Have you ever had this happen to you? What was your response?

I recently had an author contact me about reviewing his book. I agreed, and asked what format it was in. He responded that I could purchase a hardback copy online to review. I mailed him back and said unfortunately, my book budget for the month has been spent already, so I'd have to respectfully decline and say no thank you.

Then, he offered me a free review copy through his publishers.

Now, I do understand review copies cost money, and I'm not blogging to get free books at all. I was just confused as to why the author would contact me, wanting me to review his book, but then told me id have to pay for it. I've never heard of that before.

Has anyone else had this issue arise? What did you do? Or if you haven't had it happen to you, what do you think?

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Oh wow. I've never had that happen to me. I guess it's not a big deal if you ended up getting a review copy. If it happens again, I would just continue to refuse the offers. You can always add something about this to your review policy so this doesn't happen again. The author is getting free publicity for the price of a book/ebook. I think they handle that deal.

No, you're right, it's not a big deal, I still got one, I was just surprised. It struck me as a little bizarre. 

I've never had that happen to me.  It seems strange.  I also understand books are expensive, but that is their cost for the publicity.  I don't pay for books, mostly because I can't afford it.  I get free books or I hit the local library.

I think you handled it perfectly. I assume it was one of those, doesn't hurt to try moments on the authors part. Glad it all worked out for you.





Never had it happen. It works the other way around. First, the sender asks you permission to send a book to you in a format that he/she can read/use. And that's if you are a reviewer, in the first place. If you agree, you state your limitations, then accept the copy, ARC, e-book, galley sheets or pages.

Review copies aren't for sale--they're gratis.

Right. That's exactly how every other review request I've ever had has worked. This one just surprised me.

I totally second you on this! I am amazed (rather shocked!) at Danie's experience! Glad she worked it out well! 

I've had messages on Twitter that basically say "Plz review my book you can buy it here [link]" which, I'm afraid, I just ignore.

I only accept Kindle-format ebooks anyway, so someone trying to persuade me to buy a hardback wouldn't get very far.

No, I do understand this thought process, I was just surprised that he sought me out, asking for a review, then told me I'd have to buy the book. It was only after I said that wasn't in my budget at the moment that he offered me a copy. This was someone that I had never spoken with before. I can't imagine asking for a free copy of a book. If an author emails me asking for a review though, most of the time the only way that's feasible is if they offer me a copy.

I wonder if this was his first book?

There can be a learning curve here, although I admit that one took me aback. :)

It could be taken two ways actually. Yeah, you could acknowledge that books cost money and hardbacks in particular are expensive. But it is cheeky asking you to review the book and telling you that you should pay for it because he's asking you for a favour. If he hadn't offered you a free copy through his publishers, I would have questioned his intentions - for instance, you'd think that he could be using the ploy to sell his book and as such be then deemed as spam.

Let me share an author's perspective with you, Danie. I have a nonfiction book that is routinely reviewed by professional book reviewers (i.e., people who are paid by publications to seek out and review books). I have never had one of these reviewers ask for a complimentary copy, although I would gladly supply one. I also have a fiction title that needed some marketing, so for this book I contacted 200 book bloggers. Many told me they had too many books piled up to be reviewed or were not interested in the genre, but 120 agreed to review the book if I sent them a free copy. I purchased copies and paid to have them shipped to me. Then I paid about $6 a piece to mail them (priority mail with delivery confirmation so I knew they would receive the book). Of the 120 book bloggers I sent copies to, the ones who had requested them, the ones who had agreed to write reviews, how many actually did?

Three. Out of 120, three actually wrote reviews.

Based on that experience, how motivated would you be to go to the expense and trouble to send free books to book bloggers?

In your situation, Danie, since the author approached you, I think he should have provided you with a complimentary reveiw copy. But, based on my experience, I can also appreciate where he is coming from.


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