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Apr 29, 2013

M.E. Monday RANT #32–How NOT to Piss off a Book Blogger


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As an author and a book blogger, I feel this is a subject that I can speak on. The number of inconsiderate authors out there in literary-land amazes me. Pardon my bluntness, but I am consistently appalled by the number of stupid ass review requests I get on a pretty regular basis. And with each one, I get more and more pissed off.

I received an email a couple of months ago that went a lil’ something like this:

Subject: Review request

Hi,

<some stupid link>

Thanks.

Dead serious. I was like,


This person can’t be for real. I’m pretty sure they were though.  But as you see, they didn’t tell me the title of their book or anything. They didn’t even tell me their freaking name! Of course, I didn’t even bother to respond to this idiot.

The other day, an author hit me up for a review request on my freaking author blog! Not my book blog! My personal author website! The site you're on right now!

Dear Author Person,

If you are reading this post, you know I’m not gonna respond to that shit, right?

First off, nowhere on my author blog does it say I’m accepting review requests. Mind you, I did used to do reviews on my author site, but it’s been months and months since I’ve even posted one. I don’t have a policy posted or anything. I’m really trying to understand why the author thought it was okay to hit me up on my author site. It’s so not.

It’s not.

So here are a five things you authors out there can (and better) do if you don’t want to piss me or any other book blogger off with your stupid little requests.




1) READ, COMPREHEND and FOLLOW the blogger’s freaking review policy.

Every (smart) book blogger has one. Some are kind of general, leaving you a little wiggle room to form your request the way you want to. That doesn’t mean send them some vague crap email that forces them to laugh heartlessly at you before clicking that little trash can button.

If the blogger leaves you more specific instructions in their policy, do every damn thing they said do. If they said, attach the book cover of the book you’re requesting a review for, DO IT. If they say, attach the first chapter to your email, then they better see one of those little paper clip thingys on the email in their inbox. If they ask you to tell them why you (as the author) think they would like your book, get to typing and tell them why. If you can’t sell yourself to a book blogger in a couple of sentences, then you probably won’t sell them on your book in 200+ pages.

Just saying.


2) GREET THE BLOGGER BY NAME and INTRODUCE YOURSELF

Don’t be like the idiot mentioned above and just say “Hello you”. After you greet the blogger by name, the next line should start with “My name is *bloop” and I’m the author of *blah, blah”. You would think most people wouldn’t have to be told this, but alas, such is not the case.


3) DO NOT SEND YOUR BOOK UNLESS THE BLOGGER SAYS “YES!”



Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT just up and send your book to a blogger who did not 1) receive a review request from you and/or 2) did not accept your book for review even if a request was sent. Unless it specifically states in the policy that it is okay for you to go ahead and send your book to them, don’t do it. It’s simple. Don’t.

And another thing. If a reviewer says they are not currently accepting requests, THEY ARE NOT CURRENTLY ACCEPTING REQUESTS. Don't be a pushy wanker. Patience is a virtue.


4) DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT TRYING TO DICTATE HOW A BLOGGER WRITES THEIR REVIEW

You heard right. It’s not your review, it’s theirs. 99 percent of book bloggers work for free. They are doing YOU a favor. Do not get it in your mind that just because it’s your book they’re reviewing that the review somehow belongs to you, too. Sorry, sweethearts. It does not. 

The worst thing you can do is try to tell a reviewer how to write their review. And don’t you dare try to tell them to change a review or a rating they posted just because you don’t like it! *Sniggles* No one cares if you don’t like it. It’s THEIR OPINION. If you want all five star reviews for your book, then put in requests to your family at the reunion.


5) NEVER, NEVER, NEVER PUBLICLY TRASH A BOOK BLOGGER THAT GAVE YOU A BAD REVIEW





Look, honey. The shit is gonna happen. Best get that in your head right now. Not everyone is going to like your book! If you get a bad review, suck it up and keep it moving. Take it as a learning experience. Believe it or not, there’s probably a lot of truth in that review, and chances are, they’re not saying anything that hasn’t been said before. If they (bloggers, in general) say the editing/formatting sucks, it probably does. If they say your characters are shallow and boring, they probably are. If they say the plot drags ass and they had to force themselves to keep reading, they most likely did.

Doesn’t mean you go out and trash their name in the virtual streets of Literaryville!



Damn right. If you think you're going to trash a reviewer and get away with it, you won't. The other bloggers will most likely descend down upon you with the wrath of the Titans and wipe you off the face of the Internet. They will destroy you. I’ve seen them do it. This is a COMMUNITY. Book bloggers don’t just support authors, they support each other, too. 

Personally, most of them scare me. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

So, there you have it. Five ways to not end up being the pariah of the book blogging community. Sure, there are about a million other things that you can do, too. Like join that reviewer’s blog and be an active participant on it, but we'll save that for the next rant.

Later.


Diantha

31 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Niina! Glad I could put a :D on your face!

      Delete
  2. Rant read and absorbed.

    Thankfully, I haven't had either experience. I do remember a couple of years ago when a less-than-grateful writer responded to a blogger over a review. That didn't end pleasantly. The writer eventually took her book down and disappeared for a while. I've learned not to respond to reviews no matter what. Not everybody's going to like or get my writing since reading taste is subjective.


    J.L. Campbell writes Jamaican Kid Lit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Never, ever respond negatively to reviews. It does nothing but create havoc. Indeed, reading is TOTALLY subjective, and I too, have learned to keep my mouth shut :D

      Thanks for stopping by J.L.!

      Delete
  3. THANK YOU! I was just talking about this the other day. I hate how pushy some authors can be. Plus I hate when I do except a review request and they say they'll send me a paperback then whine when I give them my Canadian address and they get all pissy like "I'm sorry you should have told us you were a non-USA based blogger" Hello. It says I live in Canada in my About me Section! Great post!!
    - Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Kimberly!

      I ALWAYS check a blogger's resident country before offering a hard copy. International shipping can be EXPENSIVE! So I understand the hesitation, but damn people, do your homework!

      Delete
    2. Hahaha ... happened to me before. Ironic isn't it, since authors want book bloggers to read THEIR BOOK yet don't take the time to READ the REVIEW POLICY :)

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  4. So agree with you on this post and I am a book blogger and everything you said has happened to me over the years. I had at the beginning of my review policy in BIG RED LETTERS, do not accept self published books and still I have hello booky, hello reviewer, and my name was at the top of my blog Krista Reads LOL the only reason I didn't accept self pubs was because I was put through the ringer by one. You are awesome and cut right to the point I sound direct everyone here before requesting a book! LOL Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for swinging through Krista!

      It's crazy! I know several bloggers who quit accepting self-pubbed books because some psycho-can't-write-worth-a-damn author went off on them. It really makes no sense! Sorry you had to go through that. And feel free to direct any and all idiots here at your convenience LOL

      Delete
  5. I had a review request the other day, and I kid you not, that greeted me as follows:

    Dear Radiant Shadows (Aaron's Wife),

    I just...how am I supposed to respond to that?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't. Just hit the trash can button LOL

      Delete
  6. The name of my site (and business) is eBook Review Gal. I've actually had emails that open with "Dear Sir"... seriously?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See? And then they wonder why rants like this exist. SMH.

      Delete
  7. I run an Indie (Self Pub) review site and I've had all of the above. I had one author say "Don't publish the review if it's under 3 stars"....Wait who's site is it? I've been pretty lucky so far in having decent books, but the one I'm reading now is...not good to say the least. This author is going to get irate, but it is what it is!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is why so many book bloggers stopped accepting Indies because they keep acting up! Guess this just means I'll have to keep ranting about it :D

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  8. This is all good advice. I've never submitted one of my books for review, but I've been thinking I should, and this will help

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Nigel. And yes, follow these tips CLOSELY *lol*

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  9. Haha! I have this rant in my head on a daily basis. I don't get it. I have it on my review policy that I am not taking anything till June and it never fails that I get a request that usually ends in I know that your not taking requests at this but...but nothing No means No. It makes me giggle and makes me frustrated at the same time. Thanking for writing what we all feel. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Liss! Yeah sometimes I get requests from people I've worked with before even when I'm not accepting requests and they'll ask me to help them out with things. Most of the time, I'm all in. But for the few stragglers who seemingly know how to write, but haven't quite learned how to READ, I usually just ignore them. ;)

      Delete
  10. I love this!

    I think the absolute worst authors to deal with are the ones who either send you their book with the request or send it anyway after you've said no, 'just in case you change your mind'. It puts the blogger under insane pressure and makes them feel really guilty if they have to say no.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Emily!

      You really shouldn't feel guilty about saying no. We can't take on every book request we receive and you have a right to say no. I don't usually feel any type of pressure to read any book that I either already rejected or never accepted in the first place. But that's just me and I know that every blogger doesn't feel that way.

      Delete
  11. You had me at the title! I want to give you a huge hug for writing this post! I have had my share of heartache in dealing with review requests. Don't get me wrong, I have a generally great time communicating with authors ... but honestly, some of the emails that I get (and don't respond to) treat book reviewers as their little publicity machines that can churn out positive reviews on demand. It's give and take, and there has to be plenty of respect for what each brings to the table!

    I would love to link this up in my review policy. Would that be ok with you? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure! Go for it :) Glad I can be of service.

      Delete
  12. This is great! I've had authors include my e-mail in a mass request. I like to be "courted" thank you very much! I've also had the "Hey here's my book, review it will you?" and it's not even a genre I read! I'd love to link this on my blog. Is that alright?

    Adria
    Adria's Romance Reviews

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  13. Oh the joys of editing other people's books and reviewing them. Last week, I received two books via email from persons who forgot to introduce themselves and didn't put their names in the manuscripts, and I presume expected me to know who riptardalex and greenjadeaton are (their email siggies) without real names attached to anything else asking me to EDIT their manuscripts. If you happen to be either of those people and don't want your name known, or anyone to know how stupid you are... Don't acknowledge here, and don't write me... Change your email account or wear the t-shirt! It's been a heck of a day, and by the way... I CHARGE for editing. Just saying... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that's some new shit. How can you send your manuscript for editing without a name...or THE DINERO???? Man, there are some stupid people who get to breathe.

      Delete
  14. Haha... I loved this! Well, the "Personally, most of them scare me. Be afraid. Be very afraid." -part is a bit exaggerated, right? Right? :) I do hope I don't scare anyone.

    Most of the review requests I receive are ok. I can tell that the author has read my review policy and took the time to figure out who I am and what my name is. Some of them even introduce a little something to let me know they visited my "About me" page and know what I look like or even what my favorite books are. I like that, so I generally say "yes" to these authors.

    But there were silly review requests where the authors overlooked the fact that I don't review the genre they write in, or they attached a review copy. Usually, I don't bother answering to those. Not even to offer them a book spotlight. Because, damn, if I said I don't review erotica, then I don't review erotica and I don't even want to display such a cover on my blog. The only erotica book I've reviewed on my blog is Fifty Shades, and I gave it 2 stars.

    But yeah... I just ignore those, send them to the trash can, and try not to get too mad about them. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely some exaggerating on my part :P

      I agree that most requests are fine. This was simply for the small percentage of authors who don't know how to act. Either because they don't know HOW they are supposed to conduct themselves or because they are idiots. Either or, they need to shape up!

      Delete
  15. Very true, and well written post. This is a subject that has been on my mind, and one I've tried to write a thousand times, for ages.

    I've been at this book blogging game for almost six years now, and the worst that's happened are requests that failed to address me (usually I just give them a polite no or automatic delete); one author that badgered me about reviewing his book even though I said no four or five times (after the second request I just spammed/auto-delete him); and then there are the ones that fail to read my review policy and try to get me to read ebooks which I don't read at all.

    At times, it can be frustrating. Yet, it also seems that sometime's the author(s) get too excited and forget the decorum that goes along with asking a reader/reviewer to feature their book.

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