Thursday, September 10, 2015

How to Get Your Book Reviewed As An Indie Author - An Angry Guide by an Annoyed Blogger

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Don't you love logging into your email account in the morning and seeing two dozen emails in there from authors asking you to review your books? 

It's nice that people think of my little blog to review their book. But you know what's not nice? 

If 80% of these requests are mass emails sent out by authors who are just sending out emails to every single book blog they can find.

Is it so hard to read my review policy? 

Do you think I write a review policy because it's so much fun? 

REVIEWING is actual work!

Do you know how much time goes into writing a review? Do you know how much time goes into reading a book? I know, writing a book is even harder, but we bloggers don't have endless time on our hands. We have jobs, we have families, we have lives. And we certainly aren't dying to read every single thing we can get our hands on. 

If you're seeking reviews, we're providing (a usually) free service for you. There are blogger who charge fees in the three digits so that you have the privilege to only SUBMIT to them. There are authors who actually pay the $400 fee that a certain very renowned site asks for if you want a review full of lies praising the brilliance of your book. 
Be glad the majority of us doesn't do this. But you know what - sometimes I regret that I'm too honest and kind to have the imposition to charge for reviews.

I mean, what do we get from this? Maybe a review copy, maybe pleasure if your book happens to match our taste. Why is it then that so many authors don't treat bloggers like they would a business partner? Why are we just those book-deprived slaves that should be glad to be offfered the brilliant book you wrote?

Mistake #1: Mass Emails

I swear to God, if I see another email that's not even addressed to me, slapping a pitch into my face for a book that's not even remotely close to the genres I read, I'm probably going to lose it. 

Do you realize that bloggers talk to each other? That you can easily get a bad reputation for sending out only a few of those mass emails?

If you send an email like that, ignoring review policies and personal preferences to the wrong blogger, you can earn a seriously bad reputation.

If you're not respecting us, why do you think we should respect you?

Mistake #2: Pretending to read my blog

Oh, you're a big fan of my blog? You even follow me on other social media sites? Why is it then that you sent me a request for a genre that I have never and will never read, even if the world ends tomorrow?

Do you think we can't tell if people lie to our faces? Would you say to my face that you're a big fan of my work, too? Do you really think that it makes a difference?

At the end of the day it comes down to your book if I wanna review it, not what you say beforehand. 
Don't lie. Just don't lie.
Leave that personalized first line of your pitch blank. 

If you're going to be rude, just go for the offending a blogger hattrick: Not addressing to me, not reading my policy, not even attempting to personalize the email. SCORE!

Mistake #3: Thinking we owe you anything

Bloggers are not your slaves, dear independent authors out there. I know it's #NotAllAuthors, but there are enough of you to make me write this passive aggressive post. 

I've had authors curse at me for declining their requests, I've had people spam and repeatedly request reviews when I didn't reply after 24 hours, and I've had people specifically ask me to justify saying no when they couldn't even bother to read my review policy.

Mistake #4: Links. Links Everywhere

If you're going to write a generic email, why not go overboard directly. Address it to nobody, just pitch your book and send me a bunch of links.

Do you really think I'm going to click on these? Come on. 


Bloggers have a huge impact on the readers out there - the readers that you want to read and buy your books. My advice is to treat us like business partners, like human beings, and to offer us deals that we benefit from, too. Why should we read and review a book, just because you wrote it? What kinda logic is that? 

You know what the consequence is? Some bloggers simply won't accept requests from indie authors anymore. Some bloggers will write even more detailed review policies. Review policies that you're not going to read anyway, because what the hell, one of the 300 people you just emailed might reply, right?

What I wish to see:
  • Honesty. If you didn't read my review policy, tell me so I can delete your email right away and save my time. Your email will be deleted anyways because I can tell that you didn't read my policy.
  • Read my policy. For the love of God, please just read my policy, oh my god.
  • People addressing emails to my name
  • People actually sending me requests for books I want to read

Are you frustrated with the emails you get lately, too? 

Any advice? Aside from taking a lot of Advil before opening my email account?

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