Ten Tips on How to Pitch Your Book to Review Bloggers and Not Get Ignored
You’ve done all of the hard work, toiling away at your laptop crafting the perfect story, and then putting in the painstaking hours of editing. You even have a professional cover and some pretty kickass back cover copy. So, you’ve got the completed book, and now you want the visibility.
You might be tempted to send a blanket email to every book blogger you can find on the Internet, but believe it or not, that’s not the best policy. There is a much better way to approach bloggers when seeking reviews. Here are ten nonnegotiable tips that will set you apart and get you noticed when it comes to approaching book bloggers.
1. Do Your Research
When seeking bloggers to help you promote your book, it is important to start with finding those readers who actually read your type of book. It might go without saying, but if you write squeaky clean Christian romance, don’t pitch to a blogger who only reviews hard-core erotica. On one hand, you’re probably just going to get ignored, but on the other hand, you’ll have wasted both your time and theirs. To make matters worse, if you offend a book blogger with a poorly executed request, you run the risk of getting some bad press that you’re absolutely not looking for.
But where do I find bloggers who review my genre, you ask? You’re a simple Google search away from thousands of book bloggers who are just waiting to hear from you. Here are two to get you started:
Another thing to think about when seeking book bloggers is where they post their reviews. Do they only post to their blog? Or do they cross-promote with reviews on retail sites like Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble and book communities like Goodreads? You’ll also want to look at their turnaround time. This is where research pays off. If you know your target blogger is booking three months out, you can be sure to approach them in a timely manner.
2. Read the Review Policy
This is probably the most imperative consideration in pitching to book bloggers. You must follow their review policies and guidelines to the letter. No exceptions! You’ve probably already visited this all-important page while doing your research, but now is the time to pay close attention. This is where you find out if your dream blogger accepts eBooks, what genre they read, and whether or not they guarantee a review for every book they accept. When you begin to draft your pitch, you get bonus points for showing you respect a blogger’s time by adhering to their review policy. You can even throw in a line saying, “I saw in your review policy that you enjoy dinosaur erotica, and so I think you’ll dig my book.” Or whatever. In the end, it pays to pay attention.
3. Make It Personal
The first way to get your email deleted without being read is to begin your pitch by saying, “Dear Blogger,” or even worse, “To Whom It May Concern.” You’ve done your research and you know a little bit about these bloggers, so always start by addressing them directly. Use their first name. Show them that you care enough to make your request personal.
4. Who Are you, Anyway?
Once you’ve directly and personally addressed the blogger, you want to open with a little bit about yourself. You don’t need to divulge much, just who you are and what you write is fine. Short and sweet is best. So often book bloggers get pitched books with no introduction whatsoever, and that’s a bad basis for a relationship.
5. Pitch Perfect
Now is the time to show bloggers what you’ve got to offer. Keep your book description short and to the point, something close to the length of your back cover copy. You’ll also want to include when and where the book will be available, and what timeframe you are looking for as far as the review goes. Something else that is really helpful is a page/word count of the novel you’re pitching, just so the blogger knows what they’re getting themselves into. That’s it.
6. Show Me Your Links
If you’ve got a website, or if your book is already up on retail sites, be sure to include links as well, either in the body of your email, or in your signature. Bloggers will want to check you out, and you want to make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Most bloggers won’t go out on their own to find you, but if you give them everything they’re looking for in your email, they’re more likely to look, and then possibly accept your request. Just a note: links should be in addition to your book’s pitch. Bloggers aren’t going to click on a link for a book they know nothing about.
7. Nix the Attachments
Do not, under any circumstances, attach a copy of your eBook. First of all, most bloggers are going to be very wary of opening an attachment from a virtual stranger in case it hosts a virus or other suspicious malware. But also, attaching the book is awfully presumptuous.
8. Assume Nothing
Which brings us here. After you’ve emailed your potential bloggers, don’t assume they owe you anything in return. Of course, the most professional bloggers will reply and not leave you hanging, but the fact is that most book bloggers receive a ton of requests via email. It’s not every blogger’s policy to reply to every request, and you must respect their time and attention enough to know that a reply is absolutely up to them.
9. Follow Up, but Don’t Stalk
That being said, if you want to follow up, one simple email will suffice. One. Taking it further, do not stalk bloggers on social media or post public messages to them asking for a response. If you really feel like you need to follow up, send a second, short email, and then call it a day.
10. Give Thanks
Once you’ve contacted a blogger and received the a-okay for a review, be sure to be patient and thankful. You’ve probably established a timeframe for receiving a review, so sit back and relax until it’s posted. And once it does go up, be sure to show your thanks by sharing the review and sending your own readers towards the blog that has hosted you. This blogger has just done you a huge favor in reviewing your novel, so show gratitude in return. Besides sharing their review and driving traffic their way, a simple thank you email is also nice.
So, now you’re ready to research and pitch book bloggers with your latest novel and not get ignored. Following these simple tips will help assure that bloggers are receptive to your request. In doing your due diligence, you hope to build a longstanding relationship with bloggers who will not only review your first book, but continue to support you as you publish more in the future. Good luck!
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