Something that has been getting on my nerves lately. Social media book reviewers sending me messages. Why am I not replying? Well… I’ll tell you!
One of my pet peeves at the moment: social media book reviewers sending me messages. I hear you say, “Surely that’s a good thing? People are showing an interest!”
You may well be correct. Or then again, maybe it’s all a scam. It’s a bit difficult to tell when the messages have such an array of off-putting elements. In my latest video (above), I offer some advice to the social media book reviewers who want independent authors such as myself to take them seriously. At least, to reply to their messages, which, in most cases, I don’t do.
1. CHECK YOUR MESSAGES FOR MISTAKES
Before you send your message, give it a read through. Remember, you are supposedly in this to persuade me to use your services. Therefore, it makes sense that you would send me a message that uses correct English. A message that isn’t riddled with spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. Also a message that doesn’t fawn and simper and use overly polite language. Or that hasn’t been copied and pasted from a generator on the Internet. Too many times have I read messages saying things like, “Kindly please reply to my email…” and beginning with “Hey Dear Dale Hurst – Author”. If it begins like that, I don’t want to read on.
2. DON’T BEG
No means no. If in the rare event I choose to reply to your message, declining your reviewing services, do not respond by saying something like: “Oh, but sir! Our services are very high-quality. And cheap…” It does not create a good impression; it just comes off as desperate, or that you are trying very hard to rope me into a scam. Take me at my first answer and be understanding. I might remember your professionalism and may well seek you out when it comes to the next book.
3. BE UP FRONT ABOUT COSTS
A lot of independent authors operate on very slim marketing budgets. And so there may not be much in the kitty to pay strangers to review the books, or to send free copies away – in many cases, overseas. For those of us starting out or still establishing a brand, every sale means the world to us. So asking us to send free copies is a tad unreasonable, especially when it costs less than a Starbucks coffee to buy the Kindle edition. It’s also a bit of a gamble to send copies to people for review that we neither know nor follow and pay money for something that may not get an honest review (I refer to my earlier point about scams).
Therefore, when you send your message, be up front about how much it may cost the author there and then. Don’t wait for us to get drawn into conversation before you hit us with the price. You may find giving it to us straight away may prove more persuasive. Also, do your homework and quote the price in the AUTHOR’S home currency. In my case, GBP (£). I will ignore anything quoted in USD, Rupees or, especially, cryptocurrencies!
4. CONSIDER WHEN THE BOOK WAS RELEASED
Following on from the last point about budgets, authors may have budgeted for reviews when their book was first released. In addition, they usually approach the reviewers, rather than the other way around. So when you’re sending your message, double-check when the book was actually released. If it was a week or two ago, then there’s a fair chance the author may have something left over to maybe take a chance on social media book reviewers. If it was more than a year ago… it’s highly unlikely unless sales are literally pouring in. And even in that event, they may not feel they need your services.
FINAL ADVICE FOR SOCIAL MEDIA BOOK REVIEWERS
There is a lot of distrust going around, especially on social media. If you operate a genuine review channel, you must be professional and persuasive about your approach to independent authors if you want us to take you seriously. Otherwise, we may just think you’re another scammer looking to make some easy money and otherwise damage our brand and/or reputation.
Do you agree (or disagree)? Why not let me know in the comments? For more author news and views, my Facebook and Instagram pages are here.