Hello everyone! Confident Reads is a way to open communication between readers and indie authors. This is to help readers feel confident in the books they spend their money on, and for authors to feel confident in the book they publish. You can find this feature each week (Wednesdays except in September when it will be Tuesdays) discussing a different subject regarding indie books and authors.
Week One: State of Publishing Guest Post by Jeff Bennington about the differences in publishing terms.
Approved Read: Indie Author's Guide to the Universe by Jeff Bennington
Week Two: Let's Talk Covers Part One
Approved Read: Exiled by M.R. Merrick
Week Three: Let's Talk Covers Guest Post by M.R. Merrick- The Magic of Art
Approved Read: Entangled & Duplicity by Nikki Jefford
This week I want to talk about review requests. Or even promotion requests in general. Whether it's asking for a review or a tour post of some sort, some bloggers have very specific expectations when it comes to the request. Since I started booking tours I have started reading a lot of review policy's. I have found some to be very specific. Some even say that they won't consider the book unless it's done exactly the way they say. Personally I don't think I would bother with that blogger. But that's my opinion.
When you are going through hundreds of blogs, trying to find the ones that read the genre you write, accept indie/self published books, have room in their schedule and so on and so forth, that really narrows the field. Trust me. It's frustrating. I get what the authors are going through. Because they need to be very careful about how they word their requests and what they include in the request otherwise the reviewer/blogger is either going to ignore them or possibly even tear them a new one (I really hope this doesn't happen, but some of those review policy's are terrifying!). And rewording every single request is extremely time consuming.
As a blogger I'm not real specific in what I need in a request. There are a few things I want to know and these are:
- I want it addressed to me
- I want to know that they read my review policy
Some bloggers don't like it when authors get friendly and personal. I don't mind it, but it needs to be kept short. I don't mind knowing an author is a best selling author or an award winning author and it does help me in making my decision. There are so many books in the world and so many requests coming my way I need things to stand out. But rattling on about how they started writing and their whole history isn't necessary. I recently (ish) got a review request and it was certainly one that got my attention but it also evoked some mixed feelings. He gave me permission to share it with you all.
You and I had an imaginary conversation the other day and I took the liberty to transcribe our little chat.First, I would like to set the scene. You were sitting on a red velvet throne. You had a toy poodle in your lap. No, scratch that. It was a very small Burmese mountain dog. I was in my usual tattered hand-me-downs and I was nervously clutching my felt cap like the Cowardly Lion clutches his tail.The conversation was short and to the point. It went like this:YOU: Did you bring me a tart? I begin no conversation without a tart.ME: Yes, mistress. A raspberry tart. From Walgreens…I hope you are pleased.YOU: I am less than pleased, but that is my natural constitution. It is a curse.ME: Yes, mistress.YOU: State your business.ME: It’s my children, Mistress Candace. They’ve had nothing but Coco Puffs since Tuesday. The generic kind, not the name brand variety. I told them…if I could just get my book reviewed…YOU: Enough. I saw this coming a league away! This is an affront! A tart from Walgreens, indeed…ME: But, this is not just any book! Well, it sort of is…YOU: Did you observe the enormous trash pile on your way past the sentry this morning? It is no ordinary mountain of detritus. It is comprised of self-published debut books, like yours, and first generation Kindles, which I find personally repugnant.ME: I understand. I wouldn’t call it “self published”…more like “independently published”…YOU: Regardless. I plan to burn them all at dawn. Right here in the royal fireplace! The castle is so cold and chilly when one is queen…ME: Um, back to the book. It’s called “Mechanical Town.” Middle grade. But with cross-over appeal.YOU: I prefer YA. I read middle grade books to my cats, and that is a better use than they deserve! Do you have more tarts?ME: It has robots. And boogers. Boys love it!YOU: I’m sure they do. And they love anything green from the back of the freezer. What is your point?ME: It’s just that…I’m sure that with a kind word or two from your blog…YOU: I do not blog, young man! I put pen to paper. And each tear-stained, dribble of ink bears the weight of empire!ME: Right. Well, that’s all I had to say. It’s on Amazon. It’s free this Saturday, July 21st. I guess I’ll be going now…YOU: Indeed you will. And what will I have the guards call you as they hoist your innards onto the nearest, rusty petard?ME: Jim Collette, ma’m.YOU: I wish you a gnat’s smidgen of luck. You will need it. And leave the tarts. The whole box.No charge for the transcript. I recommend filing it away under GREAT AUTHORS I HAVE KNOWN AND FOUND AMUSING.Thank you, humbly.Jim Collette
Now, what do you think? I actually almost didn't read it because I thought it was one of those porn spam emails that show up sometimes. I just had a teaser of the first bit in my inbox. But I opened it and read on and then found myself chuckling. And although I didn't accept the book, the letter is definitely stuck in my head and is memorable. And memorable is good. At least sometimes.
Stamp of Approval: This weeks indie title with my stamp of approval is A Place in This Life by Julie Rieman Duck. My review hasn't gone up, but be sure to watch for it. This was one very emotionally charged book!
For the comments:
So what do you think should be in a request letter?