Rant: How to Pitch a Small Indie Comic Reviewer

So let’s talk about something that happens with this site a lot: PR outreach. I’d say ICR gets hits up 3-5 times a week. Mostly it’s by people who have read another review on the site and want me to do a review for them. I am very happy to reply but unfortunately I can’t review every comic that comes my way. The proper way to reach out to reviewer is just to shoot them a quick little email. Something like:

“Hey ScottyG,

I just wanted to hit you up and see if you wanted to review my comic about super-powered crabs called, “Capt. Crabs”. Loved your review on [insert comic] and I’ve read [author’s name]’s work a bunch before.

Thanks!

Author’s Name”

 

Quick, personal (shows that he has at least read the site), informal, and doesn’t spoil anything. A reviewer knows you are looking to get reviewed and that you are probably reaching out to a lot of reviewers. They also know you probably didn’t have time to read every post from every one of those reviewers- but showing a little insight is always appreciated.

The wrong way to go about it is to blast a small personal review site like ICR with a generic PR/marketing blast. Something like:

“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Author WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE teams up with artist LEONARDO DA VINCI on the new title CAPTAIN JUSTICE AMERICAN. The comic focuses on BRUCE KENT and tells his origin as a billionaire farmer until his family was killed by an exploding planet. Now he fights crime as CAPTAIN JUSTICE AMERICAN with his sidekick BILLY THE KID. He tragically must kill his love interest/arch nemesis MISS DASTARDLY LADY who he learned is evil at the end of this FIRST ISSUE!

We will send you a comic and expect it reviewed sometime in the next two weeks. Please include a link to http://www.CAPTAINJUSTICEAMERICAN.com and make sure to review the first three issue we are sending you.

Thank You,

Bill Shakespeare”

 

Or something like…

 

“Hi! I am currently trying to promote a Kickstarter project for this generic superhero comics! What would happen if bunnies had magic powers and could talk in the real world!”

 

Both really don’t lend themselves well to being reviewed. They are impersonal, show no vested interest in the relationship they are establishing, sometimes outright spoil the comic for the reviewer, and place a lot of restrictions on them. Our review schedules are overbooked as it is, don’t give us a reason to discount you. I mean, you have to know your audience. If it’s some mega-syndicated comic/entertainment/game review site- yeah a PR blast works well but on a small indie review blog- personal works best.

 

I mean I even have the line, “Please don’t blast me with generic press releases… it is so impersonal. I’ll just make fun of you.” right above my contact form and I STILL get PR blasts all the time (FB is the worst!).

 

The indie comic community is pretty small one and blasting a bunch of folks with a press release or something super impersonal is a great way to make sure no one reviews your comic. We want to help though and we want to read good indie comics! This is the part of the sector where the magic happens! So just approach reviews right and we’ll be your best friends in the industry as you launch your comic.

 

Sorry for the rant folks. A lot of review requests come in and are really impersonal and demanding. It is just not the right way to go.

 

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