Literary Blogging 101: How to Properly Send a Book Review Request

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I am going to start with my disclaimer, I am not a pro at these and I get ignored/rejected more times than I get approvals, but it doesn’t mean one shouldn’t try at all, we wouldn’t get anywhere if we stopped pushing.

I am an international book blogger and I love reading. If I bought all the books I read, I wouldn’t be able to afford my basic amenities, because books for me are expensive wants. This is why Literary Blogging has been a huge lifesaver for me, I get to read books I want in exchange for my honest review, that’s an awesome win and you to can also have that.

Literary Bloggers are part of the promotion team of any book, by sharing our opinions we are giving the books we read and review a stage. Which is why many Publishers/Authors are very picky about sending out their books, although, in my opinion, it has more to do with restrictive laws, which less favours diversity.

There are tons more restrictions and regulations for international bloggers such as my self when it comes to receiving books in exchange for my honest review. Some publishers give you a number of subscribers threshold, some require you to make an impact on a specific social media platform, some can’t send to you or give you because of restrictive laws, that cover it only in the region it is being published etc.

I put in a lot of work than many other bloggers I see that are always receiving books from publishers, what they do is very mediocre or underwhelming but it is because they are within that region, so yes it sucks being an international blogger, but there is still hope for us, which is why I am sharing with you, how I request for review copies from publishers.

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How to Request for Book Review Copies

Many publishers have emails specifically for publicity and review requests, all you have to do is simply go through their sites unto you stumble upon it. I wouldn’t advise sending a request via Instagram or Twitter because most times than not it’s either they don’t see it because it gets buried or because the person handling the social media has no business with handling a review request. Emailing is key, yes some Indie publishers will get back to you, but the right way is to email because I believe requesting for a review copy is a formal event, where you sell yourself to publishers and indie authors on why they should give you a copy of their book for free.

Email Format I use

Email Address: publicity@naijabookbae.com

Subject: Book Review Inquiry

Body:

To whom it may concern,

My name is Lara Kareem. I’m a blogger, who writes book reviews at Naija Book Bae. Where I share literary reviews books with genres such as fantasy, thrillers, science-fiction and historical. I am writing to inquire about receiving ARCs/Books in exchange for my honest reviews.

Titles I am highly interested in are listed below:

1. Jane Doe by John Doe, 9781524738263. Publication date August 5th, 2018. Naija Book Bae Publishing

2. John Doe by Jane Doe, 9781556798263. Publication date August 7th, 2019. Naija Book Bae Publishing

As of 17th of March 2019, I currently have:

1000 Blog Subscribers, with a monthly engagement of 800+ visits.
1000 Twitter Followers
2000 Instagram (Bookstagram) Followers

This creates a total of 4000 subscribers.

Here is my mailing address is

Naija Book Bae.
Allen Avenue,
Ikeja, Lagos State.
Nigeria.
(Phone Number)

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind Regards,

This is a very good format, there are other ways, and you can tweak it to best suit your need, but I do hope this really helps!

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Things Not to Do

Asking the Authors

If an author is not independent, meaning the author did not self publish, the author has little control over who gets a review copy, so please stop messaging authors or plan on doing that if you haven’t to give you a review copy because it is not their decision but their publishing firms decision to make, so send an email to the author’s publisher, you know how to now.

Hounding Publishers

Do not hound a publisher, only send one email, yes it is tempting to send more as a reminder but no, they got the first one, be patient or move on if you don’t get a response that’s a message on its own, also don’t spam their social media, it can get you blocked and blacklisted.

Dillydallying 

Don’t waste their time, whatever you do just get straight to the point like I have shown in the email above, it’s the publishers decision to find out if you merit a copy of the book, so don’t waste time writing an epistle on why you’re the perfect person to receive a book, they’ll do their research on their own.

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Other Helpful Posts

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Hope this post is as helpful as possible for those who need it! Check out the next post about How to Legally get Free Books!

Lara Kareem

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Literary Blogging 101: The Literary Blogging Community

DiscussionThe moment I crossed the threshold and entered the literary online community, my mind was instantly blown away! I was a kid with a sugar addiction, unleashed in a new world with all my favourite and yet to be discovered favourite treats.

The online literary community is gigantic and one of the most fabulous thing about it, is we’re a community who take pride in helping one and another, yes there are always the bad eggs within every community, but there is always somebody out there who would gladly guide, help and uplift you and your blog, trust me.

The community is made up of various groups of people, yes it’s all segmented but we all need each other for our structure to work. Authors, publishers, readers, literary bloggers, blog tour hosts, bookstores employees, librarians, literary journalists, literary social sites, literary items creators etc. are just the kind of the people you’ll come across when you’re part of the online literary community as it is majorly made up of these groups of people and more I may have unknowingly left out.

So how do you come across these people? By exploring and interacting. Interaction is the most important thing about having a wonderful experience, everyone is shy, but if nobody makes a move, we’ll all be alone, so if you admire or like something, don’t be afraid to voice it out and let the person behind it know, I’ve noticed that literary people return the love they have been shown own by someone. I know I do it.

All the popular social media sites are filled with literary people, take Instagram for example, we’ve made our own little world and have a trademark name #Bookstagram, in today’s online world hashtags are very important because it allows you to find like-minded people and that’s how you start getting in deep with the community. Twitter also has its a bookish community, which is very informative and life-changing. Pinterest is also infested with contents and will allow you to find so many blogs and content your mind will explode, if you ever need inspiration, Pinterest is key, I’m so thankful for all the people, who take their time to put stuff on Pinterest, hence making the lives of many people like me easier.

I love WordPress Reader because it allows me to not only follow blogs but also hashtags, which allows me to encounter new people within the community and spread love all around, as it makes it so much easier to read posts other literary bloggers online. There are also free literary blogging courses, memes, tags and awards that bring people together, it’s also a great way to start off and make friends, especially as a new blogger. Just search for them and you’ll find them.

Note: Using Hashtags makes your post a lot more visible in a sea filled with billions of content.

The online literary community is very important, because being online and alone at that is boring, without having anyone to converse or see what you put out is very soul-crushing, but if you involve yourself within the community, interact with others and be a good upholding member, it won’t be so. And because the online community is so huge and diverse, there’s no way you won’t stumble on new knowledge, try out new books and things, meet and love people from different backgrounds than yours or even make friends with people in your very town, state or country and many other benefits, that only readers who have broken into the online space can enjoy (I mean there’s always one event, giveaway, price slashes, discounts, coupons or the other out for grabs).

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What do you think about the online literary community? I’ve tried to think up a lot to type, but this is where my mind called it quits. I would love to converse with you about your own experience, don’t be a stranger!

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