Recently I received an email from an indie author asking a question about securing reviews from bloggers. Then in the same email the author sent me a link to his book’s Amazon page and told me I was more than welcome to read it. And review it.
I didn’t read his book, but I’ll tell you what I did read—his email, with my mouth agape.
For one, I don’t review books, which I’ve said many times in this space. But if I were a book reviewer, it would take more than a link to get me on board. Book reviewers are well aware that they can buy and review any book in the world. So if you want them to review yours, offer to send a copy.
Back when I was self-published, I spent countless hours contacting book reviewers asking them to review my novel, Perfect on Paper. I also spent countless hours at the post office sending out review copies. It was an investment of both time and money, but I did it because I wanted people to review my book, and I knew they weren’t going to do that if all I did was send them a link to Amazon.
Here’s the thing: Book reviewers and bloggers expect you to send them a book. They are voracious readers, and while they might not come out and say it, many of them review books just to get free copies and save money. You can always offer to send an electronic version, but in my experience most reviewers are purists and prefer to read print books.
A good rule of thumb for book marketing of any kind is to put yourself in the recipient’s shoes. How would you feel if someone asked you to review their homemade cookies, but expected you to buy a dozen first?