Having reviews can help you sell more books, but getting those first few reviews can be difficult, especially if you don’t already have a few books published and a dedicated fan base. But whether you have been writing for a long time or not, you can get reviews for your book by requesting reviews from readers via email. Of course, you are asking for a favor, and the reader may get several requests a day, especially if they are a book blogger, so your email must be polite and professional and stand out from other emails. Here are some tips on writing that email, along with a template to help you get it right the first time.
Where to Find Readers to Email
But first, where do you find these potential reviewers to email? Here are some ideas:
- Book bloggers with websites (an Internet search will turn up many in your genre).
- Readers on Goodreads who gave good reviews to books that are similar to yours.
- Readers who have reviewed one of your other books.
Before Sending a Review Request Email
Before sending that email, make sure you have completed these tasks first:
- Have an author website.
- Have an eye-catching cover for your book.
- Put together a list of reviewers to email (at least 10).
- Find the reviewers’ names.
- Browse your chosen reviewers’ website if they have one, and make sure your book matches any specification they have listed for book reviews (genre, length, series, etc.). If they don’t have specifications, or they don’t have a website, then make sure your book is similar to other books they have reviewed.
- Be sure the reviewers on your list read and review your book’s genre.
- Follow the readers’ reviews on social media—they’ll notice, and if you do so, you can also tell them you are following them.
- Be brief.
- Be polite.
- Do not attach your book in the initial email.
- Personalize the reviews request email for each reviewer you contact.
- Show them that your book is interesting.
- Prove that you are a serious author (more about this below!) .
- Do not take it personally if they never respond or if they respond to say no (they’re busy too).
- Do not imply in any way that you are doing them a favor by allowing them to review your book.
- Make sure you ask for the review in plenty of time, usually one to six months in advance.
Review Request Template
Now, here is the template you have been waiting for!
Start by addressing the reviewer by name. Briefly mention how you found them and give a sincere compliment. Tell them you think your book may be a good fit for their reading interests, and include the book title and genre, and a link to the book on your website.
Next, give an interesting, very short, one-paragraph description of the book. This should be an actual description of the book, not a list of awards or reviews. The reviewer will want to know what your book is about.
After the description, you can now list awards or a review from a reputable source. This review cannot be from a random reader; it must a recognized name—an editorial review—or the review is useless to a potential reviewer.
Only now, once you’ve caught the reader’s attention, is it time to make your request. Are you asking for a review on Amazon? Goodreads? On their blog as well? On their social media? Also include your preferred timeline—near the release day? During a promotion you’re running? Allow for a range of days rather than a specific day.
Finally, thank them for their time in reading the email and for their consideration of your book, and, if possible, offer another sincere compliment.
Close with your name, your website, and a list of your published books. These final elements make you look professional and show the reader that you are a serious author.
Here is an example (some additional options are shown in brackets)!
Subject: Blog Name - Review Request for Book Title
Hi Reviewer Name,
I recently discovered your book blog and read a few of your reviews. [Or, I recently read your review of Book Title on Goodreads.] Your review was thorough and interesting, and it made me want to buy the book! I love how the content was clearly formatted and how you specifically identified character development as a strong point of that book. I’m publishing a book in a few weeks, titled Book Name [with a link], a romantic comedy, and I believe it will fit your interests.
In Book Name, Jane Doe is so desperate to meet “the one,” she [insert something crazy]. But then [insert series of funny events].
Kirkus reviews called Book Name, "[insert your awesome editorial review quote]."
I would love to send you a copy of the ebook in exchange for an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads. I would also be honored if you also chose to feature my book on your website. My release day is March 5th; if you choose to review, would you be able to post on or around that date?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this email and for considering my book. I’m so glad I found your website [or book review], and I’m following your reviews on Goodreads so I can discover some more great books.
Published Books: Book Title, Another Awesome Title, Here Is Another One, and One More Great Book
And that’s it! Let us know if you have any questions, or if you have examples of successful review request emails in the comments below.
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