BB Thinking Too Hard About: Author Review Request Emails

Thinking Too Hard1 BB Thinking Too Hard About: Author Review Request Emails

YES… Another review request etiquette discussion post!!! *sigh* How many will I be forced to post before I’m taken SERIOUSLY?! I mean REALLY!

Bad Author:

Dear Reviewer, < — You have already been DELETED author.

** Title of Book**

(because I’m a nice person even though you CLEARLY didn’t take the time out to peruse my super captivating, AWESOME blog – or simply chose to irritate me purposely – I removed the title so as not to embarrass said “author”.)

is my début self-published novel …

Blah, blah … FOUR – LONG and ridiculously descriptive freaking paragraphs later…

AUTHOR does get props for including their blog link and a book synopsis!

But major FAIL for not sending me a BOOK COVER and for including their book in a mobi attachment. As if they assumed I’d be SO charmed by their generic mass email, that I would immediately download their book and start reading. Yeah… Not so much.

I’m sorry, I just HATE when the book is INCLUDED IN the email!!!! There are very few authors who can send me their book as an email attachment, and me not be offended! Shhhhyea you guys know who you are! M. LeightonFisher AmelieAngeline KaceJ.L Bryan… just to name a few! *sigh*

NOW… Authors, would you like to see an example of what a Review Request email SHOULD look like? (for ME anyway… and don’t worry- I got express permission to use the following email for this post)

GREAT Author *Gold Star*:

 Revamped by Ada Adams e1340772665784 BB Thinking Too Hard About: Author Review Request Emails

BAM! Opens with… *gorgeous cover*… Always an EPIC win when you’re dealing with this Brunette!

Hi Ashley, (YAY!!! It’s my NAME!!!!)

My name is Ada Adams and I am the author of the YA Paranormal novel, “ReVamped”.

Perfect. Now I know exactly WHO is emailing me and about WHAT book. AND I’ve already seen the cover. We have a HAPPY Brunette.

I just received your Tweet regarding the Kindle book giveaway on Tynga’s blog. LINK I have also seen your wonderful comment on Mimi’s review of “ReVamped”I wasn’t stalking, I promise. icon smile BB Thinking Too Hard About: Author Review Request Emails I actually came upon your blog a while ago, and really liked it, so I instantly recalled you name. Your catchy blog title really stood out (probably because I can relate!), as did your tagline and your obsession with zombies (again, I can relate).

I did not submit a review request for “ReVamped” as your policy currently states that you are not accepting any books.

See? This says, “I DID look at your review policy… but I have a pretty good basis for assuming that you WANT to read my book!” There was no pressure, just simply… “My book is here- should you be interested!”

AND she made me feel at ease by immediately appealing to my “easy-going” side! She wasn’t all super formal, but she was completely professional!

Thank you for your time. Have a lovely day!

Best regards,

“ReVamped” on Kindle
Official “ReVamped” Website/Blog
Author’s Twitter
“ReVamped” Facebook

PERFECT EMAIL. I seriously couldn’t have written a better one to myself!

What do you guys like to see in Author Review Request Emails?

What DON’T you like to see???

*MUCH thanks to Ada Adams for allowing me to use her email in this post!!!!*

Blog Signature Ash BB Thinking Too Hard About: Author Review Request Emails

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 BB Thinking Too Hard About: Author Review Request Emails
Book loving, zombie freak, stiletto wearing, twitter whore, coffee addicted Brunette with a purse fetish. Collector of flamingo paraphernalia & zombie keepsakes… Frequenter of thrift stores... cRaFtY bitch... and I match my eye-shadow to my outfit - everyday.
 BB Thinking Too Hard About: Author Review Request Emails

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65 Responses to BB Thinking Too Hard About: Author Review Request Emails

  1. I don’t understand some people. Just within the past couple of weeks I’ve 1) received a request to review a book where the person didn’t give me ANY info. Not her last name, not the title of the book, not even what it was about. Yeah, that was deleted. and 2) A request to have an author do a guest post who, yet again, didn’t give me any info.

    Weird. Not to mention I stated in my policy that that stuff will be deleted. Oh well, I don’t have time for that crap.

  2. C.J Duggan says:

    Really?? I can’t believe people are still getting this wrong? It’s just bad manners. I was spookily looking at your policy’s earlier, grateful that you give such a comprehensive guidline.

    • See? I do right? It’s not like I say, “Guess!” I have Amy @ My OverStuffed Bookshelf to thank for the EPIC policy! I wouldn’t even have put one up without her! Lol

  3. Tabatha says:

    Oh Dear Lord.
    So.. I got one today. That literally went like this.

    Dear Sir or Ma’am, <– FREAKING SERIOUSLY?
    Said Author lost me right there..

    The rest was all
    "This is my book" NO COVER. It seriously had a 2 line synopsis. How the crap does one know if they are even remotely interested in a book that has no cover and 2 sentences? Yes, because I am physic and just KNOW what the stuff your book is about.

    Then.. AND THEN. Said author ends it with

    "Do you accept e-books or just hard copies".
    Well, genius, had you read ANYTHING AT ALL ON MY BLOG, you would know this.


  4. Belle says:

    Yep, not even knowing my name is an immediate delete!

    • I’m good with BB, Bookish Brunette, Zombie Queen, Zombie Chick… ANYTHING that says they did actually take the time out to at least find out SOMETHING about me!

  5. Huh! I can’t tell you how tired I am of people not knowing my name(or my blog’s name, at least), sending me word documents of pdf of their books on their first email; even worse when it’s for a book on a specific subject that is on my “no-no” list on my about page. Huh!

    At first I tried to reply politely, pointing at my policy and saying no-but-thanks-for-thinking-of-me, but then they got more insistent, rude, and I just decided not to answer back anymore. Now my personal policy is; if you take the time to know who I am before sending your request, I will politely accept or deny, otherwise, hop into the trashcan your email goes!

    • Exactly! I used to reply to each and every review request… now I just hit DELETE. I’m not trying to be mean, I just figure if THEY didn’t take the time to do any research, then I’m certainly not going to waste my time replying to them!

  6. The Muggle says:

    Oh wow people actually attach the book in hopes you will accept it?

    I hate it when I don’t even get a “hi blogger/person/ma’m, you…”
    I just get a email starting straight out with the book. I have to guess that the email is for me and that is is a review request or a tour request of some sort…

  7. Felicia says:

    Perfect Timing!

    The first line of my review policy: NOTE: I am currently NOT accepting review requests for paper and ebooks until 2013.

    Email just received:


    I am _______, a horror thriller writer and was wondering if you might be interested to receive a Review Copy of my new book.

    The title is “__________”, Book 1 of the series “____________”.

    This is a story of over 8000 words for easy reading. Nonetheless, you will find the plot intriguing and I know you will love it!

    Here’s the book cover:

    (link to image of cover )

    Thanks for taking time to read this email.

    I would be truly grateful if you could review my book and post it on your blog.

    Hear from you soon!

    This drives me nuts!
    1) Did not bother to read review policy though clearly you took time to hunt down my email
    2) Did not personalize (stock email)
    3) No synopsis–you want me to go look up what the book is about
    4) Telling me that I am going to love it, that really is up to me right?
    5) Not signing the email with a link to the author website (you should have one if you are going to be a writer–digital age and all)

    It is just sloppy and non-professional. DRIVES ME INSANE!


    I just trash these and not respond at all. They don’t bother so why should I….

  8. I think we will always have to deal with shit like this. A couple weeks ago I wrote and scheduled a post (for next week) called getting on a reviewer’s good side (aka author review etiquette). Sometimes I get annoyed and send them a “no” response with a link to my review policy.

    Seriously. Sometimes authors are as bad as my disrespectful students.

  9. Wow, that second is so refreshing!

  10. I love this post. Tells it like it is. No B.S. Hate when they don’t even read my review policy. Just assume that I’m going to love their book. Give me a cover or synopsis for the book to decide if it’s right for me.


  11. I love that you said what we’re all thinking! I read the first 3 lines of review requests and if nothing snags my interest it goes in the trash. I prefer when they keep it short and sweet, if I want more details I’ll reply but it’s that initial “hook” that’s important. I like it when the title, genre, cover and a link to the book is included. Lastly, personalizing the e-mail is key. Prove to me that you’ve at least visited my blog and read my policies. You can’t expect me to spend 5+ hours reading your book and then another hour reviewing it if you’re not willing to at least learn my name. Speaking of which, anyone who e-mails me and starts off with a “Dear Caramel” is an auto-delete. My name’s Carmel thank you very much.

    • RIGHT?! OMG! I’d reply, “Hi Chocolate.”

      And that’s the MAIN deal, MAKE ME WANT TO READ YOUR BOOK! In all reality they are selling themselves as well as their book, I need to like the WHOLE dang package!

  12. Dude it seems I got the same BAD email.

    I had one today that said, “Can you review this book” one link, and that WAS IT. Haha! I was like NO AND I’M NOT EVEN BEING NICE & REPLYING.
    Seeing as how, I have a review policy & IN IT STATES “Not taking review requests”
    + ALL the shit to include.

    It’s annoying NOT to be considered anything but a BOOK BLOGGER, or to feel MY POLICY IS not important or irrelevant. Some times, I send one LINK back.. directing them to that policy. =D

  13. Ughh right?!! I get so irritated with so many requests that I get. Like my policy states I will not review self help, and not only did the guy send me an email to “dear blogger” it was for a self help book, and he gave me the purchase link!! What?!! You are asking me to review your book that is a genre I don’t do, and show me where to purchase it if I want to review it for you…and you don’t use my name or give me any other info? OMG I was on a freaking tirade over that! I felt so disrespected! That has been the worst one I have gotten, but I do get a lot that are not genres that I would read, or that don’t use my name and it gets really annoying. It’s obvious that they haven’t read my policy at all, and possibly not even looked at my blog. Great post hon!!

    • Yes!!! It says very clearly that there are a few genres that I JUST DONT READ. PERIOD. End of story. So don’t ASK ME!

      We talked about the “Buy my book and please review it.” earlier… HELP ME.

  14. Lori Parker says:

    Yes. Finally you said what we all thingk. I’ve gotten review requests that aren’t personalized. Way too long, no cover etc then they direct me to amazon where I CAN BUY their book. LOL. I know they haven’t read or looked at my blog because it’s for crime novels or some other genre I clearly do not read. If they had looked they would have seen the overwhelming zombie/horror references all over my blog. My all time favorite review request came this morning though. It started: Dear Kami….Uh last time I checked I wasn’t Kami. That’s one of the other gals that reviews on the blog. LOL. I was polite to the author and forwarded it to the right person. Then deleted it. Since they didn’t address it to me they will get no response from me.

  15. I HATE it when authors send me a mass email. They never include any sign that they took the time to consider whether their book is right for me, much less even read my review policies. I also hate attachments. It’s easier to have things in the body of the email, true, but the only attachment I want to download is the book once I’ve accepted the review request. It definitely helps if they know my name (it’s really not that hard to find if you bother looking over my blog). And I don’t mind a glimpse of the cover if it’s in the body of the email! I love a gorgeous cover too! ;)

    Ada’s email is the perfect example of a good review request. She shows definite interest in your blog and has shown that she has reason to believe that you would like to read her book, but she hasn’t been pushy. There’s consideration and thought shown in her email; plus, it’s very charming and with the right amount of casual mixed in with the formality like you said. Receiving that kind of email makes my day.

  16. First, I LOVE ADA ADAMS! She’s one of the few authors on my Authors I Want to Meet list because her book is awesome and SHE is awesome and sweet and personal and epically amazing! It makes me so happy to see her here as the good review request author! Go Ada! :’) <3

    Secondly, I completely agree, Ashley!! The very first thing I look for is a personalized email and NOT a mass email. There needs to be a cover and description, definitely not an attachment without my consent — although most of these are strangely marked as spam by Hotmail anyways LOL x) — and hopefully organized! I don't usually accept requests like this unless it absolutely sounds like my kind of book and the author gives a nice pitch (like Ada! Loooooove her <3), but there should still be effort, right?

    Hehe, I love love LOVE you for always voicing out your opinions and getting them so right! Have a WONDERFUL day, Ashley, and I hope you only get awesome author review requests from here on out! ;) <3

  17. Jenny says:

    The kiss of death in a review request email is always the “Dear Blogger” or even worse “Hi there!” Hi there? Really? My name is in multiple locations on the blog, and I completely understand authors sending out emails to a large group of reviews in the hopes that they’ll get a few bites, but honestly, I consider a review request the same as writing a cover letter to send out with your resume for a SPECIFIC job. It’s a well-known mistake to send a mass cover letter to various companies when applying. You send a cover letter to a specific person or company, and then outline why you feel you would be a good fit for them or that job in particular. Why would you do anything different with your book? That just makes no sense to me:)

  18. For me it’s an automatic delete when the person doesn’t spell my name right. Oh, you’re a fan of my blog but can’t spell my name right? Lies!!

    Paranormal Haven

  19. Thanks so much for this post. It’s nice to know I’m not the only blogger out there who gets annoyed by some of the author emails. I loathe when they send me the book before anyone has agreed to read and review.

    Furthermore, I get really irked when I am up front and tell authors that it could be a really LONG time before I can get to their stuff because of other projects that have to be done. I try really hard to balance my reviews between big publishers, Indie authors, and books I purchase. Requests go to the bottom of my list and I work my way through as quickly as possible. Some authors (who shall remain nameless) feel the need to accept these terms and then still email me constantly asking when their book will be reviewed. It makes me want to send the book back and move on. As much as I love reading and blogging, it is not my job. I wish more authors would keep that in mind.

    I also agree that authors who take the time to be personable like Ada was in her email, make my day. They are the ones I really want to feature on my blog. Not those that are pushy, generic, or whiny.

  20. Yes! I hate it when I get an email from an author with no mention of my name, blog, or anything … it’s just a book pitch. I love Ada’s email! It’s so personable and she actually took the time to research you and your likes and dislikes — that’s pretty awesome.

    Great post!

  21. Molli says:

    GREAT post, Ashley! You really hit the nail on the head when it comes to my pet peeves, too. My MOST hated is emails that start out with “dear blogger,” or “dear book reviewer.” Make me feel like just another number, PLEASE. Those get deleted.

    I’m like you, I like when the author lets me know they’re interested in me reviewing their book but doesn’t push. That – and God forbid they include an attachment of their book – is the quickest way for me to IGNORE them. Ugh.

  22. Todd Brown says:

    I may not have been the sole reason, but I am pretty sure I screwed up at least half of your dos and don’ts. However, I have sent you an apology. And Since I read your blog regularly, I will keep an eye for when you free up some review time and I will be sending my request once more. And HOPEFULLY I am not too much of a lame and gaff it again. On the plus side, I did address it to you by name. I completely understand the whole “Dear Sir/Madam” bit as I am also an editor and receive many story submissions directed to that same mysterious person.

  23. Yea… I have that in my review policy… do not send me a book unless I’ve worked with you. Still, get them from time to time.

  24. As an author who was first a blogger, I LOVE the second email!! That’s the kind I’d want to receive or send, though knowing how busy most of my fav bloggers are I’d be hesitant to send a request in the first place. Maybe that’s a bad thing, but I’d rather keep the friendship then impose upon it. Great post, Ash! I’ll be sure and bookmark it.

  25. If they use my name (not Dear Book Blogger) and have read my Review Policy, then I instantly have more respect for them and pay more attention to their request.

  26. That IS a fantastic example!!! I love it when authors or publicists take the time to actually learn a little about the blog/blogger they’re contacting. I mean, I know they are SUPER busy people, but in reality, so are most of us. Blogging is a hobby for the majority of us, and we all have various combinations of day jobs, school, friends, and family on the side to worry about too!

  27. Valerie says:


    AND may I add, if I don’t get back to you it’s a pretty good indication that I don’t want to read said book – so follow-up emails aren’t necessary. They only annoy me.

    I love that they added the cover for you right up front. Most don’t. I’d even be happy with a link to Goodreads – don’t just sent me some random title with your blurb dressing it up. I CANNOT take every book that I’m asked to read. I know I’m awesome but come on peeps – just kidding. =)


  28. I really like to be told what genre/age range a book for review is for. It doesn’t do well for a book when I start reading and don’t realize it’s for middle-grade until I’m half-way through. Especially since I don’t review middle-grade books, don’t generally enjoy middle-grade books, and hence didn’t really want to read a middle-grade book xD It’s so weird to me that authors think that they can trick you by not telling you what the genre is when it’s obviously not in your normal genres…. Tell me what you want me to read!!

    Thanks for the great post!

  29. candace says:

    It seems so many are just trying to get out as many emails as possible. I agree that if they get a little more personal and show they’ve read the review policy I’m much more likely to consider them. I’m gonna go check out ReVamped right now cause she sounds awesome and I love the cover. I definitely can’t fit it in now, but I don’t want to miss out on a great read either!

  30. Melliane says:

    you’re so right, I have a problem with this kind of emails. There are also the ones who don’t even say Hello, it just starts with “I would like you to promote my book” or “I would like you to read my book”. I’m always a little perturbed to not have a little Hello before.

  31. While I’m not really doing solicited reviews these days — conflict of interest — I have a high enough Amazon reviewer ranking, and the reviews indicate that I used to review professionally, that I still get a handful of requests a week.

    It’s incredibly rare for the requests to seem anything other than slapped together, and quite common for people to simply attach the book — which I also find presumptuous. I assume it’s a matter of not knowing better, but it seems like common sense that you ascertain what you can about the potential reviewer from the materials provided, that you try to come up with a pitch that is both polite and interesting, and that you don’t assume the reviewer was sitting around wishing that they had something to read. :)

  32. AMEN to that email. Professional and laid back, acknowledging you individually, including all the needed info (especially the cover!)

    What irks me the most is the mass emails, as well as individuals who send me requests even though I’m not taking them right now. You didn’t take the time to read my shit, I’m certainly not taking the time to read yours.

  33. I personally like to see a small excerpt just so that I can tell straight off whether or not I can get on with the writing style. But if the author has read my review policy, they would know that, and I make exceptions for emails like Ava’s where the author has clearly made an effort and talks to you like a fellow human being and not a potential employer. :)

  34. Sherre says:

    Ha! Glad to know I’m not alone. Granted, mine says I accept review requests, but it says what genre’s i’m interested in and which ones I’m not interested in. Why then would you, author of the genre I hate, send me a request. “I know this isnt your review genre but would you please…..?” Ummm NO!!! I wont. I’m not sitting home twittling my thumbs waiting on review requests to come in. I dont have endless hours to read books in genres I have already tried and hated. What they’re saying to me is “I know you dont like this stuff, but I dont care about your rules, nor do I think you have anything better to do with your time so review it already.” (and lets not even talk about the follow up request later on as if I didnt already say no) It’s these kind of emails I dont respond to.

  35. sinn says:

    Thank you for posting this, Ashley! I make it clear in my review policy that I do not own an e-reader, yet I ended up receiving 5+ e-book requests in ONE week! They obviously read enough to get the submission e-mail address, but they cannot be polite enough to read my policy. I’m sorry, but I’m doing them a service. I don’t like my time wasted!

  36. [...] been through the same thing and have plenty to add.  These kinds of posts are not new (in fact, Ashley, our revered Zombie Queen, posted one just last week).  But I am left to wonder if they are being read — or even worse, disregarded.  I have [...]

  37. [...] BB Thinking Too Hard About: Author Review Request Emails [...]

  38. Kyra says:

    Hi! I haven’t had too many book requests from authors as my blog isn’t very big, but I have had a few. And I remember this one author asked me to review her book that contained ghosts and spirits and what not, and in my review policy I clearly stated that I don’t read/review books that contain psychics/mediums as I am a Christian and don’t read stuff like that. So I emailed her and said, sorry I can’t review your book for these reasons (ones I listed above) and she got all upset and haughty with me, so I didn’t bother replying, as she she should have respected my review policy. Once again a wonderful post! :D

  39. [...] BB thinks too hard about author review requests.  I loved this one because I’ve got a post on the same topic going up next week. [...]

  40. J.L McFadden says:

    Thank you Ashley,
    I will keep this in mind when I start to send my first book out for reviewing. I have found that frank reviewers like yourself to be a great deal of help to me even though I am still writing my book; some of the reviews I read actually has made me adjust my writing and I am hoping for the better. I have check the needed boxes so I get updates from this post, because I feel I can learn a lot from it.

  41. I am so glad I found this post! As a newbie indie author, I have been trying very hard not to commit any of these gaffs (so many of which can be eliminated simply by people using their manners!). Thankfully, I don’t think I’ve committed any grievous request sins (like presumptuously attaching my book, or worse, linking to where it can be purchased), but thanks to your example I can see where I can improve (I didn’t know sending the cover image was a good idea!). I’ll keep my eyes peeled for more posts like these!

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