As a fellow blogger, I was just wondering what many of you think when an author sends you an e-mail along with an attachment assuming that you will do a review? I've also received an e-mail from an author who posted his do's and don'ts for interviews, giveaways, etc. And though I'd love to help authors promote their books, is it rude of me to put a section in my policy stating that I will automatically delete those who just assume?
Just wondering if people came across these certain issues and what you have done
To be honest theres two things you can do.
1) Have your rules and stipulations set out about reviewing policy. In that you can state that if people automatically assume and include it then it will be deleted.
2) Have a standard polite email ready to roll that states that you'd like to thank them for thier time in contacting you, but due to current scheduled commitments you're unable to accept thier work at this time.
Other than that just make sure that you don't over commit. Theres quite a few people who will end up over committing to what they can do and find themselves with a huge backlog.
We call those unsolicited book. :P :) I don't really care if an author attaches the book in his email. After all, it is my prerogative to decide whether I want to review the book or not.
As for the author who gave you his do's and don'ts... that was just rude. :)
I agree with Michelle. Some authors can by pushy and some are really wonderful. This business is full of all different personality types. I would discourage attachments, only because of the virus risk. I don't open them from people I don't know. A very clear review policy can help discourage abuse.
All things considered though-- as soon as you get popular as a reviewer, people will be approaching you with all sorts of requests. I hope you should just have fun with it.
I find it a little presumptuous, but I don't really get offended. I don't feel an obligation to read something unless I've already agreed to read it.
My policy is to let diplomacy prevail. This is part of social networking and you don't want to turn people off or turn people away that you can help. I'm sure we all know other reviewers who might be willing to do a review we don't want to do ourselves..
Diplomatic wise and biz wise wouldn't it be wise to do a referral instead and ask around in the book review community, if someone would help a fellow author out who maybe a "Newbie" and doesn't know blogging etiquette/protocol - or just plain and simple wants a review.
Last week an author, asked me to do a review, a total stranger, and sent a PDF. I was very busy, so I found someone (3 someones), then after I looked at the story, I decided to add my views. We're friends now. Social networking is about helping people with like minds, because we are all authors and writers and we all need help at some point from a total stranger- or fellow author.
Toni Mckain/Max N.
I don't think it's rude. Maybe put something in there saying while you appreciate all inquiries you don't always have time to reply and satisfy their requests. i've gotten a couple emails like that recently and I just politely said thank you for the opportunity and if it happens it happens. i hope that helps some.
Beccie Weaver www.facebook.com/Bookiesfan
When someone e-mails you out of the blue, they are taking on all the risk that you will just say no, not even respond, or respond with a "maybe". In this kind of marketing environment, when even authors at major houses are relying more and more on their own marketing prowess, I think it's to be expected. That said.... Even before I launched my blog I was fielding a LOT of unsolicited review requests, the vast majority had nothing to do with what a quick look at my review history had showed that I enjoyed reading. Or, because I had reviewed one book (from among 350 plus reviews) that seemed to them to tie into what their book was about, they assumed that I couldn't wait to read and review their own work.
So when I launched my own blog, I stuck the review policy up on the main page: I only review what I'd read anyway; I read very few self-published books (I've found the vast majority in great need of proofing and copy-editing and sometimes even fact-checking, and there are lots of books that I'm eager to read without sending my blood pressure higher...) I also spelled out the kinds of books that interest me. I'd certainly be a LOT more responsive to anyone sending me a pitch or even a whole book on an unsolicited basis if they showed me that they had not only read those but understood them.
Some pitches are so obviously mass e-mailed that I don't even bother replying. The author is sending out the same pitch to everyone, regardless of the nature of their blog or reading interests. When someone has made an effort to personalize it, or there's something else that makes it stand out, I'll reply, probably saying thanks, but no thanks. If the author has sent me the book along with the pitch, then I specify that I haven't read it. Because I also write, I don't want to get hit with some kind of lawsuit in 10 years by someone claiming I plagiarized work they sent me (that I hadn't even read). Hey, I know people to whom it's happened. Which is one reason why, if I were an author, I'd be wary about sending on MSS indiscriminately, especially self-published ones.
I did just agree to review something on the blog written by someone I know slightly, because it falls into my broad area of interest. The query was polite; the author followed up promptly by having his publisher send me a copy of the book after my agreement.
As for the author who posted do's and don'ts -- well, that's fine and dandy if you're John Grisham or Stephen KIng. Or it's fine if you're being besieged with requests, and have to figure out which ones will help your book and which will only help the blogger. But only a few hundred authors really fall into that category. Frankly, as an author, if you're marketing a book, you'll do what it takes -- and nicely. No, you don't want to do an interview at 3 a.m. -- but if the interviewer is from the BBC or National Public Radio, you'll do it if that's when the interviewer can do it. For a blogger, it's not going to happen. But that's the kind of thing that you sort out the details of once you've been asked. For an author to say up front what do's and don'ts are is a bit presumptuous. They can always respond with a form letter, saying that regretfully they can only provide three giveaway copies to any blog with fewer than 500 followers, or whatever.
I think you're perfectly within your rights to find it obnoxious when authors do that, or when they "just assume". But you might cross the line if you staring telling them that. Sometimes polite silence is more effective (and preserves your own rep) than wording that someone you might want to interview one day decides to find offensive. This is the Internet, where no one can really read your tone of voice, body language or other clues to your real intent. You can find someone unpleasant, obnoxious, etc. and their marketing behavior worse than that of the most unpleasant second hand car salesman -- that's fine. I don't think that showing it is.
I agree with Susan !00% on two issues she brought up, which is why I stopped revewing adult lit and am only reviewing child lit, indirectly, meaning inviting other reviewers to feature on my blog.
I am a writer/author, and I decided it's quite unsafe to review certain genres especially when your own manuscript is in the hopper. I have issues with plagarism of my works and infringement, that's why I allow reviewers to use my blog and I write the intro. My initial thought was not to post anyones works, but mine which I am returning to. What was rewarding was helping a few people and the networking paid off. Fortunately, I have not had a problem because what I'm working on is sitting in the Library of Congress with a synopsis attached and dates.
Copyright your work so you can add to it if you write and do reviews.
The second issue was self published works that need copy-edited, and proofed. Some need critiqued before there books. It's bad, and I know a lot of frustrated writer /authors who shouldn't have paid to publish books, because they weren't ready or worked to satisfaction. I'm talking quality writing in a fierce market. 950, 000 books published in 2010 and most were self published. Somebodies making a good living, and it's not the authors of self published books.