As a book blogger, I know exactly how you can get our attention, and also how you can make us think 'nope, I'm not reading or reviewing that'.
Here's what we like
~ When you prove that you have read our review policies. If you don't know what a review policy is, it's a page which all book blogs usually have. It includes their preferred genres, what formats they accept, and how to submit a review request as this can vary from blogger to blogger.
~ When you use our names! It's a pet hate of ours when we receive review requests addressed to 'Dear blogger.' Less annoying - but still quite annoying - is when we're addressed by our blog names. If you use our actual names, it shows you've taken the time to read our blogs and gotten to know us.
~ We like it when you offer a book for a giveaway as well as the review copy. I know I'm not alone when I say that I love giving back to my followers, so if it's a good book then I'd love to pass that on. Obviously you don't have to do this - a lot of authors don't - but it's definitely a bonus!
~ When you comment on our blogs. I'm not fussy about this one, but I know a few bloggers like it when requesting authors do this. It shows you've taken an interest and you're not just sending out a bulk email to several thousand others.
Here's what we don't like
~ If we decline your offer of a review copy, please don't be disrespectful in your reply. There are many reasons a blogger might refuse your book - exams, work, not enough time, your book might not be in the blogger's preferred genre...
~ Please don't say something along the lines of 'I know you don't read erotica, but I'm sure you'll make an exception for my new novel...' No. We won't. If you know for a fact that we don't read a certain genre then you have clearly read our review policy, which must say we do not review that genre. You're just wasting other people's time, and your own!
~ Attaching a copy of your book to the review request email is something which irks a lot of bloggers I know. It's presumptuous. If we want your book, we'll ask for it.
~ Don't say we have reviewed for you before when we know we haven't. A lot of bloggers are disorganised but we're not that disorganised - we can look for your name in our inbox and if you're not there, then why have you pretended we're already acquaintances? It reflects badly on you. Sorry!
~ We don't like repeat review requests for the same book, especially when you send so many emails in a short amount of time that it becomes considered spam. If you don't get a reply, the blogger probably doesn't want to review your book. There's a small chance they could just be having email problems, but from my own experiences and from knowing how my blogger friends deal with review requests, it's likely they just don't want to review your book.
~ Please don't ask us to buy your book so we can review it. We're doing you a favour, the least you could do is offer a complimentary copy of your book.
----------Hopefully this was helpful for authors who aren't sure what's acceptable and what generally isn't with requesting reviews from book bloggers. This blog post was not written with the intention to offend anyone, so I'm sorry if it has!
If you want to help other authors with the do's and don't's, please consider tweeting this blog post using the buttons at the bottom.
If you're a book blogger, do you have anything else to add? If you're an author, how has your experience been with requesting reviews so far?