Sunday, August 4, 2013

How to Get Your Book Reviewed Part Three: The Proposal

Okay, so we made it here for basically the last step on getting your book reviewed. The plan of attack!

I can't tell you how many times I've gotten a book review request and it's been simply a few sentences and a link. I can't help cringing for this poor author.

I love reviewing books. But if we're being honest, bloggers are the one pulling the most of the weight in the "complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review" deal. As of right now, I can get about 62,975 results when I type FREE in Amazon keyword. So basically what I'm saying is I don't need authors to get free books. Keeping that in mind, I think it would be nice if people would take the time to read my review policy and personalize their messages a little more.

I'm not here to rant.

I got a comment from a reader (Hi Laura) saying she feels guilty when she rejects review requests. I do, too. But there are three things you can do RIGHT NOW to increase your chances of getting your book reviewed by, I don't know, a hundred percent.

  • Read the review policy. When you're trying to get reviews and really don't have the patience to read everyone's blog, this can be tough. Too bad. I can't tell you how many non-fiction books I have been asked to read. Needless to say, I don't read non-fiction books. Review policies contain info about what the reviewer reads, if they're even accepting books, how long it takes for them to read, etc. Do yourself a favor and read it. Abide by it. 
  • Follow them. Follow their blog, their twitter, tumblr, Goodreads page, ANYTHING!  I know I feel more inclined to read a book from someone who reads my blog or other social network account. Get it? I'll say it again: "I want to read someones book more if they read my blog". It's kind of like we're exchanging gifts. 
  • Present a professional proposal. I remember I read a book for a young lady. When I agreed to reading it, I received an Amazon gift along with a message that went something along the lines of "Sup, thx here u go." I was pissed. 
Here's an example of a proper review request. This is from an actual author. I've taken out the personal info so you can fill in your own:

Hi (Reviewer's Name),

I will shortly be launching my latest book, a (enter publishing company, genre, and name), and I am trying to raise awareness through requesting reviews. (Enter information about your book here. I left an example for you to view) I have been published twice before. Because of the length of (book name) I chose to self-publish, but I have paid for professional editing and cover design.

(Information about your book such as the blurb)
(Information about where your book is available, links, and such)

For the review copy, I could send you a (enter ebook or physical format) of the book via (email or parcel service) Or I could give you a download code for Smashwords when the book is up there.

Please let me know if you'd be interested in writing a review.

Your Name

 You'll have to do a little customization of that if you decide to use it.

Does every request have to look like this? No! Some could be a little more personalized. Here's one I have used:

Hi (Reviewer's Name)!

I've been shifting around your blog recently--I found it through (whatever you used to find it.) About three sentences making it clear that I've actually read the blog. Also, I'm following your blog now so I'll be able to keep up with your new stuff that way:) 

I'm the author of (book title, genre, publisher, release day)  Now I'm not just saying this because it's my book, but I think this novel will captivate you like it has my beta readers. (And if you like to escape into the "unreal", this book might do just that, if not more. Don't say I didn't warn you This I put in because the person I sent this to said in their review policy that they like to escape into the unreal) I would gladly provide you with a free e-book ARC in whatever format you desire. You can read the blurb below:  

Blurb Goes Here.

If that didn't spark your interest, I attached some excerpts for your reading pleasure:)

Being a book reviewer myself, I know how hard it is to produce a review as soon as the author wants it. So if you're interested in reviewing it, you can get to it whenever you have time. If you're not interested in a book review or simply don't have the time, I am available for guest posts, interviews and giveaways. (Of course we can still do all this if you do decide to review)

Nice meeting you. Thank you for your consideration and I'm looking forward to your response.

My Name

It really doesn't matter what you use (does it?) because both will receive mixed results. I've sent out requests using the above template to 25-40 blogs and received about 10 responses. Some people don't check their email, like my genre (even though they didn't mention that on the review policy), excuses excuses. 

If you guys want to see me try a more professional approach, let me know in the comments. I'll update you on twitter how it goes. 

I'm not a hundred percent sure, but I think you can use the first template for book agent queries.


  1. I'm just coming in at part three here, but thanks for the advice. I contact bloggers a lot for requests, and I'm always worried about doing anything to annoy them. I know each person has different preferences (and it's wonderful when they have a detailed review policy to follow so I know exactly what those preferences are right off the bat), but a nice, general rule of thumb guideline like this is great too. Thanks again.

    1. No problem, thanks for stopping by! You can catch up with by reading the previous two posts. If you have any questions, let me know.

  2. Great tips. As an aspiring author, it's great to know what's the best way to approach book reviewer bloggers for reviews or other promotions of your book. And I so appreciate what bloggers like you do to promote books.