How To Ask For A Book Review

This “How To Ask For A Book Review” post has been a long time coming. Although I consider myself a microblogger or microreviewer, I still receive my fair share of book review requests. Some are well-written, but, unfortunately, most are not. So, to help authors ensure their review requests gain more traction, I put together a list of how to ask for a book review.

I can’t say I have a wholly unbiased opinion of how to ask for a book review. The review requests I received over time inspired much, if not all, of what I included here. However, I can say I tried to approach this in a constructive way rather than as a rant. So I hope readers find this approachable and informative. Like my previous discussion posts, I know this appears verbose. But I prefer to clearly and plainly communicate so that fewer questions pop up. It just so happens this means the use of more words!

If you stumbled across this post and want more “how to” guides, I have a few more for you. Consider my posts for How To Improve Social Media Interaction and ARC Book Review Etiquette. Now, let’s get to the point of this post: how to ask for a book review.

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How To Improve Social Media Interaction

I try not to dwell too much on some of the behavior I see on social media. The chances are that I don’t know the whole story or I’m being cynical about human behavior or both or neither. But one facet of social media I keep thinking about is engagement, specifically on Twitter. I think about how to improve social media interaction. And when I mention social media I mainly mean Twitter because that’s my preferred platform.

Lately I keep seeing tweets from others who feel like they aren’t receiving the amount of engagement they’d like to have. This perceived or factual low engagement may come as no surprise considering all of the changes occurring on Twitter. The algorithm, not to mention the platform itself, constantly seems to be in a state of flux. But I didn’t write this post to complain about the changes on Twitter, including how it often hides replies.

Regardless of the mess that is Twitter, there are other factors at play that affect engagement. And all of these elements I discuss below are things that one can control to some degree. Though I have the book reviewer community in mind for this discussion, these tips are broadly applicable outside of the book review sphere. Last year I mentioned some of these action items when I posted about how to make book blog friends and grow your audience. I expand upon them in this discussion about how to improve social media interaction. Although the title of this post implies a focus on social media, I also share tips on how to improve blog interaction.

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Negative Book Reviews Are Necessary

Last month there was an uptick in commentary on book Twitter about negative book reviews. I believe it pertained to an author’s opinion that people shouldn’t leave negative reviews, or something of the sort. I don’t have the time to track down the incident that spurred another bout of commentary. Nor do I particularly care enough to do so because it’s a topic that will forever be ubiquitous in the community.

However, this is a topic I’ve been thinking about ever since I started my blog in 2021. I remember debating with myself whether to post negative book reviews. At the time I hadn’t seen any other blogger post anything other than a positive (3+ stars) review. And so it seemed like the norm and something maybe I should do because why contribute to negativity? After all, there’s certainly enough of that in the world.

But the more I thought about it the more strongly I felt about several things. First, I wouldn’t be true to myself if I only elected to share positive reviews. Second, sharing only my positive reviews wouldn’t be fair to potential future readers of a particular book. And third, reviews are predominately for readers, not authors.

Let me elaborate so that I know you know what I mean.

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