Last time we visited, we discussed how NOT to ask for book reviews. This week, I want to focus on how TO ask for book reviews.
Think if you went into a new restaurant. The first thing you see is the hostess snapping her gum, her hair is a mess and clothes are wrinkled. You are then escorted to your table and there are crumbs on the table and the floor looks like it hasn’t been vacuumed. Would you want to even eat at that restaurant or would you pass? The same concept applies to book review requests. How professional are you presenting your review requests? Is it a formal business letter? Is it an email like you are chit-chatting with a buddy? As I like to say, image is everything. Business formatting lets people know that you are serious in your review requests and that you respect your book enough not to be kicked back about it.
Through Sisterhood of the Traveling Book and A Book and A Review, I have the opportunity to speak with a number of book reviewers regarding what will make them take a serious look at review requests. In preparing for this post, I took the opportunity of review requests I have received and accepted or received and rejected not for outside my genres. When I approached fellow reviewers, they basically confirmed my list.
So, what is on my list?
- Always start the email with a salutation;
- Identify reasons for choosing reviewer’s blog;
- Identify the work’s genre;
- Include a short synopsis of the work to be reviewed;
- Include book and author links, such as Goodreads, Amazon, email and website;
- Include manner of delivery-epub; mobi file or print that the reviewer can choose from;
- Include a formal letter closing with your full name in the signature line;
- Mention any awards or nominations.
While the reasons for choosing a reviewer’s blog will change with each letter, the remaining list is pretty static and can be copied from letter to letter.
My favorite saying – you can pay now and play later or play now and pay later – really applies to this. Getting a professional, formal review request completed, which can be easily adapted, will send a message to your review targets that you’re in the business of writing.