So, I was speaking with one of our book-blogger friends about some of the things that really irk her about getting pitched, what she likes, what she really dislikes and I asked her to put this together in a post for us. We haven’t shared her real name because she asked us not to but seriously authors, if you want to get noticed, pay attention to what she’s telling you in this post. Very, very helpful stuff and who knows, you may get more reviews out of this, too! Enjoy!
By Samantha Henry
Many thanks to Author Marketing Experts, who asked me to do a guest blog for her here, confessing a few things about us poor book bloggers and hopefully clearing up a few misconceptions that authors and publicists alike seem to hold. I’ve been reviewing and blogging about books for many years, although it’s not a job for me, it’s just for fun—much like the reason I agreed to write this article.
First, book bloggers are not actually sitting around just WAITING for your “life changing” book. The vast majority us don’t do it for profit, have day jobs and get an average of ten to twenty book requests per week. Add in those other books we want to read for ourselves and your real chances of us reading your book is probably less than five percent. Emailing us every two weeks to find out how much we loved your story-of-the-year is NOT going to help you. It will merely get you off of the list all together if you were on it at all. We don’t like to be bullied.
Second, big giant blinking red text in your email request is not going to help you. In fact, it’s really just going to tick us off. The request will be deleted or tossed in the “this author is scary or, at the very least, obviously not getting it” pile. While we’re talking about emails—don’t send it “to” everyone in the entire blog-universe. It’s annoying and kind of rude to include everyone in one email. Use BCC or, even better, take a few minutes to tailor your request.
Third, follow instructions. This is the single biggest offense and will get you ignored and probably not even into a pile. Most bloggers have a way they want you to submit and a format your request should be in. Emailing a lengthy press release with your book attached usually won’t get you anywhere. Look at the website, find the “how to request a review” section and follow their instructions. They are there for a reason—we get flooded with requests and it makes us crazy that you’re not doing your part.
Fourth, I’m not going to share your precious book on a file sharing site. Stop telling me not to or asking how you can “trust me.” Dude, I have entirely too many things to do than to share your unedited book with everyone else. I kind of like some of the people in the world. And why is it only the really bad authors ask this? Would you WANT me to pass it around to others to try to get them to read it? I don’t because of copyright or whatever, but seriously—a lot of you folks are BEGGING people to read your stuff when you first start out.
Fifth, be nice and stand out. Sell me on reading your book—whether it’s funny or endearing or a bad joke. Something. Anything. Don’t just type “hey, can you read my book, please?” and email it. Ummm… why should I? What’s it about? Does it match other stuff I’ve read? If I’ve never blogged about a bodice ripper, what makes you think I want to read yours?
Sixth, keep it real and don’t take it personally. Don’t write several paragraphs telling me why you are so wonderful or how many five star reviews you have. Tell me about the book, the story, why you wrote it—something to pique my interest. But… don’t take it personally if you don’t see your book reviewed. Sometimes they show up a couple of years after they come in. Sometimes they never do. And if it’s a bad review, well, just remember that it was ONE blogger’s opinion. And hey… there’s no such thing as bad press, right? Just ask your publicist 😉
Publishing books and getting honest feedback is what we want, your points are real and though I know little about the issues the bloggers find today : i love the point about ebooks on file sharing sites
You know the funny thing is these same people you’re talking about don’t limit their pitches to book bloggers. At least once a week I receiving an email out of the blue from someone who is certain that I will want to promote their book to my readers. I really don’t mind that, and will always respond politely explaining I don’t do book reviews or promote (other people’s) books. What gets to me is when they fire back with a WHY NOT?! I can only imagine what it must be like when your blog is actually about books! Thanks for the tips. As an author myself I’ll be happy to keep these in mind and share if the opportunity arises.
I can totally see that. It’s kind of sad, really. Sometimes authors for get that they aren’t owed anything, whatever they get reviews, interviews, etc. is like gravy. Be grateful and be nice. That’s a biggie! Thanks for the comment!