In the last couple of weeks I have had several inquiries about doing reviews of self published books. I don’t usually do that, but I did offer guest posts for all those whose books fitted this blog.
I got one response. I published the guest post a few days ago, as you will know. It was an excellent post which got some impressed comments from you, and I hope will have made some sales for Hans since then.
I’ve also had inquiries from people whom you would think would have paid attention to the blurb, or at least had a browse through some posts before emailing me.
I said no. The most recent was from a woman who spent her entire blurb making her book sound like a romance with some adventure, and not a YA one, which I could have considered. When I explained that it didn’t really fit due to this blog being about children’s, YA, historical, crime fiction and true crime, she said it was so a crime book! That might be so, but if she wanted to draw my attention to that, she should have said so in the first place, instead of all the romance stuff. Which told me she hadn’t checked out the blog, despite saying she had read some posts - I did ask which posts, and she didn’t answer that.
At least she didn’t claim to love my blog as did some of the others.
So here are some of my suggestions to people inquiring about blog reviews. Firstly, check your market, just as you would a publisher market. If your book is self published, of course, you don’t have to check out publishing markets, but review markets are important too, whether or not your book is traditionally published. (And you will still have to do that, if you sell a book, because publishers are not helpful in that regard as I discovered when my one novel was published). Don’t send your inquiry for a children’s book review to a blog that writes about true crime or movies.
Well, unless your children’s book is a true crime book, anyway, and even then read some of the posts first; it may still not be suited.
If there is a contact name, use it; I have had too many inquiries that were obviously one of a hundred inquiries copied and sent everywhere, so I don’t reply to those that don’t use my name. I do understand, but half the time it’s for a book that doesn’t fit here, yet the author claims to love my blog.
Which leads me to the next issue: absolutely don’t say you love a blog you haven’t read. The lie doesn’t flatter the blogger and just suggests you are using it to get their attention. And you do, but in the wrong way.
Interestingly, nobody who says this in an inquiry has ever answered me when I say, “Really? That’s great! What do you love about my blog? Any particular posts?”
Just a general suggestion to self published authors using marketing companies: be aware that they will charge you quite a lot of money just to send the same email to several hundred blogs, whether or not they suit your book. Better to do that yourself and spend the money on a good quality editor, especially if it’s your first book. And I don’t mean asking your family and friends to be beta readers; they will tell you what you want to hear so as not to hurt your feelings or lose your friendship. (The one time I was a beta reader for a friend, she ignored ALL my suggestions. I was lucky she didn’t take me off her Christmas card list. Never again!)
I do know someone who doesn’t bother with editors for her self published books, but she knows what she is doing, and has sold enough stories in the regular market to be allowed to join the Science Fiction Writers of America. And even so, I remember her sneering at the very idea of doing research for a fantasy novel. Fortunately she mostly writes SF.
Anyway, if you want to be reviewed or guest posted on a blog, and not offended by a reply, please do read the blurb and at least a few posts on the chosen site.
I hate saying no to an inquiry! And I bet other bloggers do too.