Proper Online Etiquette when seeking reviews for your book

Published May 2, 2013 by G.L.

I thought that I might write a post about this particular subject because I believe that it’s important for independent authors like ourselves to know how to properly approach someone about reviewing your book.

You would think it would be common sense, however lately we’ve noticed that since we began taking reviews on our other blog,  Fighting for Multiculturalism to YA, Fantasy and Science Fiction Novels , authors particularly Indie authors haven’t exactly approached us with the best of manners :/ Trust me, we get it! You want readers. You NEED reviewers! And maybe, just maybe you’re a little frustrated that in your mind your book is your greatest accomplishment,so it bugs you that people aren’t exactly lining up to want to read and review it.

But just a few wise words, you get more flies with honey than than with vinegar. And what I mean by that is when you approach bloggers with requests to read your book, PLEASE, PLEASE, do not just come out and say “You need to review my book because it’s the next Harry PotterBloggers(Including ourselves) will not respond well to this.

First off never compare YOUR work to that of a well established published author. The main reason being that if your book is not indeed the next Harry Potter, the reviewer that has taken pity on you and took the time out of HER or HIS busy schedule, may just mention that in their review. You may think that your book is really good, and it may just be but never compare your book to a popular writers book. You’ll just end up embarrassing yourself and appear arrogant to potential readers. Be the next YOU!That’s all you can set out to be.

Second, I’m not sure if I even have to say this because it goes without saying but, READ THE BLOGGER‘S REVIEW POLICY. You would be surprised how many offers some bloggers get from aspiring authors that did not read their review policy. Not only does that show that you can’t read but it shows that you don’t have the professionalism to be a writer and certainly don’t have the proper skills to represent yourself. Do yourself a favor and go over the blogger’s entire site. Why waste both of your times by submitting a request to a blogger that doesn’t read your genre.

A very important piece of advice is don’t be pushy and be patient. Don’t continuously badger the reviewer on how far they’ve gotten in the book.You may think that you’re being courteous but you may actually be annoying the reviewer. Lots of  reviewers need at least 6-8 weeks to review your book and that’s more than generous. A good amount of reviewers are backed up for months and a quick review is just not possible.

If you need a review sooner than later, you may have to contact the reviewer way before you need it reviewed. For example on a blog tour. Let the reviewer know of any deadlines you have and perhaps they’ll work with you. Many are nice, but there are some that are cut throat. So it’s really important to be respectful and polite.

Have a thick skin. Not everyone is going to like your book. Many may even leave you a less than flattering review. Do not and I repeat, DO NOT retaliate with insults, in fact don’t even respond in any way to a bad review. When publishing a book, you’re probably going to get a LOT of bad reviews. But if your book is well written, well edited and professionally packaged, you many see more promising reviews than bad ones. Trust that you have the overall formula to what makes a great book and I promise, reviewers will enjoy reading your book and leaving you a good review!

A really great way to reach out to bloggers is really simple. Join their blog’s email list or subscribe to their RSS feed and actually get a feel of what kind of people they are and what types of books that they like.Comment on their posts, find things in common with them, let them know that they are important to your book’s( along with a lot other people’s books)success.

I know you’re going, “Ugh!But that takes so much work.Why can’t they just read it and review it.Isn’t that part of their job description?I’m giving them something to do!”In reality, no it isn’t part of their job description. Most bloggers review books just because they like to. And once you get the ball rolling, lots of requests from authors come in. So actually a reviewer is doing you a service by taking the time out of their schedule to read YOUR book. Indie authors need reviews and people to give us those reviews, So unfortunately we need them more than they need us.

So next time you approach a book blogger to review your book, remember these 3 things

1.It’s nice to seek out potential fans but you may need to become a “fan” of them first.

2.Try to make friends with bloggers before your book is actually done, the likelihood of your book being read by a “friend” is much higher than a random solicitor.

3.Always, ALWAYS learn the names of the people you request to review your book. You wouldn’t believe how many people won’t even bother looking through a blogger’s website just to learn something as simple as their names. I don’t know about you but I like when authors take the time out to do this. It shows that they really want their book to be successful.

For any aspiring authors reading this, I wish you good luck with your writing!


7 comments on “Proper Online Etiquette when seeking reviews for your book

  • This is great advice! As a hatchling blogger, I’ll admit that I’d be far more likely to review someone who approaches me as if I’m a human being and not a reviewing machine.
    Also love that part about having a thick skin, truth that anyone needs to learn. Anyway, I think that constructive criticism should be valued and not scorned. A reviewer who takes the time to explain why s/he didn’t your the book is trying to help you, they took the time to enumerate the things they didn’t like and why they didn’t like it. The reason why I would do that is because I WANT the book or the next book to become better, not because I want to hurt the author. If I wanted to hurt the author, I’d simply go, “Diz buk sucks, don’t buy, hurr durr.”
    Oh look, a wall of text…
    Anyway, this is a great article!

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