How NOT to Get Reviewed #1

We have Query Shark critiquing author’s letters to agents, but in this day and age of indie publishing, emailing a proper review request to a book blogger is just as important.

Following on my previous post, How to Submit to a Book Reviewer, I’m sharing a couple examples of what to do — and what to avoid. Read on at your own risk.

From: –
To: 27 email addresses
Subject line: A Novella For You To Review If You Feel Like Reviewing

Yahoo looks unprofessional. Use gmail or your own domain if possible. And never send such obvious mass mailers; if you’re going to email multiple book bloggers at the same time (which I don’t recommend) at least BCC them. Lastly, keep your subject line simple. “Request for Book Review: BOOK TITLE” is more than sufficient. Adding ‘if you feel like it’ sounds insecure.

Hello… just wanted to drop a short note here to you to ask a few of you who blog & review books if you might be interested in reviewing a novella that I just upped to Amazon…? (The apparent formatting nightmare within the novella is intentional, by the way.)

“Upped to Amazon” isn’t a commonly used expression, which then raises doubts on the quality of the book’s writing. Couple that with the comment about formatting being a nightmare — however intentional — and I’ve already got misgivings.

It’s my first try at self-publishing; I’m very new to this.

Never say this, even if it’s true. No one wants to deal with someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

The title that I upped at Amazon (“[Title]”) was actually rejected by a publisher with a note that said it was a “post modern tour de force,” although I have no idea what that actually means.

If you don’t know what it means, how am I supposed to know what it means? This tells me nothing about your book. Also: be proud to be indie. You’ve chosen this route. Don’t make it look like it’s a last resort because you were rejected by the big guys, even if it’s true.

I personally think it’s pretty good, although it is short at 13,000 words.

Good idea to include the word count, but I don’t need to know what you think about your book. I need to know what your book’s about. What’s the story? What genre is it? Why should I want to read it?

I’ll attach it here as an .epub — Thanks for your time!

I would recommend NOT attaching the book until a reviewer gets back to you expressing interest. That way you can provide it in whatever format suits them best.

— [Name]

You’ve missed out on a chance to promote yourself. Where is your signature with your byline and website link?

All I know is the title of the book, that it’s 13,000 words, and that it may have crap formatting. This review request lacks confidence, and doesn’t give me enough information about the book to make me want to read it. Rejected!


About A.M. Harte

A.M. Harte writes twisted speculative fiction, such as the post-apocalyptic Above Ground and the zombie love anthology Hungry For You. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what ‘free time’ means, and is utterly addicted to chocolate.
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3 Responses to How NOT to Get Reviewed #1

  1. J.D. says:

    Interesting. In a former life I used yahoo as my contact for authors. I never gave a second thought to how the author might look using yahoo. I know how expensive servers can get so it honestly never worked into my view of the author at all. So that’s an interesting take on it, A.M. :)

    • A.M. Harte says:

      I don’t mind gmail – but yahoo and hotmail are very old school, and a lot of spam mail now comes from those addresses. It’s worth bearing in mind what email you are sending from (as well as your email name, too!) because it’s one of the first things people see. It’s akin to applying for a job with an email address like — not very professional, huh? :-)

      I’m sure there are excceptions to every rule, but getting the small details right adds up.

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