How to Ask a Blogger to Read Your Book

In just about every query  letter I get from new authors seeking a review I see something along the lines of "I'm new and have no idea if I'm doing this right," or "I hope this is right." I get it. It's scary and hard to reach out to people to ask for reviews. Ironically, I haven't even reached out to anyone to review my book, save for posting it in broad forums. I haven't reached out to individuals though because I'm a terrified chicken! So, I admire all of you brave souls that can pluck up the courage to put yourselves and your hard work on the line and ask people to review for you. Hopefully one day I can put on my big girl panties too.

For those of you brave enough to reach out, but entirely clueless where to start, I'm writing this for you. Now, I can't speak on behalf of all bloggers, only myself. These are the things I like to see in a query letter and the things that drive me up a wall. Also, make sure to read my policy first before sending me any inquiries

  • DON'T just send me a link and expect me to buy your book. Some reviewers buy every book they review, and I certainly try to help authors out when I can and also review the books that I do purchase, but it's polite and customary to at least offer to send a free copy in exchange for a review. Think about it this way, I get around twenty requests PER DAY. Most of these books are around $2.99, some higher, some lower. That's almost $60.00 in books PER DAY. No way could I afford that. I will share the heck out of your book for you though. This doesn't mean I do this for free books, or expect them. Not at all. I buy books when I can and am working on reviewing everything I read, so even if authors didn't give me copies for review I would still be reviewing. Some bloggers may turn you down and insist on buying it, others may only accept you if you're offering it free. Either way, it is customary to at least offer to send it.

  • DO be kind and personable. Show a little personality. Show an interest in forming a lasting relationship with me as a blogger. I like to get to know you and review more of your books. I am not a one night stand type of gal, and I think that translates into how I like to review. I like to build lasting relationships with authors, not once and done.

  • DO include a purchase link and synopsis of your work. I often get review requests where they just say "Will you review my book?" Literally. That's IT. I'm left sitting here like, "Ummm, is it about pancakes? Aliens? Pancakes AND aliens?" I have no stinking clue. I don't need a novel in my inbox, but genre, general description and approximate word count would be nice.

  • DON'T assume I'm going to read for you. Nothing grinds my gears more than a cocky query letter. I didn't like cocky, over confident people in high school and I don't like them now. Plus, it's been my experience that the more confident you are, the worse your book is. Sorry, I tell it like it is. I'm doing you a favor, not the other way around. Don't forget that. 

  • DO like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter and interact with me on social media. At the very least on posts about YOU. I'll be the first to admit that my social media pages aren't that active at all, but when authors don't even take the time to like my page and/or posts about them, it's pretty irritating. It takes a lot of time and work to put all of this together, and I'm doing it for free.

  • DON'T get angry and defensive if I give you a poor review...or a positive review with a few critiques. I always try to explain my reasoning, and if you have questions or need clarification, by all means, ask. I'm always happy to expand upon my reasoning, but don't outright challenge me or tell me I'm wrong.

  • DO spell check your query letter. For the love of my brain, spell check your letter. I mean, one or two little slips and meh, I don't care. I bet this post has some. But if your letter is impossible to read because of typos and hard to follow language, I'm going to assume your book is too and pass. I'm also going to assume that my time isn't worth you checking your letter for. 

  • DON'T be afraid to check back in a few months. In fact, I often have to turn people away and do encourage that they check back with me. Do that. I'm not being polite, I'm being serious. Sometimes life is just too busy and I just can't, but maybe I can in a month or three. And maybe I won't be able to then either, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

  • DO send me more books. If we have emailed, built a relationship, and I've given you decent reviews, come back! It makes me sad when authors feel like they can't ask me to review more and more books from them. If I like you, I want to read for you again and again, but as previously discussed, I'm a chicken. You need to initiate, I'm not about to beg you to read your book. But, I totally want to! Even if you got a poor review from me, email me. Tell me how you incorporated criticism from your first book and tell me why this one's better. I love nothing more than to see authors flourish and come into their own. Let me be a part of that!

  • DON'T let this list intimidate you. I try really hard to pleasant and kind...even when I'm critiquing you. You have to put yourself out there, especially as an indie author. I promise I'm not that scary! I want to help you help you!