May 26, 2011

Armchair BEA: Pitches from a Blogger's Perspective

Today's Armchair BEA topic is on nurturing book blogging relationships, and one of the aspects they mentioned was the ideal book pitch. A lot of my experience is with authors (often, but not always, self-published) pitching me a book for review, and from that experience I've come up with ten suggestions that will make a pitch more appealing to me:

1.) Be personal. I'm sure I'm not the only blogger who likes to be addressed by name. Let me know that you've visited my blog!

2.) That said, please get my name and my blog name right. Otherwise I can tell that you've been hard at work cutting-and-pasting.

3.) Don't act like my review is a done deal. You're trying to convince me here, not the other way around.

4.) Your book description should not have me reading for days. A paragraph is great, but I don't need an overview of the entire storyline.

5.) Links are good. Link me to your webpage, link me to sample chapters, etc. Just make sure all the links are clear and that they work.

6.) Let me know what format(s) your book is available for review in.

7.) Don't sound doesn't come off well. If you're having trouble getting reviews, please, don't tell me that. It's like shooting yourself in the foot.

8.) Your e-mail should not contain lots of grammatical or spelling errors. I can overlook the odd typo — we're all human — but if it's riddled with mistakes, it does not give me confidence that the book will be any better.

9.) Don't give me the lengthy tale of how you came to write the book. Sure, a few lines are okay, but I don't need to know your life story.

10.) I know you're trying to pitch the book persuasively, but please don't go over the top and tell me it's the next Harry Potter or Hunger Games.

Bloggers, anything I missed? What will help/hurt a book pitch for you? :)


  1. The general copy and paste feeling of e-mails always bugs me, too. I like the personalization much better.

  2. I think you hit the nail on the head with the personalization. Also to note, if I have a review policy it will save us both time if you've read it. I can tell when you haven't. I'm not impressed. Also, remember who you've pitched. I don't like it when I get the same pitch several times over.

  3. Usually the emails have been pretty good but I recently got one that was literally a page and a half of glowing reviews from other blogs with a line at the bottom asking if I could review it. I could sense the cut and paste vibe for sure, and it kinda turned me off.
    Just a simple hello, I saw your blog, my book's about ___, would you be interested.

  4. My personal pet peeve is being offered books in genres I specifically do not read. I have a review policy clearly posted, all you have to do is read it. If you offer me a book in a genre I've specifically said I don't read you're telling me I'm an item on a list and you have no idea what me or my blog is about.

  5. These are great tips for author pitches. I have been getting many pitches from authors lately, and they are mostly pretty good. I definitely respond better though to someone who personalizes the message and shows that they are familiar with my blog.

    Thanks for posting this!

  6. These definitely are some great points! Great job and a very good post. :)

    My Nurturing Relationships post can be found here!

    Rebecca @ kindle fever

  7. Oh yes, great points! My biggest pet peeve is when I get sent a review request and it's clear the sender didn't read my review policy.

    I lover personalized compliments. Flattery will get you everywhere :P

  8. Those are some good points. If a review policy is present, I really think it should be read. Don't pitch me a nonfiction book if I've clearly said I won't review nonfiction for example.

  9. I came over to say hello and thanks for visiting our blog this week. I got caught up in reading this post. I couldn't agree more. If some of these authors/publicists would stop and thing about how they want to be treated, it might be different. Common sense goes a long ways.


  10. Excellent points. An email will automatically get my attention if: 1) it is addressed specifically to me! get personal! and 2) it doesn't look like it's been copied and pasted.

  11. These tips would serve well to those writers submitting to our publishing house, as well. I HATE the "Dear Sir/Madam." Do a little research!

    Great blog, Danya. I've been surfing and researching book blogs for the last two hours. If there's anything you'd like to know about your fellow YA bloggers, ask me, lol.

  12. This is great and very helpful as someone starting out in publishing!


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