As an author, have you ever emailed a reviewer for a potential book review? Or maybe you’ve received a review request as a book blogger? If you’ve been on either end of this deal, you’ll know that writing a good book submission email is quite a hard thing to navigate.
If I’m honest with you, as a blogger, 70% of the submissions I get are so bad I would never say yes. Most of my blogger friends complain quite often about badly written book review requests, and it’s a major issue for both the authors submitting and the bloggers who read them.
So today’s post is all about how to avoid that situation! Everyone’s happy when a book review submission is written well — both the bloggers and the authors. And so today I have Savannah from Reedsy with a guest post answering some of the questions authors have (or should have, but may not know to even think about!) when trying to get potential reviewers for their book. How do you get readers to want to review for you? Find out below!How do you get readers to want to review your books? Here are some handy tips: Click To Tweet
How To Get Book Bloggers To WANT To Review Your Book
Bloggers are the beating heart of the literary community — a strong review on a great book blog can jumpstart an author’s entire career!
Luckily, there are plenty of readers out there who’re hungry for material to review (see Evelina’s great posts on how to start requesting advance reader copies and how to get approved for a review copy for concrete evidence of this). But with more and more releases coming every week, reviewers are also a bit spoiled for choice. How do you make sure that your book lands on their TBR lists, and that those reads will translate into reviews?
Of course, you could always hire the services of a professional book publicist to help you out — but if you’re looking for some handy DIY hints to get you started, I’m here to help! Here are a few actionable tips on how to make bloggers actually want to review your book.Author looking for book reviews? Here are a few actionable tips on how to make bloggers actually want to review your book. Click To Tweet
During the writing process…
You might think that the publicity campaign for your book only begins when you’re completely done writing and editing. While this is mostly true, there are certain steps you can take to get your book reviewed that will come long before any reviewers set eyes upon it!
Get your copy (and cover) looking just right
An image of books stacked next to a teapot and a small cup of coffee; Photo by AvalinahsBooks
It might seem obvious, but many authors severely damage their chances of getting quality reviews by offering up less-than-professional products. You need your book to be slick and polished: even if you can get them to start reading, most reviewers are unlikely to persevere with a book that is sloppily edited, and they may completely overlook a book whose cover design or formatting aren’t up to industry standards.
Take the time to ensure your book does meet these standards before sharing it with potential readers. This might include hiring a professional editor or book cover designer to make sure everything is looking great and ready to go. Not only will these extra steps help you get your foot in the door with reviewers, but they will increase your chances of landing those five-star rave reviews you’ve been dreaming of!How can a cover glow-up and proofreader make your book more attractive to reviewers? This and more advice on getting #bookreviews here: Click To Tweet
Build positive professional relationships with bloggers
This is another tip that forward-thinkers can put into action long before their book is ready for public consumption. I’m not advocating a quid-pro-quo approach to reviewing, but creating organic relationships with the book bloggers you admire can be a great way to increase the likelihood of them reviewing your future releases!
If there’s a blogger whose book opinions you really respect, consider dropping them a message to comment on their blog, or to let them know you’ve shared their content — but be genuine. Authentic support is always easy to distinguish from self-promo in the comment section, and coming on too strong might do more harm than good when it comes to cultivating connections.
Networking in this way doesn’t (and shouldn’t!) guarantee a good review, but by supporting blogs and being active in reader circles, you create name recognition amongst the influencers whose content you actually like. This helpful hack means that when an email asking them to review your shiny new book drops in their inbox, they’re far more likely to take notice!Do good connections with #bookbloggers matter, if you're an author? You bet. More on how to get book bloggers to actually want to review your book: Click To Tweet
Once you’re done writing…
The long, arduous writing and editing process is over and your book is ready to be sent out for review. Congrats! But what now?
Target the right bloggers — in the right way
You may be tempted to send review requests to the first 50 book bloggers that come up on Google. But if you’ve written a book about an alien cowboy, and 20 out of that list don’t read sci-fi, another 20 aren’t interested in westerns, and another 10 don’t promote self-published books, you’ve just wasted a whole lot of your time — and theirs! For the best chance of converting enquiries into actual reviews, make sure your efforts are tailored.
An image of a book with red painted pages in the background and several items in front of it; Photo by AvalinahsBooks
As a first step, use a directory of book review blogs to identify which bloggers might be interested in your book. That Reedsy one is extra handy for self-publishing authors, because it doesn’t just allow you to filter by genre, but also has a whole category for bloggers that review indie books. Once you’ve got your shortlist, comb through their websites for any submission guidelines or review rules — they might look a little like Evelina’s. Read them, digest them, and follow them to the letter!
You can find a step-by-step runthrough of how to get book reviews over at Reedsy for more detailed tips on how to select bloggers to approach, and how to perfectly pitch your book to them. Just make sure to do your research — a personalized enquiry email telling the blogger why you’re excited for them in particular to review your book can go a long way in piquing their interest, and making them want to get reading.How do you know which #bookbloggers to approach with your review request? Tips on how to get your book reviewed: Click To Tweet
Offer your book up for free
I know what you’re thinking. You’ve spent months (maybe even years) putting your blood, sweat, and tears into making your book as good as possible. Why would you now give it up for free?
This might seem counterintuitive, but offering free copies of your book to reviewers is standard practice to drive those key early reviews. A lot of bloggers would be run out of house and home if they had to pay for every book they reviewed, so charging potential reviewers can cause them to lose interest entirely. But remember, if enough bloggers recommend your book to readers, you will more than recoup the money that you “lost” by offering it up to those bloggers for free!
Of course, you need to be careful with this, to ensure your writing is protected against piracy. It’s a great idea to use platforms like BookFunnel and Prolific Works to share free advance copies with as many bloggers as you like, while simultaneously protecting your work from unwanted sharing. Once you’ve got a watertight system for sharing review copies, having free copies of your book instantly available for credible reviewers will make it a whole lot easier (and more appealing) for bloggers to get reading.
Good luck, and enjoy watching the reviews roll in!How to get book bloggers to actually WANT to review your book? Find some actionable tips here. Click To Tweet
About The Guest Post Author
Savannah Cordova is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects self-publishing authors with the world’s best editors, designers, and marketers. In her spare time, Savannah enjoys reading contemporary fiction and writing short stories. She’s a big fan of indie publishing and hopes to help as many authors as possible achieve their dreams!
I’m Evelina and I try to blog about books that matter, with a bit of fun there too! Disability and equality will be topics you see a lot, but there’s also a lot of scifi, fantasy and… GIFs. I’m also the proud founder of #ARCsAnonymous.