Ten reasons your book is not getting reviewed (by #bookbloggers)
Do you keep submitting your books to bloggers, but are yet to have them reply with a ‘yes, I’d be happy to review it?’. Book bloggers do get snowed under, and sometimes state on their blogs that they’re currently closed for submissions. What if this is not the case, though, but you still keep getting a ‘thanks, but no thanks’, or no reply at all?
Do any of the following apply to you? If so, it might be an idea to have a rethink.
- You’ve sent a generic request, without finding out the blogger’s name (forget ‘dear book blogger’!), having a browse around it to see how he/she reviews, and if the blog will take self-published books, or those from independent presses; some don’t.
- Your request is badly written, with typos, grammatical or punctuation errors, or it’s too informal. You’re not expected to write a business letter, but cracking jokes/trying to be funny is off-putting.
- You haven’t checked out the genres the author prefers. Or you have, and are trying to squash your romance book with a tiny unanswered question into her preferred category of ‘mystery’, etc.
- You’ve taken no previous interest in the blog, have never shared or retweeted a post, never read one or commented, not followed the blogger on Twitter (if the blog is promoted via this site), or via WordPress or blogger.
- Your blurb is badly written, has errors, is too long, is a rambling synopsis of the plot, is too short, or doesn’t adequately portray the book’s genre.
- The ‘Look Inside’ sample that anyone can read on Amazon has errors. Many book bloggers look at this sample first, and even an out of place comma can put some off. If it has actual typos, grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, forget it. Your first page should ‘hook’ the reader in. It’s also a good idea if you leave all the author notes, etc, to the end, so that anyone who looks at the sample can start reading the book itself more or less straight away.
- Your other reviews are all very obviously from friends and family – by which I mean all 5*, and all from people who have never reviewed anything else, or only a couple of other products. Most new writers start off by getting friends and family to review, but if they’re all just one or two lines saying that it’s the best book that’s ever been written, it makes you look unprofessional and desperate.
- Your cover is a free Amazon standard, or very badly homemade. Of course not everyone can afford professional covers, but you can buy them for as little as £30 these days, if you don’t have the skills to make your own. Not bothering with the cover might give the impression that you’ve skimped on the book itself, too. You’ll probably be able to get away with a substandard cover if the blurb sounds really brilliant, but if your book keeps being rejected, it might be worth thinking about making the investment.
- Your review request bigs the book up, and tells of other wonderful reviews and awards. Bragging doesn’t impress; it has the opposite effect. Do the book blogger the honour of allowing him/her to make his/her own judgement.
- You have been rude or made bitter comments about other book bloggers online. The internet can be a surprisingly small place, sometimes, and it doesn’t take much to get a bad reputation.
Last point: If someone has taken the time, at your request, to read and write a review, and post it all over social media, have the decency to thank them. One book blogger told me that about a fifth of the writers she’s reviewed for don’t do this. Even more staggering, some of them actually ask her to review a subsequent book. Don’t be one of these people!
If none of those items apply to you, keep trying! If you think a particular book blogger really would be interested in your work, let him/her know why you’ve chosen the blog, and why you think he or she might be interested in your book. Good luck!