Thursday, August 20, 2015

How to Write a Review Policy | Book Blogging Tips (#13)

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As book bloggers, it's absolutely essential to have a review policy. 

This doesn't only protect you from unsolicited and unwanted emails inquiries but also facilitates the process of handling said inquiries.

Here's my advice on what to put in your review policy:

I compiled a few questions that inquirers might ask themselves when stumbling upon your blog and being interested in collaboration with you.

Some bloggers prefer to answer all of these questions via email and simply put their preferred contact method in the review policy section. I, however, think that it's far easier to answer as many questions as possible directly in your review policy so you won't waste your time with inquiries that aren't suited for your blog.

Rule of thumb: the more preferences you list in your policy, the more suitable for your blog your inquiries will be. Of course, if you've got very specific interests, you're less likely to get a lot of proposals.

Questions That Your Policy Should Answer

Are you accepting books for review?

This should go without saying. If you're not interested in review copies, simply state that on top of your policy. There you go, job done.

What genres do you accept?

Do you only read YA novels or only high fantasy novels? State your preferences to avoid getting the wrong kind of proposals.

What genres don't you accept?

Are there specific topics that you don't want to read about? What about sensitive topics? Think about your phobias. You don't want to be surprised with a detailed scenes about spiders as an arachnophobiac.

What formats do you accept? 

What e-book formats can and do you want to read? Do you only accept physical books? State that.

What about self-published authors and indie publishers?

Obviously, the majority of inquiries will come from them first, especially if you're a small blog. If you're not open to either one, state it in your policy.

How long does it take for you to review a book?

Most bloggers have a time frame of 2-8 weeks, depending on how big the blog is, how many books your reading, how much time you have at the moment etc. Be realistic. 3 months is too long, one week to short.

I don't understand your rating system. Please explain.

Always explain your rating system. It might be obvious to you, but that doesn't mean everyone understands it.

Where can I contact you?

List your preferred contact method. Typically that's an email address. I've seen bloggers list their facebook site as well, but the most professional thing to do is just give a neutral email address.

Of course it shouldn't be your old hotmail address from 2008 or anything offensive. Think about making an email address just for your blog.

Where will you post the reviews?

List all your social media profiles.

(Optional) Are you open to Blog Tours/Author Interviews/Giveaways?

You may either discuss this with the inquirer or directly state it in your policy, it doesn't really matter.

Do you have any questions left? 

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