Discussed! Turning down Review Requests

Posted 9 March, 2013 by Danny in Blog, Danny, Discussion / 22 Comments

It’s Saturday! *sigh* Weekend and… Discussion time here at the Bookworms!


In our last Discussion post Lindy suggested to talk about Turning Down Review Requests. So, that’s what we are doing! Some time ago a Discussed! Post about how to request reviews in the first place, so we are not going to touch this subject today.

Now, what do we do when we get a Review Request?

To answer this questions we must go straight into the different parts of request we usually get, because I handle different requests differently!

Requests from Authors…


  • did not read your Review Policy,
  • didn’t care to address you personally
  • just send their book
  • basically did everything “wrong” (see this post for specifics)

So, how to answer?

Well… I just do not respond. Period. We get tons of these emails, around 3-5 per day and no one has time to just reply to emails. I must say that when we were young Bloggers (so.. 3 years ago) I did reply to every email and considered each request carefully. Now, I just don’t have the time for it, so I choose carefully which requests catches me eye and which not!


Requests from Publishers

It’s sad but of course I treat publisher emails differently. There, I also look over the fact that they do not address me personally or send otu mass mails.  They have a different workload which I understand perfectly.  I know this might be wrong, but it is how it is – a Publisher is definitely something else than one single Author.

So, how to answer when you are not interested in this book?

Easy! You are just honest and say so. Usually, I tell them that it doesn’t sound like a book I might enjoy, or that it’s not my usual genre, or that you just do not have time to read it in time.

Then, I usually add that I would still love to work with them and if they have something else for me to look at, I’d be happy to work with them on future tiles.

I’m just being honest. It won’t help the author or publisher if you agree to review a book you already go in with a bad feeling.


I know that I struggled with this a lot when we first started blogging. I felt bad declining requests. I mean I was super excited, someone wanted us to read their book in the first place.  Right now, I feel like the self-published author request are getting more and more ach day and it’s easily becoming overwhelming so I decided not to be overwhelmed, only reply to authors that catch my attention in one way or another. If that makes me  a bad blogger, I think I just have to take it.

Now it’s your turn. How do you handle Request? Do you easily say yes because you feel somehow inclined to do so? Do you take your time and respond to all requests? (Yeah if you do!!) Or do you handle it similar to me? 

Much Love!

danny Siggy

Thank you so much for suggesting this topic Lindy! If you haven’t checked her blog, you should definitely do so! It’s such a cute blog!

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22 Responses to “Discussed! Turning down Review Requests”

  1. Meagan C.

    Great post!

    I struggle with this because I am a new blogger and feel so tremendously honored when someone wants me to read their book. But I have adopted a similar policy. If the author has not read or is not following my review policy, I do not accept their book for review.

    I will, however, accept and research self-published authors. I love to hear from them and am happy when I can help promote a book that otherwise has a tough time getting some “air time”. And I have found a lot of great authors this way.

    I am still building my relationships with publishers, so I am fearful to turn down a request. But I make sure that I am up front about my time line for the review and do my best to stick to it.

    Hopefully someday I will be big enough to receive 4-5 emails per day from authors/publishers. But for now, I am happy to help out in any way that I can.

    As always – you are my role model. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I used to say yes more often than I do now, back when I first started. Then I began to get more selective about saying yes. These days, I’m backed up on reviews so I’m only taking them from people I already have a relationship and even so I’m not taking many. If it excites me, I’ll say yes.

    Like you, if a request ignores my policy, I just delete it. If it’s from someone I’ve worked with before, I cut them more slack. If a publisher or publicist emails me, I answer back, most of the time. I do want to maintain a good relationship.

    All that said, I still get excited when I receive a review request. That thrill hasn’t gone away. 🙂
    Bea @Bea’s Book Nook recently posted..Review of Serpent Queen by J.A. CampbellMy Profile

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  3. I also ignore e-mails that don’t address me personally, but I do try to respond to the rest even if it’s clear that they didn’t read my review policy. I just thank them for taking time to get in contact with me, then let them know that the book isn’t something that I think I would like. If it’s a book that is completely outside of the genres that I have listed, I’ll link them to my Review Policy page. Hopefully they’ll take the hint.

    I only get probably 3 requests on average per week, so it doesn’t take much time for me to respond to them.
    Angie F. recently posted..Review: Angel Dust by Sarah MussiMy Profile

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  4. I don’t think it makes you a bad blogger if you only respond to review requests that catch your eye – I do that too! I find these days that I have to be more selective. There is no way I could ever read all the books I’m pitched for review. This week I had 15-20 requests and the majority of them completely ignored my review policy. Things would work better all round, I think, if review policies were adhered to!
    Leanna recently posted..Guest Post: Ilsa J. Bick on Tackling Taboo Subjects in Drowning Instinct.My Profile

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  5. If it a publisher, I will take the time to respond whether or not I would like to review the book. I would like to maintain the relationship with them.

    Other request are a little different. I try to respond, but I don’t always have the time to answer all. I got one last week addressed to Blogger, he sent all the info for a post, the book and when he wanted me to do it and how long he wanted the giveaway to last too. Really! That is the first time I have gotten like that. I even have at the top of my Review Policy, that I am not accepting review request for a little while.

    Well, that’s it for me. Great idea for a post. I like to see how y’all handle these types of request. 🙂

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever
    Jenea @ Books Live Forever recently posted..Upcoming New Releases for the week of March 11thMy Profile

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  6. I do what you do, which makes me feel a little guilty but I just can’t answer them all. There are so many author requests, the majority of them self-pubs (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), I just don’t have time to answer them all. As for the publishers, yes, I want to maintain a strong relationship with them so I do respond, especially because a “no” helps them refine the requests they send out to me.
    Mary @ BookSwarm recently posted..Random Bookish ThoughtsMy Profile

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  7. I used to reply to each email when I first started blogging, too, but it’s just not possible now. Plus it makes me feel guilty to have to say no about 10 times a day, but with so much to read, it’s a challenge accepting ANY books for review. I will be honest and say I treat publisher emails a little differently too. Most of the time this is because I have spoken to the publicists behind them directly and know that mass emails are the only option for them most of the time. It doesn’t bother me nearly as much then. Great post, Danny!
    Sam @ Realm of Fiction recently posted..Mini-Reviews: Requiem by Lauren Oliver + Vengeance Bound by Justina IrelandMy Profile

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  8. I also ignore author requests, when I’m not interested. If they’ve read my review policy, it says any request without a reply within so many business days should be treated as a respectful decline – I don’t have time to investigate all the books I am sent from authors, on top of everything else. And really, if the author can’t take the time to address me specifically, then why would I take the time to look into their book? It’s going to take me much longer to read and review their book than it did for them to track down my name.

    As for publishers, I’ll let you know when/if I start working with them! Lol
    Kelly recently posted..ARC Book Review: 17 & GoneMy Profile

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  9. I don’t do book reviews for novels. I review books that deal with the craft of writing and promotion. I have been approached by publicists and when it’s a topic I’m interested in, I will review the book. Bloggers have also approached me about reviewing their books or participating in a cover reveal. I now have a strict policy. I only do cover reveals if the author writes a post dealing with some aspect of writing or publishing. So far, everyone has been excited about this policy and I’ve received some great posts.

    I have told two people so far I couldn’t participate. Actually for one I didn’t respond to her email. It was an impersonal email that told me to check out her link and sign up to be in her blog tour. The second one asked me to participate in her blog tour. I’m not a fan of blog tours that hit the same circle of writers. It gets tiring. I told her if she wanted to write a industry related post then I would publish it month after the tour ended, to help remind people of her book. I received a rejection. I guess she didn’t want anyone to be reminded about the book once everyone had forgotten about it. Oh well!
    Stina Lindenblatt recently posted..Notes of InspirationMy Profile

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  10. Much the same for me. I use to be super excited that I had ended up on some mass email asking me to review this or that. But pretty soon it became apparent that the author(s) had not checked out my blog. So, I started getting more picky about what review books I said yes to, and I became a happier reviewer reading in general, things I enjoyed.
    nrlymrtl recently posted..Troublesome Neighbors by M. K. TheodoratusMy Profile

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  11. I do reply to publisher/publicist requests whether I am accepting books or reviews or not. I also still work with authors I have already worked with before. But even though my review policy says I am not taking review requests people still ask all the time, and I still accept. I am a sucker for helping authors. This puts me in major guilt mode for all the reviews in my kindle that I haven’t reviewed. I generally respond to all emails because I don’t get that many, a few a week. And because when I ignore them, they email me again sometimes. So I reply so they stop emailing me.
    Can someone teach me how to say “NO”????
    hrose2931 recently posted..Mind Games by Kiersten White ReviewMy Profile

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  12. For the first part, I handle it exactly like you do. I get SO many that clearly did not read my review policy, and most of them are blatantly outside of my genres. I don’t even bother answering because I feel like: If they want me to invest time in their book, they should be investing time in my blog. At least spell my name right for crying out loud, it’s plastered all over my site!

    As for the second part, I haven’t had that problem yet. I’ve only had a pub come to me once, and that was for Days of Blood and Starlight – no WAY was I denying that haha ;D
    Thanks for the advice about declining publishers!
    Jessi @ Auntie Spinelli Reads recently posted..Follow Friday (51) + AN IMPORTANT UPDATEMy Profile

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  13. Awesome post!! I think I’m quite similar. For the most part I ignore all review requests that I’m not interested in. But occasionally if someone sends a really nice e-mail (even if they clearly didn’t read my review policy, which states I’m not accepting requests right now), then I might reply back. I guess it depends on how guilty their e-mail makes me feel LOL!
    Ashley recently posted..Stacking the Shelves (44)My Profile

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  14. For me it depends upon the book being offered. If I’m not interested, I just say so, but will offer to do a guest post for them or something so they can still have some exposure. If the book sounds interesting, I remind them that it may be a very long time before I can actually read it, but if they have a tour or some sort of promotion I’ll try to fit it in around them. If they’re cool with that, I’ll accept it.

    I had a weird situation last year where a guy offered me a book in which I was not interested, but I noticed I had another of his books on my wishlist, so I wrote back to say I wasn’t interested in the one he had offered, but I was interested in X; would he consider having me review it instead? He said he didn’t want more reviews for that one, he wanted reviews for the other and would I reconsider. I again said I wasn’t interested in that book, and besides, even if I was, he had a time constraint and I could not guarantee I could do it in that time frame. At which point he wrote back and basically accused me of trying to get a free read from him when I had no intention of reviewing it. ?? Umm … okay, it doesn’t work that way when YOU are the one contacting ME and I had made a huge point of telling you about my backlog… *shakes head*

    Anyway, yes, honesty is always the best policy!
    Katy recently posted..Review: Dragon MoundMy Profile

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  15. I try to respond to all requests even if it’s just a brief “I’m sorry, I can’t accept anything else at the moment.”. Once in awhile the email gets buried though since I don’t respond to all emails on the weekend and then I guess I don’t reply. If a request comes from a publisher and it’s a book I’m not at all interested in and is outside any genre I read then I ignore it.

    Danny, I emailed you about the Dead Silence tour. I need to confirm your date (and get your guest post subject), so please check your spam folder. Thanks!
    Candace recently posted..Middle Grade Review: Cake: Love, Chickens, and a Taste of Peculiar by Joyce MagninMy Profile

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  16. I just got a review request from an author, and my Review Policy says I don’t read and review self-published works. At first I felt bad about declining her request, but I knew I had to stick by my policy and I knew I wouldn’t enjoy her book. Honesty is defintely key, and I told her right away that I couldn’t read her book because of my review policy. Great post!
    Janita @ Book, Interrupted recently posted..Review Time! The BaneMy Profile

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  17. 99.8% of my review requests are self published authors and I clearly state in my review policy that I don’t accept self published works now. Most of them don’t bother to read anything, just wanna throw themselves at you and when you review their book and it’s not the response they want they get all psychotic on you. It’s ridiculous.

    I”m a published works kind of girl and that’s all I will accept and it’s not to be mean or anything, but for books, I look into the books before I read them, cover art, synopsis, reviews, good and bad.

    But to answer the question. I won’t reply at all. If they can’t read my few paragraph’s that would take 2 minutes tops, then why should I take the time to reply to them, plus I get way too many and that takes up too much of my time as it is.
    Mariya @ Mystifying Paranormal Reviews recently posted..Cover Reveal: Cold Blooded by Amanda CarlsonMy Profile

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  18. I agree you can’t respond to all of them. If its an indie author I don’t respond if I’m not interested. (when you respond it saves them automatically in my google contacts and I HATE that). But even with publisher requests if I can tell its a mass email (because its not from one of the contacts I frequently work with) and Im just another BCC of the people on the list – I don’t respond with a decline, I just don’t respond. If its from a contact to me directly then I’ll respond.
    pabkins recently posted..Review: Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne BishopMy Profile

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