How To Reach Out to Book Bloggers for Reviews

Perhaps this is a blogging faux pas, but today’s post isn’t for my core audience.

While I hope my regular readers will find this interesting, this is for authors who are hoping to find bloggers like me to read and review their books.

Now I will say I’m afraid the people who need this post won’t read it. There are already good articles out there on the subject and obviously many authors who reach out to me have not read those…

I’m a firm believer in taking action when you are complaining about something. So instead of just being quietly disgruntled (or bitching to my husband) about the emails I receive, I figured I’d put some guidance out there.

Ever since I signed myself up to be on The Book Blogger List, I hear from at least one author a day asking me to read and review their book. At first I was flattered by how many requests I got – wow, my blog must be awesome! Then I quickly realized most authors are sending out form emails to everyone on the list. While I can see why someone would take that approach, I know that the people who don’t are generally the ones I am willing to work with.

I’m constantly backlogged with books to review, yet I’ll take on a new one when it sounds compelling, or  I feel a connection to an author through our exchanges. I turn down over 80% of the authors who reach out to me because I simply can’t say yes to everyone, and honestly some of the books don’t sound like something I would enjoy.

So here’s my advice based on what has worked well to persuade me to work with an author. 

How To Reach Out to Book Bloggers for Reviews


Step One: Look around my site before contacting me.

Without exception, if someone says something like “I’ve looked at your work and I think my book is a good fit for your readers”, or compliments my blog, I will work with that author. I might not be able to read their book but I will offer them an opportunity to write a guest post. This is NOT the same as saying “Nice blog. Will you please read my book?”  If you are asking me to take time from my life to read your book, then you should be willing to look into my work as well. 

tips for running a book club

Step Two: Introduce yourself and engage me with your email

An author once filled out my contact form with only this: Hi Ramona, Up your alley? With his name and link to his book. Are you kidding me? Would YOU respond to an email like that?

Step Three: Don’t make assumptions

I get a lot of these: “I have a new book coming out that you will love.” If you don’t explain why you think that (that you’ve read my Goodreads reviews or looked at my posts) then don’t tell me I’m going to love it. I recently got an Instagram message from an author who said, “Since you like to read, please consider my book,” then included the synopsis. I didn’t respond to this person because she obviously hadn’t taken even just a few moments to scroll through my posts and find one piece of common ground.

A post from my Instagram feed that tells you something about me.


Step Four: Don’t ask me to buy your book.

This one I don’t quite understand. Most publishers and authors hand out galleys (copies for review) for free. Once after agreeing to read the book, an author asked me to purchase it from Amazon and he’d reimburse me. I said I wasn’t comfortable with that, but he could send me a copy for free. He said he would, and then I never heard from him again. I’ve also seen ads online for book reviewers that stipulate you must buy the book and give a 4 or 5 star review, only then will they reimburse you for the book and pay $8 for the review. That’s all super shady. Don’t do it.

Step Five: Keep track of who you contact so you don’t repeat.

I respond to every author who contacts me (except that one from Step Two) even if I’m not going to accept the book. I wish them good luck on their author journey, and I truly mean it. When I get the same form email from an author a second time, I don’t respond. This reeks of desperation and disorganization. I don’t want to work with an author who so obviously can’t keep a list of who they’ve reached out to. 


Step Six: Don’t pester for that review.

Sure you can check in with me. Sometimes I forget or get distracted by other books. If there’s a deadline you’d like the book read by, be open about that up front. Don’t wait til I’ve had it for a couple weeks then tell me you want reviews by next Tuesday. Instead of continually reaching out to ask about the review, ask a question such as “When might be a good time to check back in with you on this?”

reasons I write by hand


Step Seven: Be kind.

You are essentially asking a stranger for a huge favor. Don’t forget that. I am a human being with a busy life too. I’m also a writer. I understand deadlines and panic and all that other junk that comes with putting your story out there. Be nice. Be patient. Re-read your emails before sending them. And remember you are deserving of the same. If a blogger responds to you rudely, you don’t have to work with them either.

So now I’d like to hear from you! Are you a blogger with tips you’d add to my list? 

If you’re an author, do you find this helpful?


  1. Maureen P. Downing

    March 8, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    Im actually learning a lot of great information by reading your blog I am just an amateur book reviewer and I review primarily on my Goodreads account and I am also a blogless book reviewer. This advice can also be looked at as I am in a a reverse way when interacting with publishers.

  2. Ramona Mead

    March 9, 2020 at 10:44 am

    Thank you Maureen! I’m happy to hear you find my posts useful.

  3. Jacqueline Hollows

    January 31, 2021 at 10:30 am

    Very helpful thank you, I’m a new author reaching out for book bloggers’ help so I love that you’ve given me a step by step approach as I really wasn’t sure what the protocol would be.
    Thank you

  4. Ramona Mead

    January 31, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    Oh how great that you are reading these types of post for advice! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any other questions.

  5. Lydia Cole

    April 10, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    Thank you, Romana, for writing this blog. I am a recently published author, and the information you’ve shared is beneficial. I too will be referencing your advice as I reach out to book bloggers to review my book.

  6. Ramona Mead

    April 10, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    Hi Lydia, I’m so glad to hear that. I hope it’s helpful. Good luck on your author journey!

  7. Gordon Vanstone

    June 3, 2021 at 8:06 am

    Thanks Ramona,
    This was very useful. As a debut novelist I was just about to reach out to some websites and book reviewers I’ve earmarked as good channels for promotion of my novel. Just as I was about to compose my message I realised I had no idea how to make what at first seemed straightforward. I googled the subject and found your blog post. It was really useful, and feel like I have the direction and advice I need now to approach. Fingers crossed I find a few to take a look.

  8. Ramona Mead

    June 3, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    Hi Gordon, thanks for your comment. I’m so happy to hear my post was useful to you. Good luck!

  9. Mark Hatt

    February 13, 2022 at 7:11 am

    Hi Ramona,
    This was really useful. As a debut novelist who has just self-published my first book I have no idea how to promote it. I am a writer not a promotion genius! I am trying to learn and every piece of advice is most appreciated especially from a writer themselves. Thanks again.

  10. Ramona Mead

    February 13, 2022 at 1:34 pm

    Hi Mark, I’m so glad you found this helpful. Good luck on your author journey!

  11. Mark Hatt

    February 14, 2022 at 3:38 am

    Thanks Ramona, I wondered if you had one moment if you could give me a piece of advice. I am struggling to put my book into a specific genre. It is called Family of the Ashram and is (I hope!) a challenging and thought-provoking novel which follows the birth and growth of the Ashram family and the challenges they face when the establishment around them does not understand them. It will also make you laugh in places, especially when Michael the goose is involved! But I really do not know exactly what genre this sort of novel should fit in. Below are the inks to it in Amazon and Goodreads. If you had one minute to give the blurb a quick look and let me know your opinion I would be eternally grateful. Thanks again Mark.

  12. Lauren Wilson

    June 9, 2022 at 9:36 pm

    I found this extremely helpful. I did it “the wrong way”, and I can see why I got no responses. I think my book is awesome and that everyone will love it. WELL! Everybody thinks that about their book! And everybody and their grandmother is writing. I tell you. The most intimidating thing I got was someone offering to sell me a list of 1000 bloggers for $500. No, they weren’t going to contact these people. Just send me the list. The RIGHT way to do this is going to take time. Find the blogger, read the blog, see if its a fit for your book, if so, write the e-mail and say why its a good fit. Then see what happens, knowing that maybe 1 in 100 will say yes. So, do it 100 times. How badly do I want my book out there???? Something I really need to think about.

  13. Ramona Mead

    June 13, 2022 at 11:03 am

    Thanks for your response. I’m glad you found my post helpful. Good luck on your author journey!

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