How to Approach Book Bloggers for Reviews
A. Ford
As writers and authors struggle to navigate the new challenges in marketing and promotion, book bloggers have made a substantial impact in selling books. Book bloggers read both published and self-published work and write reviews for their audience. Based on their authority in the field many book bloggers already have a loyal audience who follow their lead.

As an author the goal is to contact a book blogger and gain a positive review in order to spark sales.

How to Search for Book Bloggers

Authors should look for book bloggers online by completing a web search. In order to avoid frequent submission mistakes authors should look for book bloggers in their genre that target their niche market. Many times there is list of recommended book bloggers on each genre listed and some book bloggers include additional links on their site highlighting their favorite blogs. The key with contacting book bloggers is to establish a connection and ensure the submission guidelines are followed.

How to submit a request to a book blogger

Once a likely book blogger has been found, the time has come to write a persuasive email that excites the blogger and compels them to read and write a compelling review. There are several mistakes authors make when contacting a book blogger which can easily be avoided by following these simple steps.

Make sure the submission guidelines have been read thoroughly and the genre of the book and story line matches those guidelines. Many book bloggers have restrictions around what genre they will read, preferred book format and even where they will post reviews. While some reviews may be highlighted in the blog others may be posted on Amazon. Typically once the book has been read and the review is complete, the book blogger will contact the author with link backs.

Keep submission requests concise and easy to read, book bloggers are inundated with several emails every day. Submissions should include an author introduction which  in 2-3 sentences provides the book blogger a little bit more information about the author and an explanation on why the book blogger should be interested in reading the book. The second paragraph should include a brief yet compelling summary of the book told in 100 words or less. The elevator speech is key in grabbing the attention of the book blogger; this shameless book promotion piece can be written by the author or a book enthusiast with experience in grabbing the attention of potential readers. The summary should be as creative and captivating as possible so that a quick scan will encourage a book blogger to read on.

Offer to send a book blogger a free copy of the book for review. Depending on submission guidelines an ebook can be attached and sent, or a hardcopy mailed to them for review. An author should always absorb all costs associated with shipping in exchange for free publicity.

Finally the submission email should include links back to the authors’ website and other sites where additional information on the book can be found. This allows the book blogger to gain a more in depth overview of the author, their existing status on the web and see previous reviews.

GoodbooksToday.com recently interviewed book bloggers Sophie Brock (Day Dreamers World) and Rachel (Booktastic Reviews).

Sophie Brock of Day Dreamers World:
What inspired you to begin book blogging?
One of my friends first introduced me to the world of Tumblr, which I still use today. I liked the way it worked, but really wanted somewhere where I could post more of my writing. So, when I came across a tweet that directing me to their blog(Which was using Blogger) I couldn’t resist joining. It was so organised, and the formatting was so neat and tidy. I had always loved books, so that played a huge part in me becoming a book blogger, and the website I had visited first was also a Book Blog. I saw they wrote reviews, so I decided to write one too. And that’s how it all began!

What is your favourite part of book blogging?
There are so many amazing things about Book Blogging but I think my favourite thing is being able to interact with other bloggers. It’s so great to discuss the books we are reading, and freak-out over the release of sequels will having discussions over book-boyfriends. I love the comments you get, when they a good of course, because they help build-up confidence and the way we have this community. And, of course, the books!

How do you like authors to approach you?
A quick but informative tweet is always nice. I’m forever checking on my Twitter account (@DayDreamsWorld if you want to say hi!) and replying is so much easier. I will drop them a Direct Message, or ask them for their email. I really enjoy interacting with authors online – it’s nice to be able to be able to have people who you aspire to be, talking to you. Also, emails are always great to receive. To the point, adding links to their website, asking what they want me to do. When they talk to me like I’m an equal is also lovely, although they are writing novels that I adore to read.

Do you prefer to read hardcopies or ebook?
I do own a Kindle, and I love reading on it, but I prefer a real, physical book. One point I have to make is that I can’t use Netgallery. I find it so confusing, and I end up recommending too many books, and I never seem to have my Kindle on full-charge. Also, I don’t think anything could beat a real book, that you can hold in your hands. I mean, books have that certain smell, and you can go to a bookstore and run around for an hour with a pile of them in your hands. I mean, who doesn’t love adding a gorgeous book cover to their shelf?

What tips would you give to authors to help grab your attention?
Tweet me, email me, leave me a blog comment: I reply to all of these! Say “hi” and have fun! There’s nothing I like more than opening my Twitter to burst out with laughter after reading an author’s tweet. If you have a book I can review, spread the word. The best way is to interact with me. You don’t realise how much I love getting emails from authors.

Rachel of Booktastic Reviews:

What inspired you to begin book blogging?
Well, I’ve always loved reading and so when one of my oldest blogging buddies started up her own book blog and introduced me to the wonderful world of book blogging, I knew I had to start up one of my own. It just sounded perfect for an avid reader like myself and I knew I’d love it – and I was right, book blogging is so much fun!

What is your favourite part of book blogging?
There is just so much to love about it! Apart from being sent out review books and writing up reviews, I’d probably have to say another favourite of mine is interacting with other book bloggers. It’s great fun discussing books with each other – especially if both of us have different takes on a certain book!

Do you prefer to read hardcopies or ebooks?
Personally, I prefer reading hard copies of books. This is simply because I don’t have access to my iPad all the time (as this is where I read since I don’t have a Kindle or anything) and I just love the feeling of flicking through real pages.

How do you like authors to approach you?
When an author emails me with a review request, I like it when they include the synopsis of their book, the format they would provide me with if I was to accept their book for review (whether it be a hard copy or ebook) and just general information about it (like release date etc).

What tips would you give to authors to help grab your attention?
First, I would say to them to make sure their book is on goodreads. If it’s on goodreads and it sounds like the sort-of book I would enjoy, then I’ll most likely find it. I’d also say having a professional-looking website gives off a good impression. I like websites that are easy to navigate and provide details on the author and their books.


 

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