Lola’s Rambings is a feature on Lola’s Review where I talk about me. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like blog tours, book blitzes, cover reveals or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are are personal discussions of a certain topic. Sometimes about book related topics and sometimes about non-book related topics. This feature was previously known as About Me. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Design.
For today’s topic I choose to talk about review requests and replying to them. I think every book blogger has received their fair share of review request. When I just started blogging I knew how excited I was when authors started contacting me asking to review their books and in most instances I said yes. Eventually I came to a point I realized I didn’t have to and didn’t want to review every book for which I got a review requests. I hate saying no, so I decided I would consider the book and if I wanted to review it I replied and if I didn’t I put the e-mail in a folder called blog and most likely I would never look at it again. Recently I changed my stance on this and I started replying to every review request I got. With this I mean all review requests I receive directly from an author.
First let me stay that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with not replying to review request and I don’t want to give anyone the idea that they should be replying to review requests. I merely want to explain why I never replied to them and why I decided to do now. I think everyone should decide for themselves what to do and I can understand both sides. This post is about my descision and why I made that descision.
What’s the norm?
If I look around on other blogs it seems not replying to review requests seems to be the norm. Most bloggers mention something like if I don’t reply within X days it probably means we aren’t interested. Some bloggers do promise a reply and some don’t mention anything about review requests and if they reply or not. I always thought it was normal to only reply to review requests you were interested in.
Why I never replied to review requests
I had lots of reasons why I didn’t reply to review requests and I will list those next.
- Takes too much time. Most book bloggers get a lot of review requests, most probably a lot more than I get. I think I get somewhere between 1-5 review requests a week, some weeks more then other’s but that’s the average. Still that are 5 e-mails that need replying. It takes time replying to e-mails and it seemed easy to decide to only reply to review requests I wanted to accept and don’t to the ones I didn’t want. It takes too much time to reply to every requests I get.
- Mass e-mail. Some authors send mass e-mails and it always seemed that if they didn’t take the time and effort to send me a personalized e-mail, why should I do the effort of replying to their e-mail? I always felt a bit bad when I received a mass e-mail as it doesn’t feel personalized.
- I dislike saying no. I have a strong dislike to saying no, I like to think of myself of a nice person and that doesn’t mesh with saying no. I feel uncomfortable having to say no and I feel bad saying no to a review request as I am sure the author has put a lot of time and effort in the book and it may even be a nice book, but not for me. And the easiest way to avoid saying no is not to reply at all.
- Don’t want to hurt the author. I feel like saying no is bad thing and I might even hurt the author, which is something I didn’t want to. So I thought that most authors probably think not hearing back from a reviewer is less bad then hearing back a no. So I would be sparing the author hurt by not replying.
- Forgot about it. I always sorta forget about review requests I don’t accept. To be honest this is not exactly fair, it’s more like I made the descision to forget about it, I know there are review requests I don’t accept and I decided to not think about them anymore. If I wasn’t going to accept the review request I add the e-mail to my blog e-mail folder and I never look at that. So while I don’t throw it away, I know for an email to go into that folder means I’ll probably never look at it again.
Why do I reply to review requests?
So what changed? I always considered that maybe once in the future I would start replying to review requests I wouldn’t accept. It wasn’t really a clearly cut plan, more of an idea that maybe I would once do that in the future. I always reply to all tour requests from authors on Lola’s Blog Tours even if the book isn’t a good fit for my company and I have to tell them no. So I always considered that replying to all requests was something I might do with Lola’s Reviews as well. We all know those ideas aren’t likely to get done ever, but something changed and I am still not exactly sure what. One day in end November I decided I was going to reply to ever review request I got and I did from then on.
I think my main reasons for this is that like I mentioned before I like to think of myself as a nice person and while I always thought not replying was the nice thing to do I wasn’t sure anymore. Maybe replying politely was even nicer? Saying no might be more helpfull for the author than ignoring those e-mails. I believed I was a nice person, but I did something that wasn’t nice in my opinion, so I decided to change my behavior and start replying to review requests.
Also the thought that some author is sitting somewere with an excel spreadsheet to keep track of their review requests and then waiting for a response till they finally decide I am not going to reply. That thought just hurt me, how long would they wait till they decided I wasn’t going to reply? How long did they keep hope I might? When I receive a review request I most likely decide that same day whether to accept it or not, why not communicate that to the author as well, so they wouldn’t be unsure of my descision?
Beside the reasons listed above I also realized I could come up with a counter argument for all those reasons I had for not replying to review requests. So here are my own counterarguments to my points made in the first heading.
- Takes too much time. It might take a lot of time for bloggers who get a lot of review requests, but for me it only takes a few minuets each week to reply to them and I think that’s worth it. Also the most effort and time goes into checking out the book and deciding whether I want to review it or not, spending another minute to actually reply to the author isn’t that much time and effort in comparison.
- Mass e-mail. Authors are busy and I can totally understand they don’t have time to e-mail every blogger individual. Sure I still prefer individual e-mails, but it’s certainly not realistic to expect that from every author. Authors are people too and they have limited time available and sending mass e-mails instead of individual e-mails spares a lot of time. Also even though they might not take time to send me a personal e-mail, doesn’t mean that’s an excuse for me to not reply either.
- I dislike saying no. Okay I still dislike saying no and I still feel bad every time I have to decline a review request, but I can try to say no in a polite way. I prefer to know what to expect over uncertainty, so maybe authors feel the same.
- Don’t want to hurt the author. I think authors learn to deal with rejection in their writing career and I can only hope replying to them with a polite no hurts them less than not receiving any reply at all.
- Forgot about it. This never was a good reason to begin with as I decided to forget about those review requests. I simply keep review request in my inbox until I replied to them now, making the descision not to forget about them.
How do authors reply when you reply to a review request you don’t accept?
There are authors who don’t reply ofcourse, I mean what can they say? But I also had some authors reply who were happy for the quick repsonse and knowing I didn’t accept the review request. I never expected to actually get positive reactions from the authors when I told them no. And knowing that it helps some authors makes me feel better as well. All in all I feel happy to have changed my behavior and decided to start replying to review requests, it might be a small thing, but it still makes me feel better and I hope it helps those authors to know for sure I don’t accept their review requests.
I’m pretty much like you…I HATE saying no. But when I started blogging it was just ajfdklsafds they asked me to review their book!! Cue wild dances. Anyway. That soon changed. I’ve had a “no review request” policy on my blog for about 2 years now. I don’t like saying no! And I refuse to work directly with an author. Because what if I hate the book?!! Saying NO is bad enough without sending back a sucky review that they will have to click on. *hides in the corner* But I did use to reply to them with a “sorry, I don’t have time/room” since I felt that was generic and not too offensive. I hope!
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I can remember when I first started blogging and was so excited someone wanted me to read and review their book that I accepted almost everything.
A no review request policy is a good solution for not wantitng to say no, but I couldn’t do that, because then I am thinking about all thsoe greta books I might out on and I can’t stand that thought.
And if you work with an authro directly sending a bad or DNF review is the worst. It’s such a difficult situation and hard to deal with.
I think a generic reply is still nice as at least the author knows what to expect then.
I am one of the people who often doesn’t reply. Thing is, right there in my submission requirements I say “no self published books.” Every request I have gotten so far has been for a self-published book. If you can’t take the time to read the damn requirements, then I can’t take time to write back to your (probably mass) email.
That being said, twice people have written me emails that were obviously from another human, with humor and with the obvious touch that they had looked through my website. I wrote back to those because I like mail from kind and humorous humans, and I am willing to give them a chance even if their book doesn’t fit our parameters.
So that is how I do it.
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I do think it’s very important as an author to read a review policy and if you say no self published books, I think the author shouldn’t sent you requests for those. Although sadly there are still authors who do that. I say no non-fiction in my review policy and still get a few requests for those as well.
Thanks for commenting and letting me know how you handle it 🙂
I actually do a bit of both things- not replying and replying. I also don’t always say no if a book truly interests me and I have the time to fit it in or the author is willing to wait indefinitely for a review.
My rule of thumb tends to be the more personal the email; the more likely I am to reply. Now that being said, my reply is just as often a politely worded ‘no thanks’. I always say (and mean it) that I’m honored they chose to contact me, but that I had managed to fill up my schedule so much that I can’t take even one more book for review. On a few occasions, it has been more of a ‘no because your book might be good, but its not a good fit for me and my tastes’.
There was one point when I’m pretty sure my name and contact information ended up on those lists that authors purchase to have reviewers to contact. This is not the author’s fault as they purchased the list in good faith so I was very gracious to each one who contacted me, but had a lot of no thanks replies to make.
The ones that get no reply are the mass emailings that are just the ‘I have a book needed a review and I’ve attached a copy along with my promo kit’. It’s presumptuous and I don’t reward presumption.
I get a handful a week so that is probably why individually replying isn’t too much an issue for me. I suppose if, like Shari our blog’s manager, who gets a few hundred emails a day then I probably wouldn’t be able to do more than pick and choose a few to reply to or not at all.
Guess it really depends on the individuals time situation.
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I have mentioned in my review polci that I am a mood reader and it sometimes can take a while before I review the book, but there’s still a limit. I recently read a book that I got for review about 3 years ago and I felt so bad readign it so late, but the author was really nice about it.
Just liek you I always thank them for their interest in Lola’s Reviews and I’ve had soem in whoms e-mail it was obvious they rea dmy review policy and then I add an extra line thanking them for reading my review policy.
Ah that’s annoyign when your e-mail ends up on such a list, I can’t imagien how many e-mail you must have gotten.
The attachign a book before I accept always rub me wrong as well. It’s rude or maybe from ignorance, but it’s hard to tell. I also think that authors should be polite as well. I once said no a reeview request and got an e-mail back asking if I might change my mind. That was weird.
And indeed it depends on your situation, for me it’s still manageable at this time, so I reply, but who knows what happens when that changes. Although I doubt I ever will be a very popular blogger, there’s still a limit on how much time you have in a day. So I might reply a few days later if I get lots of requests. Or copy and paste my e-mail.
I like to hear back from blogs if only to know that they received my request and it didn’t get lost in the system. I would rather get a rejection than nothing at all. Same went with agents when I was looking for an agent. And trust me, as authors we are sooooooo used to rejection. Rejected by our beta readers. Rejected by agents and publishers. Rejected by readers when they hate our books. Rejection from book bloggers was just another one to add to the pile 🙂 Lol. But we become hardened, so it’s not too bad. And like I said, a rejection is actually kind of nice, because we can mark those as “no” and move on.
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I agree, that’s an important reason as well. You never know if an e-mail has gotten lost or if the blogger wasn’t interested if you don’t get a reply. And I can totally see your point, if you hear no you can at least move on, even if rejection is never nice, it’s better then not getting a response at all. I once had an incident in high school where someone was angry at me, and instead of getting angry or explaining he ignored me for a full week. I then realized how much worse being ignored was then just hearing what was wrong.
And I am happy to hear a author’s perspective on this :). Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
Aww! You are a great person Lola, never doubt that! 😀 But I do agree with your point of view, sometimes it is healthy to say “No” (you wouldn’t want to end up like Jim Carrey in Yes Man :P) because you would not want to disappoint the authors by promising something you can’t deliver. Likewise, I was very excited when I first started blogging and accepted every request that was sent to me. Because I was afraid of hurting the authors by giving them a low rating, I somehow forced myself to finish the book (despite how much boring it was) and gave a not so honest review by finding the parts of the book that I do actually like. As a result, I had a pretty bad impression on books that I got off review requests, not to mention my TBR pile keeps piling up to the point that it became overwhelming! 2012 was a mess and I was not able to complete many datelines, that’s when I started to slowly shy away from blogging (plus University life is completely hectic, I was pretty much inactive throughout 2012-2014).
I did update my Reviewing Policy by stating how selective I would be when it comes to accepting reviewing requests, let’s just not let history repeats itself 😛 However, I do respond personally to the authors that approached me, declining their requests with such politeness that I even offered to help promote their books in my blog through guest posts, giveaways etc, things that do not require me to read and review them (just like you, I feel bad for rejecting them). But there was one period of time where I kept on receiving emails from a publisher representing authors and offering review requests, it looked pretty “scamming” but I was curious as to why they know my blog. So I decided to accept one of the requests that they offered by replying to them (I was pretty excited too), and the emails stopped ever since. Weird I would say.
Wow! I’ve written quite a lot! Sorry to put you through such a long essay 😛
Thanks for sharing Lola! It is a great post to read!
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I love comments, so no need to apologise :).
And thanks! Sometiems sayign no is necessary, but when you’re just starting blogging it can be hard indeed! I still remember how I exicted I was when I staretd receiving review requests, it’s like the best thign ever. It’s sad that you had to step back from bloggin for a bit, but at least you’re back now :).
I just read your review policy today, when I was writing the guest post for your blog. I think having a clear review policy is very important for both you as a blogger and authors who visit your blog and try to figure out whether to send you a review request.
That publisher you mentioned sounds scammy, maybe it was. I once had one of those weird review requests as well and then one day I replied to let them know I wanted to review a book and never heard from them again. Weird, and I wonder why replying to them made the e-mails stop. Maybe they are out to get your address?
Thansk for stopping by and commenting 🙂
That sounds pretty scary! But it really piqued my interest as to how they got to know what my blog is about and I was impressed that they even took the time to construct a whole page long of email 😛 Oh well, I’ve never heard from them ever since and it’s best if they stop sending me fake emails, some blurbs seemed really interesting!
Yes! I’m back!! Blogging fulfils me emotionally because it kept me busy instead of moping around all night and thinking about sad things that happened throughout the day.
I do agree with you 😛 After my updated policy, I no longer receive any review request (except for one, I guess, hahaha!) and I would often go on Netgalley to “shop” for my books instead, I have to say it gives me more control over what kind of books I am reading although it sucks sometimes when I got rejected.
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Or maybe they just changed their methods of sending e-mails or changed their list of e-mail adresses, who knows. I am glad they stopped sending you e-mails.
I am really happy I found blogging as well. It’s so fun to meet like minded people who also love reading and with whom I can talk about books and reading as I hardly know any readers in real life.
I always dislike it when I get rejected on netgalley, although there is one good thign about it namely not adding more books to your to-read pile. I still love receiving review requests although I hardly accept them, but there are some authors whoms books I love and eveyr time they have a new book out I read and review it, that’s nice.
Thats smart. If I did reviews I would probably want to say yes to everyone too but your right, you don’t have too.
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After a while of receiving review requests you just get to a point where you have to say no to soem authors, even though it’s hard.
I have a place on my blog where it says that I cannot respond to review requests, and that if someone sends me an e-mail it won’t be answered. In the same place, I state that I don’t have time for more ARCs because I have a back-log both of ARCs and owned books, and that’s it.
I can understand that some authors just search out bloggers that seem to read books in the genre they write in, and that it is tempting to send us e-mails about books they’d like us to review, but because I don’t have time to accept review books that are unsolicited, I don’t want to take the time to write back, either.
I think you’re really brave for writing back to everyone, Lola. I hope those you say no to are graceful if they respond to you at all!
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I do think that as long as you state that clearly on your blog it works too, you still let the author knwo what to expect as logn as they read your policy. I basically had no mention of it in my review policy and sorta wnated to reply to all request, but never did. I think it’s all about managing expectations and as logn as you handle it by replying or by making it clear in your review policy it works as you let authors no what to expect.
In your case you probably don’t check out and read the e-mails either, I guess that’s different. For me I already put so much time in checking out the book and deciding whether to accept or not that I thought replying wasn’t a big effort more.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting! And so far most authros who did respond to me after I told them no where gracefull indeed.
I love hearing back whether or not my book can be reviewed, however, I completely understand that bloggers are people too and can get overwhelmed with requests! I check policies and some just state that if you don’t hear back by x time, your request has not been accepted. On the flip side, while I understand as well reviews take time, it’s nice to have a timeline and allow a follow up maybe a month after in case it got lost in the pile. I’ve known that to happen too and the bloggers appreciate it. Also, if the book is a DNF, kindly let the author know so we’re not wondering 😉
Book bloggers take a lot out of their schedule to review books and it’s wonderful all you do. You do such a service to readers, and while it would be awesome to have responses to everything, it’s your business, and you call the shots 🙂
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I agree if a blogger neatly states in their policy that if you don’t hear back by X time it has not been accepted that’s nice as well. Because in that case you still know what to expect and I think that’s most important to give authors an idea of what to expect.
And I also think that with DNF’s you still have to let the author know, although for reviewers those e-mails are the hardest. I hate letting an author know I DNF’d a book. I wish I could like each book.
Like you, I don’t get lots of review requests. I used to before I changed my review policy page. The first month I started my blog, I had something like 8-10 authors request me to review their books! It boggled me since I was just starting out, but I figured they’d stumbled across me somehow and had just added my e-mail to their list of blogs to try.
I do reply to every request, even if I’m saying no. And I hate to tell people no, but lots of the books I can tell just from the description, that I’m not going to like. Better to tell the author no, than yes and give the book 2 stars or less because it didn’t fit me.
All the authors I’ve said no to, have responded thanking me for my time and for getting back to them. So I was thinking that it wasn’t ‘normal’ for other reviewers to respond if they weren’t interested. But since I have the time, I figured it was the polite thing to do. That said, I don’t get more than 3-4 requests a week right now, so it isn’t hard to get back to them. I imagine if I got as many as some of the bigger blogs do, it would be too much hassle, or I’d have to do a form letter and just copy/paste.
I agree it’s better to say no then to force yourself to read it and then end up not liking it. When I first started blogging every request sounded good, but nowadays I am mroe picky and I agree from the blurb alone you often already can tell whether it’s a book for you or not.
Just like you I noticed that most authors are really thankfull when they hear back even it’s a no. I sometiems do the copy and paste thign or use approximately the same wording, but at leats they still get a response.
Yes, I reply to all requests from authors, although I take some time to answer to some requests. Sometimes I get the email while I’m at work and I’m so busy so I don’t get to reply right away. Sometimes I take my time to think if I really want to read/review the book.
There was one instance when I declined and the author said, “well maybe you just don’t really like middle grade fiction anyway” and I was like… whuuut. But I let it go. There were others who tried to insist, others who didn’t reply, and others who just thanked me. It’s an ongoing experience 🙂
The ones I hate saying no to are the publishers, especially the big league ones! But I did say no to a couple here and there. I just can’t make myself read books I’m really not interested in reading.
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Like you I don’t always reply right away, but I usually try to reply within at least a week, but most often I reply the somewhere in the next day. Sometimes it’s good to take the time to consider a request. Although there are also some where I know immediately if I am going to say yes or no.
I have had one instance where the author replied asking if I would change my mind, that was weird. I haven’t received requests from the big publishers yet, but I can imagine that might be even more difficult.
In the beginning I replied to all of them but after a few why and the publisher classified it M/M but it really isn’t I decided it was better to only reply if I had an interest. I get 25 to 50 request a week and hundreds of requests for blasts even if my policy states I don’t do them. I do read through them all.
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Wo I can’t imagine getting that many requests, then readign them all is really goign to take some time. I usually just reply with a general I don’t think this is a book for me as I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feeling and while it might not be a book for me, it might work for someone else. I usually don’t repsond to tour requests either and usually with those it’s the case that you have to take action if you want to participate and not if you don’t.
Oh, goodness, this has always been such a huge struggle for me! I feel SO BAD saying no to review requests. Like you, when I first started blogging, I was saying yes to literally ANY book that was offered. Well, my tune changed when I realized that instead of saying no in the first place, I now had to give these books bad reviews, which was WAY worse. So I decided I’d start saying no… except I never did.
I would open the email, look the book up on Goodreads, and then tell myself I was going to “think about it” (let’s be clear, there was not a chance I would actually be saying yes, but I was telling myself there was!). I would star the email, mark it as unread, I really did have intentions of responding… until it was like, 4 months later and I stumbled upon the email! So now, even though my intentions may be to respond, I usually don’t. Fine, I never do, unless I am interested (which I usually am not). I am really going to try to take your approach and write back though, even if it is hard for me. Because really, it has to be ten times harder on the author who put themselves out there to ask! GREAT topic!
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Yes it’s a difficult situation and indeed e-mailing an author with a bad review might be even worse than saying no in the first place.
I used to do the same, telling myself I was going to think about it, while it was obvious it was a no. Saying no ishard, but I think it’s a big help to the author knowing what to expect. For me it really helped that once I started replying even when I wasn’t interested all the authors seemed to resposn positvely and they seemed glad I replied even though I wans’t interested. And I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for the author who puts themselves out there.
I don’t like saying no and I don’t like emailing the authors to say so-but I do it anyway. I got one today telling me it would be the best book I ever read and that got my back up so I forced myself to give a polite no! I also get annoyed by requests that clearly don’t fit the genres I read and I have to force myself to reply nicely!
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Sometimes it’s hard to stay polite when you get a review request like that whcih rubs your wrong, but I think saying a polite no is still the best course of action. It’s too bad not all authors take the time to read your review policy, although on the other hand I kinda get it as alot fo time and effort goes into marketing your book.
It depends. I use to always respond, whether it was a yes or a no. But now, my review policy page clearly says I’m not taking requests right now. It’s said that for about a year now, since I want to catch up on my own selection of books, and it’s taking awhile. So with that said, I’m less likely to respond to a request since if the author had actually read my policy, they’d know not to send the request in the first place! In fact, I just delete most of them without even reading. Why should I take time to read their e-mail, when they obviously didn’t take time to read my policy?
Although if it’s from a publicist/author I recognize, or worked with before, I assume I’m on a list of some sort and they haven’t read my updated policy page so I do reply to let them know I’m not taking requests.
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In that case I am thinking it should be obvious to the author that the answer is no as you state so in you review policy. So i am thinking that replying isn’t necessary in that case. For me replying is just a tiny bit more effort as I already read the e-mails and research the books.
great points and counter arguments!
I only reply to requests addressed specifically to me. I take it that the author took the time to not only read my policies, but also check out the kind of books that I like to feature. That means that he or she took into consideration my reading taste therefore he or she deserves at least a reply from me.
Mass emails are so impersonable and at times annoying too! It’s hard to scroll down a long list of reciepients to get to the body because the author didn’t use BCC.
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Sounds reasonable! Just like you I also dislike those mass e-mail or when they don’t use BCC.
I’m kind of picky as to which I reply to. If it’s clearly a mass email then I don’t, and if it doesn’t bother to give any information about the book other than the title (which has happened) then I don’t. But if it is personalised and clearly time’s gone into it then I do, even if it is to say no.
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I really appreciate it when an author has taken the tiem to check out my blog and persoanlize the e-mail, you really notice the difference in those e-mails.
Great post, I always wondered how other bloggers handle this!
I feel kind of bad not replying to review requests, but if it’s obvious someone hasn’t read my review policy then I don’t. I also hate being added to promo mailinglists without my consent.
I thought it would be ages until I’d get my first review request when I started blogging last August, but I got one one or two months later, so I made a review policy page because I figured if I don’t have one, I can’t blame people for not respecting it. Since I live in Germany and don’t really do ebooks, but mainly read in English, publishers would have to ship print copies, which is unnecessarily expensive for them, so I don’t really get review requests anymore. That’s completely fine with me though as I tend to want to choose my own books because I’m a terrible mood reader and I hate the pressure of having to read something.
If the review requests start up again, I’ll have to think about how to handle replies. I also hate saying no, but if someone actually took a look at my blog and emailed me personally, all the while respecting my review policy, I would reply. In any other case: probably not.
That’s half the fun of doing these posts, hearing how other people handles these things. That’s why I always word my topics like a question as I want to know how other people deal with this.
Just like you I dislike beign added to lists without consent, but sadly it still happens frequently. I think having a review policy is very important when you start bloggin, so authors know what you do and don’t accept. And just like you when I first started blogging I never expected to receive review requests so early.
I am also a mood reader and mention it in my review poliy in hopes of managing the expectations of authors. I actually just finished a book I got for review years ago. Even though it makes me feel bad, I feel worse when I am forcing myself to read a book I don’t want to read.
I live in the Netherlands, but I accept e-copies, so I still get quite some review requests although hardly any for print copies. I’ve only receive one or two print copies for review.
I am someone who replies to each and every review request, and have always done. Like you, I am someone who hates saying no so it isn’t necessarily easy in all cases, but I feel like if the author takes their time to request their book to my blog in particular, they should receive an answer! It doesn’t take me too much time either.
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I think it’s rgeat that you always have replied even though you hate saying no. And same here it’s dosn’t take as much time and the author still took tiem to contact me, so the least I can do is reply.
I’m really bad about replying to email (and comments!) in general, so I often just delete the email without replying. That especially goes if it’s a book outside my genres (which are listed right on my review policy), although I suppose those would be the easiest ones to say no to without hurt feelings. If I don’t read erotica, it’s the genre and not just that I don’t think *your* book doesn’t sound like something I want to read.
Right now I really need to stop taking review requests until I get caught up.
Jenna @ Rather Be Reading YA recently posted…Weekly Rewind: February 1-7
I am always surprised how many reviews everyone still receives for genres they list they don’t read. It seems like a small effort to read someone’s review policy. Although it is easy to decide whether to not accept those requests.
I keep considerign closing review requests, but I just don’t want to risk missing a great review request.
That is the problem I have too. I would still take requests from people I’ve worked with in the past, but I might miss something great from a newer author. But I need to do something, so I’ll have to think about what to do.
Jenna @ Rather Be Reading YA recently posted…Weekly Rewind: February 1-7
I hate that feeling that I might miss out on a great book, so I just keep stating I am open to review requests and deal with everything that comes with that descision. In the past few years I met some wonderfull authors through review requests, so I don’t want to close them completely.
I usually reply. 99.99% of the time it’s a no. Either they spell my name wrong or ask me about I have absolutely no interest in. Also I just don’t have time!!
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The majority of the review requests I get I reply with a no as wel, although I also accept them now and then. And I’ve found some great autors thanks to them sending me review requests.
Great post Lola! I used to always reply, but like you said, I hated saying no. And when I got told I was wrong, that I did want to read it, then it just become frustrating. But the reason I don’t reply to most review requests anymore is that I have clearly stated on my blog that I’m not taking new review requests. If they can’t respect that, then I don’t feel that I owe them anything. The exception is authors I’ve worked with before – I’m still taking their requests and 99% of the time, I also accept their books. But if I were still accepting review requests I think I would reply – I think I’d have a form letter that I sent saying no though – so I kept it from being too personal and taking a lot of my time. Love this post!
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I am actually surprised by how many people commented to say they also hate saying no. I only received one e-mail from ana uthro who tried to convince me to read his book after all and I agree that’s frustrating, no is no.
Also I think in the case where you aren’t accepting review requests the authors never should sent you one as it clearly states so in your policy and if they do send one it’s obvious it’s a no. And I agree that replying in such a case isn’t necessary.
I also have a sort of standard line I sent every time I say no, although I do add some things depending on the requests I got.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting 🙂
I reply to each and every review request I get.Even when I am not interested in it.If I am rejecting the request,I state why I am doing so-mostly I just say that I don’t read that genre-and politely decline it.
I didn’t do it when I first started to get them,but then I start to reconsider.What if they’re waiting for a reply?What if they’re hoping that I’ll accept.It’s better to notify them that I am not accepting their request,than making them wait for a positive reply.
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Totally agree with you, it’s better to politely decline then have the author wait and hope for a positive reply. I usually state that I don’t think it’s a book for me or sometimes another reason like how I think it’s too dark for me or something like that.
I try to reply and say no thank you if I’m not interested but I have agreed to review things in the past that I’m just not that interested in which is stupid. I don’t want to offend anyone. I think it’s really hard but I do try to only accept review copies that I am really really excited to read now and give a good reason when I don’t want to.
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I did the same as you when I just staretd blogging and agreed to review soem books I wans’t that interested in. I think every blogger makes that mistake a few times.
I find it hard to adequately explain why I won’t accept a review requests as most of the time I just don’t feel like reading that book without any specific reason.
Honestly, there are a lot of different factors whether or not I reply.
1. mass email. If its obvious, I ignore.
2. genre of a book I clearly don’t read. Obviously, they didn’t read my policy.This goes for ANYTHING that I state in my policy that is ignored.
3. If it’s an author, publisher/publicists I have worked with before, I always reply.
Those are my “general guidelines” but it just depends. LOL
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I find it interesting to see how different bloggers handle this. It always surprises me how many bloggers still receive review requests for genre they state they don’t accept. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
I did, at one time, reply to every single review request, Lola. But it became too much. I’d avoid email for days or weeks because I was so inundated. And that only compounded my problem. I don’t like saying no either but I had to draw the line. So there are some review requests I never responded to. But I did put a notice on my blog that says I’m not taking review requests at this time. So now I don’t feel too badly about not replying because they obviously didn’t read my review policies before they sent me a request. Great post, my dear.
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I think putting a message like that on your blog works fine. And indeed it can get a bit overwhelming, for me it’s still manageable as I don’t get as much requests and I feel like responding is a small effort after already checking out their book. But I can totally see your point as well, it shouldn’t start to feel like a chore and when you’re avoiding your e-mail because of it, it certainly becomes too much.
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How sweet are you!!! I think that is very nice of you to reply to the review requests Lola <3
We do not, and it is stated in our review policy that we only reply if we accept a book for review. I have one of those email folders that I stick them in too, and I do mean to sometimes go through them and send some replies, but I somehow just never seem find the time. I know I could make the time and if I was a better person I would but… I guess I'm a meanie, LOL
I think it's great to bring some attention to the topic though 🙂
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I think stating it clearly in your review policy is a good way to go, then the authors know what to expect. I never mentioned it in my review policy and then never replied and felt bad about it. A few other bloggers have mentioned they don’t accept review requests or their review policy states to whcih requests they accept and I think that totally works as well, it’s about managing expectations. Also I still receive few review requests so it doesn’t get too overhwelming.
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