Aug 31, 2016

All about review requests - Kaitlin @ Next Page Please || LITHW16

Handling review requests, both received and sent is not as easy as it seems sometimes. Despite the availability of hundred posts on there how to send, I feel like there's not much on how to handle requests you receive. So today, we have Kaitlin from Next Page Please who gives a complete breakdown on how to deal with review requests, from the time you send or receive one to the aftermath of reading the book!

Hey everyone and welcome to my post about review requests! I am super excited to be here today and I am truly honored Mishma and Jillian invited me to their blog event. As you can tell, today I will be talking about review requests. A way you can handle author review requests and how you can also request ARCs yourself. I hope everyone is able to learn something new from this post and enjoys!

Review Requests

When an author comes to you with a request to review their book, it’s not mandatory to read it. One of the biggest mistakes I ever made back when I was still starting off with blogging is that I accepted all review requests, despite the fact that maybe I wasn’t that interested in the book. The concept of someone wanting me to review their book kind of excited me, hence why I would basically accept all review requests.

Most review requests will come from small authors. Don’t expect Victoria Aveyard to pop in your email one day with an offer to send you a free signed copy of Red Queen for review. Haha no, I wish it worked like that but unfortunately, it doesn’t. So, when a small author or publishing company does email you with a request to read and review their book, really think about whether you want review their book. In your review policy, always ask for a Goodreads link. Some smaller books are hard to find on Goodreads. If you’re unsure on whether you want to read and review the book, look through the book’s Goodreads page. Pay attention to the rating it has, how many pages are in the book, (Because if you’re stuck with a 600 page book you got for review and you don’t necessarily like it…) and what other people have previously said about that.

If you’re willing to review the book, great! Email the author back and let them know your interested. If they’re willing to send you an eARC of the book, let them what kind of file your device is compatible with and if they want to send you a physical copy, email them back your with address! Make sure to ask when they want the book reviewed by. Some authors want the review up and out as soon as possible, some don’t care. If you know you won’t be able to read and review until a certain date, ask whether that date is okay. Everyone is different so some authors may have different preferences.

When you've read and reviewed the book, let them know! Email the back with a link to your review. I usually try to stray away from emailing authors back with a negative review, only because I feel it's a little rude (and awkward) to do so. Also, be sure to have a disclaimer!

"I got an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. None of my thoughts are altered by that."

Saying no is something that I always dislike doing. When saying no to a request, always be polite. Most authors will understand if you’re just not interested or too busy to read the book. If you’re willing to, maybe offer them to be interviewed or featured on your blog. But, always be polite when declining a request. I know I wouldn’t like it if someone was rude about declining a request, so don’t be rude to the author about declining their request. If you ever do need help declining a request, feel free to tweet me and I will definitely help you out!

eARCs & NetGalley and Edelweiss

Another way you can acquire eARCs is through NetGalley or Edelweiss. Both websites are ways publishers upcoming releases to bloggers and we bloggers can request review copies from there. Both websites operate in generally the same way, the only thing different about them is the layout and NetGalley, in my opinion, is a looooot easier to navigate through. (Amber's post really helped me!)

So, basically here is a rundown of requesting books from NetGalley and Edelweiss.
1. You find a book you are interested in reading and reviewing (yay!)
2. Usually, when requesting a book, NetGalley and Edelweiss will ask you to give a short description of yourself and blog. This is the place that want to talk about your blog, how long you’ve been running it, how often you post, and some recent stats. 

"Hi! My name is Kaitlin at Next Page Please! I have been blogging for two years now and am interested in receiving an eARC for review. In the two years I've been blogging, I have received 1,400 Twitter followers, about 450 Instagram followers, and 200 Bloglovin followers. I post reviews about 4 times a month and try to post at least once a week. Thank you for considering me!"

3. Submit your request! Now, here comes the hard part, waiting.
4. So, if the publisher declines, that’s okay. Not all publishers accept requests and that’s okay.
If you get your request, congratulations! Go ahead and download the book onto your device and read and enjoy the book!

The best time to post your review for the book is probably around the release date. (A few days before the release or after. Or even on the release date!) Always remember to mention in your review that you read the book as an (e)ARC and that your thoughts on the book weren’t affected by the fact that you got the book in exchange for a review. (Because, really, don’t have your opinion on the book be hindered by the fact that the publishers gave you the book for review.) Also, don’t forget to submit your review to the publisher!

Physical ARCs

The two appropriate ways to acquire a physical ARC is either to get it from someone by winning a giveaway, borrowing, ect. Another way is to request the ARC from the publisher via email. 

How do you do this? Well, the first thing is to find the contact email for the publisher of your book. Sometimes it may take a little work to find the right email contact, sometimes it's very easy. I always use Rachel's list of contacts.

So, what do you include in the email? I basically include mostly everything in the blog description for NetGalley and Edelweiss, a long with a short paragraph about why I want to review the book, around what days after/before the release date of the book I'll be posting the review, and my mailing address. 

Either the publisher can decline, say there aren't anymore ARCs left, not respond, or respond with an approval to your request. Some publishers will send you an eARC to the book, some will go ahead and send you the physical ARC. 

Some things to remember:
  • If you get declined, that's okay! Remember, physical ARCs aren't as easily given out to people as eARCs.
  • Always, always always always be polite. They're not inclined to give you an ARC, so don't act like you're on a high horse and that they have to give you an ARC.
  • Don't nag. If the publisher doesn't respond, that's okay. I would wait a week or two before emailing them back for a follow up, but don't email them every hour, asking if you're request has been accepted.

After you've read and reviewed the ARC, send the review to the publisher! There is no harm in doing so and some really love it when you send them your reviews (with your disclaimer!). Remember, thank them for the opportunity to read and early copy of the review.

Now, what do you do with ARCs after you're done with them. Well, you can either keep it, give it a friend, or use it in #BooksForTrade on Twitter. Do no, I repeat, DO NOT, sell the ARC. I could write a whole post on why not to sell the ARC but I won't. All I gotta say is, do not sell the ARC for money. It's not a finished copy of the book, it's not meant to be sold, and it hurts publishers if you sell ARCs. Give it away, but don't sell it.

Organizing All My Review Copies

How do I organize all my ARCs and review copies? I am a person who loves organization. Doesn’t mean I’m always organized but *shrugs.* I use a spreadsheet, which I got from the fabulous Nori, to organize all my ARCs. Basically, every time I get a new book I need to read and review, I add it onto the spreadsheet so whenever I need a new book, I just look off the spreadsheet and find a book that needs to be read. It’s a little tideious, to have to enter in the book information every time I get a new review copy but it doesn’t take that much time to do and is better than being a mess. (Which I was before I got Nori’s spreadsheet.) If you would like to find a copy of this spreadsheet, click here!

And that's it! Thanks for reading everyone and I hope you got something out of this post. Make sure you check out the other Learnt It the Hard Way posts and if you're interested, check out my blog here!

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