Readers' Favorite

June 11, 2015

Read the Review Policy

by Donna Huber

There is a certain amount of trust between an author/publisher and reviewer when books are pitched for reviews. The author/publisher trusts that a reviewer will honestly review the book with a certain level of professionalism and the reviewer trusts that the author/publisher has taken a moment to read the review policy for that publication. Yet, based on pitches I receive I don't think the latter is happening all that often.

My number one tip for authors looking for reviews is to READ THE REVIEW POLICY before submitting a request. 

Believe me I know how difficult and time consuming pitching books for reviews is (I used to do it for a publisher and then freelancing). But taking the time to read the review policy will benefit you in the long run.

Benefits to reading the review policy

  1. You won't waste your time pitching books to authors who have no interest in your book. Most reviewers list the genres they will and will not read. It is important to take note of what genres they don't read. 
  2. Get your book featured on better blogs. Reviewers who have taken the time to think about and write a quality review policy typically run better blogs. It is one of those things that set more serious reviewers apart from the casual reader who writes reviews.
  3. Saves you time in the future. Once you vetted the blogs you won't have to again in the future. (Caveat: you should do at least a cursory review of blogs that you haven't worked with in a year as things do change). Take notes, set a spreadsheet, or whatever you use to keep organize as you go through blogs. In particular, pay attention to whether they are open to reviews at this time, what genres they do/don't read, and accepted formats. (You may also want to note if they offer guest posts or interviews.) If your current book doesn't fit them right now, you may write a book future that is right up their alley.
Think about it, would you submit an article to a magazine or a manuscript to a publisher without reading their submission guidelines? Then why would you submit a review request without first reading the review request. It is a waste of your time and a waste of the reviewers time. I see authors all the time noting that they get few acceptances for the number of review requests. It may have nothing to do with their request, but the fact the reviewer is having to wade through a ton of poorly written or poorly matched requests each week.

And let's face it I didn't write a review policy for my benefit alone because I much rather being reading. (And if you read my review policy I might just be reading your book!)

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  1. This is so, so true. I have on my blog and websites that I am not accepting reviews, yet I get 5+ requests a day. For the most part, I delete them unread. I hate to do so, but if they took two minutes to check my sites, then they would see I do not accept review requests now.

    1. Yeah. I get a number of pitches for erotica but I don't read erotica. I also get a bunch of pitches on FB and that drives me nuts.