So far, I haven’t asked anyone on YouTube to review Beasts and Savages. Not that I don’t want them to, I’ve just been focused on other things. More on that tomorrow.
Anyway, as I’m a stickler for research, I searched for reviewers of teen books and began my descent down the rabbit hole. That’s where I found this gem:
That’s right. Self-proclaimed book worm and YouTuber Whitney Atkinson tells authors the proper way to request a review. She is pretty darn professional and the most polite I’ve every seen. For the most part, you could apply her suggestions to any type of book review request. Thank you, Whitney.
Now, here’s a few tips from an author (me, Emma Woods) who did quite a bit of research on requesting reviews from bloggers and, after a very frustrating month of getting nothing but research done, sent out maybe ten requests for review. These things can carry on to YouTube reviews, so pay attention!
- Read the sites review policy first. If they don’t have a policy, email them and ask what their review policy is. If they never answer, cross them off your list. *If they don’t review indie authors, I don’t follow them, sign up for email lists, etc. If they aren’t willing to acknowledge my business model as an author, they don’t need my support. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll support ANY author regardless of the way they publish, but my time and efforts are already so stretched that I don’t get to do as much as I would like for other authors. So to support someone who’ll never be willing to help a large group of people that I identify with would be counter productive. I have more on this. Maybe I should post about this at another time.
- Get to know the reviewer. Whitney mentions this in her video, but I suggest watching/reading a few reviews even if you know they review your genre. Why? Well, reviewers are people, too. And they have reading moods. Maybe you found someone who reads YA urban fantasy but isn’t digging shifters right now. And the last three books with shifters got bad (or mediocre) reviews. If you wrote a book featuring shifters, you might want to skip this blogger, at least for now.
- Remember that requests for book reviews are investments. For me, a paperback book review would be a $10 investment after I add the cost of the book, shipping, and packaging material. If I’m willing to spend the cash, I’m going to want to maximize my investment. Why not find reviewers in the audience you’re marketing to and spend the time to do it right?
As an author, I completely understand the love/hate relationship we have with reviews. We all love when we get great reviews, even though social author convention says we’re not supposed to react to reviews, good or bad. Most of us hate asking for reviews and would rather do any other type of marketing. Literally anything. And then there are those marketing resources that won’t give us a second glance until we have a certain number of reviews, mysterious vanishing reviews, and review sharks trying to lure desperate authors to purchase reviews (A HUGE NO-NO!!).