Hi everyone! So, I wanted to talk about some of the things that we as book reviewers are supposed to magically know as soon as we start a book blog or bookstagram account. As a book reviewer of almost 2 years, I’ve had a variety of authors and PAs and even publishing companies reach out to me about reviewing books.
Yesterday, I asked about some things that needs to be on a review policy to get the most effective email/correspondent from those looking for a review. And, this is something that I’ve been thinking about for a while now, but it sort of resurfaced to my mind yesterday things that is supposed to be “known” knowledge when we start our account.
I’m currently revising my review policy page to cover more of the things that I have toward the bottom of the post because I feel like some people reaching out aren’t taking the process seriously and think because I’m a small reviewer, I’m going to automatically say yes.
What Are Things That Should Go on a Review Policy Page?
If you review books, I highly recommend that you have a review policy page, so authors know how and where to contact you if they are interested in having a book reviewed. Shortly after I posted mine last year, I was surprised when I had inquiries a few days of being live!
At the bare minimum, I recommend that you have these things to help publishers/authors/PAs decide if they should contact you!
- Something that says if you are accepting review inquires. It can be as simple as “I’m not currently opened to taking review requests” or “I’m currently opened to requests”
- I currently have a statement on my blog that indicates that I am closed for any reviews that are time sensitive (as in the review needs to be up in a short period) but open to reviews that can be reviewed in a month or so. I explain that my reading/free time is limited because I’m a college, but obviously you don’t have to give them a specific reason on your blog why you can’t do one or the other. You can mention it once you start corresponding with the person if you feel the need. Most people that I work with are normally understanding as to why I don’t have a quick turnaround time and are willing to work with me.
- Genres that you read and are willing to accept. It helps those who are sending the emails know if they should contact you about reading a book because you like the genre of the book they are trying to pitch, or if they should keep looking.
- An estimated amount of time it will take you to read and review the book. This goes along with the last point and help people decide if they want to contact you some authors need reviews in a short timespan while others are more lenient with the turnaround time.
- Your rating system/things that you include in your actual review! These things help set you apart from other reviewers. If you include things like playlists, dream character cast, quotes, etc. you need to mention this to show the individuality of your reviews!
- You can also direct the person in the direction where you have reviews with these things, so they can get a better idea of how you present it!
- If you post reviews on places other than your blog/bookstagram. Cross posting helps with not only exposure of your reviews but helps spread the word about the author/book you review.
- I also recommend that you link the places.
- A place to reach you if they are interested in having you review a book! You can have a contact form at the bottom of your review page that is linked to your blog email, have them message you via social media DM, or have your email address. If you put your email address on your page, I recommend that you have it emailhandle [at] emailhost [dot] com instead of email@example.com because it makes it harder for bots to find your email address with search browers.
- I also recommend that you have the way to contact you at the bottom of the page to encourage those looking for a review to have to read through your page to find it instead of finding it and just sending you information without taking into consideration of you and your reading habits.
- A statement that says receiving a copy of the book does not affect your opinion of the book/author.
Other things that you can include:
- Trigger warnings that the person contacting you needs to know about.
- Genres (and tropes) that you do not read.
- Things to include in the message such as book cover, synopsis, author links, publication date, review deadline.
- If can be very annoying when you get an email with a simple “are you interested in reading my book titled —” and get no other information. It may seem like an extra step on their end, but it shows me that they value me enough to respect my wishes of including what seems like basic information.
- Your pronouns
- Links to your About Page and/or a couple of posts like an introduction post where you talk about yourself.
- Other promotional things you do in addition to reviewing like interviews, excerpts, cover reveals, etc.
- Date when the page was last updated
- Preferred reading format: hardcover, paperback, epub, mobi, etc.
- A statement that you reserve the right not to reply to an email
- A statement saying also reserve the right not to publish a review if you feel necessary or you may publish a negative review as fit.
A huge thanks to the bloggers who helped me the other day and flesh out what the things that were on the tip of my tongue but didn’t know how to present!
I hope this helps y’all get an idea as to what you what to add to your own review policy page!
Happy reading until next time,