How I choose the books I want to review: A blogger’s perspective plus tips for authors

This is a post by Novel Publicity PR Campaign Manager, Pavarti K. Tyler

After reading Emlyn’s excellent advice in her recent post about getting bloggers to review your book, I thought it might be helpful for you to know what kind of things go through the mind of the book blogger when we’re approached to review a book.

I of course speak for myself only.

As a book blogger, I am approached by multiple authors weekly to review their books. I love it. I love books and I love authors. Unfortunately I am not able to read and review every book I am approached about, both because of time and interest. Honestly, there are probably a number of brilliant books sitting in my email that I passed on just because they aren’t my genre.

So the two most important rules I’d like for you to remember when you’re requesting a review are:

  1. I’m giving you my time, and I’m doing it for free so respect that.
  2. If I pass, don’t take it personally.

In order to help you as you are putting together your blog tour, I’ve made a list of DOs and DON’Ts from the blogger’s perspective.



  1. Do spell my name correctly; I get HUNDREDS of emails addressed to Parvati or Tyler. I delete them sight unseen.
  2. Do spend some time on my blog. I don’t need you to know everything about me, but if you ask me to review a children’s book, there’s a good chance you’ve never even seen my site.
  3. Do let me know what stage of publishing the manuscript you’re sending me is in. If it’s an ARC let me know what will happen between the copy I receive and the copy you will publish. If you have another round with an editor scheduled I’m less likely to pick on your grammar.
  4. Do offer to send me a paperback copy. This isn’t true for all reviewers but I find that those authors who are willing to invest in a paperback copy are more serious/professional. Plus, it’s something relatively small you can do for me. I love having books that I’ve reviewed on my shelf.
  5. Do offer your ebook in multiple formats (pdf, mobi and epub as a minimum).
  6. Do take a minute to proof-read your email. I will judge your book based on your request. If you have misspellings and crazy font changes, chances are your book isn’t well edited either.
  7. Do take the time to organize yourself. The less work I have to do, the more attention I can put into a quality review.



  1. Don’t ask me to only write a positive review. I have a review policy that you can see it online, so don’t ask me to change it for you.
  2. Don’t send me a form to fill out. I am not applying to be in your blog tour; you are recruiting me.
  3. Don’t apologize. If you have something in your book you need to apologize for or offer a caveat about how your book isn’t done, don’t send it to me.
  4. Don’t send me a nasty note if you don’t like my review. You are welcome to ask me why I reviewed it the way I did–I love to interact with authors–but don’t throw a fit. It’s childish and unprofessional.
  5. Don’t forget to include the title of the book – and your name – and the genre – and a summary. This is really basic.
  6. Don’t get offended if I pass on your book. More then likely it has nothing to do with you or your writing and is because of my time commitments elsewhere. Sometimes I’ve passed on a request because I didn’t like the book but didn’t want to hurt the author’s marketing. Just because I don’t like it doesn’t always mean it’s bad. Trust me, if I pass for whatever reason, bullying me into writing a review is a sure fire way to get a bad one.

I hope that helps you as you start putting together your own blog tour. Remember, the blogger is doing something for you for free that is of real tangible value. I spend hours upon hours reading and writing and thinking and posting. It’s something I do because I want to and because I love books but that doesn’t mean that bloggers should be taken advantage of. I want to give you my time and I want to support you in what you’re doing. Even when writing negative reviews I always try to explain my reasons honestly. Sometimes a quality negative review is of more value and a better marketing tool then a “Wow, I loved it!!!” 5 star review.

At then end of the day remember that we are people and don’t forget to say thank you.

NOTE FROM EMLYN:  Just wanted to add, Novel Publicity does not do book reviews, so please stop asking us (felt I had to add this because of the nature of the post).

About this post’s author:

Pavarti K Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number-cruncher and has been committed to causing trouble since her first moment on this Earth. Her eclectic career has flirted with Broadway, teaching, law Firms and the IRS. She is currently consulting with Novel Publicity while hard at work establishing her Indie Publishing Company Fighting Monkey Press. Pavarti’s novel Two Moons of Sera is a Fantasy/Romance and is being released in a serial format. Her next novel, Shadow on the Wall is scheduled for release in early 2012. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or her website.

Go Deeper with the Novel Publicity Guides to Writing & Marketing Fiction