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Saturday, March 15, 2014

What's so hard to understand about our review policy?



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I get review requests through email all the time. Most of the time these requests don't bother me—I don't even bat an eyelash. I can tell it's just a copy and paste sort of deal. The sender probably didn't even bother to look for a review policy. I usually ignore these, though if I'm in a generous mood, I may email them back, explaining our policy and directing them to the appropriate page on the site.

What baffles me is when people clearly have read our policy (I know because they say so in the correspondence), and they send a request anyway, usually stating some sort of ignorance about how our policy works.

Before I go any further, I will say this: our policy is quite unique.

A little history

When I first formed the Masquerade Crew in the summer of 2011, I had a small crew. In October of that year, we did Harry Potter month. Just about everyone on the original crew were Harry Potter fans, so it made a lot of sense, and it provided a lot of material to get us really going.

After that, the crew kind of fell apart. There were three of us or so that remained. One of the three was a voracious reader, so if you look at our earlier reviews, her name comes up most of the time.

Even though our reach wasn't very big back then, we quickly gathered more than a hundred book review requests. It got to the point where I stopped checking it. 

In steps DeeJay

Diantha Jones was our saving grace. She's the one that cut off book review requests and organized the review crew into what it is today. Once that initial list had been taken care of, we had to decide how to accept new requests.

Our current system, thus, came into being.

We open up requests when we need books, and each time only for a short period of time, usually a week (though we have done less than that). As our review policy states, this is designed as a monthly cycle. 

The reason? To combat the onslaught of requests we would get otherwise. However, sometimes we receive so many books that we don't need to open up requests every month. Just depends on what we need.

A question or two or three for you

Now that I've described how we've gotten to where we are today (a very brief description, mind you), is our review policy confusing?

If you did not know the history, would our review policy make sense? 

Would you know how and when to turn in a request? 

Would you know how to get on a "waiting list" of sorts so that we'll email you when requests are open?

Those last two questions are extremely important, because if their answers are not clear when you read the policy page, then we need to update our policy. 

Since most authors don't come to us with confused looks on their faces, my guess is that the fault is not ours, though if there's something we could reword, I'll gladly consider it.

In case you missed any of the links above, our review policy can be found HERE.

Please let me know if we can improve the wording.

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