This post was inspired by a friend of mine who asked me to come up with some tips for her self-published author friend to garner some attention. By the time I was finished sending her my thoughts, I had a pretty extensive list of tips. So, I’ve decided to share them with you! Be sure to read the comments section for reader-submitted tips! There are some great ones in there!
Every book reviewer knows that we get some terrible pitches (usually from self-published authors). Oftentimes, words aren’t capitalized and the pitch is just a poorly cut-and-pasted version of the Amazon synopsis. Lately, I’ve taken to responding to bad pitches with all of the reasons I won’t read their book. My general rule of thumb is to delete anything that is not personalized, looks canned, includes the ebook, or is a press release. It doesn’t matter how good a book might be – the ones that contain the qualities I just mentioned go straight into the trash and, more than likely, are filtered there for the rest of email-ternity.
In an effort to save us book reviewers some time and frustration, as well as help authors yield better results from their pitches, I’ve compiled the following list of tips for your pitch. Although I can’t claim to speak for the reviewing community as a whole, I have come across all of these complaints on more than one occasion, so I’m confident that by following these tips, authors can boost their chances of success. Of course, I make no guarantees.
Top 7 Tips For Your Pitch
- Do send a personalized email. Names can be found on the “About” or “Contributors” page. This is also a great way to find something you both have in common and can be used in the pitch.
- Do read the review policy. If they aren’t currently accepting books, don’t send the pitch because it will be automatically deleted. If you truly think it’s 100% a good fit, then mention that you know they aren’t currently accepting books but that this one is a good fit because A, B, and C and apologize for the inconvenience.
- Do browse the reviews to make sure your book is a good fit. If it is, mention some reviews in the pitch that demonstrate this and to show that you actually took the time to check out the site.
- Don’t include the book with the email. Assume makes an ass out of u and me.
- Don’t cut and paste the Amazon synopsis.
- Do remember that you’re ultimately asking someone for their time. If you want someone to take the time to read and review the book (which takes hours), take 5 minutes to check out the site and personalize the email.
- Do offer up a guest post or interview as an alternative. It’s a great way to get exposure and is minimal effort on the blogger’s part.
Dear Mr. Book Wheel,
I love your site and I recently released this book that I think you’ll really like based on your reviews. The book is attached and below is the synopsis from Amazon.
I see that you’re a big Law & Order fan and review a lot of political thrillers, such as Brad Meltzer (great photo with him, by the way!). I know that you’re not currently accepting any books for review, but I think my book is a great fit because it’s a political thriller like the ones you’ve positively reviewed in the past (such as The Fifth Assassin and The Assassin’s Mark). I would love to offer you a copy of my book to review or perhaps a guest post about (insert relevant topic). If you’re interested, please let me know and I’ll happily send it along. If not, please keep me in mind for future reviews. I look forward to hearing from you.
Reviewers: What’s the worst pitch you’ve received?
What’s your biggest pet peeve?