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Monday, August 14, 2017

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Nine Ways to Getting Review Requests Ignored by Book Bloggers (With a Few Horror Stories)

Every so often I see posts from fellow bloggers telling the dos and donts of sending review requests (you'd think the amount of the posts will somehow drill it into everyone).

I typically receive about one or two review requests a day, but after one too many of the wrong kinds of requests, I think it’s time for me to make one as well with a few horror stories attached to it (things can get a little scary).

My name is Sophia, not Whatchamacallit, and I blog with two others whose names are also not Whatchamacallit.

We deal with this a lot, but it happens to me more often than the others since all the earlier databases have me and only me and not the others here. My name is not “Blogger” or “Admin,” it is Sophia, and it is, quite frankly, all over the blog.

Lupe's and Anelise's names are also all on the blog (maybe less of Lupe since she’s in the lovely slump, but she’s still there, alive and well in her fabulousness).

This also means we should not be resorted to our email addresses as our names.

We don’t have anyone named Jane Doe. Seriously.

We once got a request addressed to some other blogger name that does not blog over here, and the snarky side of me tells the others that we have a ghost here on the blog. (If we do, they're slacking big time, and the three of us aren't too happy with them.)
Gotta have a little fun sometimes, right?


I wasn't aware that I read smut, but okay.

Every blogger will tell you the best way to get a blogger to read your book is to read their review policy before contacting. 99.9% of the bloggers out there have a review policy. It states if they're accepting requests, what their preferences are, what they can do for you, miscellaneous yet important yet important notes to take into consideration, etc.

95% of the requests that I get nowadays are from the following genres and age groups:
  • Picture books
  • Children's 
  • Adult Espionage
  • Adult Fantasy
  • Adult Mystery
  • Adult Thriller
  • SMUTTT
100% of the list have one thing in common: NOT accepted (adult being case by case and by the reviewer).

It seems like once I reached the age of 18 and started adulting a little, I started getting erotica requests.

How about no.

“I wrote this book, and I've attached a copy of it for you to read and review.” No prior email, a heads up, or connection beforehand.

I don't like the feeling of being forced into things, so no thanks.

I also don't like the thought of a virus getting into my little laptop, so no.

AND 99.9% of the books that are unsolicited aren't up my alley, so definitely no. (I say 99.9% because one author has done it, but 1) I've read their books and enjoyed it, 2) I would've accepted the request anyway, and 3) I got a heads up from them.)

“Can you read and review my book?” No title mentioned. No links included.

Let me tell you some information about myself, folks. I am a full-time college student working two jobs, and when I am not in school, I work six days a week. Three of those days are 10-11 hours. I pay all the bills, including my rent and college tuition. During the school year, I work five days a week, two of which are 10-11 hours.

Does that blow anyone's mind? I'm also 19, almost 20. Here's more:

I blog here at Bookwyrming Thoughts on a full-time basis (technically speaking), but I am also a contributing writer (although I don't always have time to take on more than a few articles) at Stay Bookish Zine. I am also a member of the marketing team, so I am one of the people who manage the Twitter account. Other than that, I am a contributor on The Arts STL and part of the social media team for Project Canvas, a book coming out early next year.

In a smaller format:
  • Two jobs
  • Full-time college student
  • One blog + social media
  • One website
  • One literary magazine + social media
  • One book + social media
  • Whatever free time I can get to do homework and all the things
Oh, and I'm probably going to add on an internship in the next few years. My hands are full, and I can't even put in as much dedication as I want to four of the bullet points mentioned.

When I get a request with no title, I don't even bother. I do NOT have time to search an author's name and play “whack a book” to find what book is referred.

“Shame”

Hi, my name is Sophia, and I volunteer my time to read and review books without compensation aside from a copy of the book and maybe the occasional gift card. Sometimes I don't respond because I live a hectic life.

I don't think a reviewer should feel shameful when they have a lot on their plate and say something along the lines of, “No, thank you for the request, but I am currently preoccupied with other commitments and will, therefore, have to decline your request. If the author you are representing would like a promotional post such as a guest post or interview instead, please let me know. Thanks!”

This isn't as bad as the last one on here, but rest assured I'll be screenshotting and asking if I'm not the only one who would interpret it as so. Please also be assured that you will never hear from me again, and if you're a publisher, we (my co-bloggers and I) will refuse to work with your authors and titles without directly saying so.

Oh, and the poor author’s guest post never got posted. I'm going to feel bad a little bit. Maybe 2% bad.
After that bad experience, I never respond to requests I've declined or have had a prior connection with them. You'll figure out that I'm not interested, move on, and there will be no bad blood exchanged in the process.

Hey, I Just Found You, and This is Crazy, But I Found Your Facebook, so Here's a Review Request!

I avoid explicit language but this is an exception
This happened to me recently, and to be honest, I am STILL creeped out by this. Please keep in mind this is NOT the Bookwyrming Thoughts page - this is my PERSONAL page. My Facebook is protected as much as possible - you can’t see my friends (only mutual), 95% of my posts, the school I go to, the other jobs I work, the city I live in, etc., etc. - but I cannot say the same for everyone else.

When something like this happens, I get worried. I freak out a little. I wonder, “If we’re sending requests through FB now, what’s the next level? Am I getting my IP address tracked as well, and I’m going to find some random person waiting for me at school or home or work?”

I know I seem paranoid, but this is NOT okay, and you’ll be lucky if I don’t hit that block button on you immediately and alert my co-bloggers of what happened (especially Lupe).
Now if I've “known” you for awhile, read and enjoyed one or more of your books, and you'd like to send a friend request, I am okay with this. But I am not okay with a random stranger. I get too many requests from perverts.
There are plenty of more, but this list is just a few things to avoid when sending a request to a book blogger, but the best way to get through to a blogger is taking some time to read their review policy.

Bloggers, any horror stories? Let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter @HannahSophiaLin.

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Sophia

Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.