I’ve been thinking about this thing for a while but never got round to actually writing about it: up until now. As a book blogger, I get an increasing number of review requests (which I’m very grateful for!), I use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter … but there are certain things that have been bugging me for a while. Which is kind of a response to Kate’s fabulous article with some additions from me.
How not to behave on the Internet and how to approach book bloggers and request reviews.
How to behave on Twitter: I’m not an author but I can imagine how hard it is to get enough reviews and find bloggers to review your book – it’s a tremendous amount of work. I know it’s hard and I know you’d like to advertise your book, but believe me, sometimes less is more. What I mean is this. There are a lot of people out there who use Twitter to advertise their work, which is completely fine. Until you go overboard and become annoying. Just a few examples:
▶ Do not tweet “My book is only $2.34 on Amazon right now. Go buy a copy, you’ll love it” every 30 seconds. We get the point. Your book is out and you’d like to sell it but there’s no need to literally flood our Timeline by tweeting the exact same message 7815 times a day. Even if you tweet about it 2 or 3 times a day, those of us who are interested in your book will go and check it out. As opposed to this, if I see the same tweets all over my Timeline, there’s no way I’m going to click on it.
▶ Do turn off auto-response: see above. I do not want to buy your book or like you on Facebook. If I do, I will anyway, without you sending me computer-generated messages.
▶ Do learn to use hashtags. Hashtags are great unless #you #use #them #a million #times #in #every #sentence.
▶ Do stay in touch with fellow authors and bloggers. If someone @mentions you, or sends you a link to their review of your book, at least say thank you. Even such small gestures like favouriting our tweets or retweeting them means a lot to us! It takes one second but it can make our day. :o)
How to approach bloggers and request book reviews:
Here comes the tricky part. There are several things that might be big no-no’s but we all have our own pet peeves, I suppose. I’ll tell you some of mine.
▶ People emailing me without reading my review policy. For me this is the biggest no-no and I know I’m not the only one who says this. I’ve had people asking me to review their memoirs, their non-fiction books, books from the erotica and religious genre – which would be fine if my review policy didn’t state clearly that I do not review any of the genres listed above. Which, of course, means that the person in question didn’t read my review policy and it’s a waste of time for both of us. It’s a waste of time for him/her because they spent x minutes composing and sending me the email and I’m not going to accept their book anyway. I know emailing bloggers takes a lot of time but I do agree with Kate on this one: “Yes, it takes time to read each review policy and tailor each query. But you know what takes a lot MORE time? Reading your book (10-15 hours), writing up and formatting a review post (30 min? 1 hour? 2 hours?), promoting the post, and cross-posting the review on AmazonB&NGoodreads.”
▶ Requesting book reviews via Facebook or Twitter. Seriously? I’ve had people -and once again, I’m not the only one – requesting reviews via social networking sites before and I still don’t get it. How do you know what type of books we like? If you add us on Facebook/Twitter, go and check out our blog (and review policy!!!) and THEN DM or tweet us, that’s okay. But most of the time it’s not the case. In a nutshell, please take the time to open your browser, visit our blog, read the policy and email us.
Of course these are my opinions only and I don’t want to hurt or criticize anyone – take it as constructive criticism.
What do you think? What are your biggest pet peeves?