I don’t know if I should consider it a fluke, or a sign of my growing popularity, but in the past several weeks I have seen an upsurge in authors contacting me about reviewing their books. Some are very sophisticated in their pitches – personal yet professional, and others…not so much. And guess which authors have a better chance of my saying yes?
It is simply a fact of life that I cannot review every book offered to me. I don’t have the time. The books I know I’m not interested in are the easy ones to turn down. The books I know for sure I’d like are easy to accept. It’s the books in the middle that are fighting for my limited reading time. (I am already scheduling reviews for September, that’s how bad my TBR has gotten.) And that’s why a good pitch is so important.
So what do I consider a good pitch? First of all, I have to get the feeling that the author has done their research. They know what genres I review. They know what books I’ve read and liked in the past, and can tell me why I might be interested in reviewing their book. They know my name and use it.
And yes, I can be swayed by a personal appeal. Recently a well known author of paranormal romance asked me to a review her upcoming book, and I was initially skeptical because I’m unfamiliar with the genre. But she pointed out that I liked both The Forest of Hands of Teeth by Carrie Ryan and Rampant by Diana Peterfreund and that she felt her book had a lot of similarities to these titles. And now, I’m quite excited about reading a book that I would have otherwise dismissed out of hand.
Bad pitches? Well, the worst is when I get copy and paste form letters where the author didn’t even bother to find out my name (which isn’t so hard since it is in the title of my blog!). I’ve also had authors who waste their time and mine by ignoring the fact that I don’t review eBooks, self-published works or certain genres. And sometimes, an author doesn’t even include a book summary or a link to a summary. That’s just poor marketing all around.
Now, I don't want to discourage anyone from contacting me. I'm always thrilled to be contacted by authors who show that know my blog and my audience and who have written a book that just might capture my imagination. Just don't be one of those that gets an automatic delete. (Note: Anyone who actually uses my name will get a reply from me - it's the polite thing to do. But if you don't use my name, I just don't feel the need to reply.)
Any reviewers or authors want to chime in?