Saturday, May 9, 2015

How to Handle Inquiries from Publishers and Authors | Book Blogging Tips (#3)

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As your blog grows, you're going to notice that people will start approaching you. When I first got an email from an author asking if I was interested in a review copy, I was ecstatic! 

My blog is still fairly small and it was even smaller back then. I couldn't believe that an actual published writer was interested in my opinion! 

Same goes for publishers - I was over the moon happy (and still am!) for every request I get. 
Being asked for your opinion is an honor to me, but very quickly, as the number of inquiries grew, I asked myself the question whether I should accept every opportunity I get or not.

More exposure for your blog is great, isn't it?

Would You Have Reached Out to That Author on Your Own?

It can be quite tempting to accept every opportunity you get to promote your blog. You'll be surprised at the amount of independent publishers and authors that will be reaching out to you the second you've met a certain degree of familiarity in the blogging world.

I mean, it's all about cross posting and exposure in the blogging world, so why not take that review copy? Maybe the author will retweet it or let their readers know about it.

That's just the wrong approach to me.

I always see collaborations with authors and publishers as a contract. They're interested in my work, so ideally I'm supposed to be interested in theirs as well.

  • DON'T take a review copy of a book that you would never EVER buy in a store
  • DON'T agree on that author interview with someone that you've never heard of and don't intend to find out more about/ have never read anything from
  • DON'T just snatch those giveaway copies if you haven't read the book and aren't planning to
  • DON'T join a blog tour if you aren't interested in reading the book

It's not fair to the author/publisher to just exploit the opportunity they're giving you. I think it's a moral issue. Of course you can say that it's a win:win situation, but to what price?

Does the Collaboration Make Sense?

There's a reason why publishers and authors reach out to your blog. It may be because

  • they truly like your style 
  • they've seen you review a similar novel and think you'd be interested
  • they're just looking for exposure themselves (if you're a big blog)
  • they're simply messaging all bloggers they can find

The truth is, many small publishers and indie authors are just looking for exposure.

The first hint for you to find out which category they belong to, is to take a closer look at the book. If you have a review policy that clearly states what you like and the book isn't even remotely similar to any of those genres, chances are that the inquiry is a mass email sent to a bunch of bloggers for exposure.

That's not a bad thing, but you have to ask yourself whether you would have been interested in that book, had there been no inquiry.

The bottom line is that you have to decide whether the book or the author fits into the concept of your blog.

Always remember: Blogging isn't about exposure. It's about being true to yourself.



How Do You Handle Review Inquiries?

More Tips:
Book Blogging Tips (#1): Requesting Review Copies from Publishers
Book Blogging Tips (#2): 5 Ways to Get Out of A Reading Slump

See All

22 comments:

  1. Great advice, being a new author myself I am looking for blogs to promote my book but, I only go to the ones that read books like mine, or if I really like the blog style too. It is important to feel comfortable with each other xxx

    http://pavankaur83.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. That is absolutely the right way to do it! I can say for myself that I'm way more likely to collaborate with someone if the book actually fits into the concept of my blog and the genre is something I love to read anyway.

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  3. Great advice. Most of the inquiries I get are the mass email kind. I can tell because it says at the top of my Review Policy that I’m not currently accepting books for review. The email senders are clearly just emailing a bunch of reviewers and not reading their policies.

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  4. If we accepted every inquiry that came along, I think we'd just stop blogging altogether because of overwhelm ;)

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  5. Oh, this is such great advice, thank you for sharing! This sort of advice is such a gem for ppl like me just finding my feet with blogging and pursuing it seriously.


    Followed on Twitter and Bloglovin' because I found you through FF!

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  6. ... and they're also making sure by doing so that we won't ever consider reading a book they wrote in the future ;)

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  7. Rachel LightwoodMay 11, 2015 at 12:26 PM

    Fantastic advice. I was the worst with this when I first began. I used to accept every single request and now I am still catching up on all those review copies. Not worth it. :)

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  8. Good advice! I'm a new blog and so far I've accepted every request. Granted, the couple of books I've accepted HAVE been books that sounded intriguing to me. I definitely would not do a giveaway for a book I haven't read and enjoyed.

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  9. That's the right way to do it! There's nothing wrong with accepting every request as long as you can handle reading all those books in a timely manner and actually WANT to read them. Way to go!

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  10. This is very great advice, I usually don't accept most inquires. Most of the time I wouldn't read books such as those.<3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

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  11. Awesome advice.I usually get review requests of multiple genres,being a fairly new blogger.I accept them all..However I don't think I'd do a give away for books that don't appeal to me..:-)

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  12. That can be dangerous - as long as you can handle it, it's absolutely fine though. :)

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  13. My problem is figuring out how to say NO nicely? I mean how do you say "I would never read that" or "I don't like to read male romance authors" without sounding like a huge beyotch. If I really can't come up with a nice way to respind, sometimes I just don't respond. But I hate that too.

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  14. This is why a review policy is important. If you get a pitch for a book that isn't even the genre that you would ever read - let's say a hardcore erotica - you can simply state that in your policy (take a peak at mine if you're unsure what I mean, it's in the top corner). In that case you just say "Thanks for the pitch, but I currently do not accept books of that genre as stated in my review policy) BAM


    If you receive a pitch for a book that you simply think isn't for you, you just say "Thanks for the pitch, but I don't think that this book is in my field of interest."


    Hope this kinda helped you out. I think it's impolite to just not answer or lie to the publisher's/author's faces. Just stick with the truth and be polite and you're going to be fine.

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  15. Your advice is so on point (both in the post and your replies in the comments). I think it's important to know for yourself why you blog and what your goals and aspirations are. The would you have reached out to that author or would you have wanted to read this book without being approached is a good rule I think. :)

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  16. Great advice, I'm loving these posts. I struggle so much with the enquiries I get, especially from more indie authors and publishers. When I started I didn't get any, so I had nothing to worry about but after two years I get far too many, and most of the time they are ones where you can tell it's been sent to as many bloggers as possible, they haven't checked my review policies and clearly haven't looked at my blog or they'd be able to tell the book is not a good fit. I always struggle with how to respond, as I feel so rude saying no, even when it's not a book I'd usually read. Sometimes I don't even reply... which is probably much worse than just saying thanks, but no thanks.

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  17. Thank you! A great solution is to come up with generic answers for each case. I'm a big advocate for replying, even if you obviously get one of those mass emails. I've got a post on how to politely decline an offer coming up soon. ;)

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