When I was first starting blogging, one thing there was never help on for book bloggers was how to write a review policy. I didn’t even know they existed before I checked out a few other websites, and when I wanted to make my own, I had no idea where to start. Mine was made by going through lots of blogs and then picking all of the parts I liked best.
What is a review policy and why do you need one?
Review policies are a static page on your blog that explains your taste in books. You list the sort of books you like, the sort that you don’t, and the best way to contact you if an author or publisher wants you to review their book.
Don’t get me wrong – a book blogger isn’t required to have a review policy, but it helps. It means authors and publishers can contact you easily with books they want reviewing, and in theory, you shouldn’t get contacted about any books that won’t interest you.
How to make your policy
Make sure you create your policy on a static page so it is easy to find when someone first goes onto your website. Mine can be found in my menu up at the top of my page, which means that it can even be seen when someone is only reading a post.
Don’t start off by going straight into the books that you do and don’t accept. I know it’s good to get straight to the point, but it can sometimes sound a bit abrupt. Instead, write a little introduction. Mine is very basic because I didn’t know what to say! But it still seems better than listing my favourite genres straight away.
I love lists, as most people can gather from my posts, so I found that the easiest way to say what books I do and don’t like was by listing the genres! To begin with, my approach was a bit softer and I said ‘I don’t usually read …) but I found that I had a lot of review requests for books that I definitely wouldn’t read, with the emails saying ‘I know you don’t usually read (…) but my book…’. So instead I switched to saying that I don’t review those genres and it seems to have worked.
Be as specific as you like with your genres that you list! Mine are quite vague because I really like anything inside those genres, but if there’s a specific sub-genre you love, add it onto the list!
Make sure you mention how long it will usually take you to post a review. Most authors/publishers will be working to a strict schedule, so to save both them and you time, ensure that you point out if it may take you longer to review than others.
For me, I also pointed out that I won’t post reviews for books that I don’t like. I’ve been sent a few novels that I didn’t get along with, but my previous policy stated that I will always review. However, when you have to tag an author in the review, it’s not nice to leave a bad one, so I find it better off to say that I just won’t review it if I don’t like it and they are free to contact me about it.
Make sure you remember to add where to contact you! I include my email and also a contact form on my page. I’ve found that the contact form is used a lot less than people emailing me, but it’s still useful to give options.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me! I’m always happy to help other bloggers.