I've written two posts on this topic previously, and both of them have been received just as I had hoped for. I've had most authors agree, and I hope accept some of these 'mistakes' they make while interacting with bloggers. Both the previous posts resulted in a lot of comments and discussions here on the blog, as well as on a number of Facebook author groups. I was actually surprised to see how receptive these posts have been. Don't get me wrong, I did get a few reactions I had expected in the beginning. A few authors argued that I had no right to point these out, or that bloggers were worse or at least just as guilty. I had a couple of authors post counter arguments to my points in the previous two posts, and I loved that. They were gracious and did not try to bash me. Each post was extremely respectful. For all of this, I am extremely grateful.
If you'd like to take a look at the previous two posts, head over to check out post number one and post number two. And to read the author reactions to my posts, check out the replies by author Natalie Star to post one and author Tara Chevrestt to post two. With that out of the way, let's get to the third and final post in the series.
post number one (Read the Review Policy).
“Thanks for the follow! I’d love if you could review my book or do an interview on your blog! :-)” This one was a DM I got right after I had followed the author back. What do you think happened?
“Thanks for the follow. If you have time check out my brand new Children's book!” Children’s book, really?
“Hi. I was wondering if you could review my book, The Secret To Attaining Wealth. Love to send you an electronic copy. Thanks let me know.” Do you even know who I am or what I do? I have done my MBA in Finance and have an inbuilt bullshit detector for all secrets to attaining wealth. I have a secret for you, but you can’t tell anyone! Work hard and love what you do for many years and you will attain wealth!
Want to learn what to do to make twitter work for you? Check this post out; it has got some really good advice. “Lesson on social media etiquette folks: don't use those programs that automatically calls people out for unfollowing, not following back, etc. It makes you look like a tool.”
I have a blogger friend who prefers to read YA, romance or erotica only and says so on her blog. And, she gets requests for SF, autobiographies, non-fiction even. She had an author who wrote fantasy who kept pestering her with review requests, and she was always gracious and said no each time. This went on for months! Finally, she just had to stop replying to his emails. Wow!
And don’t even get me started on badly behaving authors! Just because they pay a company to run their tour, they expect to get glowing reviews for their books. I remember when one author got into a debate with a number of bloggers on a tour because he received 3-star reviews for his book. He went to the extent that he demanded that one of the reviews be removed completely and not be posted to Amazon. And he pestered and threatened the blog tour company to remove said blog from the tour. Final outcome? The blog in question was removed, but I ended up deleting his interview on my blog as I did not want to interview such a petty author. Oh, and the review ended up on Amazon anyways. All we ask is that authors be considerate and professional. How hard is that?
I know how authors are going to react to this. What about all those malicious reviews which some reviewers like to leave which amount to nothing more than “I hate this, this is rubbish” or “This author does not know how to write, he should have stuck to his old profession”? Here also, I have one advice only. Walk away. Turn around and leave. If a person is going to leave such a review, what do you think will happen if you comment? He and his troll friends will only prey on you more. You know that terrible website called “Stop the GR Bullies”? It would never have happened if authors ignored such reviews. Getting into discussions with such idiots makes you look like a bigger fool, and readers who see it will be turned off from your writing. This is definitely not what you want!
So this brings us to the end of this series. I really hope this has been somewhat helpful, and not many feelings have been hurt. I have enjoyed writing this series immensely and I hope authors take something positive away from this. As always, I'd love to hear your comments about what I am saying. Please be brutally honest!
So AUTHORS, what do you think? Do you think this is too harsh? Do you believe avoiding these 'pitfalls' would help you in getting a better 'hit rate' with bloggers?
And BLOGGERS, tell me if you've had similar experiences. Also, what is your biggest pet peeve regarding how authors approach you with review requests? Leave a comment below, and I could add it to my ever expanding list. Of course I'll give you due credit to bringing it to my attention and will add a link to your blog to the posts.