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Blogger book reviews: How to mine this precious author gold

Many authors are unaware of the power of blogger book reviews. Here's why you want them and how to get them.

If you aren’t sending review copies of your book out for blogger book reviews, you’re missing out on more than book sales.

In addition to selling books, they provide testimonials you can add to your Amazon and other retail sales pages as editorial reviews.

They also introduce your book to new readers while reminding others about your book’s value.

Authors aren’t sending me their books

Honestly, I’m continually amazed by how the people who write how-to books for authors rarely ask me to review those books.

I don’t think it’s because they know I’m not shy about pointing out a book’s flaws.

It’s more likely that they’re unaware of the power of a glowing review from a peer. In the case of authors who decide to write how-to books for other authors, it’s probably because they are completely unaware of bloggers like me. The “peers” they send review copies to are authors who write the same types of fiction or nonfiction books they write.

No matter the reason, it means that if I want to review a book for you, I have to go looking for one.

Exhibit A

For example, last month, I reviewed Penny Sansevieri’s book marketing guide, which was published January 1, 2022. Why did it take me a year and a half to write a review?

Because I didn’t know it existed.


How is this even possible?

Penny is an accomplished book publicist who knows me. She also knows the value of reviews. Yet, she didn’t send me a book announcement press release; she didn’t send a review copy.

She’s not the only one who overlooks this site’s reach (it’s ranked seventh globally among book marketing blogs). I know from LinkedIn that a member of the Build Book Buzz Book Marketing Group launched a book about book promotion last week.

Did she tell me about it? Nope.

The last time anyone asked me to review a book that’s relevant to authors was in late 2019.

This is nuts.

How to snag those blogger book reviews

You’re smarter than that. Pursue those blogger reviews! Make them happen!

It’s not hard to identify and contact bloggers who both reach your audience and review books and other products their readers will appreciate knowing about.

The process is pretty simple. Here are the steps.

1. Identify the blogs and online media outlets that reach your target audience.

Here are a few resources for finding blogs to contact:

  • Google your search term – your topic – plus the word “blog.”
  • Use the blogger search engine.
  • Set up Google Alerts for your book’s topic. Some might link to blogs.
  • Solicit reviewers through your social networks.

2. Visit each blog to see if the blogger reviews products.

This is important.

You don’t want to waste your time contacting and following up with a blogger who is never going to say “yes.”

3. Compile a database or grid with each site’s contact name, e-mail address, site URL, and notes that will help you personalize your request.

You can use contact management software, create a table or grid in Word, or use Excel.

What’s most important is that you use a system that works for you.

4. Write and e-mail your request.

Contact each blogger individually rather than sending a generic message to everyone on the list you’ve built. Personalize the message so it’s clear you’re familiar with the site.

Explain clearly and succinctly why you’re contacting them.

Here’s a sample script:

I’ve written a new book, [title], that I think will [interest/entertain/educate/whatever] your readers because [brief reason]. I noticed you review products – I found the [product] review especially helpful – and thought you might be interested in reviewing my book.

It’s [brief description – two sentences max].

Would you like to receive a complimentary digital review copy? I can send you a link where you can download it in the format you prefer for the e-reader you use.

I’ve pasted my book announcement press release with more details below my signature.

I look forward to your response.

It’s as easy as hitting the “send” button, then tracking the responses.

No response? Forward your original message with a friendly reminder note.

Special note for novelists

The fiction blogger review-a-sphere is especially competitive. That’s why many authors seeking genre reviews hire a reputable virtual book tour service. The company’s connections can help place your book higher up in the queue.

But the savviest fiction writers don’t stop with genre reviewers.

They approach topic bloggers, too. These are the people who write about what I call the “nonfiction nuggets” in your book.

Nonfiction nuggets are the messages, themes, locations, professions, and other details that are important to your story, but aren’t fiction.

If you aren’t sending review copies of your book out for blogger book reviews, you’re missing out on more than book sales.Click to tweet

Leveraging topic bloggers

You can learn how to uncover these nonfiction nuggets and see examples in “The guest blogging audience most novelists don’t know about.”

When you follow the instructions in that article, you’ll probably identify at least three nonfiction topics in your book. For example, if your protagonist is a geologist, that profession is one of those nuggets. Does the story center around bullying? That’s one, too.

Select the one or two nonfiction topics that are most important to your story, then use the instructions above to search for and document blogs about them.

Note that the email script you’ll use to contact them will need to be slightly different from the one above. You’ll have to state the connection between your nonfiction nuggets and the blog’s topic because it won’t be obvious.

That won’t be hard for you to do, though. You’re a writer, after all.

Please don’t miss out

I can’t predict how many more books you’ll sell with blogger reviews, but as a benchmark, my review of Penny’s book sold 28 copies on Amazon. I know this because I linked to the book with an Amazon Associates link specifically so I could track sales.

I hope more authors bought it through Bookshop.org or other retailers, too, but I have no way of knowing if they did.

Will those 28 sales change Penny’s life? Nah. But she might land a new client or two while expanding her fan base.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to sell more books and acquire more fans. Include bloggers in your book launch plans. You won’t regret it.

Have you purchased a book because you read a blogger’s review? Please tell us in a comment.

Like what you’re reading? Get it delivered to your inbox every week by subscribing to the free Build Book Buzz newsletter. You’ll also get my free “Top 5 Free Book Promotion Resources” cheat sheet immediately!


    1. Hey Wendy, fiction genre review bloggers — those that only publish reviews — are inundated. But topic blogs? Not so much.


  1. All very interesting. But Penny Sansevieri (“who knows me”) took just under $4,000 from me to market one of my novels–and never sold a single book. Repeat: not one copy. Her comment? “I just don’t understand it.” But of course she cashed the check.

    1. I appreciate your disappointment, Barry. Who wouldn’t be disappointed in that situation?

      There are no guarantees with publicity, and I’m sure Penny communicated that at the outset. And yes, of course she cashed the check. Publicists are paid for their time, although there are some who charge a set-up fee, then work on a pay-per-placement basis. I suspect Penny spent more time trying to get you results than she did on other client projects that were more successful, though, which would make her underpaid on this project.

      Most authors will never sell enough books to cover the cost of a publicist, so if that was your expectation, you would have been disappointed no matter how many books sold as a result of publicity (and linking sales to publicity is difficult unless it’s the only promotional tactic you’re using). A publicist is a career investment. I go into that in detail here: https://buildbookbuzz.com/should-you-hire-a-book-publicist/

      If it sounds like I’m defending Penny, it’s because I am. Good publicists are choosey about the projects they take on because they don’t want unhappy clients like you writing comments like this one on blogs or anywhere else. But because there’s so much that’s out of their control,* even the best fail from time to time.

      *Example: Remember the federal building bombing in Oklahoma City? I was in NYC for media interviews for my first book the day that happened. My interviews were cancelled. Oh well.

      In any case, anyone reading this who’s thinking about hiring a publicist needs to understand that if you can’t afford to lose the money, you shouldn’t spend it on a publicist. Media attention can’t be guaranteed.


  2. Hey, it worked for me. Using my search engine (not google) I keyed in ‘memoir book bloggers’ and came up with Book Sirens listing 113 Memoir Reviewers. Haven’t looked at all of them yet. First wanted to thank you for the advice.

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