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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
123 Cherry Tree Lane
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!!!!)
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.”
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:
So 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!