Monday, February 18, 2019

Q & A #2 | I DECLINE BOOK REVIEW REQUESTS

Share Your Thoughts

I promised to be brutally honest with this post, so, here’s hoping this is not like opening a can of worms instead. I do believe that I have to tackle this subject now, than later. IT has to be said.


Part two, "I was wondering if you would be interested in reviewing my book?" 


REMEMBER, IT'S FREE.

Most book reviewers DO NOT make a living out of book blogging. We do it for FREE, out of love for books. I know I do, anyway. I blog because I want to share great books I’ve read, to give new/debut authors a chance, and to spread the joy of reading. I have a life and family on a regular mode of things, I blog on my spare time. And I, for one, also believe that time is a commodity, I value it, and so, sharing it is no small matter.


SYMBIOSIS.

I also believe that readers and authors share a symbiotic existence. Publishers and Book Publicists exist between that relationship, too, of course. Book review requests are usually emailed or forwarded through this blog’s contact form - by the author, publishing representative, or publicist. If I agree, they either give me the Netgalley or Edelweiss widget or simply send an electronic copy.
  • Often, I do agree when they comply with my Review Policy and requirements.
  • Sorry, I do not review self-help, textbooks, erotica, or anything with uncensored adult content.
  • I agree if they give me enough time before the release date. Mostly, it’s 4 to 6 months ahead of time. (Because reading takes time.)
  • I agree if I like the plot. That is why I always ask for the book blurb and the 1st chapter of the book.
  • I agree because some people know how to surprise me -like finding a book in my mailbox when I get home. Now, how can I turn that down, when they have been generous enough to post it to me? (Yes, international postage costs plenty.)


TRUST AND RESPECT.

Why I decline book review requests is not exactly the opposite of what I wrote above. There’s more to it. Remember that symbiotic existence? Well, essentially, there’s trust and respect involved in that. Over the years, I have trusted a lot of people in the book industry. A few of them (mostly authors) still reconnect with me, every now and then, which I highly appreciate. Some never bothered reconnecting after the first time, because I gave them a low rating. Very few reconnected because they took the review objectively. Most, are probably still busy after publishing their 7th book to reconnect.
  • I declined because I don’t have enough time. Often, if that happens, I offer a Book Spotlight or Guest Posting as alternatives.
  • I declined because they never cared about reading my Review Policy and requirements.
  • I declined because they don’t even know my name! If they went through my blog, they can’t miss it. Right? My name is not Louisa, Louisee, or Ms. Walker. One time, someone emailed me with the wrong addressee. I do understand the necessity for company generic emails that they copy and paste, but really, they have to proofread it first before sending.
  • I declined because details from their emails do not add up. Again, I review books for FREE; the least they could do is be honest with me. They do not have to make promises just to hook me in.
  • I never bother opening emails with headings like, “Book Review Opportunity” or “You’ve Been Chosen”.
  • I declined because it has been my long-standing rule never to accept books pitch through any social media platforms.
  • With regards to that, just because you follow me on my social media platforms, does not mean you get automatic approval. I’m sorry; it does not work that way.
  • And, that goes the same with anyone who got my email address from book review sites.


THE J. HARRIS ADVICE.

“Don't do it, kids. 
Don't work for free. 
Because out there in the real world,
what's free is considered worthless.”
– Joanne Harris


There are times I want to take Ms. Harris’ advice. Yet, for me, that will somehow make the book world smaller. And, I truly respect how much authors pour themselves into their work. So, let us make this symbiotic existence more harmonious and worthy. I am not a good book reviewer. Heck, half of the time, I don’t even know if I am doing it right. All I know is that I give my honest time with every book I read and that I am sincere with every review I write. To all the authors, publishers, and publicists whom I have worked with, I thank you for trusting me with your books. Godspeed everyone!


Q & A #1 | ADVANCE READER COPIES AND HOW TO GET THEM



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