Today’s post is a bit of a rant…
When asking for reviews for their books from bloggers and other influencers, authors can make a whole host of mistakes. While there’s plenty of ways to go about asking for reviews, authors often don’t realise that it’s not just their chances of a review that’s at stake. The whole way an author acts from asking for the review to receiving it affects how future bloggers/influencers will react to them. So if you’re an author, you’d better beware, and don’t make the mistakes that this author has…
As a long time reviewer I’ve been inundated with requests for reviews. Most I’ve had to turn down, the reason usually being a lack of time or a lack of interest in the title on offer. Despite my lack of time and interest though, I will usually check out a request. If it’s for a book I really feel excited about, I may just squeeze it into my long list of books to be read-and-reviewed. I do however have rules of etiquette when it comes to the way I’m asked for a review. There are certain things I won’t accept anymore, and they are things that most reviewers won’t accept either. But one author on Goodreads who contacted me recently thought that the ‘rules of engagement’ regarding reviewing could be waived. To be fair, the author wasn’t overly nasty or overly stupid in the way they asked for a review. But something they’ve done, perhaps they don’t even realise, has guaranteed I will never review for them.
Here are a list of mistakes the author made, some forgivable, one particular one, not…
Minor Mistakes Made:
Mistake 1 – Requesting friendship on Goodreads
There’s nothing wrong with requesting my friendship…But at least show a little interest in my Goodreads feed. A quick check of the author shows they have hundreds of friends and few books but that’s not how Goodreads works, not for me. My settings allow anyone to message me, friend or not, so I don’t see the point in being friends with someone who’s only obviously interested in my review of their work.
Mistake 2 – Requesting via me message/not looking at my blog
I clearly have a blog link on my Goodreads bio. And it doesn’t take more than a minute to click on it, load my contact page and see that I like to be contacted via my blog. The author messaged me on Goodreads instead and was only interested in an Amazon review, not a blog review which also suggests that my blog, in their eyes, is insignificant 😡
Major Mistake Made:
Mistake 3 – Sounding like an advert
Apart from addressing the start of the email to me (brownie points for that), the rest was a copy and pasted advert then synopsis of their book. At the bottom was one line that stated I could get a free signed copy in exchange for an amazon review! Whoopee!…Except for the fact that I didn’t know who they were and don’t really care if I get a signed copy of a book by an author I don’t know!
Killer Mistake Which Guarantees I Won’t Review:
Mistake 4 – Engaging with reviewers (post-review)
I’m a long standing amazon reviewer (technically a top reviewer but let’s not dwell on that 😛 ). So when given a link to this author’s book I took a chance to check the book out, and more importantly check out the negative reviews. Plenty of people do it (sorry authors) but I check the negative reviews for red flag items such as lots of criticisms of grammar/spelling issues. I will never turn down a book based on bad reviews because people didn’t ‘get’ a book, or didn’t like a book, but if there’s a lot of damming evidence that the book’s basic English or formatting is broken, I’m not going to bother reading it.
So, checking on the negative reviews-there was only one (out of a total of just eleven reviews at the time). I read it and it didn’t sound too bad. Sure it was a negative review so it criticised the book but it wasn’t anything too nasty and I’ve seen a lot worse. This review didn’t bother me. It wouldn’t stop me reading/reviewing the book I was offered. But then I noticed there was one comment on the review and guess who decided to comment?…The author!
To comment or not to comment?
Commenting on a review is a grey area, if someone has really torn apart a book in a malicious way then I’d see no problem in the author cautiously commenting to redeem themselves/the book. But I’d always advise authors against commenting. Especially not in the way the author did (excuse the bad language):
Well sod you (reviewers name)! That’s the last time you get a free book from me…
No I won’t review your book!
Well if that’s how the author feels about one single negative review they can (input above insult) off! A little research into this author and I found out that they’re now signed up to a well-known independent publisher, a publisher I see many of my fellow book bloggers review for. It’s likely that many of those bloggers will review this author’s work and give them praise for their book. Maybe the book is even good, possibly amazing!
But…I’m not interested in reviewing a book for someone who can’t take the slightest of criticisms. Not everyone will like a book and given the fact I’m picky these days with many books I read I may well be someone who doesn’t like the book, but I’ll never know because I won’t review for an author who lacks the most basic of communication skills.
I don’t care how popular the author is, how popular their books are. I don’t care if they’re the next big thing in the thriller genre. By commenting on that review they’ve made their demeanour very clear to me…and if they really want some respect, give some to the people who review your books!
Author advice: If you are guilty of such a comment on Amazon: DELETE IT!
Okay, I feel better now – Rant over 😛
Have you ever been approached by an author in this way? Would you/have you review for them? Are you an author guilty of behaving in this way? Do you feel bad about your actions or feel they are justified? What do you think of the above, please let me know any thoughts you have I’d love to hear from you 🙂
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