I was hanging out on Twitter, and I noticed people talking about review policies on their blogs–whether they should they even bother writing them, and what to include.
There are so many book blogs out there and as a publicist, it is hard to sort through them. There are a few things that stand out to me though that will make me take the time to look through a blog to see if they are a good fit for our books:
- Is the blog organized? If a blog is cluttered with tons of stuff that make it difficult to find things, I will go on to the next blog.
- Is the blog easy to read? Sometimes people use fonts and colors that make it really difficult to read a post.
- I am a grammar snob. Sorry. I judge poor grammar. A typo here and there is fine, because it happens (even with yours truly), but a blatant disregard for the rules of the English language miffs me and I will quickly move on. I admit, this may just be me though.
- Is the blogger a good writer? Do they have insightful reviews? I like to read a review that is entertaining, but also is fair to the books. I like to hear pros and cons. I buy a lot of books based on reviews I read on book blogs. I think that giving a fair and honest review is a lot better for a book than simply saying, “OMG! This was so awesome!” and not explaining what was so awesome about it. The review doesn’t have to be traditional to be good. I love reading reviews that people do with their kids, or from a different perspective. Sometimes more than one person reviews a book and it is written out more like a dialog. Every blogger has their own voice that comes though, which is what I love to see and read.
- I like to see if there are comments on posts and if the blogger interacts with people that leave comments. I would rather have my books reviewed on a blog where people are actually reading and interacting, instead of just sending them to a blogger with a gazillion followers, but zero interaction between the readers and reviewers. Note: this does not mean that you have to have tons of comments on everything you post or that you have to comment on everything. Those are not realistic expectations. Different books are of interest to different people and different types of posts get more or less response from readers. We know this, but it is nice to see you interacting, or even just your readers commenting with each other relatively regularly.
- That being said… we still look at your followers, and if you’re willing to give us stats about the number of visitors you get, it is helpful. As a publicist, it helps to know the reach of a blog and numbers are a part of that.We look at the circulation that a print newspaper has to see the reach that it will have, so we like to know online stats as well. I know that there has been a lot of debate as to whether or not a blogs stats should be paid attention to, so you don’t have to share, but it is helpful to us.
- I love a good review policy. Seriously. I get unnecessarily excited when I find a blog with a clear review policy. If a blog does not have a review policy then I rarely contact them. A blogger comes across as much more professional when they have a review policy in place. It also helps me know what to send. I don’t want to waste your time or mine, by contacting you about books you aren’t even interested in. A helpful review policy should include: contact info, what books you will consider for review, what you won’t even touch, how far in advance you need a book, what formats you’re willing to review (i.e. ARCs, Galleys, E-books, finished copies, etc.), if you participate in blog tours, and if you do guest posts and author interviews.
- Lastly, please contact us! There are so many book blogs that it really helps for you to drop us a note on Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail us. It’s easy to introduce yourself, your blog, and let us know what you’re interested in. I personally like it when I blogger includes a mailing address so that I can send them a catalog of our books to look over and request for review. Remember, we want to work with you, so don’t be unsure about approaching us!
Did I miss anything? Do you have any questions? Are there things we as publicists could be doing differently? Let me know!