Blog Tips & Tricks
You Get Sent Proposals to Review Books?
As with most of my discussion posts, todays topic is brought to you by my muse, Twitter.
I mentioned on Twitter earlier in the week that I received an interesting book proposal or book pitch. And this was met with some surprise, not the part about the “interesting” pitch, but that I receive requests for reviews at all.
Actually most of the books I review at The Story Siren are the result of a book pitch. Basically that means that the author/publisher/publicists/third party publicity/etc. contact me about a novel that they would like to offer for review.
I’d say the majority of the pitches I receive are from third party publicity companies. Which is an absolute 360 from when I started blogging. (That could be a whole post in it’s own!)
However, a good number of the pitches I receive are from publicists that I’ve built a professional relationship with. They know the type of books I like and are sure to highlight books that might not be on my radar but that I may enjoy. Other times I’ll have an author that may be familiar with my blog, or an author that knows I am familiar with their novel and they’ll contact me for review. These are greatly appreciated.
Unfortunately, not all pitches are made equal.
There has been some discussion on this topic before. You can read a post that Lenore of Presenting Lenore did.
I’m going to briefly highlight some points in her post and then address some additional issues.
A Good Pitch:
- Addresses the receiver by name.
- Shows that the sender knows something about the blog.
- Isn’t a copy and pasted email.
- Doesn’t bog the reader down with information. (Is this a review request or an advertisement campaign?)
- Doesn’t ignore the reviewers policies, such as no e-books, no self published books. (Often a waste of time for the sender and receiver.)
- At least includes the title(s) of the novel(s). (A summary of the books or an author website are good too, but not always needed.)
- How do you decline a request nicely?
- Should you reply to every request?
- I accepted now what?
- Doesn’t ask for everything. Try to limit your requests to “new/upcoming” releases. (Requesting backlisted titles, can come across as being greedy and slightly clueless. Although if a backlisted title is coming out “new” in paperback, exceptions can be made.)
- Realizes that authors DO NOT have a stack of advance readers copies at their disposal. You’re better off asking the publisher. (You can read (almost) everything you need to know about arcs at this post: Advance Readers Copies: What You Need to Know.)
- Don’t post list after list of books you are getting for review and then don’t post any reviews! This goes for In My Mailbox too. It just makes you look bad and and it looks like you are just in it for free books (this type of behavior doesn’t go unnoticed.)…. unless of course you list books you buy, get from the library, win from a contest, etc and clearly state that!
- Authors link reviews on their websites! (or if they’d rather do it privately, send a “thank you” email)
- Authors comment on our blogs!
- When authors argue with our opinions or berate us in our comments section.