I was wondering if you would like to review my book, Random Name. The blurb is below.
[Big long blurb I’m too lazy to read.]
Have a nice day,
Random Author Person
I get these all of the time. They’re form emails and they can turn a great day into a bad one because my blood starts to boil after reading only a few lines. And it’s about time I’ve tackled them on my blog because they are rampant in the book blogging community. Here are my thoughts on them:
Argument: “Names are hard to find!”
Us bloggers (or maybe it’s just me) are kind of vain. Even if we don’t have our full names on our blogs, we usually have either our first names or pseudonyms on an ‘About’ page. This is usually located in an easy-to-find tab next to the Home tab. By not even bothering to use a blogger’s name in the greeting, authors are sending the message that we’re not worth their time.
Do you see the hypocrisy here? Authors are expecting book bloggers to take hours out of their days to read their books but can’t even be bothered to spend a minute maximum finding the blogger’s name. That’s not lazy, that’s rude.
Argument: “But authors don’t have enough time to personalize every email!”
I see authors wasting hours of their time on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites. Yes, promotion is important, but isn’t getting reviews an important step in promoting yourself? If you don’t take the ten minutes (maximum) to find out a reviewer’s name and check their policy to see if your book fits their tastes, you shouldn’t be on social media. If you spend ten minutes checking their policy and looking at their name, it shouldn’t take more than ten minutes to write the email. All you have to do is address them by name, ask if they could review your book and include information they ask for in their review policy, which usually just consists of a blurb (which you should have on hand anyway!).
If you can’t take twenty minutes out of your precious day for reviewers, don’t expect reviewers to take hours out of their days for you.
Argument: “I don’t know how to address the reviewer! What if I accidentally offend them?”
If you’re so worried about offending someone by calling them by their first name instead of a more respectful Ms. Lastname or Mr. Lastname, then look at the comments section of their blog. See how commenters address the person. If they use their first name, go ahead! Besides it’s the internet; things generally aren’t that formal.
And if you can’t be bothered to look at the comments and want to send a generic email instead, think about this: It’s far more offensive to send a generic email with no name than to handcraft an email and get the wrong name.
Basically, just be polite and spend a couple minutes of your time on an email rather than sending out generic ones. Reviewers like me get them all the time and can spot them a mile away, so don’t think you’ll get away with it. Especially if you’re sending out requests when a reviewer is not accepting requests and it is clearly stated in their policy. That’s just lazy.