Before anyone gets upset by the above title, I’m not having a go at bloggers or trying to upset any indie authors out there. Instead I want to write a post to explore the reasons why book bloggers might refuse to review books, and this is especially the case sometimes with indie titles.
Not all book bloggers refuse to review books, not all book bloggers refuse to review indie books, but sometimes they do. And when a blogger does, there’s no point in being upset, if you’re an author, as there are always reasons behind it.
Below are 10 random reasons, some by own, others I’ve found online, for why bloggers might, and I stress might, refuse to review a book. If you’re an author, especially an indie author, it might be worth reading this, and if you are a book blogger, do you agree?
The following reasons are all addressed to an unknown author, so please don’t get offended by the way it’s written -it’s just written this way to get the message across (remember: not all reasons are my own)
“Why I refuse to review all indie books”
So you’ve checked out a blog and seen a ‘closed to all review requests’ or ‘closed to all indie review requests’ on someone’s blog. This may really upset/annoy some authors but it’s important to remember there are reasons…
1. I’m too busy
It may sound ridiculously obvious but the most common reason for blanket ban on all review requests is simply: We’re too busy. I know that authors are busy writing, editing, marketing, selling books, etc. and that you have to make a living out of such things but guess what?….So are bloggers. Book bloggers devote a large amount of their free time to their blogs, reading and reviewing books all takes time and beyond that, most of us, have offline lives happening too, so don’t be too upset if a bloggers is closed to all reviews. And if they seem closed to just indie books then maybe the blogger can only handle the books their getting through a publisher, without adding titles they didn’t expect to their list.
2. Indie books aren’t popular enough
Yes it stings but a lot of bloggers won’t review your work because indie books aren’t very popular or well known. I recently found a discussion about this and having taken a look at my stats, I know from personal experience of running this blog versus my old one (which had more indie book reviews than this one) that indie books just don’t have the same popularity as traditionally published ones. While an indie book review may net a large amount of hits on the day of the post, and a few days later, I rarely get any hits at all for my reviews of indie books, but there’s often a random search engine hit from someone who had been looking for the review of a book by a well known publisher.
3. I’ve been spammed by indie author requests before
Too many indie author requests at once, especially when it’s clear you haven’t read my review submissions policy beforehand, will guarantee a blogger burn out eventually. Bloggers who’ve been burnt by indie authors who don’t seem to care how they treat us might just decide enough is enough, and stop reviewing indie titles altogether. This may seem unfair, especially of you haven’t done anything bad and are always a nice and fair person when approaching bloggers, but unfortunately some indie authors out there aren’t so well meaning and you should blame them, not us.
4. You won’t give me a hard/physical copy of your book
Some of us like to read physical books. Yes we know you authors can’t always afford to send us hard copies, especially if we live in another country from you, but there are plenty of book bloggers that’ll be happy to review digital texts so you’ll have to find one of them. There are always reasons why some bloggers can’t read digital books, from personal preference to, in my case, not being able to due to reoccurring eye problems and headaches, and these reasons, whatever they are, should be respected. However there are some rather unpleasant authors out there who love to complain about bloggers even going so far as to suggest that we want the hard copies in order to sell them on for profit. This is a rare thing that happens (if it even does) and the majority of us will either keep the copies or maybe share them which means more exposure for you and your book.
“Why I refuse to review your book”
So, you’ve found a blogger willing to review indie books but after requesting, they’ve turned you down (or maybe never even contacted you back!). This may leave you feeling upset, especially if you see them reviewing other indie books, but there’s always a reason why they turned you and your book down. And if it isn’t one of the above reasons, it could be one of these…
5. You got my name wrong
I really, REALLY don’t like being called ‘Kent, Reviewer, Blogger, Mavis, etc.’ My name is clearly on my about page and it only takes you a few minutes to find it and address me by my name in your email. However plenty of authors still get our names wrong and the above are ALL names I’ve been called before (apart from Mavis) – Kent being the most insulting as I’m clearly not male and that was my location in the UK! If you don’t know a blogger’s name just leave it out, or say “Hi” in your email instead. It’s better not to mess up this part of your email to a blogger, or they might not even bother to read the rest.
6. I don’t review your genre
Well it’s obvious you didn’t read the submissions policy as I clearly stated which genres I will and will not review. This has happened to me on numerous occasions on my old blog, with authors contacting me with book review requests for genres I didn’t review. It’s important to read (and then re-check if necessary) a bloggers submissions policy, or their contact/about page if isn’t one, before contacting them as any genre preferences will be listed there. Some authors try to contact reviewers anyway, but all you’re doing is wasting a bloggers time as we won’t read and review books in genres we don’t like.
7. You didn’t contact me via my contact page
I don’t know how many bloggers agree with this one but it’s very annoying to get a review request via twitter, facebook, etc. My social media has links to my blog, as it did on my old one and it doesn’t take long for you to find the submissions information on the blog and see that I like to be contacted via email. But plenty of authors, on my old blog, tried contacting me with review requests via twitter without ever checking out the blog, this was even more annoying as it was often for a book which I really didn’t want to read!
8. You hate reviewers/complain about reviews
As much as some authors hate negative reviews you have to live with them and there’s no point in arguing about it on Amazon or Goodreads by leaving comments. Still some authors choose to do this and it is off putting, especially when those comments are clearly nasty/ranty. Another thing that puts me off personally is that some authors, I won’t name names, complain non-stop on their blog about their negative reviews. While a short rant about a particularly horrible negative review may be valid and understandable, some authors I’ve known go so far as to suggest that all reviewers are horrible and we take great pleasure in giving negative reviews. Believe it or not as a book blogger I check out your blogs and websites when I learn your name and if I see a ranty author who hates reviewers, do you really think I’m going to review your book?
9. You apparently love my reviews but have never read one at all
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with saying that you enjoy reading my reviews, or a specific review I’ve written, in fact it makes you more friendly and I’m more likely to say yes, however if you’ve never read my reviews or only skim read one, don’t go saying that you’ve enjoyed reading my reviews. Worse still are the authors who tell me that they’ve been following my blog/reviews for a while now and enjoy reading them…Okay, that’ s great, but would it kill you to ‘like’ a review every once in a while, or post a comment on my blog to make me see that you care and that you do indeed read my posts?
10. I just don’t want to read your book
Sometimes there’s no reason other than…’I just don’t feel like it’. Sometimes there’s no specific reason a book blogger refuses to review a book other than they just don’t feel a vibe for the book or just don’t feel like doing it. Just like sometimes you may not feel like going for a run, eating healthily, writing, editing, etc., us bloggers sometimes just don’t want to read your book, and sometimes we just want to stop reading for a while, full stop and if that happens when you’ve requested a book, well, that’s just unfortunate timing.
Ok, so I hope no authors were offended as no offense was meant by this post. There are plenty of reasons why a blogger may refuse to review books, I’m personally not open to most requests at the moment due to the high amount of books I already have from publishers. But whatever the reasons that a blogger may have, there’s no point in grumbling, mumbling about it and being upset. Just move on and find another blogger to ask for a review as there’s always plenty who will say yes, you just need to look for them. 🙂
Are you a book blogger? Have you come across some of these issues? Do you agree with the reasons for why we refuse review requests? What other reasons can you come up with? Or…
Are you an author? Have you had trouble getting reviews? Do you agree with these reasons? Are you guilty of any, or have you come up with additional barriers when trying to get reviews? Let me know I’d love to hear from you 🙂
Don’t forget to follow me in these places too 🙂 !