The following originally appeared on Diantha-Jones.com and is posted here with permission.
As an author and a book blogger, I feel this is a subject that I can speak on. The number of inconsiderate authors out there in literary-land amazes me. Pardon my bluntness, but I am consistently appalled by the number of stupid ass review requests I get on a pretty regular basis. And with each one, I get more and more pissed off.
I received an email a few months ago that went a lil’ something like this:
Subject: Review request
<some stupid link>
Dead serious. I was like,
This person can’t be for real. I’m pretty sure they were though. But as you see, they didn’t tell me the title of their book or anything. They didn’t even tell me their freaking name! Of course, I didn’t even bother to respond to this idiot.
A while back, an author hit me up for a review request on my freaking author blog! Not my book blog! My personal author website!
Dear Author Person,
If you are reading this post, you know I’m not gonna respond to that shit, right?
First off, nowhere on my author blog does it say I’m accepting review requests. Mind you, I did used to do reviews on my author site, but it’s been a year since I’ve even posted one. I don’t have a policy posted or anything. I’m really trying to understand why the author thought it was okay to hit me up on my author site. It’s so not.
So here are a five things you authors out there can (and better) do if you don’t want to piss me or any other book blogger off with your stupid little requests.
1) READ, COMPREHEND and FOLLOW the blogger’s freaking review policy.
Every (smart) book blogger has one. Some are kind of general, leaving you a little wiggle room to form your request the way you want to. That doesn’t mean send them some vague crap email that forces them to laugh heartlessly at you before clicking that little trash can button.
If the blogger leaves you more specific instructions in their policy, do every damn thing they said do. If they said, attach the book cover of the book you’re requesting a review for, DO IT. If they say, attach the first chapter to your email, then they better see one of those little paper clip thingys on the email in their inbox. If they ask you to tell them why you (as the author) think they would like your book, get to typing and tell them why. If you can’t sell yourself to a book blogger in a couple of sentences, then you probably won’t sell them on your book in 200+ pages.
2) GREET THE BLOGGER BY NAME and INTRODUCE YOURSELF
Don’t be like the idiot mentioned above and just say “Hello you”. After you greet the blogger by name, the next line should start with “My name is *bloop” and I’m the author of *blah, blah”. You would think most people wouldn’t have to be told this, but alas, such is not the case.
3) DO NOT SEND YOUR BOOK UNLESS THE BLOGGER SAYS “YES!”
Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT just up and send your book to a blogger who did not 1) receive a review request from you and/or 2) did not accept your book for review even if a request was sent. Unless it specifically states in the policy that it is okay for you to go ahead and send your book to them, don’t do it. It’s simple. Don’t.
And another thing. If a reviewer says they are not currently accepting requests, THEY ARE NOT CURRENTLY ACCEPTING REQUESTS. Don't be a pushy wanker. Patience is a virtue.
4) DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT TRYING TO DICTATE HOW A BLOGGER WRITES THEIR REVIEW
You heard right. It’s not your review, it’s theirs. 99 percent of book bloggers work for free. They are doing YOU a favor. Do not get it in your mind that just because it’s your book they’re reviewing that the review somehow belongs to you, too. Sorry, sweethearts. It does not.
The worst thing you can do is try to tell a reviewer how to write their review. And don’t you dare try to tell them to change a review or a rating they posted just because you don’t like it! *Sniggles* No one cares if you don’t like it. It’s THEIR OPINION. If you want all five star reviews for your book, then put in requests to your family at the reunion.
Look, honey. The shit is gonna happen. Best get that in your head right now. Not everyone is going to like your book! If you get a bad review, suck it up and keep it moving. Take it as a learning experience. Believe it or not, there’s probably a lot of truth in that review, and chances are, they’re not saying anything that hasn’t been said before. If they (bloggers, in general) say the editing/formatting sucks, it probably does. If they say your characters are shallow and boring, they probably are. If they say the plot drags ass and they had to force themselves to keep reading, they most likely did.
Doesn’t mean you go out and trash their name in the virtual streets of Literaryville!
Damn right. If you think you're going to trash a reviewer and get away with it, you won't. The other bloggers will most likely descend down upon you with the wrath of the Titans and wipe you off the face of the Internet. They will destroy you. I’ve seen them do it. This is a COMMUNITY. Book bloggers don’t just support authors, they support each other, too.
Personally, most of them scare me. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
So, there you have it. Five ways to not end up being the pariah of the book blogging community. Sure, there are about a million other things that you can do, too. Like join that reviewer’s blog and be an active participant on it, but we'll save that for the next rant.
Oh, and check out the next post in this series here.
Oh, and check out the next post in this series here.