Authors should love reviewers, but many treat them like objects – at least this is the general consensus I’ve come by in the last six months. Of course, many reviewers do themselves few favours, and many refuse requests from self-published dreamers.
This is sad to see and will hopefully change.
However, book review sites are a great resource for writers, especially to new authors like my good self. We reach new readers, receive valuable feedback, and earn tough skin along the way. These are all vital traits the modern day pen scratcher requires.
I wrote about how to find reviewers a few months ago, so you may want to read that first, but today I wish to discuss how to craft the perfect Review Request Email. I’ve reached out to hundreds of reviewers in recent months and become fairly close with some of them. What I’ve learned is that they receive hundreds of emails each week, often from rude authors that use very generic messages. Let’s change the mould!
Craft The Perfect Review Request
My way may not be perfect, and it may not be suited for you. It can take quite a bit of time and results are not guaranteed. However, when I receive a YES I build a relationship with that reviewer. You learn more about them, how to serve the industry, and how to improve as a writer. Isn’t this what it’s all about?
I shall now break down the general email that I send and hopefully help you along your way:
The Opening Line
Hi [insert name], I hope your day is going well so far. [insert personal message 1]
It may sound redundant, but whenever possible use the reviewer’s name. If you use anything but they will see straight through you.
This is also your first opportunity to show that you have read their site, not simply picked their name from a list somewhere. It doesn’t have to be a long message, but mention a feature you like, a recent review they’ve done, or any other comment that demonstrates you care. This is where the time intrusive element of my process comes from, but in my opinion it’s worth it.
My name is Matthew Turner, a Contemporary New Adult Writer, and although I appreciate you’re very busy, I hope you’ll consider reviewing my debut novel: Beyond Parallel.You can discover more about the bookl via the Press Page, but to give you a quick description:
Your next task is to introduce yourself and your book in a quick and precise fashion. They’re busy folk who get dozens of emails each day. Don’t ramble on. Get to the point.
In my opinion the best way to overcome this is through a Press Page (take a look at my own). It gives the reviewer power to learn more if they desire, you the opportunity to go into great deal, and all the while keeping your email short and simple.
I’ll write more about Press Page’s in the future, but these resources from Duolit and Joanna Penn are great starting points.
The Book Description
One boy. One girl. One insignificant moment that changes their lives forever.Bella and Clark are two young twenty-somethings, finding themselves in a chaotic and crazy world. One craves love; the other avoids it. Will they find one another, or will a single what-if moment send them down different paths?In the same mould as Sliding Doors, Uncertainty, and Smoking/No-Smoking, Beyond Parallel flips between two parallel tales. One follows Bella and Clark as a couple, the other as if they never meet.Is it all a game of chance, or are Bella and Clark meant to be?________
Create a simple version that’s to the point. No more, no less.
The Sign Off
[insert personal message 2]
Thank you so much for reading. As I know a few reviewers, I understand how many emails you get and just how hectic your reading list is. You do a great service for us writers, a service often undervalued and abused. I hope I don’t add to your woes, but if Beyond Parallel does interests you, please hit reply.
I have .mobi, .epub, or PDF available whenever you require
If you have any questions, please let me know. Otherwise have a most wonderful day,
Before leaving, write another personalised message. It might be about their website or a book or their Facebook Page or anything whatsoever. Spend a few minutes to make this email matter, because it’ll differentiate you from many other writers.
Finally, thank them for their time, offer details should they have any more questions, and leave them with an action of some kind. Don’t simply attach a copy of your book, it’s presumptuous. Provide them the power, give them the chance to discover more, and leave it at that.
You can always follow up at a later date.
The Perfect Review Request?
The idea isn’t to copy this email, rather for you to create a quick, precise, and bespoke message of your own.
Add your voice, your personality, and a style that only you can. I see nothing wrong with creating a template to contact reviewers with. It saves a great deal of time, but if everyone receives the exact same email at the exact same time… this is an issue.
Stand out. Be personal. Take the time to care.
Reviewers are amazing and authors should treasure their time. Most do it for pure love, read a dozen or more books a month, and get bombarded by writers from all directions. Show some empathy toward your fellow book lover and write your own Perfect Review Request.
DID YOU LIKE WHAT YOU JUST READ?
I’ve Written Several Books & I Want To GIVE Every Single One Of Them To You For FREE + Every Book I Ever Write In The Future. No Catch. No Hidden Message. I’ve Written Books For Folk Like You & I Want You To Read Them.