Author · Guest Post

Guest Post by Josie Jaffrey: Two Views on Indie Reviews

guest post

Today on The Tattooed Book Geek I am pleased to be bringing to you all a guest post courtesy of the author and blogger Josie Jaffrey looking at the two points of view on indie reviews that of the author and that of the blogger.

I recently had a couple of issues with authors and as such decided to post a tweet on Twittah asking for authors to guest post on my blog and write about the relationships between authors and bloggers. Two replied, Ann Troup wrote the fantastic post Bloggers and authors – the ‘rules’ of engagement and Josie Jaffrey has written this equally fantastic post.

Two Views on Indie Reviews

I’m an author of four (and a bit) indie novels, as well as a book reviewer of indie books.  As a result, I spend a lot of my life riding the interface between authors and reviewers.  It isn’t always pretty, but it can be wonderful for reviewers and authors when it works well.

This post looks at the process of requesting book reviews from both sides, considering what authors can expect and how to maximise the chances of getting a positive response from (unpaid) reviewers.

The Author View – What to Expect

In a perfect world, what I would like from book bloggers is:

  1. a clear review policy in an obvious place on their website, including details of how to submit a request;
  2. a reply to every review request I send, even if it’s just to say ‘no’;
  3. if they ask for a copy of my book, an indication of when the reviewer will finish reading the book and when they will post their review;
  4. a link to the review when it goes live; and
  5. cross-posts of the review to Amazon and Goodreads.

But, I don’t EXPECT this.

As an author, I’ve always been treated very well by reviewers.  Sure, a lot of them never reply to my review request emails, and a lot of them never review my books even after I’ve sent them a copy, but that’s exactly what I expect.  If you read book bloggers’ review policies, most of them make it very clear that those things that may happen.  Honestly, I’ve had less transparency from some literary agents, and they get paid for their work.

Book bloggers generously donate their free time for free to review authors’ books, so they get to set the terms of the author/blogger relationship.  You won’t find me complaining about their services, because some of them have been a huge support to my fledgling career.  FOR FREE.

BUT I’m going to be honest about the responsiveness of most book bloggers in this post, because if authors know what to expect then they can adjust their hopes accordingly.  So what can they expect?  I’m going to throw some figures at you to illustrate this, because I LOVE MATHS.

Over the past eighteen months, I’ve submitted a whole ream of review requests for my first book to reviewers of the relevant genre (either by email or by filling in forms on bookblogger websites).  This has required solid weeks of painstaking research, drafting and pure data-entry grunt work.  Identifying and finding reviewers is HARD WORK.  So, here’s what I got out of it (so far):

graph for post

That’s:

413 requests sent

272 – no reply at all

77 – blog has since closed

39 – took a copy but posted no review (yet)

19 – posted reviews

6 – replied to say no

That’s right.  NINETEEN REVIEWS.  From 413 requests.

Digging into these figures a little further:

TWO THIRDS of my review requests went completely unanswered

14% requested the book

Only 5% (a third of those who requested the book) have actually posted a review so far

Now, more popular authors will obviously have better hit rates than me, but the point of this is not that book bloggers are unresponsive (they are, but book blogging is a hobby and they don’t owe authors a response).  The point is that authors should expect that two thirds of their requests will go unanswered.  I hope sharing the above figures will help indie authors to calibrate their expectations in terms of the amount of work they have to put in to get a decent number of reviews.  It’s a slog.

So how can you make your hit rate better than mine?

The Blogger View – How to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Review

I’m a compulsive person, so I manage my own book blog in a very compulsive way.  I reply to every email I receive, usually within a few days, even if it’s just to say ‘no’.  Very few other book bloggers seem to do this, so you probably won’t know why your request has been ignored, but in my experience, indie authors commonly fail to do one thing:

READ THE BLOG REVIEW POLICY

and, more importantly

FOLLOW IT

80% of the time, the emails I receive to my book blog are professional and courteous.  The other 20% of the time, authors have clearly failed to read my review policy.  Most book blogs have one now, so just read it, okay?  If you don’t, I guarantee that the majority of book bloggers are putting your review request straight in the trash.

Other important factors (for me) are:

Whether or not you will supply free print copies.  A huge number of bloggers will only read print copies, which means investment from you.  If you are prepared to spend money on sending out print copies, then you will get more reviews.  You’ll also probably get posts of your book on Instagram, which is always nice.

How good your cover is.  I made my first cover with an iPhone camera and the Apple preview app.  This is probably why the response rate to my first batch of review requests was so abysmal.  I’ve also seen some real shockers submitted to my blog (I won’t name and shame).  No book blogger wants to review a book with a rubbish cover, because the cover has to be posted to their blog and will mess up their aesthetic.  So pay for one early, or pay for it later in low review numbers.

How good your blurb is.  Some requests I receive have blurbs that are barely literate.  I judge the contents of the book on the blurb, and will reject a request if the blurb is poorly edited and written.  It should be given more attention than the contents of your book, not less.

And most importantly, never forget the Golden Rule:

DON’T BE A DICK

giphy (6)

You can follow the Golden Rule in numerous ways, including but not limited to the following:

  • If a blogger rejects your review request, don’t send four more hoping they’ll change their mind.
  • Don’t get grumpy with reviewers if they’ll only review certain formats, particularly if that was clear in their review policy.
  • Don’t write angry messages when you get negative reviews.  Even negative reviews have a positive effect on your rankings, so embrace all of your reviews.  Say thank you for the bad ones as well as the good ones.
  • Don’t add bloggers to your mailing list without their permission.

And finally…

Remember that this is supposed to be fun, for book bloggers and for you.

We write because we love it, and because we can’t imagine a better profession.  We sit at our desks as lawyers, engineers, doctors, telemarketers, clerks and secretaries dreaming of the day we can pack it all in and write full time.

Book bloggers provide review services because they love books, and they want to share them with the world.  It’s why they devote their free time to their blogs.  Always remember that they work for free, whereas authors are (ultimately) using their reviews to sell books.

It can be a marriage made in heaven if we approach it with the right mindset.


Thanks to Josie for a fantastic guest post.


Thoughts?? Agree?? Disagree??


Josie Jaffrey is the author of the four-book paranormal romance “Solis Invicti” series, available on Amazon.  The first book in the series is currently available for free via Instafreebie here.  She wouldn’t say ‘no’ to more reviews!

She also runs The Gin Book Club, which offers review services to books in certain genres.  See her website for more details.


THE SOLIS INVICTI SERIES

By Josie Jaffrey

The Solis Invicti series is set in London, in a world in which the human population has been decimated by a blood-borne virus.  In the wake of the zombie apocalypse that follows, a vampiric race called the Silver seizes control.  Without the protection of the Silver, humanity will soon cease to exist, and without uninfected human blood, the Silver will perish.  A necessary symbiosis is the result, but the power of the two races could not be more unevenly balanced.

The protagonist of the series is Emilia, a twenty-something barmaid with an insubordinate and reckless approach to the new order.  In the first days following the collapse, she struggles to accept that her life has changed irrevocably and that she is powerless to reclaim it.  That recalcitrance brings her face to face with the highest ranks of the Silver.

The series is targeted at adults and mature young adults.  The books contain horror, profanity and sexual content.  This isn’t erotica, but there are some steamy scenes (only one or two per book).  There are love triangles, aggression and drama, but there is also an eventual HEA.

Series Info:

Books in series: 4

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Adult, Dystopian, Urban Fantasy

Additional Media Links:

Series page

Smashwords author interview

About the author

josie

Josie lives in Oxford, England, with her husband and two cats.  When she’s not writing, she works as a lawyer, specialising in intellectual property and commercial law.  She also runs a video book review club, The Gin Book Club, through her website.

The first book in the Solis Invicti series (A Bargain in Silver) is Josie’s debut novel.

Website & Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

For additional information, contact josiejaffrey@gmail.com.

 A BARGAIN IN SILVER

Solis Invicti: Book I

By Josie Jaffrey

si1

 

A deadly infection threatens to wipe out humanity. The only people who can stem its advance are the Silver, a vampiric race who offer a simple exchange: protection in return for blood and subservience. It’s not a deal that Emmy’s willing to make, but as her world burns around her she finds herself in the arms of the enemy and the line between oppressor and saviour begins to blur.

After an attack by the infected, Emmy is rescued by the handsome Drew who introduces her to the world of the Silver. Desperate to escape subjugation and confused by her attraction to him, she gathers what remains of her surrogate family and plans to make a break for freedom.

But despite her efforts to resist, she is drawn further into the intrigues of the mysterious Silver through the agency of their ruler, the Primus: Solomon. Emmy refuses to submit to the cold and detached Primus and an attempt on her life makes it clear that he is unable to protect her from the political machinations of his race.

As the connection between them deepens she must choose between her desire and her will to rebel, but can she trust his intentions when everyone is after her blood?

Amazon | Print | Goodreads

Tagline: If the price of safety is slavery, would you bargain your life?

Book Info:

Publisher: Self-published

Author: Josie Jaffrey

Cover Art: Martin Beckett Art

Page Count: 356

Word Count: 102,000

ASIN (Amazon): B00RR2XM86

ISBN (Print): 978-1548138516

Release Date: 4 January 2015

Rating: 18+

 Praise for A Bargain in Silver:

✭✭✭✭✭ Dystopian, post-apocalyptic and dark, very dark… Josie Jaffrey takes on the world of the paranormal with bold strokes and a personal touch. – Tome Tender

✭✭✭✭✭  I absolutely loved this book. I had the hardest time putting it down. I think I may have even growled at my family when they interrupted me. – Baroness Book Trove

✭✭✭✭  This is a powerful start to what I am sure will be an amazing series! – One Book Two

✭✭✭✭  This book had me hooked right from the very first page. A slightly different twist on the usual vampire romance, this is a well written and intriguing start to the series. – A British Bookworm’s Blog

Excerpt:

His beautiful blue eyes bored into mine.

“What would you have me do?” he challenged. “Would you rather I lied? That I use clever arguments to convince you this is something you want? That I manipulate you into believing the reality of this arrangement to be other than it is?” 

I looked down at the table.

“We have to drink blood to live,” he continued, “and it has to be human. There’s no way I can make that concept more palatable to you, if you’ll excuse the pun. Life as you knew it has changed, Emilia. We have always been here, moving amongst you, it was just that you weren’t conscious of our presence. Now, with the Weepers multiplying, consuming and replacing your kind, we can no longer hide.”

“Isn’t that a little disingenuous?” I said, remembering Jeff’s theory about the lead time that would have been required for the level of organisation the vampires had displayed. “Aren’t the Weepers just an excuse for you to act?”

“We have been waiting for an opportunity for some time,” he acknowledged with a tilt of his head. “I know you want things to return to how they were,” he continued, “but that is not in my power to give. Your world is gone. You’re fighting for a life that no longer exists. There are difficult decisions to make, sacrifices, simply to save what little remains to us. I am trying to salvage an existence for your race, a new world for both of our races. There could be a place in that world for you, if you’re willing to look for it.”

 THE PRICE OF SILVER

Solis Invicti: Book II

By Josie Jaffrey

si2

 

The Price of Silver is the second book in Josie Jaffrey’s Solis Invicti paranormal romance series, set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic London where a deadly infection threatens to wipe out humanity. The only people who can stem its advance are the Silver, a vampiric race who offer a simple exchange: protection in return for blood and subservience.

Emmy is fenced in by the city, the walls marking the edge of safety closing in around her and sealing her in with one vampire who loves her and another who wants her dead. As she struggles to keep herself and the people she cares about alive, her fellow humans chafe against their enforced submission, and it becomes clear that there are bigger schemes and greater deceptions in play than she had ever imagined.

All the while, the monsters wait outside the barricades for their moment. Of one thing she is certain: without the help of the Silver, the humans won’t be safe for long.

Amazon | Smashwords | Kobo | Print | Goodreads

Tagline: In the straits of necessity, sometimes there isn’t room for freedom.

Book Info:

Publisher: Self-published

Author: Josie Jaffrey

Cover Art: Martin Beckett Art

Page Count: 406

Word Count: 118,000

ASIN (Amazon): B0175G70L8

ISBN (Print): 978-1548144050

Release Date: 25 October 2015

Rating: 18+

 Praise for The Price of Silver:

✭✭✭✭✭  Fabulously twisted, dark and intense, the lines between good and evil become gray smears as Josie Jaffrey plummets us into book two of the Solis Invicti series with The Price of Silver. – Tome Tender

✭✭✭✭  There are plenty of surprises and delicious twists to make readers want to continue reading. – One Book Two

✭✭✭✭  This is really a very strong sequel. I look forward to reading Book 3. – A British Bookworm’s Blog

Excerpt:

I was pushed roughly into the door at the top of the stairs, used as a tool to open it wide. It cracked across my cheekbone and into my hip, sending agonising bursts of pain radiating out across my body. This man was brutal, and I wasn’t going to get any mercy from him.

We walked through the kitchen and I knew when we’d entered the dormitory because the breeze from the open window above what used to be my bed hit my bare thighs, chilling me to the bone. But it was too quiet, the normally omnipresent murmurs and snorts of sleeping people oddly absent. Where was everyone? I’d assumed that they were taking me to see Oliver or the other rebels, that they were going to try to beat information out of me about the Silver. Oliver had probably realised that I’d been holding back, and I thought he’d want to know what I knew.

But the room felt practically empty, as if the dormitory was unoccupied. There was a clanking, metallic sound by the window as I was marched in that direction.

“Is it true?” a male voice by the window asked. There was a movement from the man holding me, the motion sending a further jet of pain through my shoulder. He’d clearly made some sort of gesture, but I couldn’t guess what it might have been. There were a few footsteps towards me and then hands at the neck of my shirt, tearing the thin fabric open.

“See?” said the voice again, now right in front of me.

“Damn. He was right,” the man at my back replied.

“It’s going to make a fucking big statement, I’ll tell you that much,” came the response.

“Should never have taken that bribe, little girl,” another voice said from the direction of the window, female this time, as fingers stroked over the choker around my neck. The fingers were replaced by heavy metal that was draped around my throat in a loop. Chains, I thought.

“Too late now,” the man said, and I belatedly realised from the finality of his tone that they were going to kill me.

Dear god, they were going to kill me. Humans were going to kill me. 

BOUND IN SILVER

Solis Invicti: Book III

By Josie Jaffrey

si3

 

Exiled from the city and from the affections of the vampire who had loved her, Emmy finds herself pushed into a captivity she never expected to experience. With the bond to her former protector broken, she knows that the chance to turn Silver is now a monstrous obligation rather than a glittering opportunity.

In an unfamiliar place among unfamiliar people, Emmy feels deserted by those Silver she had thought of as friends, out of sight and out of mind. If only her enemies were equally forgetful.

Bound in Silver is the penultimate book in Josie Jaffrey’s Solis Invicti paranormal romance quadrilogy, set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic London where a deadly infection threatens to wipe out humanity. The only people who can stem its advance are the Silver, a vampiric race who offer a simple exchange: protection in return for blood and subservience.

Amazon | Smashwords | Kobo | Print | Goodreads

Tagline: If you’re living against the clock, try not to do it in a cage.

Book Info:

Publisher: Self-published

Author: Josie Jaffrey

Cover Art: Martin Beckett Art

Page Count: 306

Word Count: 95,000

ASIN (Amazon): B01G11DEMC

ISBN (Print): 978-1548145514

Release Date: 23 May 2016

Rating: 18+

 Praise for Bound in Silver:

✭✭✭✭✭  Dark, emotionally taut and edge-of-your-seat riveting. Ms. Jaffrey’s take on Vampires, their world and their power has me awestruck! – Tome Tender

✭✭✭✭✭ I love the world. I love the premise. I love the characters! Jaffrey has quickly become a must read author with the crazy world of the Solis Invicti. – One Book Two

✭✭✭✭✭  In short, this book just works. And that ending? Bring on Book 4! – A British Bookworm’s Blog

Excerpt:

He leaned away from me and gently released my left arm from the top before carefully pulling the material over my head and off my right hand, his eyes intent on his task until it was complete, but as soon as the top hit the floor he raked me with his gaze.

“You are so beautiful,” he said as he pushed my hair away from my face. “I think I’ve wanted you since the first time you called me an idiot.”

“To your face or behind your back?” I asked with a saccharine smile.

“Well, you might have some other names for me in about five minutes’ time. Ten tops.”

“Like ‘Quickfire’?” I asked.

“I was thinking more along the lines of ‘Jesus’ and ‘Oh, god’, but whatever works for you.”

 THE SILVER BULLET

Solis Invicti: Book IV

By Josie Jaffrey

si4

The truth is out, and Emmy is faced with a choice she dreads: surrender her mortality, or allow her frailty to threaten the nascent society the Silver are building. With exile the only reasonable alternative, she struggles with feelings she can’t define and a duty she’s reluctant to accept.

While the Silver city hangs in the balance, Emmy must remake herself to redeem it and save her friends. Her reinvention forces her to choose sides, threaten alliances and risk becoming like those she fears: inhuman.

The Silver Bullet is the final book in Josie Jaffrey’s Solis Invicti paranormal romance quadrilogy, set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic London where a deadly infection threatens to wipe out humanity. The only people who can stem its advance are the Silver, a vampiric race who offer a simple exchange: protection in return for blood and subservience.

Amazon | Smashwords | Kobo | Print | Goodreads

Tagline: To think of death as a thing of beauty: that’s a threshold you can’t cross twice.

Book Info:

Publisher: Self-published

Author: Josie Jaffrey

Cover Art: Martin Beckett Art

Page Count: 305

Word Count: 89,000

ASIN (Amazon): B073V5TCK4

ISBN (Print): 978-1544644035

Release Date: 4 August 2017

Rating: 18+

 Praise for The Silver Bullet:

✭✭✭✭✭  Absolutely riveting! This is NOT a quiet read. This is edge of your seat turmoil at its best as Josie Jaffrey brings her world to life once again. – Tome Tender

✭✭✭✭✭ An explosive ending to an amazing series! I will shout my love for this series from the rooftops! – One Book Two

✭✭✭✭✭  I think that this is a series which is an undiscovered gem. I really do. I have devoured each installment greedily, and this, the final book in the quadrilogy, was no different. Reading this series has been a real treat. – A British Bookworm’s Blog

Excerpt:

I caught the thought as it sped through my brain. Now I was thinking of a human as an ‘it’. This was how it started, how a mind could creep from humanity to cruelty without missing a beat. But no, it wasn’t even cruelty; at least cruelty was deliberate. It was apathy. It was racial nihilism, closing your heart to an entire species until you cared about their lives as much as you cared for the life of a falling leaf: with intellectual or artistic curiosity, devoid of emotion.

To think of death as a thing of beauty: that’s a threshold you can’t cross twice.


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33 thoughts on “Guest Post by Josie Jaffrey: Two Views on Indie Reviews

  1. The number of review requests sent and the answer received really hurt my soul a bit.
    Not to mention how many bloggers don’t take the time to simply say “no”..

    I guess we all have our own views on this, but I can’t NOT reply to a request. It’s normal to reply to every mail I get, except if a reply simply isn’t necessary.
    Have to admit that I never promise to read a book before a certain date. The excuse of a mood reader, I guess? I just can’t promise that and then force myself to pick it up because I have to. On the other hand, I do send a mail to the author whenever I’ve finished their book and let them now when I’ll post my review on my blog. I even go as far as already including the link they can check on that date, adding the links to my Goodreads- and Amazon-reviews as well.

    As authors SOMETIMES take book reviewers for granted, I think book bloggers also kind of start taking review requests for granted at some point. I can get you don’t want to go through everything if you receive tons of them but then a simply adjustment of your review policy can do the trick as well, no?

    Ugh. I don’t know. It’s Monday and my brain won’t work properly yet anyway. Let’s keep it at “those numbers shocked me.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never agreed to read anything to a set date either, I’ll go with your reason, I’m a mood reader!

      I have to say that I ignore review requests now. I never used to and always replied but after I’ve made it abundantly clear in my policy that I’m closed to them and yet still keep on receiving them, nah, I can’t be arsed, they ignore I’m closed to requests, I’ll ignore there request.😂 It might be rude but a lot of bloggers do it as they get do fed-up with constant requests coming in when it states there closed.

      That’s true about bloggers taking things for granted as well as authors, I’ll admit that. I think with authors though it’s the whole lack of respect that bloggers should be helping them attitude and ignoring that bloggers are closed to requests. It’s only a minority but it hurts the majority too.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Okay, I didn’t include that thought in my Monday morning rant! But I agree that if your blog states your closed for requests, they simply should not even bother sending one in. That’s pretty much asking to be ignored, really. So I’m giving you that one, haha.

        True. Respect is supposed to go both ways, and if it doesn’t.. Well, ugh. We all get annoyed by it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t think any author should expect a response to a request if the blogger states clearly in his or her review policy that they’re closed for reviews. I mean, read the damn policy.

        The numbers that shocked me most were the blog closure statistics. I suppose we all know that for a lot of bloggers this is a transient interest, but it made me a little sad to see that nearly a fifth of the blogs to which I submitted had closed within that 18-month period.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Alas, some authors do, that was why I put out the tweet that you and the other author replied to due to issues I’d had and wanting the authors side of things.

        That’s very true, a fifth is a high amount! I’m sure they all had their reasons but it’s still a lot when you actually see it as a statistic and it does make you think.

        Like

  2. This is a fantastic post! I think the included numbers/stats might give some bloggers a better appreciation for how much authors (particularly indie) are trying to manage and deal with. The perspective makes it a bit easier to be understanding and be somewhat forgiving when we receive those emails that missed points in a policy, etc. Of course, never a license to be rude, but certainly helps shed light on how hard they are working to spread the word! It makes it much easier to handle those instances in a civil manner for sure. I have a deep appreciation for indie authors.

    I love that she chose to share expectations as an author also. It helps to keep in mind that we are not the only ones who have “guidelines” or “expectations”. This openness makes it much easier to approach one another and establish realistic expectations that can benefit one another as a whole 🙂 I have only had one bad encounter with an author (as you know) and I regret not just going to the publisher in the first place. They handled the situation without the need to out any business or make a fuss which was fantastic! I think that as long as both parties enter without feeling entitled and share a common respect for the time of both, most correspondence leads to very rewarding experience 🙂

    Again, fab post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is a great post. I’d highly suggest that you check out the linked one at the beginning if you missed it last week as it’s a fantastic read too. Two authors replied to the tweet and two wrote amazing posts, I’ll class that as a win!😀

      That’s true, there has to be respect on both sides and it’s nice to see that authors do have guidelines for blogs as it means that not all just send out requests to every blog and do bother to take the time to research and look into it.

      Ha, civil manner, I try to be civil and get insulted, then I rant, which says more about the authors than me that I was civil and they couldn’t handle the truth.😂

      Yeah, you had an issue, you weren’t the first though and others had let them get away with it beforehand.

      Respect has to work both ways and sadly lots of authors think that they are doing us a favour by agreeing to appear on our blog or even deeming us worthy of contacting us. Sure, we get a post out of it but we are doing them a favour by having them on our blog too, it works both ways and authors need to realise that. Then again, I fully admit that some bloggers need to realise it too as they have authors appear and then don’t share or promote the post so it does work both ways.

      Like

  3. Wow, painful stats. as a blogger I try to reply to all review requests within 48 hours, I do state that a copy and paste generic request won’t get a response though. I want an author to genuinely check that their book will fit with my site.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a fab guest post and very interesting to see the statistics. I know I can be guilty or not replying to every email I get, I do try but sometimes I see an email for a horror book or something very supernatural & think to myself “have they read my review policy at all?!”
    This is is turning into quite an interesting feature on your blog & it’s nice to see things from the perspective of authors

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a nice feature unfortunately it’s quality and not quantity as only two authors replied and both offered absolutely fantastic guest posts.😀

      I don’t reply, I’m closed to requests and they are rude by ignoring that so I can be rude by not replying.😂

      Definitely interesting to see the actual statistics for an author though.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s interesting to read from the perspective of someone who is both an author AND a book reviewer. I think it’s good that a distinction has been made between ‘want’ and ‘expect’. In an ideal world, it would be great if all book bloggers responded positively to review requests – when that blogger’s guidelines have been both read and respected, of course – but it’s important to remain realistic and I think it’s great that Josie has been brutally honest about her experience in trying to find reviewers for her work. Although the statistics aren’t great (I’m actually really shocked by how many people just didn’t respond at all, particularly when she went to the effort to choose blogs that were specifically catered towards her genre), I think giving other indie writers realistic expectations is important because it means a lack of response won’t be a massive knock to their confidence.
    I agree with the points about the covers and the blurbs. I’ve received book summaries that are written in borderline ‘txtspk’ (is that even how you’d write that in text speak?) and I think “If the summary is written like that, how is the book written?” and it’s a massive turn off. Furthermore, I know they say don’t judge a book by its cover, but it’s natural to do so. It is literally the first thing you notice about a book and first impressions count.
    Great guest post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it would be impossible for all bloggers to respond positively to all requests even when they are met. Some, sure but some get so many requests that it’d be impossible for them to keep up.

      It is shocking how many people didn’t respond, agree with that. I think that if you are open to requests, the policy and your guidelines have all been met, etc then it’s only polite and decent to respond and offer guess, if you aren’t going to respond to requests then you might as well just be closed.

      Agree about the expectations, unfortunately it’s pretty obvious with some that they think they are the next GRRM or Stephen King and have astronomical expectations over their work and bloggers helping them, they aren’t doing us a favour, it’s a two way thing. So, it’s nice to see that some authors don’t have such high expectations and are realistic.

      Like

  6. Have to say another great post! I used to reply to every single email but just got sick of how many ingot that had clearly ignored my guidelines so now all of those get ignored but I do reply to all the others even if it is just to say not right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post… it’s all simply common sense and yet so many of us (authors and bloggers alike) just fail to grasp it .. hah… When my blog was open to review requests I always replied to every mail that came in and I 98% accepted every book offered to me… after closing my blog for requests, I do not answer the emails coming in, because… well, obvs. 😀
    The thing about bloggers only accepting print copies… it has been on my mind- what’s that about? why only print copies??? any ideas?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I found this in my spam folder!😂 Not sure if it’s just my blog but thought I’d better mention it.

      Ha, true, alas common sense often seems to be lacking in today’s world!

      Yeah, when I was open I’d reply to all requests but as you say, you’re not open now so obviously don’t and I’m the same (I think lots of us are).

      I don’t know! I think there’s just something about receiving a print book that’s more special than being sent an ebook and you think ‘Ooohh book’. I prefer print books, haven’t read an ebook in a while but I either buy the books or publishers send them. I don’t get why people expect indie authors who only have a few print copies and then have to pay for the book and postage themselves feel that they should receive print copies all the while, the poor indie authors would never make any money, they’d make a loss if they sent each blogger a print copy.

      My policy does state that I prefer proper books but as I’m not open to review requests it’s neither here nor there and is more a deterrent so people don’t send requests – fails though.😂 Happy to read e-books though and I don’t know why, I guess some bloggers just feel entitled and don’t consider that indie authors are trying to make a living by selling books.

      Like

  8. As so many have said, this was a wonderful post.
    Seems like most of the comments have been from book blogger perspective, so I thought I’d throw in my thoughts as a mostly-author perspective.
    The rejection rates are pretty high, but I don’t think that they have to be as high as she’s reporting. Maybe. I know I’ve been lucky with finding some amazing and generous book bloggers, but I’ve also really tried to become a part of the book blogging community, in my own way.
    I’ve tried to find book blogs that I really enjoy following–ones that are reviewing books I’m interested in, and write reviews that are enjoyable to read. Then I try and participate with their blog a bit. Like, comment, see if they’ll let me do a guest post, share their stuff, read the book they recommend, etc.
    Then I’ll try for the book request.
    Obviously it’s a super slow way to go about it, but I think that actual relationships with people will be more powerful (and much more enjoyable) in the long run then just sending out review requests. I’ve met great people and expanded my circle of internet friends through this approach.
    And, of course, I read their review request guidelines–which is why I haven’t hung out on your blog too much, my crass, tattooed friend. Sorry! Gotta spend my efforts where I might also get a review. 😛 Still like checking up every now and again though.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am not an author – only a reader. However, I try to help a few Indie Authors receive book reviews and I would say your statistics are in total alignment with what I have found. As a blogger I reply to every request and if I accept the book I give an estimate of when they will receive a review. The one item you did not address was timing. Currently I am accepting books for January – I have said yes to 3 books this week only to have the authors come back and say – that’s too far in the future – I need it in November – so then I have to say no to reviewing their book. If I like a book I do my blog, Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – by saying I am not quick enough – they lost out. Authors need to be realistic in expectations. Thanks for your articulate article.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve actually reviewed one of Josie Jaffrey’s books, and I found her to be a very understanding and appreciative author to work with! But anyway, I’ve heard from some other authors about their stats w/ review requests too, and it does sadden me. I used to reply to every request, but I have tennis elbow now and typing is hard, so I’ve put something on my request page about how I won’t respond unless I’m interested, so at least authors know what to expect. Even when I did respond to say no though, I rarely explained why. I felt like that would be inviting trouble—I didn’t want the author to question my reasons or try to convince me or something. But I do try to be transparent in my policy and state that I cannot 100% promise a review, that I can’t promise a time frame unless it’s discussed and agreed upon, etc. So I think this post is helpful for both reviewers and authors!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on Author Becky Benishek and commented:
    “We write because we love it, and because we can’t imagine a better profession. . .Book bloggers provide review services because they love books, and they want to share them with the world. It’s why they devote their free time to their blogs. Always remember that they work for free, whereas authors are (ultimately) using their reviews to sell books.” Click to read more about how to handle yourself when requesting reviews:

    Liked by 1 person

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