Discussed! – Review Request…

Posted 17 November, 2012 by Danny in Blog, Danny, Discussion / 22 Comments

Well hello and a wonderful Saturday morning!

Time for a Discussion post. Some of you might be blogging for years, some of you might just blog for a few month. But I figured that every one of us Book Bloggers faces the same issues and problems when it comes to “Review Request”.  Requests can go both ways of course. I can be an author/publisher contacting YOU to review their books, or it can be YOU requesting a book from an Author or Publisher. Today, I’d just like to focus on the Request we get!

We here at the Bookworms have been blogging since nearly 3 years (soon…) and the amount of review request we got has been increased during this time! However, in the beginning I was squealing over ever email we got and we often books just because we’ve been contacted. That’s different now. I sort the request thoroughly, looking at each request carefully before deciding. We have been definitely become more careful!

Request I decline and mostly do not even answer: 

  1. Request from authors that clearly have not read Review Policy! Because ..duuh! that’s what it’s there for! We ask there for a goodreads link and a cover image.
  2. Request from authors that do not adress us personally and send out a mass mail. I just do not answer! Sadly 90% of the requests are like this. Mass mails send out with no respect to our policy. I do understand how hard it is to market yourself, but well, we cannot read and review everything the mail has to stand out!
  3. Request, which are “masked” by sending me a “gift”. While this might sound like a great idea to some authors, I can assure you , it’s not!
  4. Request for a book where the cover just does not grab me….. Gosh I know I am shallow, but sometimes the minute I see a cover I know I am not going to read it!! *shutters* I know that I might miss on good books, but I feel like if someone didn’t invest in a great cover, did they invest in good editing?

Seriously, while this might sound harsh, with the amount of mails we get we need a way to sort out the ones we are genuinely interested in and also which author researched us and wrote us for a reason!

Oh,  I have to shamelessly admit, that review requests from traditionally published authors are handled differently and not in such a harsh way! 

I remember two shiny examples of Indies I think I would not have read if not for their incredible mail: Jennifer Sommersby wrote the cutest email ever and after writing back and forth with her I knew I had to read her book! And hell, I was glad I did even though the cover of Sleight  back then was ugly (sorry Jenn!!)!

Also, just recently an author approached by saying she my blog mentioned on the NA Alley Blog . It was a personal email, where she looked up who we all are and I immediately answered! That author was Carrie Butler and I am now mega excited to read her book Strength! See? She was personal and won me over! (Well, and her cover because it has a hot dude on it.. but that’s besides the point).

Also, not long ago I got a request where the author said that I recently read a certain book on goodreads and therefore she things her book might be up my alley! I totally liked this approach! She looked me up and found something to grab my interest . Uhm, just sadly, I never read this book ..lol so .. 🙂 But, in theory that is a good idea I think, just a lot of work too;(

( I actually didn’t want to give any advice because I do not think it’s on me to hand out such advice, but… well, I think I can sum up my points nicely) 

  • Read the Review Policy of the Blog you are about to approach.
  • Take your time to write a personal email! I know it takes time and sucks, but.. i am super sure that this will pay off!
  • Maybe look up the reviewer, what does she likes in a book?
  • Do NOT just send your book over! Not with a code to download, not attached and not via amazon!
  • Do not approach bloggers via twitter and facebook, write an email!

But my best advice… do not be sad if bloggers do not respond and don’t take it personally. Some bloggers get soo many requests that they cannot reply to everyone .. Sad, but true..  I actually am really sorry I cannot reply to everyone who writes us. I appreciate every mail we get and I wish I would have the time to reply and explain why or why not I have to decline but.. seriously, I just have no time to do so..

So, now I want to hear it from you guys!
If you are an Author, what experiences have you made when requesting Reviews?
And Bloggers: what types of request do you accept more likely and which ones do you decline? 

Much Love,

Obsessive Reader by Night – Scientist at Day!
You can also find me on goodreads. I’d love to get to know you so, don’t be shy and say Hello!

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22 Responses to “Discussed! – Review Request…”

  1. I know that I’ve never accepted a book from an author that sent it attached to the email, or even just with a coupon. That is bad marketing, and I really do dislike it. I can say that I’ve accepted books from authors when they got my name wrong, though. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get the reviewer’s name right, authors! If you’re super nice and apologize, I will forgive you. But I will also point it out to you, however nicely.

    I don’t usually accept books from author’s that blatantly ignore my review policy either. Because, honestly, I will know that you didn’t read it. Sorry, but I specifically state that I don’t accept e-books.

    I also have another confession to make–I’ve accepted books that I’m not so sure about before, just because the author was extremely nice and respectful! If you’re nice, I’m definitely more likely to give your book a chance!

    Awesome discussion, Danny. 🙂
    Megan@The Book Babe recently posted..The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie StiefvaterMy Profile

  2. I think my biggest pet peeve has got to be starting off the email with “Dear Blogger” (or some anonymous title equivalent). My name is EVERYWHERE on my blog, so there’s no need to address me anonymously. If you can’t be bothered to spend ten minutes making sure I’m a good fit for your book, why would I bother to return the favour?

    I also instantly ignore anyone who sends me a review request when I have a BANNER clearly stating I’m not currently accepting requests – and odds are I’ll remember their name if they try again when I am accepting requests. I think that goes along with not taking the time to make sure me/my blog would be a good fit for the book, which is just poor form IMO.

    Great post Danny!
    kelly recently posted..ARC Book Review: SplinteredMy Profile

  3. I so agree, and now that I receive so many requests if my guidelines aren’t followed and it’s not personalized..i simply delete them. This may sound awful but what I hate more than anything is getting a book gifted to me for kindle…I own a Nook!!
    So to me it’s like buying someone who wears a Large a small ….sadly my review policy states i own a nook..go figure.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted..Asleep Without Dreaming by Barbara Forte AbateMy Profile

  4. I agree with everything you said!

    There is one group that shares a form letter that is absolutely horrid – if I get it I hate to say but I don’t even bother reading the email. It even includes canned compliments.

    I automatically delete anything with a book attached. (Unless it’s an author I already know and love) I think not only is it kind of rude, it’s setting the authors up to possibly be pirated! I always cringe when I get them.
    Amanda @ Letters Inside Out recently posted..Excerpt + Giveaway: Love RevolutionMy Profile

  5. I definitely agree with everything you said! I don’t get a ton of review requests, but I get a fair amount and the majority of them are unpersonalized and don’t follow my review request guide lines. I feel like a horrible person for what I’m about to say, but I just pretend like I never got them sometimes… I don’t feel as bad because now I know other people do it… but still!

    But then there’s the ones that are personalized and you can tell that they looked at what books you read, and actually matched their book to your blog…. Those are my favorite! And I scrapbook them… (:

    Great post!
    Tabitha S. recently posted..Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterMy Profile

  6. AH

    You make some excellent points. I find that our blog is inundated with review requests and we really do not have the time to read and review everything. We tend to review books mostly from Edelweiss and NetGalley now as it is easier for us to choose books that will interest us.
    We do have relationships with some authors and publishers and we get review books that way, too. In a way, I don’t want to refuse books – I want to read them all. The reality is that I can’t. Blogging is a hobby and there are real life obligations as well.
    AH recently posted..Review: Easy by Tamara WebberMy Profile

  7. I love this post Danny!! I was like you were in the beginning.. I was so happy just to be getting contacted with review requests that I accepted almost everything!

    A few weeks ago I closed my blog to review requests (as stated in my policy) just because I’m really trying to play catchup with the books I already have, and I didn’t want to swamp myself with more requests. But of course, I still get e-mails! That just goes to show how many people don’t even read my review policy at all! And what I find funny is that some of those people still address me by name, but they sent the e-mail anyway! That means they visited my blog, saw who I was, and then either didn’t click the big “REVIEW POLICY” link, or they did and they chose to ignore it (seriously?).

    But I do have one fun story about a review request! It actually goes against what you said about not contacting on Facebook/Twitter, but I think given the circumstances, this is an appropriate exception. I had my eye on a book called Eden’s Root by Rachel Fischer for a while. It was on my wishlist, I wanted to read it, but hadn’t gotten around to it yet. Then I started talking with the author Rachel Fischer on Facebook.. just chatting about books we love, raving about Shatter Me and Divergent, etc. We had so much fun chatting and had so many books in common, that she then messaged me on Facebook asking if I’d like to review her book. She was so sweet and I had so much fun talking with her casually, that I accepted! So it was that extra personal touch that nudged me to finally read her book! And guess what.. I loved it!
    Ashley recently posted..Stacking the Shelves (30)My Profile

  8. This post is great, and really timely…I visited your blog today because I was looking for reviewers to contact for one of my publishers. Thanks for sharing thoughts and advice from the perspective of a reviewer! I’m going to go read your policy now.
    Jo Ramsey recently posted..You Aren’t AloneMy Profile

  9. I definitely don’t like when they attach the book or send a kindle gift before I’ve said I would read it. I had an author do that a couple years ago and now I think she’s learned her lesson and she’s done okay for herself, but I still remember that and it’s hard for me to think of reading her books.

    I’m not super picky about requests but I would like to know that they read my policy. The more personal and friendly they are the more likely I’m going to go further to look up their book. It’s sad, but if I like the author I’m more likely to give their book a try. And it’s just hard to say no to nice people!

    Currently my policy says I’m not accepting anything. And honestly it is mostly for the indie authors cause I get the most requests from them but I’m not going to single them out. In the past I have said I may be interested in featuring them in some other way but I was still inundated with emails and it was overwhelming.

    I’m not super picky about the content in the email. A cover and goodreads link is good. And I have had some even forget to tell me what the book is called, the genre and what it was about and that wasn’t good! I like to be addressed by name but it’s not necessarily going to be the deciding factor.

    Since I started doing book tours and have been on the other side of things I understand how difficult it is (and time consuming) to go through and get to know every blogger then to follow their policy requests. Some have a whole list of things they want and are VERY specific. They say they won’t even consider it if it’s not exactly how they say. To me that just seems snobby and I don’t bother contacting them. But if you say you want things like goodreads links and a cover, that’s not a big deal. I think that’s common sense. And of course I have those in my emails.
    Candace recently posted..Saturday Situation: Link Up Your Reviews & Giveaways!My Profile

  10. I got some requests from authors who clearly never read my policy. ‘m still in the phase that I answer everything, because my mailbox doesn’t get an overload of emails. But I’m starting to get a bit annoyed, so sometimes I delete them right away. It’s not that hard.. Especially when they already attach their book or a preview of it. It feels like I’m forced to read it that way.

    I really like it when they make it more personal. Saying my name, showing interest in me as a reviewer and blogger.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted..Fairytale News (4) Books-to-movies, part one.My Profile

  11. I have to agree that I hate those mass emails that are sent out without even addressing me in the email! If you can’t even take the time to read my name on the blog then I can’t help you!

    Usually I just get general requests and it bores me so I don’t answer many of them. I agree that tif they took time to read my policy and to talk a little more personally to me I would love to read their book.

    Thanks for the great post!!
    Alexa recently posted..Sunday Snapshots (19): Star Wars Takes OverMy Profile

  12. Danny I’m only a new Book Blogger, I’ve been blogging for awhile but haven’t been doing it “full-time” since the start of this year. I really love meaningful discussions and posts like this because it really teaches new book bloggers a lot! Thanks for taking the time out and being honest in your post 😉
    Angelica recently posted..Spotlight ~ Eustice by Alex GulczynskiMy Profile

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