For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Friday, February 1, 2013

Let’s Talk! Review Requests


Let’s Talk is a fun new meme to discuss an little bit of this & a little bit of that (not always bookish) hosted by Smash Attack Reads and A Book Obsession.

This weeks question: Reviewers: How do you handle the less than ideal review requests? You know, the ones that have clearly not read your blog or your review policy. Also, what’s the worst review request you’ve ever received?

In general I don’t get too worked up about authors who haven’t read my policy or that I can tell haven’t read my blog. Anyone who blatantly is ignoring my stated policy gets deleted without a response. An unsolicited book attachment gets an immediate delete. I won’t read the request any further. Sorry, but I have no idea who you are and I’m no opening myself up to viruses.

I try to keep in mind that not all new authors know proper review request etiquette. When I started blogging I made make a few faux pas when contacting authors so I try not to judge too harshly. We learn by doing and we’re going to make a few mistakes and hopefully learn/improve as we go.

Having said that my peeves are mass blogger requests with at least 50-100 other bloggers cc’d, sending me a book in a genre I clearly don’t read, personal sob stories, epic – long emails or two sentence emails that don’t tell me anything about the book.

I love a quick note that introduces the author, a quick synopsis that summarizes the book with links to all relevant sites. That’s all. Any more than that takes up too much time. Also when the author is professional like that I am more inclined to ask them to guest post even if it’s a book I’m not interested but think my followers would be.

The worst requests?

I’ve had doozies. The worst one was from an author that bragged that her book was full of spelling and grammatical errors. She said that proved she was pushing boundaries and not following old outdated publishing rules. If I recall correctly it was a paranormal with bondage and dreams and a whole bunch of other wacky things. 

I also had a request that sort of insulted my reviews and reading tastes then asked me to read his book. O_O

The other common one is the “I know you don’t read this type of book but you will LOVE mine.”

Sorry….that never works on me. I have taken a chance on a few authors that followed the general guidelines of being quick to the point and polite but that’s rare.

I can’t accept many requests these days but I’m still honored and shocked that an author would offer me their books for review.

16 comments:

  1. I do the same thing, mostly just delete them. I don't feel special to be asked or anythingI think it's mostly just a collection of e-mails and they are just shooting fish in a barrel. I can't believe someone insulted yor blog! I also agree that a lot of people just don't know any better.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I definitely don't feel honored by the "fish in a barrel" requests lol but I do still like when an author likes your reviews and is willing to hand over their baby to you for an honest review.

      I have to say though that these days about 80% hit the tracy folder with no reply. They aren't even genres I read or the letters are wacky.

      Delete
  2. Haha, pushing boundaries. Now that is just stupid.

    But yes delete delete delete. I forget my bad ones.
    I did get a bad good one this week. She wrote the first part in Finnish and then blah blah, anyway, I belong to the other group in this country so that kind of misfired. Loved that she went for it though, but at the same time things like that also makes me frown.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Some are so outrageous that I admire them for that even though it's not something I would read but it's a line that must not be crossed lol

      Delete
  3. Yes I delete them too. Been even more picky since book blogging. I am not taking any more review requests too.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. There are a few that make it through these days but very few.

      Delete
  4. I don't like the mass emails either, and think impersonal Dear Blogger emails are just as bad. I always feel a little bad just deleting the requests, but think it's easier now since I had an author respond to my rejection insisting I give his book a chance! Even though I had explained that I wasn't accepting new review requests from people I hadn't worked with before. *facepalm*

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I used to reply to every one but when you're clearly not reading my policy then I don't bother. I send a quick polite thank you or offer a guest post if the book sounds interesting.

      I've never had an insistent author but I had the insulting author lol

      Delete
  5. Wow the worst are hall of shame material. I don't like mass email either.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Those are some pretty bad requests. I'm just like you. I ignore requests that don't follow my policy too. I also hate when people pre-approve me for galleys to view, when I haven't even said yes. When I first started blogging, I even had one author send me their dos and don'ts when requesting a review/interview/or a guest post, and I had no clue who the author was. This was an interesting topic. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow, bragging about spelling errors? There's nothing "boundry-pushing" about sloppy, unedited work.

    For the most part though, I rarely get requests and when I do, I delete them. Every now and then an author tries to tweet me to get me to read their book, and that never works either.

    ReplyDelete
  8. HAHAH what about the gramatical errors? Wow, this is such a strange thing to brag about! It's not an outdated publishing rule, it's there so people can y'know, actually read the book...so ridic. I'm still pretty surprised when I get requests too. Most of the time it's a head tilt and a "how did they find my blog?!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was THE weirdest requests I've ever gotten. I didn't even believe it was real at first but I searched and her book was on Smashwords and Amazon. Doesn't attest to the quality of course but there really was a book.

      Delete
  9. Ugh, I ignore about 80% of the requests that come through my inbox. Seriously--80%. I don't generally get worked up about it, but pitching someone a book for review really does seem like a simple thing. Read our review policies, spell-check your letter, personalize your pitch, send synopsis/links/bio, send the book, etc., etc. And yet this seems beyond the grasp of the majority of the people who contact us. It's frustrating, and they're not doing themselves any favors, either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. It doesn't have to be an elaborate pitch. Most of us don't have time to go through a long email anyway. Just the basic info works.

      Delete