Personally I do. I usually have basic reasons - it doesn't fit my review criteria, etc. I don't get too many that I'm simply not interested in by the pitch so I don't have this problem much unless it's something I don't review (aka, not a romance, is a short story, etc)
I also provide a reason. I have some reasons that are pretty standard but I also let an author know if their subject matter or books sounds like it's outside of my comfort level or the genres I review.
To be honest, most of the time I have to decline to review something because I'm fully scheduled with books to review too far out into the future.
The only reason I decline a review is that it's not the genre that my readers are into. And I tell them that in a very polite way. I make sure to include that it has nothing to do with them or their book just that it isn't the type of genre we review.
I usually give some sort of reason. I try to be honest ("I simply don't have time", "not my genre", etc.).
The only time I will decline a review is if the book isn't in one of the genres that interest me, or if my scheduled virtual book tour events calendar is booked solid and I can't fit them in. I will also let the PR or author know that if I do consider doing a review, that there is a waiting list with a 4-8 week time frame before I could get a review to them, this way it also gives them the opportunity to decline being placed on the list.
Agreed. The number one turnoff in a book for me is bad editing/grammar, so if I notice it in the pitch, there's no way that I'm going to read the book. Then again, I haven't gotten many non-spammy review requests. If it comes into my inbox as part of a mass e-mail, I probably won't even bother responding.
Speaking from the perspective of one who approaches book reviewers quite frequently I can assure you any indication that the e-mails are being read is great comfort. Something as simple as being told that now's not a good time can prove to be boost to morale.
What's more helpful to both the reviewer and solicitor is declining titles because they're a specific genre. Understanding someone's preferences lets me narrow the books I'm pitching to something the reviewer might actually be interested in checking out. Saves me a little time, saves you a little time and decreasing the amount of inbox clutter.
But at the same time I understand people are busy and don't take it personally when I never hear back about a particular release pitch. I hope that everyone who receives pitches from me also understands that there's a lot of review sites to contact and only so many ours in the day, so I can't always make my e-mails as personalized as I might otherwise.
Thanks for allowing my two cents.
I think it's optional, but you should have your book review policies/rules posted somewhere on your blog site. Joseph