Writers, we are in a business, and it is so important to be professional in how we write, not just our books, but every letter and every e-mail we send, unless we're sending those to Mom, and then we can be all cutesy cutesy and forget about proper spelling and punctuation. Although Mom might remind us that she taught us better than that. Or at least she tried.
I've been a professional reviewer for many moons, starting out for newspapers and magazines, and then moving into online sites. I now do reviews primarily on my blog, It's Not All Gravy, and also post reviews on the online retail sites and Goodreads. I get several review requests a week and turn down many of them for not being a businesslike letter. Such as:
Hi there. I am hoping that you will consider reviewing my latest book, (title deleted). It is available in print and e-book formats. Thank you
The proper salutation should be: Dear Maryann Miller with the name spelled correctly. I am not Maryanne or Marianne, or Mary Ann or Dear Reviewer. My mother gave me the perfectly lovely Maryann.... Enough said.
Maryann, Hello. I would like to request a book review. I am a self-published author.
Hmmm. Maybe it would be good to include a book title and description. Oh, and your name, too.
I am available for anything that you might consider appropriate.
Okay.... I don't even want to comment on that one. LOL
Not only family and friends, but complete strangers have told me they really enjoyed my writing and my story. I am sure you will too.
Rank, rank amateur-type wordage. We don't care that your Aunt Millie loved your book. Please let the reviewer make up her own mind as to how wonderful your writing is.
For more infomation (sic)on me and the book, click on the amazon (Sic) link below.
First, don't make the reviewer click on anything for information. Always include a brief book blurb and author bio. Secondly, it would help to proof your letter for spelling and other mistakes.
I hope you will be interested in reviewing my novel, (title deleted). I am also open to doing interviews, and all other projects that might help to promote this book. I have a very limited budget, so ebook reviews and the like are best. The book is described in the attachment and in the press release below.
Don't let your desperation show. While you might be feeling kind of desperate, it is not professional to reveal that to a reviewer or an editor or an agent. Also, very few people will open an attachment, so all relevant information should be in the body of the e-mail.
The following is a letter I received just the other day:
The book is at Lulu, the publisher, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. There you can read some for free and obtain further information. If you wish to review it, you would have to purchase it in whatever form you preferred.
Buy it? Really? You want me to do you a huge favor and you want me to buy the book? The accepted practice is to send an ARC (advanced review copy) either in paper or as an e-book. Some authors gift the reviewer with the book via one of the online retail sites, or send a file that the reviewer can load into a reading device.
|Image courtesy of Moving On Magazine|
Author: (name deleted)
Dear Maryann Miller,
I am an Australian author (nine novels to date) whose independent Australian publisher, Wakefield Press, has just released, as ebooks, all four books in my mystery quartet. I am writing to ask if you would be interested in reviewing the new, and final book…..
The author finished the letter by offering the book in whatever format I prefer. She also included a short book blurb and bio, and thanked me for whatever consideration I might give her request. I appreciated her friendly, yet businesslike letter, as well as the one I received from Benjamin Dancer, author of Patriarch Run, who is my Wednesday's Guest today on It's Not All Gravy.
We have become so accustomed to the relaxed atmosphere on social media, sometimes we forget that casual doesn't apply to all business dealings. Even though most queries are now sent via e-mail, they are still a business letter and should faintly resemble one.
|Posted by Maryann Miller - novelist, editor and sometimes actress. Her most recent book releases are Doubletake and Boxes For Beds, both mysteries that are available for Kindle and in paper. Stalking Season is the second book in the Seasons Mystery Series, also now available as an e-book, along with Open Season, the first book in the series. To check out her editing rates visit her website. When not working, Maryann likes to take her dog for a walk and work outside on her little ranch in East Texas.|