This blog was featured on 04/27/2017
Make It Easy for Book Reviewers to Say Yes
Written by
Maria Murnane
April 2017
Written by
Maria Murnane
April 2017

Recently I received an email from an indie author asking a question about securing reviews from bloggers. Then, in the same email, the author sent me a link to his book's Amazon "buy" page and told me I was more than welcome to read it. And review it.

I didn't read his book, but I'll tell you what I did read--his email, with my mouth agape.

For one, I don't review books, which I've said many times in this space. But, if I were a book reviewer, it would take more than a link to get me on board. Book reviewers are well aware that they can buy and review any book in the world. So if you want them to review yours, offer to send a copy.

When I was self-published, I spent countless hours contacting book reviewers asking them to review my novel, Perfect on Paper. I also spent countless hours at the post office sending out review copies. It was an investment of both time and money, but I did it because I wanted people to review my book, and I knew they weren't going to do that if all I did was send them a link to Amazon.

Here's the thing: Book reviewers and bloggers expect you to send them a book. These people are voracious readers, and while they might not come out and say it, many of them review books just to get free copies and save money. You can always offer (and should offer!) to send an electronic version, but some reviewers are purists and prefer to read print books.

A good rule of thumb for book marketing of any kind is to put yourself in the recipient's shoes. How would you feel if someone asked you to review their homemade cookies but expected you to buy a dozen first?


Maria Murnane is the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, Wait for the Rain, and Bridges. She also provides consulting services to aspiring and published authors. Have questions? You can find her at


This blog post originally appeared on Reprinted with permission. © 2017 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

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  • Lloyd Lofthouse

    I have provided more than a hundred complementary (fancy way to say free) e-books and paperbacks over the years to reviewers, but at the same time, I've had struggling authors, that I know, offer me free e-books because they are desperate for reviews. I stopped reading e-books years ago, and the reason is not because I don't like e-readers.

    If I'm interested in the book, I buy the tree version instead so the review shows up on Amazon as a verified purchase.  But I don't always do this. Most of the time, I politely decline the request.  If another author asks me to buy and review their book, I always say no. The idea has to be mine and I have to want to read the book because the story (plot, theme, etc.) interests me.  On the same note, I don't want anyone to read any of my books unless the genre, plot, theme, etc. interests them. 

    Most if not all books will have readers who will be interested in reading them, but not all readers will want to read every book that's published.

  • RYCJ Revising

    Authors should offer to send a print book to potential reviewers...though I might be a soloist on this one. To support authors I buy the books I read & review... provided the synopsis interests me. Note: I primarily read memoirs... PRINT Books only, let me add.

    Not sure if other book reviewers share my perspective on this, but for reasons pointed out in this post, it is insulting to book reviewers like myself when I learn a book is 'only' available in e-book format. It shows a level of disingenuous interest in the book, creating the ultimate insult when reviewers are not only asked to invest in this book by buying it, but also by being asked to review it, likely expected to be favorably reviewed on top of it all.