Book blogging

5 Tips On How To Write A Good Book Blogger Review Request For Your Book Guest Post By Shaun Paul Stevens

The story of this guest post starts with me receiving the most brilliant book blogger review request I’ve yet to see. As book bloggers, we are used to seeing things like “Hello [Mis-spelled name], would you like to read my book”, without any info about it, sometimes missing even the book’s name, never you mind punctuation! So every time we get a WELL-WRITTEN review request, we at least give it the time of day to read to the end!

And oh, was the email by Shaun Paul Stevens a beautiful one. It had a banner! An actual book banner at the top! It had a full blurb, the right bolds and italics, all the links you might want, and it was written personally for me. Unfortunately, I was already alarmingly full on review copies and couldn’t accept, but I didn’t want to pass up the brilliant opportunity to lend a hand to my writer buddies and ask Shaun to write a post with some tips for other authors who may be looking for reviewers. And here we are, to give you some ideas on how to write a book book blogger review request! I pass the mic to Shaun.

5 Tips On How To Write A Good Book Blogger Review Request

Whether you like it or not, book bloggers play a key role in book marketing in the 2020’s. Similar to literary agents and editors, book bloggers, especially the good ones, have rivers of books streaming in through their virtual letterboxes, soliciting reviews. And the rules for contacting a book blogger mirror those for contacting a literary agent, with a few tweaks.

Here are 5 top tips to get you ahead of the crowd, when it comes to writing a good book blogger review request.

#1. Be relevant.

Bloggers tend to be genre-specific, even if they claim not to be. Many list a plethora of genres they‘ll review, but if you want to get your book in front of someone who is going to appreciate it the best, make sure they’re going to like your style. Don’t rely on what they ask for, check out their reviews. If they generally review fantasy as 5-star, and review romances as 3-star, don’t send them your romance expecting a 5-star review. All books are not for everyone. Excel is your friend here.

Tip #1. Send book bloggers only relevant requests, if you want them to accept your book for review. Check out the rest of the tips here! Click To Tweet

#2. Be polite.

Remember the dynamic here. Unless you’re Stephen King, the blogger is doing YOU a favour, picking up an unknown work to read, not the other way around. If said blogger desires, they can dip into 1000’s of possible reads, whereas you likely have only a few dozen bloggers RELEVANT to your genre to approach. So, find out your reviewer’s name (and spell it correctly), read some of their reviews, and let them know why you think they will enjoy your book.

Tip #2. Being a nice human being goes a long way, if you want to get a blogger to review your book! What are some other tips on how to get your book reviewed? Click To Tweet

#3. Respect a reviewer’s request policy.

ALWAYS read what your blogger wants. What format do they want things sent in, do they want a manuscript straight off the bat (answer: never), do they prefer a link, where should you send your request? What details do they want from you? Are they open to requests? In the latter case, you may consider sending a request even if the reviewer is not ‘open’, but only if you think they may like to read your book in future, and you’d better make sure to apologise profusely for disturbing them.

Tip: a book blogger’s review policy can most often be found on the menu of their blog, sometimes listed as “Review policy”, sometimes “About” or “Contact”, here’s Evelina’s review policy, for example. If you can’t find it on the blog, the blogger sometimes lists it on their social media.

Tip #3: never approach a book blogger for a review of your book before reading their review policy. Again, NEVER! What are some other tips on this? Click To Tweet

#4. Include all the info in your email.

Independent of a blogger’s review request guidelines, ascertain what you should include in your email. Generally, as long as your communication is well-written and condensed, you can include everything relevant to you and your book which may help a reviewer. The more helpful you are, and the less a blogger has to chow down to get to your goodies, the more likely they are to review your book. Request guidelines rarely forbid you from including full information about your book.

Don’t go silly, and keep it condensed, but include all your links (website/social), a brief summary of the book, the genre, release date, word count, a (small) cover image, sales sites and Goodreads links for the book, and of course information about how they can obtain the book. Always ensure you provide a free copy. Bookfunnel and similar sites make this easy, so there’s no excuse not to.

Tip #4: When you send a book blogger review request, please include all the info you can about your book. Find out the other tips here! Click To Tweet

#5. Temper your expectations.

Anyone who knows about marketing, or has run an email campaign, knows about response rate. There are many factors working against you gaining a review from a blogger. Even with the best research, emails will go into junk boxes, a blogger may be inactive, they may just not fancy your book – and there’s no obligation for them to return your cold call. So don’t take it personally if you hear nothing back, just move on. How well you did on the previous 4 points will affect your response rate, but even if you are perfect, if you hear back from 10%, you’re doing well. That, my friends, is the way of the world.

How do you write a good review request for book bloggers? 5 tips of how to get your book review request accepted: Click To Tweet

About The Guest Post Author

Shaun Paul Stevens is a fantasy author from Brighton, England. You can find him at www.shaunpaulstevens.com. If you like Georgian style, epic fantasy, check out his latest release, Nether Light, HERE.

It's About...

Take a journey through a world punished by an imprisoned magic.
A world where children are given poison.
A world where your talent is decided by the state.

When refugee Guyen washes up in the land of his enemy, he knows he will fight, but soon finds himself falling down a well of wonder and improbability.

Can he survive a system designed to oppress him? Can he tame his anger to unleash his potential? Can he see his enemy for what they truly are?

Nether Light is a gritty, heart-wrenching tale of high magic and high stakes, loves lost and friendships gained, set in an oil-lit, 18th century world. Epic fantasy filled with plotting, scheming, and racy, jaw-dropping, immersive adventure. For fans of Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Neil Gaiman, Mark Lawrence, V.E. Schwab, Ed McDonald, Brian McClellan.

Please note: This book contains mature themes.

You can find the book here.

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Kara M Skinner
3 months ago

Thank you so much for this post. I’ve mostly worked with great authors who are friendly and professional, but I’ve encountered a few who could have used these tips. One of my biggest pet peeves as a book blogger is when authors act like they’re doing me a huge favor by giving me their book for free as if I didn’t already have TBR list containing over 200 books.

Sadie
3 months ago
Reply to  Kara M Skinner

I recently spent day DAYS going through all the books authors had sent me over the years. I then wrote a lengthy (somewhat ranty post) about how sending a reviewer a book isn’t a gift, it’s an obligation. Not just the review, but also in keeping track of the book file, the hardrive space to store it, the mental time and energy to organise them, the time to respond (even if you choose not to read it). So, yes, that’s a pet peeve for me too.

Hana Bilqisthi
3 months ago

This is really great post Evelina ❤️

Flora Gatehouse
3 months ago

I love this post. Well done Shaun for being an excellent author and book blogger friend. Thanks for sharing this Evalina

Sadie
3 months ago

This is a great list. I’ve had a review blog for 7+ years and I can tell you that a lot more authors/publishers get it wrong than right. I’ve gotten so many arrogant, presumptive emails I can’t even count. But the fact that authors are unwilling to not submit if their book isn’t in a reviewers wheelhouse drives me crazy. I’ve structured my policies several different ways over the years, trying to find the one that gets authors to pay attention to my preferred reading genres. But I still spend more time weeding out the genres I don’t read (and… Read more »

Gayathri
2 months ago

I agree with all your points and I am sure that writing a customized email requesting book reviews is the best place to start. Good luck.