I don’t get lots of offers to review books, which is fine as time is rare these days but perhaps I am in a position to be able to suggest a few simple things that I think would generally help the author and the reviewer when contact is made about a book review or indeed any general interaction. Although each blogger has their own unique ways of going about things, I think of myself as probably a typical example and having done this sort of thing for years, I may as well chuck a few ideas out there.
There are two camps of reviewers I would say, those that accept anything that is free and those, myself included who are a bit more picky in what we choose to take on, owing to many factors, not least time and sheer choice. Here are a few suggestions though which could certainly aid authors looking for sites with which to have their book looked at and may appeal to bloggers also:
Firstly research your blogger, spend a bit of time reading their reviews of books in your genre, do they like your type of book or are they rabidly against it? Is the blogger well placed to appreciate that type of book and is their writing of quality, do they get to the soul of a book or just skim the surface. It should be common sense but I have found myself bewildered by offers of books that I clearly have no intention of ever considering.
Get some initial interaction going, comments on a post or two before sending that email or if you do start in with an email, please avoid that identikit mailing list feel to your words. The personal touch always elicits a more positive response as we like to feel a bit special, Perhaps mention why you are picking their particular blog or talk about you, it needn’t feel awkward, make it informal and relaxed. I’m always happy to chat and to send short emails back and forth and keep an author updated on my reading progress.
A thank you is always nice too, as well as being basic politeness but it doesn’t always seem to happen. After all we do make the time to read the book and write about it, I usually spend an hour or two in writing a considered review, likewise the blogger can drop in a thank you for the free book when they write a note saying the post is up.
We all want to feel loved so stay in contact, make friends, it doesn’t take long to send a quick email every so often. Not only is it pleasant to chat but it will also cement a relationship that will be more amenable in the future for all when it comes to reviewing/editing/interviews/contact sharing and guest posts and who knows what else.
There are millions of books out there and like anything else in life, it’s a competition, you have to make your effort stand out. You write words so use them effectively to make solid contacts and friends, people who will give you fair and honest reviews and encouragement and respond more positively. People will also remember you and possibly even mention you in a post, like so: Jess Harpley, Stephen Baum, Cynthia Morgan, Seyi David, Nicolas Conley, Penny Howe, Nils-Johan Jørgensen. Most of all though enjoy the experience of chatting with fellow book lovers as you never know where the adventure could take you..,