Authors: How to Pitch Your Book to Bloggers

Books in the Douglasville, Georgia Borders store.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

As a book blogger, I get lots of emails from authors, pitching their books to me, hoping I will read and review them on my blog. But I can’t read them all…

We book bloggers love books! We probably love yours, too. But alas, not all of us will love all of your books. Nor can we read all of the books that are offered to us. How can you get the best result out of your review requests?

Often, when I get an author email pitching their new book, I think by myself, “Why didn’t they mention this? Why didn’t they do that?”. But of course, authors can’t look into the minds of book bloggers. So, here are my suggestions for a beautiful author pitch. A good pitch makes me happy and makes it more likely I’ll want to read your book.

Make it personal

Send an email that mentions my name and preferably also my blog’s name.

Hi Judith,

My name is Peter Piper. I have a new book out and I wonder if you’d like to review it on Leeswammes’ Blog.

Good start, Peter! I don’t like impersonal messages that look like spam, sent to maybe a few hundred people at the same time. I may not even read on.

I’m special. Treat me that way!

Keep it special

Your book is special, too, isn’t it? I often get spammy emails from authors and that makes it look like they don’t value their book too much. You want just about anyone to review it? Don’t you care where your book ends up?

Send your email to selected bloggers only (see below). If you target your bloggers correctly, you are more likely to get positive reviews, too!

Refer to my Review Policy

Lots of book bloggers have review policies. Mine is HERE. It will tell you all about my “rules” – what genres do (and don’t) I read, whether I review every book that I’m sent (and within what time frame). Whether I accept e-books, etc.

We bloggers love it if you refer to our review policy.

I saw in your review policy that you like literary fiction and so I think you will enjoy My Book.

Tell me about the book

Give me a short description of the book. Something of the length that many publishers have on their websites. Also say when and where it will be available (and in what formats). Don’t forget to add a page/word count so I know what size of book I’m committing myself to. An excerpt (or a link to one) would be nice, so I can get an idea of your writing style.

Book description: It’s 1985. Aurelia’s parents are in Australia on an extended visit to her grandparents, and she and her brother have been left in the care of their crazy aunt Lillybet…

[and then some more].

The book will be published by [publisher] on July 23nd, 2012 in paperback. A digital version is already available here. 211 pages/ 80,000 words

Click here for an excerpt.

Give me a picture, too. A lot of my decision is based on the cover picture. If it looks good, I’m more likely to believe the book is good. So, attach a (small) picture to your email.

Tell me about you

short author bio is nice. Make it longer you have information that is interesting, quirky, or relevant to your book. Otherwise, this will do:

Peter Piper was born in Greenwich, London, and now lives in Glasgow with his wife, two sons and three guinea pigs. He works as a book seller in an indie book store.

My Book is his second book. His first book, A Grave Yard, was published in 2010 [link].

Link up!

I’d love a link to a website or an online book store. It makes the book more real to me. But never, ever, send me a link instead of the book information. I’m only going to click the link if I’m interested in the book already.

So, have you got a website? Is your book available via Amazon? Link to it. Give web addresses that go straight to your book so your reader doesn’t have to search for it.

Don’t attach the e-book

Please, don’t attach the e-book to your email. It embarrasses me. In case I decide I don’t want to read and review your book, what do I do? Delete your message? That means deleting your book. That’s not nice. I hate to throw books away, but you leave me no choice.

If I like the idea of the book, I will write back to you to ask for it. I promise.

Free books?

Don’t be tempted to think that book bloggers will accept just any free book. We love free books, but even if we like the idea of your book, we still need to make time to read it. Maybe we’re booked full for the next four months. Yes, many of us keep spreadsheets so we can keep track of the review books that we’re expecting or already have received.

We read a lot of review books, but we also like to read some books that caught our interest, but that haven’t been offered to us for review (Jane Austen doesn’t seem to pitch to bloggers, and also, I really, really want to read that new book by my favorite author that I bought last week). Usually we have between 50 and many hundreds of unread books on our shelves. So, don’t be insulted if we say “no” on this occasion.

Proofread your email before sending it

You can’t wait to get the book out to reviewers, but please take a moment to check whether you’ve made any spelling errors or grammatical errors in your pitch. Otherwise, you’ll have me wondering, if you can’t write an error-free email, what will your book be like?

Selecting those bloggers

Often, it’s hard to know where to find bloggers that might be suitable for your book. If you find a blog that reviews similar kinds of books, check out their blogroll (if they have one, in the side bar) where there will be links to similar blogs. Or check out the comments on a particular review, those will be the people that are interested in that kind of book.

Also, make use of book blogger databases. They will list book bloggers willing to receive review copies, and will have a list of the genres they accept. Here are a few:

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Good luck with your new book!

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What other tips do YOU have for authors?

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*** Thanks to Shelleyrae of Book’d Out for her invaluable input to this post! ***

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