I am thrilled to have reviewer, Paula Phillips guest blogging this week about author etiquette when approaching book reviewers.
I first met Paula (via email and online) in 2009, when she reviewed my first novel, Lucy Springer Gets Even and we have been buddies every since. Paula is a great champ in promoting New Zealand and Australian authors and I admire her honesty, integrity and enthusiasm when it comes to doing what she does best – reviewing and promoting books!
Paula, tell me a bit about what it’s like being a reviewer.
Being a book reviewer, like an author is not an easy task and in more ways than one, I can imagine that it’s probably more difficult being on the reviewing side of the book world as reviewers are the ones who can do the most promotion for your book.
They are the ones who can plaster their reviews all over the bookseller’s websites, bomb the waves of social media with the links to their reviews as most reviewers subscribe to all means of social networking.
The Phantom Paragrapher belongs to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr and BlogLovin. It also publishes its reviews on its site www.thephantomparagrapher.blogspot.com , Amazon, Goodreads and if you happen to be writing a Chicklit Novel or New Adult – then the review also gets the chance to star on the site www.chicklitclub.com.
This post is a quick do’s and don’ts, the ins and outs of what I call Author Etiquette when approaching a book reviewer in five easy steps.
1) Please read the review policy on the blog before submitting a review query – this is the biggest one that authors need to do, especially first-timers as a lot of blogs only review specific genres, age-groups etc. If you are unsure then take a looksie through the site and check out what books they have reviewed in the past.
For The Phantom Paragrapher – I review based on what I think I will enjoy – so I always ask for a synopsis to be sent so I can make my decision from that.
2) Do not rush the reviewer: Book reviewers have lives too and we do not get paid to review books. We do this because we love reading and want to share our love and passion of books to the world of readers. If you imagine the amount of review requests, reviewers get and then think that your average book size is 300 pages. That’s a lot of books and more often than not, reviewers have day jobs and other commitments.
On The Phantom Paragrapher, I try and read as fast as I can – I have read 75+ books so far for 2014. But it’s just me and I also work 40 hours a week and studying a Diploma in Child and Adolescent Psychology and have a weekly quiz night on a Tuesday and of course friends and family to see and spend time with.
(That’s a lot of books!)
3) Do befriend the reviewer: One of my pet hates is when authors send you Facebook friend requests, Twitter friend requests or even Goodreads requests. You accept and the first thing out of their mouth is Can you review my book?
It makes the reviewer feel used and worthless. I believe in getting to know the author and striking up an acquaintance etc before reviewing their books. Authors you don’t have to talk to them all the time but make time to get to know your reviewer as they are people too and we love to hear from authors. In saying this though, most reviewers are huge bookworms so we will probably have read your books before getting to know you but it’s polite and a courtesy to show we are appreciated.
4) Do not abuse the reviewer: This is one of the biggest things that I’ve come across in the publishing world at the moment; it’s huge and happens more often than not. Remember book reviewers have the power of the written word in their hands and their reviews can reach so many different people. When this happens, it makes the reviewer question what they are doing. It makes the reviewer take a step back and think –can I handle this abuse? Is it worth it all in the long run?
Does this really happen?
Absolutely. As a book reviewer, I have been sent emails, Facebook messages and wall posts of abuse from people who think that their book should be reviewed straight away. This is not the way to go about it. Also it is a review which is just another’s person’s view. Remember the old saying one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. That’s what a review is simply, everyone has their own opinion. But remember reviewers have the power to get you blacklisted or sky-rocketed sales – so it pays to be nice and keep the abuse inside.
Yes. I agree. What would your final piece of advice be?
5) Last but not least, compliment the reviewer or like their review – Reviewers like anyone else, like to be acknowledged now and again. So just as a courtesy as an author if you come across an awesome review of your book – feel free to like the review, comment on it, send a quick thanks email or share the review. It makes the book reviewers of the world feel appreciated and we feel awesome about what we are doing.
Thanks so much for taking the time to drop by, Paula. Love the pic of you in the newspaper print jacket! I want one.
You can find out more about Paula, her blog and the books she reviews by checking out these links.
The Phantom Paragrapher FB Page – https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Phantom-Paragrapher/196830633685451
Twitter : https://twitter.com/beau_angelnz
Goodreads Profile : https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1969584-paula-phillips