You’ve just gotten a book review request. Congratulations! Give yourself a pat on the back! Free books rule! You’re excited to get that book in your mailbox, rip into the package, maybe even take a whiff of those unopened pages – but hold on a minute! There are some questions you should ask before you get lost in the euphoric bliss of reading a new book.
Whether it’s an author, a publisher, or a public relations/marketing firm that has reached out to you for review, it’s crucial to offer that added touch which can turn one-off collaborations into lasting partnerships. One way to do that is to treat your book review blog like a business – because, let’s get real, it is a business. Asking these questions will let your review contact know you’re serious and likely get you more requests (and therefore more free books) in the future.
In a thoughtfully crafted reply message ask:
What account handles would you like me to tag in my social media posts?
Some review requesters are so ahead of the game, they’ve already included this in their review request email. However, you’d be surprised how many emails I receive that don’t include this information – and it’s a big deal! The benefits of offering to tag the review requester and the author are twofold. First, it is a way to offer thanks and acknowledgement. Second, it is a great way to grow your network!
Are there any unique hashtags you’re using for your campaign?
It’s not uncommon for social media campaigns to include custom hashtags that help organize and promote a product. Making note of these terms shows the requester that you are a considerate and valuable promotional partner. Be sure to include them in your social media posts!
When is the release date?
If receiving a book in advance of the release date, many requesters prefer a mention of the book on your social handles on release day. Even if I have yet to review a book, I make an effort to share a photo on Instagram or a brief note on Twitter to celebrate a release day. Be sure to tag any account handles they sent you so they see your post!
Is there a date you would like to see this review published?
Asking for a date, or setting one yourself, let’s the requestor know you’re serious. Plenty of lackluster reviewers will let months go by before publishing a review, or they let it slip by completely and the review requester is out of luck. Don’t be that reviewer! Offer a timeline and stick to it.
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These are the questions professional book bloggers are asking publishers, authors, and marketing contacts. If you add these questions to your review request correspondence you’re on the road to increased book review requests, a stronger network, and a better organized blog.
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