So, you’ve spent days/months/years writing a story that you MUST share with the world, and then it happens: you realise that all of those days spent slaving away at the computer, all the hours spent banging your head against the wall in frustration, are over. It’s done; you have finally finished.
Realising this, it’s time to put the final touches on it. You design a lovely cover (or hire someone to do it) and you make sure the writing is flawless. It is then time to send your book to your editor/beta readers. Finally, you get your story published, either by yourself or through a publisher. You book is now ready to share with the world.
Days go by and you realise that your book is not getting any recognition. You’ve not had any reviews yet. No one is talking about it. It’s like the story that you have lovingly created doesn’t exist. Then it hits you – you can find reviewers and tell them about your book!
So you start searching goodreads, Amazon, etc. Eventually, you find an email address, a private message feature or your search leads you to a blog. Finally, you could get the word out about your book. You can finally find out if all that time spent pouring your heart into this story was worth it.
However, you are now faced with a problem.
What do you say to these readers/reviewers/bloggers? Do you send a blanket email?
Maybe your email looks like this –
“Dear awesome blogger/reviewer,
I’ve written this book. Look how great it is! You should review it. Here’s a free copy to make sure you do!
Or, do you spend the time getting to know the author? Do you comment on their blog? ‘Follow’ them for a while before asking? Have you taken the time to learn the bloggers name? Their review policy? What they like to read?
Maybe your email would then look like this –
I’ve been following your blog (-blog name-) for a while now and in that time I’ve taken a look at your review policy and learned what you enjoy reading. Based on that, I would like to tell you about my book. I think you might enjoy it!
Here is the info:
I think your posts are very insightful and I love the honesty of your reviews. I would greatly appreciate a review, but if you’re busy or it doesn’t interest you, or you just don’t feel like writing a review, that is fine, too!
Thanks for taking the time to read this, -name-!
Which do you think is more likely to get a response? The email that has clearly been sent to hundreds of readers, or the email that is addressed directly to you?
Now I completely understand that for a lot of authors, writing is something they do in their free time – something that they don’t get much of when you factor in work, family life and personal commitments. That time is further reduced if they have to spend time interacting with readers and searching for names and review policies. Sometimes, it’s just not possible!
I also understand that reviewers are also reading in their free time. Personally, as I’m in my final year of university, I don’t have time to sleep, let alone read something that isn’t on the course reading lists! However, I try my best to keep on top of everything and to still post my reviews.
Taking both of these things into account, I’m asking that both readers and authors keep this in mind. A little respect goes a long way. It is also important to remember that a review is that readers personal opinion. What works for one reader may not work for another, so don’t take it personally!
There have been times when I have wanted to give up my blog and stop reviewing due to either authors/publishers sending me blanket emails about books that are in the genres that I specify that I won’t read, or due to the response I’ve had from authors when I’ve posted their review. I should specify that I’ve only had a few bad interactions with authors, though I do get a significant number of blanket emails each day. Some of these blanket emails don’t even say hello. They’re purely other reviews and the blurb – no interaction at all! It makes it really difficult to find the energy or willpower to respond to these emails, let alone read the books suggested!
However, I keep my blog running and continue to accept review requests because I like finding new authors and new books, and because occasionally, an author responds to my review. A simple Thank You message makes the hours spent reading the book worth it. I also love having the opportunity to interview these new authors or my fellow reviewers.
I’d also like to take the time to mention this post that I read today by author Dylan Hearn, thanking all readers and reviewers, not just those that had read his books! It is posts like this that make readers want to pick up his books and take a chance on an author that they may not have heard of before. So, I’d like to thank Dylan for taking the time to write his post. I couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s greatly appreciated!
So, what do you think?
Readers, are you getting blanket emails? How do they make you feel?
Authors, do you take the time to get to know someone, or at least learn their name, before sending a review request? Do you think there’s a need?