If you’ve read some of my previous posts here you may know that I am a big fan of bloggers and vloggers. They provide invaluable help to an author/publisher in promoting books and let’s be honest: who doesn’t love an enthusiastic cheerleading squad?

This is the first in a small series of “Mistakes authors make when reaching out to…” posts. Because, well, why make basic and easily avoidable mistakes?

1. Not reading their review policy

Most bloggers have a review policy page on their blog which outlines the genres and age ranges they are willing to read for review. Some of these are very specific and detailed, others are a bit more vague. In short: read every word of this page which has been written specifically for your benefit and then follow any guidelines specified.

For the love of all that is bookish: do not ask them to review your book if its genre/age range is not mentioned on the blogger’s review page. You’re looking for people to review your book and asking someone to review a book in a genre/age range they have absolutely no interest in is dooming yourself to failure.

2. Demanding a review

Book bloggers and vloggers are unpaid and therefore owe you nothing.

Let me say that again for the people in the back. Book bloggers and vloggers are unpaid and therefore owe you nothing.

As with the above point: surely you want to find your tribe, your readership, people who will read your book and absolutely love it? Being demanding and harassing bloggers/vloggers is the easiest way to get yourself blacklisted in the online book community (yes, we’re people and we also talk among ourselves…).

3. Attacking bloggers/vloggers for a negative review

This is such a tricky one. I for one as a vlogger would never tag an author in a negative review and most bloggers/vloggers wouldn’t either. However this doesn’t mean that negative reviews don’t happen. And yes, I can imagine that reading a negative review can be incredibly heartbreaking.

However there is a massive difference between constructive criticism (for real – some of my favourite books I’ve found because of a constructive negative review because the reviewer hated something I really love…) and a complete tear-down of the book/author. In my opinion reviews are not to say whether a book is good or bad but to put the right book in front of the right reader.

My point here is that there is no obligation on a blogger/vlogger’s side to give you a glowing review. They will have read the book and written an honest review. You can’t please everyone and not everything is to everyone’s taste.

Again: bloggers/vloggers chat to each other and if you attack one of them then the news will spread fast. Surely you wouldn’t want to be attacked for your honest opinion?

So, in short:

  • Bloggers/vloggers are people. Please treat them as thus.
  • You’re trying to find your readership, your tribe: not everyone will be a part of that but the ones that do join you will be your cheerleaders for years to come.
  • Bloggers/vloggers love books. You love books. Chat and have fun!

Let me know in the comments: what was your favourite blogger/vlogger experience?