As I've said before, I need reviews for my book. As a result, I asked a friend if she knew any reviewing blogs. She gave me several google results. I took a look at them and experienced terror. Hundreds of blogs and sites that needed to be checked one by one. I closed the tabs and went away to eat some ice-cream. It's typical reaction when I am overwhelmed. "Yikes!" followed by "Not me. I was just passing by. You are looking for someone else" and walking away.
Today I was struck by the mood to check some of them out. Necessary in order to get reviews, but my head hurts. Let me try and summarise this experience.
Let's say you have a list of blogs. Every blog needs to be searched to locate the submission guidelines. After you find the link, you need to verify that the specific blog does accept the genre your book belongs to, and that the blog owner does accept submissions at this time (some blogs are temporarily closed to submissions). Some blogs accept only hard copies, which means they won't do a review unless you mail them a physical book. Others don't accept self-published authors (that's me, hi there.) If you pass that stage, you have to compose an email with everything the blog owner needs in order to consider your book for a review. This usually includes your name, title of your work, synopsis/ blurb (that's the description at the back of the book), book cover, publication date, price, your blog, Amazon page, Goodreads page, and your ebook in a specified format. Every blog has different requirements. Some may ask for all those, but more often than not, they will ask for some of those plus a different ebook format so that you don't get bored by doing repetitive work. And needless to say, you have to accompany the above with a polite personal message to the blog owner, explaining who you are, what you want and why you think they would be interested in reading your work. It's called "selling yourself". And yes, if you want reviews (and believe me, if you are an independent publisher through amazon like I am, you desperately want them), then you have to work for it. And no, you are not doing the reviewers a favour, they are. With 260.000 new books coming out in the last three months alone, you need those reviews in order to stand out. You need all the publicity you can get, and then some.
With all that said and done, after a day of sending such emails, all I can do right now is dive into my bed face first and not stir until tomorrow. I will publish a list of reviewing blogs after I am done, to help more writers get a headache. Why not share? It's similar to having a hangover, but without the "drink and make merry" part.