Monday, April 16, 2012

Book Blogger Confessions #6

Book Blogger Confessions is a new meme hosted by All-Consuming Books and For What It's Worth. You can find out all about it here

Every second week there is one topic that has something to do with book-blogging that you can discuss on your blog.

This week's topic is: Review/Guest post requests: Do you have a review request policy? Has it changed over time? How do you handle requests that don’t meet your criteria? In the past, what types of "pitches" have caught your attention? Are there any (non-specific) examples of requests that are off-putting to you as a blogger?

When I first started blogging, I didn't even know publishers and authors send bloggers books for review, so I was surprised when I started getting review requests a few months after I started blogging. I thought that was awesome, so I put up a review policy and got excited each time I got a review request. None of them really worked out, though - I live in Germany and don't like ebooks, and authors and publishers usually back out once they know that. Also, most review requests I got were for books I wouldn't normally be interested in.

In between the bad, though, there have been some really sweet review requests. The first review copy I got was for Loving Emily by Anne Pfeffer, and I still remember Anne and me emailing back and forth - she was so friendly and sweet about all of it! Requests like that make me happy to be a book blogger.

But still, after a while, I got tired of having to decline request after request because they didn't fit the genres I read, and of having to tell an author/publisher over and over again that I live in Germany and don't accept ebooks - even though it says all of that in my review policy. So I just deleted the review policy and now I have up on my blog that I'm not accepting books for review. 

I'm getting a lot less review requests now, and the ones I do get, I don't feel guilty about not responding to - if an author or publisher doesn't take the time to read that I'm not accepting books for review, I won't take the time to respond. That means I'm not getting review copies, but since I wouldn't be getting many anyways, I think it's worth it - I used to spend way too much time responding to all the review requests I got, even though authors/publishers clearly hadn't read my review policy. 

So that's my personaly history with review requests. That probably isn't all that interesting to other bloggers - sorry for rambling! But, in general, I think it's important for review requests to be polite and to the point. I can't stand rude requests that assume that just by sending a blogger a review request, they will be getting a positive review, and requests that ramble on and on about something irrelevant to the request are annoying, too. And most importantly, review requests need to show you've actually taken the time to look at the blogger's blog and review policy - if you're sending a request for a book in a genre the blogger doesn't review, what's the point? And from a blogger's point of view, I think it's important to be polite and professional in responding to review requests that are polite and professional, too - if they're not, I don't think it's a problem to just ignore the request and not respond.

So those are my, somewhat rambly, thoughts on review requests. What do you think?


  1. Not looking at your review policy is a major mistake. It just wastes time for everyone.
    I can't believe you still got all those requests that didn't work for you when it was stated in your policy. :-(
    I try to respond to each request but if it's something that blatantly ignores my policy then I don't bother. 

  2. I agree, not reading your review policy, or the fact that you are not accepting review requests, really is annoying. Why spend the time mailing out a generic "read my book" email if you know the person at the other end is *not* going to read it! I also agree that polite and professional is the way to go when responding to review requests but I also have ignored the occasional rude, or pushy request.

    Bonnie @

  3. Awesome answer! I live in Europe too and feel so awkward when an author offers me a print book and it's clear they don't know I don't live in the US (even though it says it right there in my policy.)

  4. As a fellow 'International' book blogger, I get you!  I'm OK with e-books however, so I get quite a few requests.

    But I really hate when people don't read your policy before contacting you - it doesn't take long to read a few points!

  5. I was amazed when I got my first review request. I couldn't believe it! Now, I get tons of requests and more than half of them I decline or just ignore because they are for genres that I do not read. I recently created a review policy and am hoping that that cuts down on the requests for genres I don't read.

    I love when the request comes from the author themselves. I've developed some nice relationships with these authors and even with some of the publishers/publicists. It's nice when they take the time to get to know you. Those generic requests annoy me and I usually just ignore them.

  6. totally agree with about requests and from authors. I do try and respond back when they have taken the time to look over about the blog. 

  7. I have a review policy, but most of the times, I get requests about books I cleary state I won't read.. But they are mostly from authors who seems to send the same email to every blogger they come across. Most of the time, I try to reply, but sometimes I just delete the mail..


Please leave a comment - I love to hear what you think!

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