Writing Wednesdays: How I Pick Books to Review and Promote

Writing Wednesdays - How I Pick Books to Review and Promote

Since we are on the topic of blogging (check out last week’s Three Short Tips for Book Reviewers): I often get asked how I select what books to promote and review here. Sometimes the people who ask have a blog themselves and want to add new content to it, and sometimes they are just thinking of starting one; sometimes they are not bloggers at all, but are authors who wonder if I would feature them on the blog. If you fall into any of these categories, read on. In this post, I tell authors how to get in touch with me and offer bloggers a few things to think about if they want to include book reviews and promos on their sites.

I consider potential books for reviewing and promoting the same way as I consider books that I might potentially buy: I look at the blurb and genres.

Cover is also important, especially if you want your blog to stick to a certain visual esthetic.

However, while I would click on a book with a beautiful cover to read what it’s about, I wouldn’t pick a pretty book to promote, if I don’t think it might be interesting to me or my audience. I’ve also done reviews on books with covers I don’t like. As a matter of fact, I almost didn’t read one of my all-time favorite series – Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat, because I didn’t like the covers. But after I’ve read it and went into a total fangirl mode, I decided to share my thoughts on it with you (read my review here).

More recently, I read and reviewed Tanya Chris’ You, Me & Her, which had a cover worse than the Captive Prince series, but was again something I very much enjoyed.

To sum up: yes, cover is important to attract readers – both of the book and of the blog post featuring it – but you might miss out on a good or even great read if you just see the cover and go “Nope!” without bothering to check out the blurb and genres.

Speaking of that: if you are going to do promo/review posts on your blog, have a post where you clearly state what themes and genres you would promo/review and what you wouldn’t. With me, it’s this post – I’m officially accepting ARCs for review, which also includes something else that is really important: how can people contact me to submit their ARC for a review.

Basically, I’ve included a link to a Google form that authors fill in and once they are done, I get an email notification and get back to them with a “yes” or “no”.

This helps me keep track of ARC request and I strongly suggest you do something similar (check the link above for ideas on what you can include in your own forms). One of the questions on that form is Would you be interested in giving me an interview? and this is how I’ve arranged interviews with authors whose books I’ve reviewed.

Now, with the promo posts, the story is a little bit different for me. Yes, I check the blurb and genres of a book before I decide whether I’d promote it on my blog, but I don’t have a sign up form for this. Instead, I have signed up for Facebook groups and sites organizing book tours and blitzes, and if I see anything interesting on them, I promote the book. I’ve also given a few of my favorite authors an open invitation to contact me when they have a new release and need help spreading the word about it.

You can do as I do, or set up a second sign up form, this time for book promotions.

— TO RECAP —

If you are a blogger and want to add book reviews and/or promos to your blog:

  1. Think of what themes, genres, age groups and length you are interested in.
  2. Create a blog post that includes the type of books you would and wouldn’t review/promo, and how people can contact you to offer you an ARC or ask you to promote their book.
  3. Make that post visible. Either pin it to your blog’s front page or include it as a separate category in your blog menu. Here’s how my menu looks:

Dilyana Kyoseva's Blog Menu (Dilyana's World)

When you click on SUBMIT YOUR ARC FOR REVIEW, you’ll find only two posts: one explains my rating system, and the other is I’m officially accepting ARCs for review.

I’ve also added a link to the Google sign up for on my sidebar.

If you are an author and want to get in touch with me for:

  1. ARCs. Check out my I’m officially accepting ARCs for review to see what books I review, and if you think yours fits the criteria, fill out the Google sign up form. Whether I end up reviewing your book or not, I’ll contact you on the email you wrote on there.
  2. Book promotions. As I said, I don’t have a sign up form for this and instead look for books myself. However, if you are an author whose book I’ve reviewed and rated 4.5 or 5, contact me. Chances are, if I liked one of your books, I’d be interested in promoting/reviewing another. Since we’ve already been in contact, you should have my email. If I don’t reply within a week, feel free to message me on social media and tell me to check my mail; I won’t feel offended or pressured.

Oh, and those Facebook group and book tour-organizing sites I’ve mentioned? I’ll post a list with them in August so you could check them out.

Do you want me to cover a topic in Writing Wednesdays? Drop it in the comments!

Do you like my content? You can buy me a coffee!

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