Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Brief (Not Really) Administrative Note

I've added this to my review policy, but also wanted to include a post here as well.  I've been getting a ton of requests lately for promo posts, book blitzes, cover reveals, and the like.  To be frank, I'm just not interested in those sorts of posts.  I don't like to read them on other people's blogs and I'm not going to have them on my blog.  I post only reviews of books that I've read in their entirety.  So if I don't finish a book or never get a chance to read it, you won't see it reviewed here.  You also won't see any purely promotional posts.  So please, do not keep emailing me requests to reveal your cover or feature your trailer.  I'm sure it's all amazing, but that's just not where my site is headed.

A lot is going on in the book blogging community that may affect the way I accept review requests in the future, but for now, I'm still open to all review requests from traditionally-published authors, publishers, publicists, and media types.  I'm not currently accepting any requests from self-published authors and I don't typically accept e-book submissions.

I try to respond briefly to all review requests, even if I choose not to accept the book for review, because I appreciate the time and effort put into sending these out and the hopes the author has for the book.  That said, and you can find this a bazillion other places, but for your convenience:

Do Not:

  • Address the email to "Dear blogger", "Dear site manager", or "Dear {insert name of some other blogger you are mass emailing}.  My personal favorite comes from a publicist who regularly addresses emails "Dear Dexter" (Dexter being my dog).  I don't mind that one too much because they send me fabulous books, but it's just an example of how very off some emails are.
  • Forget to BCC the other names of bloggers you are mass emailing, ensuring that I see you have put no time or thought into who you're sending to
  • Send the entire book as an attachment
  • Forget to include pertinent information about the book, like its title (yes, that happened in an email yesterday), the author's name, and a brief summary of the book
Do:
  • Address the email to me by name or mention the name of my blog.  Bonus points (and a guaranteed reply and thoughtful consideration) are awarded to those who mention what they like about my blog and why they think it's a good for fit for this book in particular.  It doesn't have to be an essay, but if you say "I saw you reviewed X and enjoyed it, my book is similar", I'm much more likely to sit up and notice.
  • Include all of the information relevant to your book without sending me the entire text or its equivalent.  At the very least, include a title and author name with a link to the Amazon or Goodreads page.  I also like to see cover photos and publication information, but I can find those myself if you include a link.
  • Feel free to talk books to me, or to include something more personal.  I recently had an interaction with an author who pitched a book that, due to a family loss similar to the plot of the book, I wasn't ready to review yet.  She replied to tell me that my family and I are in her thoughts and it meant the world to me.  Her book is now on my TBR list, despite the fact that I couldn't read it at the time, because she showed that she thought of me as a person and not just a publicity machine.
And that's the crux of it.  With all the turmoil going on in the blogging world,  I guess I just feel the need to reiterate, as many bloggers are, that I'm not a publicity machine.  If I agree to accept your book for review, I'm not signing a contract.  My main goal is to tell other readers about books I read and whether or not I think they will enjoy those books.  I love giving amazing authors publicity, but that's not why I blog.  Please keep that in mind as you send me requests and I'll keep my reviews honest and focused on the books themselves and not on the authors.

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