How to write book request emails to publishers

BOOKISH BIT BANNER - WRITE TO PUBLISHERS

I recently did a post on how to write an effective Netgalley bio, and people took really well to it, so today I thought I’d give some advice on how to write a review copy request email to a publisher.

Now, small disclaimer: This is how I write my review copy emails. I’m not claiming to be an email genius, and this is not necessarily the “right” way to do it, but they have worked successfully for me. This is just advice!

I’m going to use Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn as my example book throughout this post, just to make things simple.

 

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Find the right contact

Be sure that the person you’re writing to is the correct person, or at least close to the correct person.

First, check the imprint! Companies like Penguin or Simon & Schuster have a whole bunch of publishing companies underneath their main one. This is confusing at times, but when you’re looking at a book you want to request, find out the imprint, so you can target your email to them.

imprints

Sometimes, if you’re looking through publishers catalogues, the actual publicist will be mentioned and their email provided. This is the perfect person to contact as they will know everything there is to know about the book you’re requesting and will have power over the ARC books.

If you can’t find the specific publicist, no fear, try to find a general publicist contact in the company. When I’m emailing someone from the publicity team, I always go for those in the higher positions eg Publicity Director, Head of Publicity etc.

publiity department

Sometimes I find Marketing contacts are also useful for contact in relation to ARC books. I tend to find they pass on your message to the relevant person, which is very helpful! So keep an eye out for them too.

Lastly, if you can’t find any contact details for anyone specific, they will always have a publicity@blahblahblah.com type email. This is a really general email that will plop itself in a shared mailbox, but emails to these can be effective too. When I have to email these generic emails, I like to start my email off with:

“Please could you pass this on to the relevant publicist for Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn?”

This just helps the person reading the email know straight away where the email should be forwarded to.

 

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Short & snappy subject line and introduction

Publicists are hella busy, so keep your entire email to the point, no waffle!

In the Subject field, state exactly what your email is about:

“Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – review copy request”

When introducing yourself, follow the same “no waffle” rule. Tell them who you are, where you’re emailing from and what you want:

“My name is Zuky and I have a book blog called BookBum. I would love the opportunity to get an advanced copy of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.”

Remember to link back to your blog so they can take a quick look at it if they want to.

 

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Explain why you want the book

I always make a point to quickly explain why I want to read the book. This is just a little filler for the email that expresses your interest. Charm the publicist with your already high expectation for their book.

These are a few examples of what I have written in some of my successful review copy request emails:

“True crime memoirs are some of my favourite books and this one sounds really dark, chilling and interesting!”

“I came across the novel on Amazon and knew it would be a book I’d really enjoy to read. I love dark psychological novels and this one sounds poignant as well sinister.”

“I love adult, mystery fiction so this book sounds like a perfect match to my tastes. I have had it on my Goodreads TBR list since March 2017, so I’ve been highly anticipating it for a while now.”

“I’m a big fan of historical novels with a twist of mystery in them, for example, The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton or The Wonder by Emma Donoghue, so I think this will be a great novel for my reading tastes.”

If you can bring in some points about why you think you’ll like the book so much, then definitely do that! I like to draw comparisons on books I think sound similar, links to any blog posts where I’ve mentioned anticipating the book or by stating how long I’ve had it on my TBR for.

 

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The dreaded blog & social stats

Somewhere along the lines, people have said you must have been blogging for 3 months and have at least 500 followers before publishers will take your requests seriously, but I don’t think that’s the case. I received a number of ARC’s way before 500 followers, including one I received even before having a blog!

But, that being said, it is useful to put your stats into the email, just incase this is something a publisher looks for when deciding who to send copies to.

Here is how I lay out my stats (and these are my real stats, don’t judge):

Here is some information & statistics for my blog;

– Began in January 2017

– Total number of followers: 619

– Total number of page views: 22,983 (stats from May: 5,958)

– Total number of visitors: 6,546 (stats from May: 1,723)

– Total number of likes across all posts: 9,883 (stats from May: 2,637)

– Total numbers of comments: 3,486 (stats from May: 958)

 

Here is some information & stats for my other social media:

– Twitter (started in Jan 2017) followers: 363

– Goodreads (started in Oct 2015) friends: 518

– Instagram (started in Jan 2017) followers: 303

– I post all my reviews to Amazon UK, Goodreads, Twitter, Wordery and Waterstones.

When June is over, I will change the bit that says “stats from May” to “stats from June”. I liked the put that bit including a whole month’s worth of stats, so they can see what you’re receiving over a month’s period. Otherwise, you could have received all your views & likes right at the start of your blog and be getting no traction now. Putting that monthly stat helps show that your blog is active.

Make sure you remember to link to all of your social media accounts when you list them, so the publishers can check them out if they want to!

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Give them your address straight off

Don’t wait around for a reply to give out your address, because often times you won’t get any response, but the book will still appear on your door mat.

Like I said, publicists are busy people, so giving them your address straight off saves them the time in having to reply and ask for it.

Here is how I approach giving them my address:

“If you would be interested in sending me this book, my postal address is:

Zuky Edgar
123 Cherry Tree Lane
UK
The Planet”

This is in no way forceful, but it might be a bit of  push for them to get the book out to you quickly and easily.

(Please be aware you must have parental permission to give out your address if you’re under the age of 18!!!!)

 

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Quick and polite sign off

To sign your email off, aim to make it sincere and thankful. Here is how I like to end my emails:

“Thank you so much for taking your time to read my email and considering me for a review copy of this book.”

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Have an email signature

I think having an email signature, detailing who you are, your blog name and some of your social links, is a professional way to complete the whole look of your request.

Here is what my email signature looks like:

signature

 

long borrderSo there you have it! That’s how I set up my requests to publishers – I hope you can take some of my ideas and make them your own!

Let me know if you have any questions and/or if you have any feedback on this post!

48 thoughts on “How to write book request emails to publishers

  1. This is an important post. The amount of bloggers I speak to who don’t really approach publishers for review copies astounded me. I was sending emails off to everyone I could find. I found that Titan Books, Gollancz, Hideaway Fall and Simon & Schuster were the easiest to approach starting out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I started off seriously nervous about approaching publishers, but I realised it’s the best & only way of getting your name noticed by them! I have found Hodder & Stoughton to be really open about sending ARC’s! And Transworld (Underneath Penguin) are also very open & accepting.
      Nowadays I request physical copies of a lot of the books I see on Netgalley! Obviously I still get NG books, ease of use n all that, but it’s nice to get ARC’s of books you’re really excited about! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do like penguin as they always take bloggers seriously and are very generous. Are you signed up with Bookbridgr? Hodder & Stoughton and their imprints are brilliant and with Bookbridgr they send out so many great titles. I do use NG when there are books being released that I can’t wait for but I have been neglecting the site recently. I don’t mind my kindle but I really do prefer a physical copy and so many of the publishers I work with atm send them out happily.

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      2. I am signed up for BookBridgr, and that’s how I’ve got my few contacts from Hodder! BB has such great titles on it 😀
        I think everyone prefers a physical copy! They’re so satisfying 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! Really informative. I generally just give overall stats on my requests but totally agree about avoiding ‘waffle’ and yeah, 6 months, 500 followers rule, hell no and it’s stupid, I wrote a couple of ARC posts last year on it as being honest 500 followers when you start out blogging with only a few seems so far away and there are so many great blogs out there that have nowhere near that. Stupid rule, it should be ignored, my opinion.lol 🙂

    Totally agree about including your address, someone once told me it was presumptuous and it’s not, it’s just easier, the publicist has your address, they dont have to email you back asking for it, you don’t have to email them back with it, simpler all around just including it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Drew! Who knows where that rule came from. It just scares people into not requesting (like me, for the first couple of months having my blog!)

      Yeah, as long as you’re courteous about giving your address and not just saying “send the books here” then it’s totally fine to put your address in! Like you said, saves so much time both ends! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks so much for the informational post. At this point I’m not readt to request review copies but I’m so happy to have a resource to do so when I’m ready to give it a go!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my gosh, this is SO SO helpful, Zuky! I think I’m going to start requesting ARCs both through NetGalley and email next month — hopefully! This and your NetGalley bio post will be SUPER helpful and I’m so glad you wrote them! Thank you so much!

    (Also — a question: May is an alias I go by, so when stating my name, do I give my real name or May? If you don’t know, that’s all right! 😝)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the helpful post! It’s nice to have all of that together in one place for reference. Most people just kind of give a little bit here, a little bit there, and you’re having to click all around. Definitely saving for if/when I decide to start requesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. No wonder you are successful at getting ARCs! These tips are awesome! I always am a bit late to the game when it comes to ARCs, or I get too nervous to email publishers, but I am definitely going to change that!!! Awesome post Zuky!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Emma!! I was always nervous about emailing them too, but there’s not a lot they can do other than say no they won’t send you it (which has never happened to me! They might say “we can’t, we have none left” but they’ve never straight out denied me a book) or they just won’t reply, but even then, the book might still appear for ya haha ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is such a helpful post! I haven’t reached the point of requesting books as there are so many unread books on my shelves that I need to read first, but I am definitely going to make use of this. That signature part is especially helpful – I hadn’t even thought of that!

    Liked by 1 person

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