5 mistakes to avoid when requesting a book review
As writers with a book freshly out on the market, we are all in dire need of reviews to promote the first steps of our baby in the cruel publishing scene. This means finding reviewers. Of course, writers almost always being readers, we already have a list of websites run by bloggers, whether writers or readers, who love the book genre of our book. So it is just a question of approaching those who seem to publish book reviews and requesting a review.
Yet, it is always a good idea to remember that writing a review is time-consuming and requires reading the book first, so it is actually requesting quite a big favor from a complete stranger. Even if the book is the future Nobel Prize for Literature or the next publishing front page story, at this stage, it is an unknown quantity and the prospective reviewer has no incentive in investing time an effort in a review.
The least a writer can do is to show the prospective reviewer respect. So here are a few common mistake easily avoided.
- Send the very same template request to all prospective reviewers: A reviewer receiving a mail that even barely smacks of mass mailing has no incentive whatsoever in even glancing at the blurb of the book.
- Not checking the conditions for submitting a request for a review: Most sites publishing reviews have a procedure for receiving requests. It is not only common courtesy to abide by the blogger’s requirements, it is also showing respect for his or her time.
- Nor offering a free copy of the book: Though this should not need to be said, some writers seem to expect the review to fork out the money to buy the book in addition to investing time in reading and reviewing it.
- Having only one format for the book: In the days of unstandardized ereaders, it is the writer’s responsibility to find a way to convert the book into the format most convenient for the reviewer.
- Demanding rights to edit the review prior to its publication: When the prospective reviewers agrees to actually review a book, it is self-understood that his or her opinion is required and that comes with taking the risk that her review will be scathing, if that is the reviewer’s opinion.
Filed under: Book Promotion