10 Tips from a Reviewer
by Julie Brazeal
I’m often asked questions on how to approach a reviewer and not shoot yourself in the foot. As a reviewer, here are some tips I want to share from the reviewer’s perspective to help you get that foot in the door and your review request accepted.
• KNOW THY REVIEWER! RESEARCH reviewers who 1) Fit your genre 2) Review indie/self-published work 3) Don’t have snarky and rude reviews on their site. If they do, they may bash you too. Negative reviews don’t need to be rude. See how they interact on twitter and facebook as well.
• Social Media! Begin a relationship with social media and reviewers BEFORE your book is even released or request sent if possible. The Indie Book Collective has great resources on how to use social media successfully and great programs to promote your book. I highly recommend you soak up all they have to offer. It takes more than self-promotion to be successful and you can alienate yourself if not careful.
• Review Policy! Follow posted review policy. If stated they don’t review novellas and your work is a novella, don’t request a review. If they state they do not review Indie/Self-pub, do not request. If they only review print copies and your book is electronic, do not request.
• Professional! Politely request a review. Start the greeting by using correct reviewer’s name or correct blog name, introduce yourself, your book, a short synopsis, ‘Thank you for your consideration,’, links to your website, twitter, facebook, and/or book trailer. Reviewers often check out the author to see how serious and professional you are.
• Personal! Include something personal about their blog/review site when introducing yourself. For example: I’ve been following your blog and really enjoyed your post/review on… This lets us know you have invested time in us, too.
• No Attachments! Do not include the book attachment in your initial review request. Offer to send the reviewer any format they prefer (Kindle, epub, pdf, etc) and if you have print copies available, offer that as well, should they accept your review.
• Accepted! If a review request is accepted, follow up with the requested format and a ‘Thank you for accepting to review my book. Please let me know if you have any questions,” as soon as possible.
• Personable! Be personable in all communications. I have made great friends with authors through review requests and we will go all out for you if we like you and your work.
• Negative Reviews! NEVER comment or respond negatively to a negative review no matter how tempting. It only brings attention to YOU in a negative light. Just move on. It happens to everyone.
• Thank You! Be sure to send a thank you email to the reviewer for taking time to read your book. We remember the nice and polite authors and more than likely will continue to promote your work and accept your future requests. I do not recommend commenting on your actual review whether it is on the blog or commercial sites.
• Posting Reviews! If a reviewer only posts their reviews on their blog, it is OK in your thank you email to politely ask if they would mind also posting the review on Amazon.com. Most reviewers will post their review on various commercial sites and will list where on the review policy. But just in case they don’t, the thank you email is a great place to ask for Amazon postings.
I hope these tips are helpful to get you started down the review request path. I know it can be scary and nerve racking asking people to review your work, but remember, reviewers do this for the love of books. We want to read great work and are thrilled to get new prospects in our email to view. Not everyone will accept your request. That’s OK. It takes different types of reviewers to reach different types of readers. Don’t take it personally. The right reviewers for your work are out there.
Julie Brazeal is a book reviewer with A Tale of Many Reviews, where you’ll find a series of posts dedicated to learning more about the Indie and Self-Publishing industry.