Showing posts with label review policy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review policy. Show all posts

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Why Book Bloggers Don't Reply To Your Review Requests and How to Fix It





Again, it is time for another "I'm so upset about the sheer volume of ridiculous emails in my inbox that I write a post about it".

This time in the only form people seeking reviews seem to be able to read: Bullet points.

Again, this is mostly directed at inexperienced authors. Please, if you're reading this, take my advice. it works wonders.

I don't know how often I've said it, but the #1 remedy is always reading a review policy. I have specific instructions in mine, and if you're not following them, I'm not even opening your email. Be respectful.


Addressing

OKAY
  • "Hi/Hey/Howdy/(greeting of choice)/ Dear [Name]"
  • "Hi/Hey/Howdy/(greeting of choice)/ Dear [Blog Name]"

NOT OKAY
  • "Hi/Hey/Howdy/(greeting of choice)"

Why: If you're not even bothering to write my name, pretty sure it's a mass email. Delete.

First Line

OKAY
  • [jumps right to pitch]
  • Personalization
  • Tell me why *I* am the right blog for this

Why: I like a good personalization. If you show me you read my blog, reference one of my tweets/interests, you've already got a foot in the door. Even if your book isn't for me, chances are I might give you some helpful feedback. Make me feel special and I'll be nice to you. It's okay if you jump right to the pitch as well if you can't think of anything.

NOT OKAY
  • "I know you don't like this genre"
  • [pitch for a genre I don't read]
  • "I know you don't read this, but"
  • "I know you receive many submissions/are you so busy, but"
  • I'm a big fan of your blog (Note: almost always a lie, I react allergic to it at this point)

Why: Lies are never good. Just say nothing instead of lying. Don't try to guilt-trip me into reading something, and don't try to talk me into trying a genre that I don't want to read. You'll fail.

Negotiating

OKAY
  • I'm offering you a free copy for review

NOT OKAY
  • I'm offering you a free copy for review on the following sites:
  • I'm offering you a free copy, if
  • If you're not interested, can you promote my book anyway

Why: Book bloggers know what they're doing. You come across as patronizing. We're not going to change our habits because of you. Who do you think you are to even suggest that? Delete.


After You Sent the Book

OKAY
  • asking whether I received the book

NOT OKAY
  • reminding me of the launch date
  • giving me a deadline à la "have you read it yet, if not read it by"
  • asking me how much I read
  • asking me when I'll post the review
  • following up in any form whatsoever

Why: Chill out. Your book will be read if I said that it would be. The only thing you'll achieve is that I won't ever work with you again. Maybe decide to not even read the book and cancel our whole arrangement because you're annoying to work with.


Tips:
  • Don't listen to any tips you get from people who aren't bloggers and reviewers
  • Don't listen to any tips you get from people who have successfully spammed their way into getting a lot of reviews
  • Read review policies (!!!!)
  • Personalize your requests and pick the bloggers you target carefully
  • Read review policies


Authors: If you have any more questions, there's an option to submit a comment anonymously. 

Bloggers: Any pet peeves to add?

Continue Reading...

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Book Blogging Etiquette: What to Do When Authors/Publishers Don't Read Your Policy





As a blogger you'll soon notice that especially self-published authors and small presses will reach out to you and ask you to review their books.

Some of them, but not all send mass emails to every blogger they can find. But are we supposed to do when we get emails like that?

Just ignore them? Here's what I do to prevent this from happening and when it's already too late.

Quick Life Savers:

1. Write a Bullet-proof Policy
You can conveniently refer to it if you get inquiries that aren't suitable for your blog.

2. Add Subject Headlines
In order to avoid getting mails that aren't relevant to your interests (aka spam mail from people who don't even read your blog), state in your policy that the subject headline has to be something specific.

3. Be Selective About Replies
The best case scenario would be to reply to each and every request you get, but mostly it's just a waste of time. I suggest you don't even open emails with multiple recipients.


If you've already received an inquiry...

You can either do it like me and just don't reply/ waste your time on people who didn't even bother to read your policy - or you prepare a generic response. I prefer to be honest and tell people when I don't think collaboration is something that I'd consider.

I have generic responses for the cases that:
  • The person clearly hasn't read my policy
  • I'm not interested in the book
  • I don't have time for another review copy
In any other case I just write up a new mail myself. I definitely suggest that you should at least reply to every serious inquiry you get, even thought it's just to say thanks, but no thanks.

I know it can get annoying to receive dozens of the same mails, I state perfectly clear in my policy that I don't read erotica and am not a fan of historical romance, still the majority of my inquiries seem to be exactly this.

If you have to say no...

  • Be objective. If you don't like something, don't say it. 
I've noticed that it isn't a very good idea to tell people that you don't think you'd like their book. Yes you are a blogger and are usually expected to give your honest opinion, but when replying to inquiries it's very easy to step on someone's toes. 
That is exactly where I know that I've made the decision to decline if someone tries to argue with me. I've actually had an author argue with me declining their book once since I have read, reviewed and liked another book that they thought was similar to theirs. 

Solution: Just say the book doesn't fit into the concept of your blog.
  • Refer to your policy
Especially when people try to argue with you. If you don't like something, add that to the list of things you don't read in your policy.

Everyone has their own takes on this, but you should never be passive-aggressive about it. I know it can get super annoying to get the same mails all the time, but always be respectful and professional.



Further Reading: 
How To Write a Review Policy
How To Decline An Inquiry by an Author or Publisher Politely

What do you do when you get offered to review books and have to decline?




More Etiquette:
(#1) Don't Steal Content and Learn to Credit

You might want to check out my Book Blogging Tips series:

See All
Continue Reading...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

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


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? 
Continue Reading...
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