Monday, March 10, 2014


Dear Indie Authors

I understand how hard it must be to get your name and your book out there. The marketing that takes up so much of your writing time, staying connected on social media, posting about your book, sending out review requests, managing street teams, keeping your fan page / blog / website up to date, etc. See? I get it. And I know there are many authors who do even more than that. Authors who organize blog tours for their book(s), putting together giveaways and contests, and organizing promotional events on Facebook. I’m sure all of this is still only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to marketing. All I’m saying is that I get it. It’s time consuming.

But now hear me out. I’m a full-time working wife and mother who get up at 5 AM, get home from work at 5 PM, and sometimes only get to bed a little before midnight. Like you, I also have a full schedule.  I try to take an hour, maybe two, at night to read through the emails I receive from over eighty book- and author blogs I’m following to stay updated, do a social post or two, write a review, post said review on all the relevant websites, create a blog post, schedule and post previously mentioned blog post, sign up for blog tours and book blasts, work down my timeline on Facebook, and see what my friends are reading on Goodreads. Sometimes, I even go wild and visit Amazon to see if there are any books that interests me, and when I feel outrageously daring I go crazy by visiting NetGalley to see if there are any new books added I can request for review. Look at all that! One and a half to two hours isn’t nearly enough to rush through all of that. But I try.

Here’s the real kicker though: wasting time responding to unsolicited emails from indie authors who DOESN’T TAKE THE TIME TO READ MY DARN REVIEW POLICY!

Because I was raised to be a decent and conscientious person, I always take the time to try and respond to these emails and let the author know why we (my guest reviewer and I) can’t help them with a review at this time. But you know what? It’s a waste of my time because I’m only repeating what’s already spelled out in our review policy and “About Me”. What really gets to me most is how many of the emails I receive are just review requests sent out to random bloggers/reviewers in the hopes of someone agreeing to read and review that author’s book. So tell me: why should I take the time to respond to your request if you can’t even take the time to visit my blog and read my review policy, AND FIND OUT MY NAME in order not to address me as random blogger?

I have thus decided I’ll only respond to the emails where the author has taken the time to get my name (from the “About Me” at the top of my blog), explains to me why that author think I would want to read his/her book DESPITE MY REVIEW POLICY, and authors whose books we’ve previously reviewed. If I don’t respond to your email, it’s because you’re not adhering to my two simple requests. I’m only asking you to give me the same time and effort as the time I spent reading your book and the effort I put into writing a review for your book – and, if I loved your book like crazy – I’ll even put in a little extra time to help promote it and recommend it to my friends. So, am I asking too much?

Oh, and another thing, if you’ve attached your book to your review request, don’t expect a reply from me. Besides the fact that it’s presumptuous and arrogant, it’s just not cool.

Are there any other bloggers / reviewers who also feel frustrated by the ridiculous amount of unsolicited review requests they receive daily despite their review policies? How do you deal with it? Please share!


Wanda Hartzenberg said...

Ha ha ha. Angie. How do I deal with it? by ignoring it. All of it. I don't even open my email anymore. At any given time I receive 100 + emails a day. NONE from my friends, they use another addy. So I ask you...why oh why would I still bother? Why would I respond to ...DEAR BLOGGER.. I got your name from Amazon? Indeed, so why are you not using it? Dear Blogger, attached herewith is a copy...guess what, I actually decided to delete calibre from my pc. I do not have the time to download. Save, move, move again, change format. Save. Save again as single format to device all for ....oh yeah an attachment. NAH.

The Cover Contessa said...

Um...YES TO IT ALL! I have a review tab, it says what I review. I have a review request form. I want it filled out. That is why it's there. I don't have time to answer seven hundred emails, so having the spread sheet help me wean things out for me and my guest reviewers. If I get an email, I copy and paste the link to that tab, I don't even respond anymore. It's not that I don't want to read your book, it's that I blog for fun and I have a full time job and kids and activities and all other types of things I have to do in my life! But it's not just the Indie authors who do this, nope, I get it from a few publishers, too. I review MG/YA/NA FICTION, so why are you sending me a request to review some kind of biography I'll never read? It's frustrating at times, and I also feel guilty sometimes b/c I don't want to be mean. But it's a lot of work sorting through it all. I love that people want to contact me, but take the time to learn about who I am and what my blog is all about!

The Red Pen said...

A couple of years ago, I noticed one of Angie's reviews and went to her blog to request one of my own. I did it the right way, and Angie responded by saying no. Her response was so kind that I sent her a thank you note for taking a moment of her time. She thanked me back. We became friends, almost certainly because we both are nice people who enjoyed nice people. Now I help administer her B4T FB page and she helps on my author page and a person from Michigan has a close friend from South Africa. I know Angie. She's as nice as one could possibly imagine, but she deserves to be treated as the person doing the favor. She's not obligated; she's kind-hearted. Angie and any other blogger deserve kind inquiries and respectful interaction. Who knows? Maybe a friendship will develop.