How NOT to Get Reviewed #2

Part of a series. When you get hundreds of book review requests, you only take minutes to decide which books to accept. What goes through a book bloggers mind? I can’t speak for all bloggers, but here’s what goes through mine….

From: –
To: my email
Subject line: KIndly review [book title]

Having your own domain looks professional , plus it was sent only to me – good. But the typo in the subject line could’ve been easily avoided.

Hi, Anna.

Yay! Plus points for referring to me by name.

I came across your awesome blog through a link on [website]. I am friendly with [Name] and I am so glad she is putting together a list of book bloggers who are ready and willing to read indie books. I am thrilled that you joined the list. I feel that more readers should be reading indie work.

Okay, cool to know how you find me, but don’t get too carried away!

People around the world buy indie art, listen to indie music, see indie films, so why not read indie books? I personally prefer things to be a bit more artsy and unpredictable. I have worked with big time publishers and they sometimes tear works to shreds and edit them to death so they can appeal to housewives in middle America. Not every book is meant for housewives. As a result, I think it is awesome that bloggers like you are willing to take your valuable time to read indie books because no matter how great some one’s review is, Anne Rice, and Stephen King, and Dean Koontz, Simply do not care. But guys like me on the other hand… book bloggers can change our lives. And that’s pretty cool.

Remember what I said about getting carried away? Yeah. You did it. My eyes have glazed over.

I have written nearly 3 dozens books and have worked for and with big time NYC publishers and like many other authors, I was disappointed with the results.

If you hadn’t rambled about indie books, the above would have been okay. As it is, I’m wondering when I’ll ever learn about your book.

My novel [book title] is kind of edgy and weird.

Words like “edgy” and “weird” tell me nothing – what genre is the book? How long is it? Is it actually edgy, or only kind of?

Here’s a summary:

[book blurb]

I finally know the book’s plot after 4 paragraphs… but by now I’ve lost interest.

Attached is an EPUB and PDF. If you can possibly find the time, and if you have the interest, I would certainly appreciate your valuable reviews.

Don’t attach books unless reviewers specifically ask you to.

Keep up the great work!

[Name] (All of my friends call me “[nickname].” You can, too!”)

Cutesy comments are at best amusing, at worst annoying.

Writer / Director / Producer
[Website Name]
[Smashwords link]
[Blog link]

Including a signature – good.

The start is good: mentioning a mutual friend will encourage me to keep reading. But the subsequent rambling puts me off, and I still don’t know the length or genre of the book. By the time I get to the most important bit — the blurb — I’m bored. 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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4 Responses to How NOT to Get Reviewed #2

  1. aeliusblythe says:

    This is really good to know–this and the first part of the series, too. Seems like common sense, and a lot like writing a query letter: get to the point and be polite!

    I wonder, do you have any thoughts on whether it is better to go through bloggers to get reviews or use giveaways (and the like) to incentivize readers to write reviews on Amazon/Smashwords etc.? Obviously, the best case scenario would be to have both, but in your opinion should one be more of a priority?

    • A.M. Harte says:

      I personally think you should focus on book bloggers. They are far more likely to review, and often will cross-post to Amazon, Goodreads, etc if you ask them nicely :-)

      Giveaways have a lot lower success rate, although they are good marketing stunts. A nice way to do both is to submit a review or interview request to a book blogger, and let them know you’d be happy to run a giveaway alongside their review/interview. Two birds, one stone :-)

  2. MCM says:

    Nuts. I’ll try again next week then.

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