Want to get book reviews? Don’t send emails like this one

The email arrived the other day from a new author. It was a request for me to review his book. While I sympathize with an book-reviewsauthor’s dilemma of getting book reviews, I have no plans to download and read it. Unfortunately, this was a blueprint email of how not to get reviews for your book.

I really want to prevent another author from sending an email like this one. I went through it to show why this isn’t a good way to get reviews. My comments are highlighted in blue.

Don’t send an email like this one:

Dear reviewer, [Always use the person’s name. My first name is in my email address.]
I trust all is well.

As a new author, I would like to introduce you to my first published book and I kindly request you to review it at your earliest convenience. [Why would I want to read his book? Let’s read on to see if he tells me.]

Here is a link to download the pdf version:
[link removed by me]

The printed and kindle version is available on Amazon, herewith the link:
[links removed by me]

[Still no reason for wanting to read it.]

When I set out to write this book, I was overwhelmed by the number of topics, emotions, and feelings that pervaded my soul. I wanted to create something authentic, for I feel that sincerity and straightforwardness are sorely lacking in this life. People often say things that others want to hear, without bothering to dig for the truth — the core of what motivates and defines us — in other words, what makes us tick.

[Here’s where he loses me. As a reader, I want to know why I should read and review this book. He refers to himself, and to what people say. But nowhere does he use the word “you.”]

In my quest for meaning and purpose — in and with regard to everything and everyone around me — I began to think about the importance of humanity’s comportment in everyday life. Whether good or bad, right or wrong, the choices that we make have profound consequences and impacts on individuals, communities, and societies at large.

[Still “I,” no “you.”]

For this reason, it is vital for all of us to step back and take a good hard look at the significance of how humanity functions, subsists and thrives. Ideally, it is best to take stock before making a given decision, rather than afterwards. Otherwise, we inevitably get caught up in the “if only” syndrome and live a life of regrets.

[He goes on for 4 more paragraphs before sort of asking me what I’m looking for…]

If, having read the above, you believe that I have little faith in humankind, you are absolutely right; but in entertaining that view, I also understand …

[then he goes back to telling me his views for 2 more paragraphs before concluding.]

I sincerely hope you enjoy this book and I look forward to your review.

PS. Should this function not fall within your scope, I truly apologise and ask that you forward my request to the relevant persons.

Many thanks and kind regards
[Author’s name and contact info removed by me]

Here are 5 things to do to get book reviews.

1. Don’t send out review emails to random people. Know who your audience is and approach people who are interested in your topic or your genre. I’m not a book reviewer and don’t blog about spirituality. I think this author contacted me because I work with authors. Ask reviewers who review books like yours.

2. Address your potential reviewers by name. DO NOT send out email to Dear Reviewer or worse yet, BCC them. If you want them to do you a favor (and it’s a big favor to review a book) take the time to find out who they are.

3. In your email, tell them about your book and tell them why they would like the book. It’s okay to briefly say why you wrote it, but that has to relate back to the audience and why they (including the reviewer) would like it. Always focus on what’s in it for them. It’s really not about you!

4. Keep it short. The average query letter I send out for book reviews is 3 brief paragraphs. Here’s my format:

Dear [person’s first name],

I am writing to see if you would be interested in reviewing [author’s name]’s [book title.] Description of book follows and why they would be interested in it.

A brief paragraph about the author, their qualifications and why they wrote the book.
Where they can learn more about the book – I give a link to the author’s website and the link to their Amazon page.

Thank you for your consideration,
Mary Walewski

5. Make it easy for a reviewer to say yes. Offer to send them a print or an ebook.

Follow these steps for more, better targeted reviews for your book!

Are you unsure how to find your perfect audience for your book and how to get targeted book reviews?

Contact me for a free, 30 minute consultation.


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