Saturday, 7 June 2014

Book Bloggers' Tips for Authors

Today is the first day of The Romance Festival 2014 and we’re joining in to share some tips for authors about approaching bloggers when requesting a review.

Book bloggers get a lot of review requests every week, and no matter how much we love books, we can only accept so many requests if we have any hope of keeping up with our growing to-be-read lists.

So what can authors do to make their review requests stand out?

1.    Personalize

A personalized email makes a huge difference. It’s not that hard to find our names on the blog and yet we receive a lot of requests addressed to “Dear Blogger” or the like. Using our names is not only polite, but it shows us that you’ve checked out our blog. It’s an added bonus if you can show you are familiar with our content and the types of books we like. If you think there’s a reason we would particularly like your book based on something you’ve seen on our site, mention it!

2.    Simple is sweet

Simple is sweet. Every time. Emails with over the top fonts and formatting can appear quite amateur. In terms of content, be relevant and concise. We don’t want to have to search just to find your blurb. Equally, it’s best if you include your blurb within the content of the email. If we have to click links to find out about your book and we are rushing through emails, we might not bother.

3.    Check the guidelines

I really can’t overstate this. Check the guidelines. Almost all book blogs have a “Review Policy”. This outlines the guidelines for what a book blogger will and won’t read, as well as what information you need to provide in a review request. For example, at Love Reading Romance we only read romance, and we require authors to send us the blurb and the first chapter before we will decide whether to read your book.

4.    What else can we do?

Sometimes we might not have time to do a review, but we also have other features on the blog. Let us know if there are other kinds of promotion you might be interested in, such as sharing excerpts or a guest post. If we like the sound of your book, but don’t have time for a review, we might still be able to offer some promotion.

5.    Spell check

Spell check your email! If your review request is riddled with spelling mistakes… we will judge you.

6.    Finally

Just as you should if you receive a negative review, don’t take it personally if we don’t accept your book for review in the first place. Book bloggers are some of the most passionate readers out there, but we all have different tastes and time restraints.

Most of all, keep writing and keep sending us your books, so we can keep reading and reviewing!

A big thanks to Katie Sadler at HarperImpulse for inviting us to take part in The Romance Festival!


~ Helena and Stephanie ~


  1. Couple more things to add:

    Dont ask for a free review, and then ask the blogger to pay full price for your book in order to review it. (yes this has happened to me!)

    Pay attention to territory rights: e.g. please dont send UK bloggers links to, because we cant download from there. (yes, this has happened to me, and when I advised of same, got a reply email the following week, asking when I was going to review the book. Errm, the other side of never?)

    Pay attention to your pitch email. Badly formatted, badly spelt, with migraine inducing colours or flashing images will NOT help your book get read. Stand out? yes. Read? No

    1. Hi nordie,

      I haven't had the misfortune of being asked to pay for a review copy, but that is very rude!

      You raise a good point re: Amazon. I much prefer to have copies sent to my email directly (or using an intermediary such as NetGalley), rather than being sent to Amazon to download. I hadn't thought of the geographic issues though!

      I'm glad you agree about startlingly flashy emails with overly intense formatting too!

      Thanks for stopping by,
      xx Helena