Today we are diving into my personal pet peeves as a book blogger.
1) Not reading the bloggers’ review request page
This one feels like such a no-brainer – but it’s often completely ignored. I’m always more surprised when I get a request or an email that points something out that I have in my review request page. It’s not that hard and most of the time bloggers have pretty easy to read and figure out rules.
1a) Not figuring out the genres that a blogger reviews
If for some reason you can’t figure this out from the review request page – take 5 minutes and check out the last 10-20 reviews that bloggers has posted. You should get a good feel for the genres that they like. If your book doesn’t fit into one of these they blogger probably won’t check it out.
2) Requesting an update on a review or timing for the review
Most of us do this for fun. I have a full-time job, wife, and a dog. I have things that need to be done after work or nights that I just don’t feel like reading. I know it’s shocking but true. We are all doing this for fun and because of that, I don’t like to feel like I have a deadline. (That being said, if you really want a review by a certain date/time then please look into expedited reviews. I do have an option for this exact reason). I’ve actually edited my review requests page to say this exact thing since it was happening so often.
3) Reviews are not personal
I’ve seen this prose floating around twitter a lot lately and it’s usually after a specific review that was less than perfect. And most likely the book wasn’t very good. There are a few books in my DNF pile that I didn’t even review because I knew how the author or publisher would take it. I’ve actually had a publisher burn a bridge with me because he didn’t like that I wrote an honest review of the audiobook. Literally telling me that I would not ever be sent another title from them again. I’ve come to find out that they also screw over authors… so I’m glad we’re not working together anymore, but remember – it’s not personal.
4) Getting mad that my reviews are mostly positive
Ironically leading from the last point – I’m usually pretty positive in my reviews. I pick books that sound good to me and that I expect to like. I also go into them with 5 stars and they lose them from there. I know other reviewers start at 0 and let them earn it, or maybe start at a 2.5 and let it go up or down from there. I’m an optimist and I’m someone who is good at putting my “movie googles” on. I don’t look for inherent flaws in a book or get mad if/when they talk about a gun with or without a safety that has or doesn’t have one.
I only post this because I’ve gotten at least one email and one comment where the person was mad that I wasn’t critical of any books (I am, he just didn’t see them) and said he was done following my reviews. I’m okay with that, I don’t need negative energy in my life. Also, when I don’t like a book I have reasons and I usually state them in my reviews. Sure my average might be a 4, but believe me, there are still books out there I did not like.
5) Fill in the blank emails (I called these “Canned Spam” but that feels mean to actual Spam)
Dear [ reviewer name here ], I saw that you enjoyed [ book kinda similar to mine ] by [ hopefully correct author ] – I think that you would really enjoy my book. I can send it to you in any format you would prefer. Blah Blah Blah. This used to just bug me slightly – but not it makes my blood boil. IF you’re going to randomly spam a reviewer – point something out in their review that you liked. Don’t make it look and sound the same as EVERY OTHER spam review email. Also, look them up online – most of us either have links on Amazon or are easily found on Google. If you do that, see rule 1 before emailing us.
This is my favorite “canned” Amazon-related email. I see you read ___ and now I want to show you ___. This guy literally sent the same email back-to-back (literally hours apart) and just changed it from one @RichardsAuthor book to another. I did not reply to either. pic.twitter.com/NVqQ3OX65l
— ?Brian’s Book Blog? (@brians_books) March 21, 2018