Not more than a day goes by without me getting an email from someone who has an item they want me to review. I’m one of the top 1000 reviewers on Amazon and that gets a bit of attention. The product might be a book, some kitchen gadget, an iAccessory, electronics, or some Bluetooth speakers (of which I now have about a billion sets). Sometimes I accept these. Sometimes I don’t. Often I delete the email without even replying. If you have something you want someone to review, here are some tips for you.
1. If you’re offering up a book, especially if it is self-published, make damn sure your email has no typos, has correct grammar, and a decent summary of the book itself. That’s all that is needed. I don’t need your personal history. I don’t need the history of your family, unless it is extremely relevant to your book.
2. Seriously, make sure everything in your email is perfect! I can’t emphasize this enough, especially the self-published variety. There is already a stigma against self-published books (rightly so, most often). If I get an email that is incoherent or badly-written, you can be sure I’m assuming the book is the same. I will therefore delete it without bothering to reply.
3. Don’t send an attachment or a link to Google Docs with a message of, “Go here and tell us what you want!” While I’m sure that’s well-meaning, and generally not a problem, people like me tend to be wary of mysterious links that show up in our emails. Offer a list of what products you have in the body of the email, and ask us to tell you what we want to receive.
4. Make sure you provide excellent customer service if you send someone an electronic device or gadget of some sort. A while ago I received a portable DVD player that was riddled with problems. I emailed the customer service in box was given a bit of a runaround for a couple of emails. It was also very clear that the person I was emailing with didn’t speak English as a first language. You can be sure that when I do review something, I’ll be including an evaluation of the customer service experience, if any.
5. Try for some variety! As mentioned, I have about a billion Bluetooth speaker sets. I literally cannot give them away as quickly as I get offered sets to review. I have no particular objection to these products, but I get offered them very frequently. If you’re trying to get a review for some $20 piece of consumer electronics like that, tell me in the first email what makes it unique compared with the others I have.
I really do enjoy getting offered the things I get offered, and I enjoy writing reviews. But please, make it as easy as possible for me to accept what you want reviewed! It will make everyone’s life easier.