I saw a fantastic blog post on this exact subject a few months back on the My Peacock Books blog. Due to some of the contact I’ve recently received on my own blog, it got me thinking about the reasons why we decline and so, I decided to broach the topic myself and write my own post on the subject.
I will point out that this post isn’t meant to be harsh, it’s purely meant to be a truthful and possibly helpful look into the reasons why a blogger has declined your review request or your offer to appear on their blog and ignored your contact.
Before anyone says I’m hating, I’m not and I’ve had plenty of authors appear on my own little blog.
Below you will find my list of the reasons why a blogger declines your review request and doesn’t want you to appear on their blog followed by the views of some of my blogging peers.
Too many requests.
The reason your request has been declined or ignored could be as simple as it is the wrong place at the wrong time for the blogger.
If a blogger has been inundated with contact from various authors then you might get lost in the pile of requests and the blogger just forgets to reply or even misses reading the contact.
Bloggers can’t read all the books and we can’t feature all the authors either, our blogs aren’t a free-for-all and sometimes we just get too many requests and can’t reply or agree to host you.
The type of book you offer.
Lots of authors due to cost only offer ebooks for review and lots of bloggers (myself included) prefer print books.
I understand that you have to consider money (maybe consider that when paying for reviews) and that the cost of an ebook is negligible compared to the cost of a print book and the shipping to a blogger but, if the blogger prefers print, they prefer print.
To many, a book is a book regardless of electronic or paper but to others, they are giving you a review and in return, they want an actual book, something solid for the time they’ve given in reading your book.
Quite a few people don’t even read ebooks with reasons ranging from the medical to ‘just because I don’t‘ and really, whatever the blogger’s reason it’s their reason ergo, it’s valid.
In today’s society a lot of it is technologically based, video games, you’re looking at a screen, TV and film, it’s a screen, chances are with your job you’ll spend at least some of the time looking at a screen, blogging, it’s looking at a screen and the copious amount of hours that people spend glued to their phone, again, it’s a screen.
For reading, it’s nice to read a print book, forgoing technology and yet another screen and stepping back from the modern electrical way for something real.
Unprofessional contact and your attitude in contact.
Some of the contacts that have come through on my blog have been rather dodgy and rather unprofessional in manner.
My own grammar sucks but no commas, capital letters or full stops, hell, even I manage a few of them. Spelling too, I understand that English won’t be the first language for all but spellchecker would be an idea as a block sentence with no punctuation and errors in spelling really does give off an unprofessional vibe and will make the blogger question and consider reading your book and having you on their blog as how do they know that your book or blog post won’t be riddled with errors when your contact was?
When contacting us manners and politeness cost nothing and if we agree to review your book or have you on our blog then we are doing you the favour NOT the other way around. Please don’t have an attitude and make it appear like you are doing us the favour by offering us a review copy and asking for the chance to appear on our blogs when you contact us, no, we get a book, you get a review, we get a blog post and you get exposure and that is a mutually beneficial relationship for us both, not just you.
Don’t make out in contact that it is our job to have you on our blog, it’s not. Blogging isn’t our job, it’s a hobby and something we do in our spare time and our sole purpose isn’t to host you.
I’d also suggest that you don’t try to be cute, funny and clever. For example, writing stuff like ‘I guarantee you will relate to my book and love it‘ should be a no-no! You cannot guarantee that so don’t write it!
Also, don’t send unsolicited ebooks or attachments (I’m requesting a book spotlight here’s the cover, blurb, etc) along with the contact. Sending an ebook is very presumptuous of you (if we want to read your book we’ll reply) and wrong.
Frankly, lots of people won’t open attachments from a stranger either, it’s unsafe and could be spam or a virus, also, again, it’s presumptuous as you are presuming that we’ll agree to host you on our blog.
When contacting a blogger follow the rule of the 3 P’s!
What’s in a name?
Well, to answer my question, everything! You wouldn’t refer to GRRM as ‘that dude who wrote Game of Thrones‘ or JK Rowling as ‘that chick who wrote Potter‘ and it’s uncool and disrespectful if you refer to a blog/blogger by the wrong name too.
Yes, mistakes can happen but really, if you have thoroughly checked out the blog before initiating contact then you should get the blog and blogger’s name right.
Chances are and I’ll tell you now, that they are very high chances that if you use the wrong blog and/or blogger name then your request will be deleted straight away.
Right, I’m off to email George R. R. Martin and call him Jeff Martin to prove my point and while I’m on the subject Stephanie King still hasn’t replied back to me yet either!
Generic and mass email.
Sending out a mass email is just uncool, if you want to appear on a bloggers blog then show that you have at least checked the blog out first.
We don’t appreciate or want a generic mass email that starts with ‘dear blogger‘ or the equivalent. It’s the same as a spam email or junk mail through the letterbox that is addressed to either ‘the resident‘ or ‘the occupier‘ and both those sorts of mail, for many, go straight in the trash, if you send out mass contact chances are that most of the time it will end up in the trash too, often without even being read.
Unless stated by the blogger on their profile FB and Twitter DM’s aren’t an appropriate way of contacting a blogger.
One thing that grates on and irks me and others is DM messages asking for reviews on social media. Most blogs have a way for you to contact the blogger on them, use them, that’s why they are there!
It has to be asked that when you get a random DM through social media how do you even know that the author has actually bothered to check out your blog first and hasn’t just chanced it after seeing that you are a book blogger on their social media feed?! You don’t!
You expect us to purchase your book and then review it.
We don’t have issues with buying books but if you contact us through our blog looking for and wanting a review from us then it’s usually with the offer of a free book in exchange for the review.
You expect a review by a certain date.
Most bloggers are amenable to reviewing by a specific date as long as they are given enough time to read the book and write the review. Which, depending on reading speed varies from blogger to blogger.
If you are after a review to coincidence with the upcoming release of your book then as I just mentioned, if you’ve contacted the blogger with enough time to read your book then chances are they will accept.
Don’t, however, change the goal posts and decide that after the blogger has already agreed to review your book that you actually do want the review by a certain date, transparency people, transparency, if it’s not mentioned or mutually agreed upon in the original contact then it’s not applicable.
Some don’t review to a set date, their choice, can’t fault them for that and OK, ask, they might make an exception. But some authors contact bloggers and expect a review by a certain date for a book that has been out for months or even years and in that case, no, I don’t agree with that. If the book has already been released then you shouldn’t be putting time constraints on someone who reads and reviews in their spare time.
You are known in the blogging community for being an arse and having a bad attitude towards bloggers and negative reviews.
Let’s face it, no book, ever, has been unanimously loved by all and there’s a chance, no matter how slight that a blogger won’t like your book and unfortunately, will either not post a review or will post a negative review depending on their blogging preference.
If this happens, while I fully understand that you want your book to be loved, if it isn’t, simply put, deal with it like an adult and move on. A negative review (or if the blogger doesn’t post negative reviews then the correspondence and explanation to you by email) is only that bloggers opinion and it doesn’t mean that your book is bad only that it wasn’t for that particular reader.
Blogging is a community, we like, share and comment on other blogs posts and many will even call some other bloggers friends. We talk to each other and if you have form and are a known commodity for being difficult to work with, spamming other bloggers with requests, asking for constant updates and have been known to be abusive to bloggers and act like a diva. Well, then, we may well decide that we are better off not risking working with you and will choose not to read your book or have you on our blogs.
Some prefer to deal with a publisher and publicist as a middle ground and a buffer in case of any negative or abusive behaviour.
This ties into the above point. Granted, bad behaviour doesn’t happen very often and it is frowned upon by all. Both bloggers and your fellow authors will unite against that sort of behaviour as it doesn’t wash and only serves to give you all a bad name and is just wrong.
Due to the chance of it happening though some bloggers simply prefer to deal with publishers and publicists as it is a safety barrier. If an author causes hassle then they can report the author to the publisher and hopefully, that would stop the abuse.
Whereas, if a blogger is in direct contact with an author and the contact subsequently turns sour then there’s no buffer to protect the blogger against any possible abuse.
Simply put, we don’t do this for the hassle and some choose to only work with publishers for the ease and the safety that it provides.
You ignored that we are currently closed to review requests.
Yes, I know dear reader, it should be obvious shouldn’t it that if a blogger is closed to requests then they will decline and ignore the contact from an author asking for a review.
Even though a blogger is closed to requests often they are still amenable to having you appear on their blog. Guest posts, book excerpts and author interviews are all types of posts that lots of bloggers offer.
If that is the case, then, seriously, if a blogger accepts to have you on their blog for any of the aforementioned posts, send ALL the relevant information so that the blogger can draft up the post, it’s not our job to get it. Sure, we all make honest mistakes, people forget things at times, it happens and if that’s the case, then cool, we don’t begrudge getting some of the information but please don’t take advantage of the good-natured amongst us and please show that you’ve at least made an effort yourself.
We don’t read the genre of your book.
Often we will receive requests for books in genres that we don’t read. Most bloggers include the list of genres that they read and don’t read in their review policy.
Now, if you’ve checked out the policy and blog then you will be aware of the genres that the blogger is prepared to read and review, why ask them to review a book in a genre that they don’t read?! It’s crazy and it is something that again, makes you question if the author even bothered to really check out the blog in the first place before contacting the blogger.
It is also (in my opinion) valid for a blogger to decline to have you on their blog if your book doesn’t fit the genres that they read.
There are so many wonderful blogs out there if one doesn’t read your genre then save everyone the hassle and move on to another blog and you never know, it could well be the perfect fit for you and your book.
Tick tock goes the clock and it is forever moving forward! We only have a finite amount of time available to us, not infinite and unfortunately, due to that, we can’t read all the books.
Our time is precious and we will give priority to those books that we want to read possibly without adding yours to our ever-growing reading list.
Many bloggers set a limit on the amount of time that they will spend blogging and drafting up posts each week too. If they don’t have the time then they won’t accept your offer to appear on their blog either.
Sorry folks, you can’t stop, argue with or turn back time.
Your book just doesn’t appeal to us.
It might be hard for you to stomach but just because we read the genre that your book is in, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will want to read your book.
Sadly, some of you assume that just because we read the genre that we will want to read your book and that is not the case.
You have to realise that not every book will appeal to every reader. The cover might put us off (harsh but true), the blurb may not entice us and we could have seen negative or less than favourable reviews from bloggers we trust.
If your book doesn’t appeal to us and we don’t think we will enjoy it then chances are, we won’t want to read it and if we have no interest in reading it then many bloggers also won’t want to promote it.
Remember, if we decline your review request or to have you on our blog it’s not personal, it’s not malicious, it’s how it is and it’s just life.
I decided that I’d reach out via Twitter and ask my fellow bloggers if they wanted to contribute to the post with a brief paragraph on the reasons why they themselves decline requests as I thought it would give a broader spectrum than purely my own thoughts and opinions.
Why my fellow bloggers decline requests.
Dave from espresso coco wrote:
I’m not sure if have anything new to add other than ‘busy doing other stuff and my tbr pile is already threatening to kill me’
Lucinda Barton of Bakes Books and My Boys wrote:
Oooh, my top three favs!”I cant pay you but think of the exposure!” The ones who want “a positive spin on the review and no negatives but of course an honest review” the “, while I cant, send you the product to review please use this great photos to write up how great our product is”
Claire from Brizzlelass Books wrote:
For me it could be a variety of reasons, my own “workload” its not just that I have a lot of books scheduled in sometimes I already have a lot of content scheduled in as well, the way the approach email is written…an awful lot of them are very presumptuous and my guidelines clearly haven’t been read, not using my name, not listening to me. I recently turned down a review but offered a content post, I went back and forth about five times and in each of their replies, they referred to my review it ended with me blacklisting them and deleting the email. And sometimes I just don’t like the sound of the book, I don’t really do YA or suspense/thriller but you wouldn’t believe the number of requests I get in these genres.
Danielle from Books, Vertigo and Tea wrote:
99% of the time, if I have declined a review or content request, it is for one single reason: the solicitor did not bother to read my policies. My policies are pretty specific. While, I greatly appreciate the amount of time that goes into marketing, I expect the same in return. Blogging is a full-time passion for me. My time is also divided between family, work and life. Please do not waste it. It is discouraging to open up an email soliciting reviews I am not accepting or requesting features for genres I state I do not accept. It’s a give and take relationship. Show me some respect, and I will take the time.
Yvonne from Me and My Books wrote:
For me, it is a “finding the time to read the book” issue.
I already have many commitments for blog tours, NetGalley also books already sent from publishers or authors. Rather than accept any more books, that I may not get to for 4-6 months, I took the decision to stop accepting requests.
During the summer my job takes priority, and living in Cornwall, working in a tourist-based industry hours can be manic. Because of this, I am also having a blog tour break, instead of reading to a timescale I will be concentrating on my own book pile.
Sometimes life, paying bills and eating has to take priority. I would love to be in the position to be able to read more but, at the end of the day, this is one of my hobbies.
Reading is a hobby, blogging is a by-product of my hobby and I enjoy them both dearly. They are something I choose to do in my spare time and I review for free.
Kathy from Books & Munches wrote:
Writers contacting me through my contact form where it’s in big bold letters that I’m not accepting any review requests yet they’re asking me to review their novel. NOPE.
Then contacting me a 2nd time through my contact form saying they saw I’m not accepting requests so would I please do a simple something to boost their novel. Why do you go through my contact form again? Just admit that you were wrong the first time and reply on my own mail.
Eva from Novel Deelights wrote:
I’m currently not accepting review requests because things got pretty overwhelming quickly and my backlog freaked me out. Nevertheless, as you know, that doesn’t stop emails landing in your inbox. Those I ignore immediately are the impersonal ones and those offering a genre I quite obviously don’t read. Mostly, like many others, it’s just lack of time. There are only so many hours in a day and between blog tours, Netgalley and books I’ve actually bought, it’s a miracle I ever get any sleep. 😄
Bethan from Bethan May Books wrote:
I’m coming up to my one-year bloggerversary in July.
To begin with, I was posting reviews of books I was reading for pleasure, wondering how on earth bloggers were being sent brand new books for free.
Then people started getting in touch asking if I’d review their book if they sent it to me, and I was too flattered and excited to say no!
I was lucky that a lot of these books I did enjoy, a couple I wasn’t so lucky with… But I was beginning to feel like it was a chore, and there were so many books I was missing out on.
Closing my blog to requests has been a massive help, and since those earlier days I feel more confident and established to be able to contact authors and publishers and request books that I would actually like to read.
It’s difficult to feel positive about a book when you see it as a chore or an obligation; it isn’t fair on you and of course, it isn’t fair on the author whose sweat and tears they’re hoping you enjoy
Cat from My Peacock Books wrote:
When I started blogging I was getting requests from lots of people once I’d been established. I was naive back then though and desperate not to disappoint anyone so I accepted all requests and found myself overwhelmed with the number of requests I got. It all got too much for me though and instead of reading and reviewing for pleasure I started to find it a chore. It became so bad that I started to resent the blog I had and missed reading books just for the love of it. Now a seasoned book blogger I now rarely accept any requests on my new blog as I have built a blog that I like the feel and look of and it reflects my own tastes. It’s filled with reviews for books I enjoy reading or consider reading rather than reviews of books that I’d never consider or want to read. I also don’t readily accept requests, especially directly from authors, because of what happened on my old blog. Many authors seemed to treat me like a service and didn’t care to see whether my blog fitted their book (an erotica book offered on a blog that doesn’t do erotica and is child-friendly!). I was also called a bunch of inappropriate names at the time including my blog name, ‘Terry’ and the classic ‘Kent’!…I’m a girl called Cat by the way! d’oh…Oh and of course I often decline stuff simply because I don’t like it or haven’t got time these days. We all have our reasons.
Debra from Open Book Post wrote:
My main reason is that I have too many books currently to read & review. I also decline because the subject matter does not appeal to me. Once, I had an author say “I guess I will do you the favor of reading my book for free” Umm you contacted me, I’m doing you the favor.
Lois from Lois Reads Books wrote:
When I am contacted and they don’t even know my name. I get Dear…, a lot. It is not hard to work out my name, it is literally in my blog name and email address. It is just polite to know someone before you contact them for a review.
Rebecca from Powder & Page wrote:
Why would I decline to review (or accept) a book? Well, there are a few reasons actually, so here goes… The biggest reason I turn down books is because I simply don’t have time! I know my limits pretty well, so try not to accept more books than I can read in a month. I also turn down books because I don’t like the synopsis. Life is too short to read things that don’t interest me, so if your synopsis (aka the attention grabber) is boring, generic, or seems to fall outside my range of interest I usually pass. The third biggest reason I’ll turn down a review request or book offer is if the early Goodreads reviews are BAD. If I’ve never read and/or heard of a particular author, I’ll see what the earliest of early reviewers are saying. If they’ve actually reviewed the book and not just put in a random rating, I’ll make my decision based on their opinion. Of course, sometimes I disregard that and accept a book anyway.
Erica from Erica Robyn Reads wrote:
I have a very strict honest review request policy and on the page, I have a note that I’m not currently accepting new reviews. So I really hate when authors email me just assuming I will take the review. Then of course when I respond telling them that they get offended and rude. That’s an instant no for me even if my initial comment to them was “I’m not currently accepting reviews but I can slot you in if I have an opening.”
I also decline when the book is clearly outside my preferred genres, as again, stated on my honest review page.
And for emails that are clearly cookie cutter requests complete with auto-fill names, I delete those immediately. If they can’t take the time to make sure my name is correct, I don’t want to work with them. I’ve gotten so many “Dear Erica Robyn Reads,” “Dear reads”
Mary from Our Book Reviews Online wrote:
I decline review requests for anything I don’t expect to enjoy. Yes, I could be ignoring a book I’d love, but I figure there are so many books, so little time to read them, and no author wants to read a review that’s basically “I didn’t like this book”
Tan from booknerdtan wrote:
Being asked for a review in a genre that you know you won’t be interested in then receiving a less than polite reply.
Clearly states my prefered genres on my blog- and I would just end up DNF’ing it! I’m doing you a favour :’)
A massive thanks to those of you who contributed, I appreciate it.
Many bloggers replied and after reading the responses I can see that most bloggers share very similar sentiments on the subject echoing many of the same thoughts.
I think the various reasons make for an interesting read and there are definitely some reoccurring themes that perhaps, some authors need to start considering when contacting bloggers.
Thoughts?? Agree?? Disagree?? Do you have any of your own reasons to add to the list??
Do you agree with the reasons given?? Are you guilty of any of the above?? Feel free to have your own say on the post, all views are welcome.
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