A romance author friend of mine received a friend request on Facebook last night from someone she’d never interacted with, but she accepted the request anyway. A short time later, she received a PM basically saying the new friend had just finished the rough draft of her first adult short story and could the author look at it and see if it had potential. Then without waiting for a response, the entire short story was posted in the chat. I won’t get into the rest of it because it doesn’t really matter, but the author was appalled that someone sent her the content out of the blue.
Do NOT cold PM or email other authors, who don’t know you from Adam, and ask them to review your material. It is very rude and not acceptable by most authors. If you want their opinion on your manuscript or even a review blurb for your cover, then cultivate a relationship with them first.
1) Become friends with them.
2) Like and comment on the posts on their wall and page.
3) Join their reader group and become active in it.
4) READ their books and see if they write what you write. For example: the romance genre has many sub-genres, from closed door vanilla to steamy erotica. Don’t send an author who writes historical romance a military romance. Or a vanilla romance author a story that reads like a Penthouse submission. Or sci-fi non-romance author a young adult story. Make sure their books are similar in style to the one you’re writing.
5) After you read their books, leave a review and let them know how much you enjoyed their books.
6) Chat with them in private about your shared sub-genre and book world stuff in general.
7) In other words, become friends with them!
THEN, and ONLY THEN, feel free to take a chance and ask them if they’d be interested in reading your book and critiquing it or giving you a review blurb for your cover. Do NOT be offended if they turn you down. Most established authors barely have time to read their favorite authors’ books, much less someone else’s book, and they get asked for critiques and reviews quite often. I have several new authors in my reader group who friended me, joined my group, interacted with my group, and after all that, asked me to take a look at their first chapters and give my opinion. I did so with pleasure because I felt I knew them by then. Several of them are now published authors, with more books on the way, and have thanked me for my input.
If you want someone to take a look at your material and let you know if it has potential, then do a FB search for critique groups and join one. There are a bunch of them and some are genre specific. Post your material in there for feedback. Or search for beta reader groups and get a non-author’s opinion about your book. Betas represent the readers who will eventually be considering your book for purchase. Their opinions count!
One of the other reasons you don’t want to send someone, who you don’t know at all, your manuscript is you risk someone taking your story and making it theirs. A lot of authors on Wattpad had their stories stolen – some were rewritten in minor ways, but most were verbatim.
So please, remember, don’t randomly friend an author and without so much a “how do you do?” send them your material and ask their opinion. All they will do is, at least, tell you it’s rude to do that and advise you to check out the critique groups, or, at most, block you and tell their author friends what you did and they’ll block you too.
You wouldn’t walk up to a doctor in the street, strip in front of them, and ask their opinion about the rash on your butt. Don’t walk up to an author, toss your book at them, and ask them to read and critique it. It’s poor etiquette.