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Book Review Etiquette: Contact Author With Link of Review

Rebecca Graf is a seasoned writer with nearly a decade of experience. She holds degrees in accounting, history, and creative writing.

After you review a book, it's polite to contact the author with a link to said review.

After you review a book, it's polite to contact the author with a link to said review.

Author-Requested Book Review Etiquette

You’ve done a book review after an author sent you the book to read. You read it all the way through. You even wrote a high-quality review that pointed out the positive and negative aspects of the book. That’s it, right? Nope. Etiquette dictates that you contact the author with a copy of the link to the review, especially if they requested a review.

What to Send

Don't just send the link. They'll be wondering what it is. You need to basically send a note to them with the link included. You are communicating to them that you have finished reading their book and have your opinion for all to see. That means you need to make sure you communicate effectively. Make sure you have the following:

  • Link to review
  • Description of the site and where it is
  • Polite comment

The purpose is to share the link. How you do it is just as important. The delivery can establish a long relationship or soften a blow. Be careful how you send the link to the author.

Be Polite

Reviewing books is a great experience. You get to read new books and meet new authors. That means you are interacting with others and networking as you "work." That also means that you need to be polite. I know that I shouldn't have to tell you this, but I've seen way too many reviewers who were not polite. I'm not talking about in the review. Just be polite in the notice you send them that the review is live.

Make sure your comments to the author when you send them the link are polite. It is easy when you really enjoyed the book. You can express your appreciation for the book and how much you loved it. Even though you might have gone over things in the review, go over them again one on one with the author. They’ll love it. In fact, it will make their day.

If you didn’t really like their book, remember to still be polite and ask yourself how you’d like to be approached if you were the author receiving your review. You can tell them that it really didn’t appeal to you, but point out the strong points as well as the negative ones. Soften the blow.

If you do nothing else, just say, "Attached is the link to the review on such and such site. Have a wonderful weekend." It's polite and gives them the link they were looking for.

Don't Burn Bridges

You never want to burn bridges. It's usually a bad idea. Why? Because you might find that you need that bridge later, whether it is a week from now or a year. Stranger relationships have occurred. Who knows, by sending the author a link, you might create a new friendship even though you didn't like their book.

The author contacted you politely to review his book. You need to respond politely back with the link to the review. When you do that, you complete the transaction and establish good relationships. It also shows that you took the time out for them and made them important.

Also, keep in mind that any information you put on the review that is not correct can be caught by the author. That includes the spelling of things and any links you might post. Work with the author even if the review is not five-star.

By sending the author the link, you are also encouraging them to share it. Trust me. As an author, I know what it is like to see that email come in with a link to my latest review. There is excitement. There is fear. There is energy to share with everyone what the review says...if it is a good review, that is.

Your review has your name on it. It might even be on your website. As the author shares the link, that means your name and your site is being shared across the world wide web. That gets you added exposure.

You'll be sharing the link. The author will be sharing the link. Hopefully, all of your friends and connections will be sharing the link. It is more than a goodwill gesture or etiquette. It helps you in the long run.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on September 14, 2017:

Oh my. I love Netgalley and First to Read. I do get free books from other sites like Book Gorillla and Digital Books Today, ever since I got my Kindle 4 years ago. As for Upwork, I did review books for a client last year, when it was mainly nonfiction like tips on how to write an essay. I did two ghostwriting assigments for this company and sent my opinions in. This time, it's my own reviews and posting the links to my client. My current assignment is a bit better than last week, but the grammar needs to be edited though.

Rebecca Graf (author) from Wisconsin on September 14, 2017:

I get them from a variety of sources. Some are from Book Gorilla where I get several free books. NetGalley is a good place. I also joined book tours. To be honest, it got to where I was getting too many requests and had to cut back.

Jo Miller from Tennessee on September 14, 2017:

You give some very good information here. You may have already covered this in another article, but I would be interested in learning where you get your books to review.

Rebecca Graf (author) from Wisconsin on September 09, 2017:

I never thought about reviewing on Upwork

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on September 09, 2017:

Great tips. Other than my own book reviews, I do it for Netgalley and First to Read, when I request a book to read and review (even if it's after the deadline when the book is published.) If the author is on Twitter, I follow the author and tweet the link of my review. I do get comments on my blog and even thank you tweets. If they're not on Twitter, I just tweet the link and told them I liked the book via email. I'm always looking ways to make my reviews better (and gain new subscribers) just by following Netgalley's tips. For Upwork, I had to review a self-published book that was poorly written and not edited for my client (not the author). Though hard to write, it ended up being 10% positive and 90% negative, due to grammar and some plotholes issues.