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5 Things to Do (or NOT to Do) When Asking a Book Influencer to Review Your Book

In 2021, over 2.2 million books were published worldwide. That’s an incredible number. How do you, a self-published author or an author at a small publishing house, make your book stand out in a sea of books? Perhaps you’ve Googled and discovered that some of those people in the know suggest you approach book influencers for reviews based on the fact that the more reviews your receive (good or bad), the more notice your book receives. These people in the know even provide links to lists of book influencers.

So wanting quick results, you start sending out emails to book influencers with information about your book, blurb, cover, and buy links certain that you’ll receive lots of reviews because people in the know said so.

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I can almost guarantee that those people in the know whose advice you’re following must have never tried to get their book reviewed because they forgot to mention one word: etiquette. If you want to have a chance to have your book reviewed, here are five things to always do or, in some cases, not to do.

  1. Genres read by the influencer. You are in a hurry. You have the book influencer’s email address and you have just written the best fantasy novel EVER, so why not just send them an email? First, this particular influencer doesn’t read fantasy EVER. By just sending that email, you’ve blundered. The influencer knows that you couldn’t even be bothered to visit their blog/profile/page to determine what genres they read. Ask any book blogger and they will tell you that this is one of their top pet peeves.
  2. Is the book influencer currently open to reviewing new books? When a book influencer has been reviewing for a few years and achieved a good reputation, they will have a lot of books coming their way from all directions: major publishers, small publishing houses, indie reviewers. Book reviewers sometimes burn out and need a break (been there). If they have on their site that they are currently booked up and not accepting queries, believe them.
  3. If you’ve successfully obtained a book influencer’s attention, don’t ask them for their stats. Remember, you approached them; you’ve supposedly done your homework. It’s your job to determine their influence.
  4. You’ve obtained a list of book influencers’ emails so why not just add them to your fledgling newsletter? Don’t. A book influencer will notice that they’ve suddenly been added to a newsletter. You not only won’t get their review, but you’ll probably, instead, get a bad reputation.
  5. Send your reviewer a free copy/ebook. Of course, you’re hoping to make money from this book you’ve worked so hard on but sending a book influencer links to buy your book can be pretty insulting. Some book influencers do make enough money from ads and affiliations to make a profit—most of us don’t. We are reading and reviewing because we love books. We want to share the books we read and adore with as many people as we can. So, if you want that review, send them your book for free. Remember, the reason why you’re contacting a book influencer is to get a review, not to wrangle a dollar/euro/etc. from their often very bare pockets.

These suggestions have been obtained from my own experience as well as those of other book bloggers/influencers.

To all of you authors trying to get noticed, good luck. I do wish you the very best. 💖

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4 Comments

  1. Wow, this sounds like sage advice. Practical and relevant. I’ve been writing enough poetry over the last few years (okay, decades) that I think I have some collections under themes that might be worth sharing at large. That’s where I am. Influencing book influencers to review eventual work? Whew, so far beyond me. I’d like to start with a smallish set that I hope someone, anyone else might read. I’d like to think that when it might come to reviewers, I’d be civil and thankful. Maybe that’s naïve. Should anything go beyond my sphere of one, however, I’d like to think I wouldn’t be obnoxious about it.

    1. I would like to say that most authors who reach out to me are gracious, but many do treat it as a business transaction in which THEY are doing me a favor. I am hoping that they behave that way because they are simply oblivious and thus I wrote this post. I sincerely doubt that YOU would be anything less than humble in your approach. And, when you need an influencer (I personally am not that fond of the term because I’m not altogether I’m influencing anyone other than myself 😉 ), I would be happy to review your book. 🙂

  2. Good advice. Kind of reminds me a bit like trying to get an agent. Are you being inundated with reading/review requests? So, what does make a book stand out, assuming you don’t know the author? Inquiring minds want to know.

    1. I am now in the fortunate position of having major publishers reaching out to me to review their books and I have to watch myself. How easy it would be to say “yes” to everything, which I was doing for a while but then end up reading unappealing but well written books that can really halt my reading progress. So now, I’m choosing books that pique my interest in some way. The romances have to be funny or suspenseful. The non-fiction has to be something I’m interested in or something that I think I should really know about. And, I’m accepting some children’s fiction because I’m still a kid at heart who can write and review like an adult. Regarding indie books, I haven’t accepted many lately mainly because I have a TBR pile that is over my head (heh, you can take that any way you want) but if something sounds interesting and the author isn’t obnoxious, I’ll pass it on to Betanda to see if she’s interested, although she is generating her own author following. (And another short story has been written. 😉 )

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