and have to pick and choose what I review carefully- I wanted to share what has worked for me in a pitch and what hasn’t.
I recently got an email from an author, Bernard Schaffer, who did a great job asking me to review his book. I could tell that he visited my page, as he knew what types of books I like to read (thrillers, contemporary, horror). It wasn’t part of a massive “READ MY NEW BOOK” email. He made me feel like he was genuinely interested in my thoughts on it and I was happy to agree to a review.
To all of the hard working authors out there- I wanted to share what works for this reader. Here are my best tips as to how to pitch your book to a book blogger.
Every blogger has different criteria. Most of them have it listed on their website. (And bloggers- if you don’t have your criteria- I recommend it!) It’s a good idea to at least visit the rating system of the person you’ve pitching to see what kind of reader they are. My system gives the format in which I write my reviews in along with the genres I prefer. I also list the best way to contact me and my rating system. Finally, I make it clear that when I post my review I disclose that I was given the book in exchange for a review, but that my opinions are my own.
Be clear about your outcomes. Are you hoping we’ll review it? Share it in blog post or on Instagram? Are you expecting a review, whether we like it or not? I don’t mind if an author/publisher has clear expectations, as long as I know what I am agreeing to when I receive the book.
Consider sending and not asking for a review in exchange. If your reviewer is on Bookstagram- ask if you can send the book in exchange for a post. I obviously can’t review everything but can agree to receive more if it’s a review or nothing. Even if the book isn’t for me, I like to generate interest and share things that might appeal to my other followers.
Personalize your request. You don’t have to go overboard, but having a little something more than “I love your page!” always catches my eye.
Keep the time frame in mind. I’m generally reading books I’m planning to review at least a month or two in advance, so I can’t take on a review the same month. (Unless I’m seeking the book out). If you’re hoping for a review at a specific time- say so.
Be kind. From what I can tell, the majority of us are hobbyists and do this because we love to read and love to talk about books. We’re also doing this for free.
Finally and maybe most importantly- why should I read your book? I don’t necessarily need you to totally sell me on it- but give me the elevator pitch. Category, title, synopsis, pub date. I’m good from there!
Take my tips with a grain of salt. Again I’m not in the industry and I don’t know a ton about how the behind the scenes book industry works, but I wanted to share what works to tempt me to review.
Fellow Reviewers- do you respond to all requests? How many unsolicited reviews do you accept, if any?
Authors- do you want to hear back from me, even if it’s an no?
Find me here-