Friday, April 4, 2014

Things To Do and Not To Do when Submitting Review Requests

By M. J. Joachim
Updated 11/20/15

Things To Do when Sending Review Requests

Read any and all information telling you what the reviewer wants and expects to receive. After doing so, send the reviewer what he or she wants, along with your request for them to review your book, app, movie or whatever else it might be.

Include a copy of your book or product with your request. Having the book or product in their possession is half the battle. I have a ton of books filed and ready for me to review, even though I haven’t promised reviews for all of them. When it’s time for me to select a new book, I always browse through my varied selection. Having a variety of books on hand makes it easy to select books I'm in the mood to read, and if they're good, it might even mean they'll get a better review, because I looked forward to reading their content when I chose to read them. 

Be appreciative of the time and effort it takes book reviewers to read your book or study your product. So many authors and publisher, so little time - and reading books, playing with apps, checking out products take time. Reviewing is not an easy process, because reviewers put their name on the thumbs up or thumbs down, so they better be able to back up their opinions.

Understand that reviewers often get inundated with requests, which means it may take them days or even a couple of weeks to respond to your first email, if they ever find time to respond at all. The more time they spend on email, the less time they have to review books, apps and products. As an avid reviewer, I sometimes skip the back and forth email chats, opting to maximize my time in favor of providing as many reviews as possible. 

Be patient with your reviewers. They’re people too, and they have lives to attend to, other than reading your books, playing with apps, watching movies or checking out products. Respect their lives, time and the work they do to produce quality reviews. It's not easy determining pros and cons of things to review, but that's what good reviewers do. They spend time studying whatever it is, to provide a balanced appraisal of the item they discuss, so people can make educated choices about whether or not they want to invest in that same item.

Things Not To Do when Submitting Review Requests

Do not be rude to your reviewers. Remain professional and accept reviewer criticism graciously. Also, avoid giving them a time limit, ultimatum, or harassing them for not responding to you the way you'd like them to. Accept that they may not have time to chat with you, and their work isn't about helping you market yours. Their task is to offer an honest opinion of your work, so others can make educated decisions about whether or not to purchase it.

Don’t bash reviewers or get negative with them, especially if you don’t like the review they gave your work. They’re offering their opinion, not promising to praise you as an author and help you get more sales. Being rude and uncivil to someone for not liking your work is self-centered and egotistical. It speaks volumes about you, and in some instances, validates the negative review.

Don’t expect flattery and praise for your work in any review. Honest reviewers will likely put pros, cons and everything in between in their reviews, providing their best overview for anyone who might consider purchasing a book or product. They have a reputation to build and maintain too, and it is in their best interest to provide the most accurate information and opinion possible in their reviews, so those who listen to their advice, continue to trust the service they deliver.

Don’t write a sloppy cover letter when you request a review. If your cover letter is any indication of the work you are submitting, it better be well written. Also, avoid making your cover letter too short or too long. Edit and proofread your cover letter, taking into consideration that reviewers receive multiple requests on a consistent basis. Be considerate of their time, by presenting a professional cover letter that is respectful and contains valid information, to help them make an informed decision about whether or not they want to review your submission.

I hope this post helps you succeed with all your review submissions, and makes it easier for you present your work to the public for approval,

M. J.

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