Author Barb Drozdowich / from Chapter 3
Review/Promotion Policy—Review Philosophy
As I’ve commented before, some book bloggers review books and some don’t. Some book bloggers promote any book, regardless of whether or not they have read it; some don’t. These are preferences; there isn’t a right or a wrong. Since everyone will run their blog differently, I believe all bloggers need a page that outlines their review/promotion philosophy.
Authors often mistakenly assume that everyone reviews books. They also often mistakenly assume that all book bloggers operate their blogs in a similar fashion.
Because of these assumptions it is a good plan to be honest and upfront with anyone coming to your blog. Create a page—call it Review Policy, or whatever title suits you, and outline what you do on your blog. If what you do is post your thoughts about books that you get from the library and aren’t open to submissions of any sort from authors, state that. If you review submitted books, state what genre you prefer to read. Even if you think you will review all genres, be honest about what your favorites are. Also be honest about other details like length of book, heat level of romance, goriness of a horror novel, etc. For example, I refuse to read anything over 350 or so pages as I find a book longer than that overwhelming, I don’t read horror as it gives me nightmares, the sexual explicitness of a book doesn’t offend me, but I don’t want to read romances involving anything other than human beings. What are your specific thoughts? Make note of them on your Review Policy page.
If you do review, you might want to include information about your reviews. How do you format your thoughts? Do you include spoilers? Do you offer up any quotable quotes that an author can then use in promotions? Do you rate a book using hearts, stars, hopping bunnies, or flashing numbers? Do you post negative reviews? Do you post your thoughts about books that you were unable to finish reading? Do you contact the author and offer up a copy of your review before you post it on your blog? Do you post copies of your reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, or other locations?
With regards to other types of promotions, your Review Policy might include information on the types of features you are willing to post. Do you post for blog tour companies? Do you need you have read and liked a book before you are willing to put anything about it on your blog?
Lastly, you should include how you want to be contacted and what information you need to consider when featuring or reviewing a book. I know I prefer to be contacted via email, but a lot of bloggers use an embedded form that authors need to fill in to be considered. Make sure you are clear about the information you require from the author to decide about their book. If you aren’t, you may find what some authors deem sufficient leaves you with questions.
Do authors always read your review policy? No! I think there are enough people like me harping on the fact that they have to read the policy—that they need to treat bloggers as individuals—that the message will gradually get through.