discussion

Discussion: Review Requests: yay or nay?

For those who are not known with the term review requests, this basically is the opposite of requesting ARCs. When you request an ARC, for example on NetGalley, you look at the synopsis of several books, decide which ones you like and you request them. Then you wait for the publisher to accept (or not accept, because that happens a lot too), and you can read and review it. Review requests are very different, instead of going to the publisher or writer yourself, writers come to you with their books. This means that whatever request you get, it can be very different from what you normally read.

Of course, if you get a request you don’t have to accept. I think my acceptance rate is quite low, about 40%. I have gotten about 18 review requests (give or take a little I haven’t actually counted) and reviewed 4 so far, 3 I have not yet reviewed. I guess you could say I’m not a professional and I haven’t had much experience, but I’d like to say a few things about review requests and whether it would be something you might like to do.

The Good

Help Authors – The first thing that comes to mind is the opportunity to help out unknown authors. Of course big well-known authors will not go find bookish bloggers themselves, usually, they take a simpler road using their publisher. Therefore, the authors that contact you will most likely be small indie authors, people who self-published their book.

Free books – Of course free books are always welcome (I would start a book orphanage if I had the space and money, save the books!).

Find new things – How vague I am, haha. What I’ve found so far in my ARC reviewing business is that I’m way more likely to accept a book when it’s handed to me than to go out and get it myself (especially if that means buying it). So genres that I’m lesser acquainted with, or usually wouldn’t read, I wouldn’t go out and buy. Now, however, when someone comes to me with an intriguing synopsis, even though it’s a genre I wouldn’t usually pick up, I am more likely to accept and actually read the book. This opens my mind to new books and genres, and you know what: you never know whether you’ll love it.

The Bad

Impolite emails – What I love about some authors is that they actually send you a personal message, telling you why they think their book fits your preferences or even something about your blog. Other authors however, don’t seem to have the decency to even put my name at the top of their email. If I get a review request like that, I am 99% likely not to accept, simply for the fact that if they didn’t put any time in it, why would I?

Not matching my preferences – I’ve gotten a lot of emails from authors talking to me about their non-fiction book, or historical fiction spirituality book, or who knows. I almost never read non-fiction, especially not if it’s about a topic I don’t know much about. In fact, a few weeks ago I got a request for a book about puppy training, and while we just got a pup, I don’t feel like I am the right person to review such a book. So saying no thank you, it is.

It takes time – Reading takes time, reviewing too. This is just a matter of priorities, if you have the time to put some extra time in your reading schedule or are willing to push forward other books so you can read the requested book, go for it.

Conclusion?

So while for Indie authors, book bloggers might be a great opportunity for some extra book reviews which would lead to more sales, it is not always a perfect solution. For me, it is fun to do on the side of reading ARCs from NetGalley, but I find myself giving priority to those ARCs opposed to review-requested books. Saying no to authors is something I sometimes struggle with, especially when they’ve written an elaborate personalized email about a book that really does sound interesting, and I simply do not have the time. It’s frustrating, but I push myself over that, because when I do decide to review a book it feels very fulfilling to know I actually helped someone get their book into the world and maybe someone else will enjoy it after me.

If you want to get review requests, what to do?

Review Policy – Review policies are there to avoid the annoying situations as described above. A review policy should consist of information about what your reviews look like, information on ratings and genres you enjoy reading. You can also state whether you for example only review physical copies. Authors that want to contact you can thereby see whether their book would match or not. Also, make sure that you clearly state whether

Enlist yourself – For authors to find you is not that easy, as far as I know, authors don’t go scouring the internet to find book bloggers. Since the beginning of November, I’ve been enlisted on a book blogger list, which makes it much easier for authors to find you. I have not a single clue which list it was (I’m slightly embarrassed about that), but if you’d like to enlist as well I’m pretty sure google can help you out. If you google “book blogger list”, I’m sure something will pop up.

Do you take review requests? Do you enjoy it or not? And what are your pro’s or con’s?

P.S. At this moment, I do not take review requests, since I simply don’t have the time.

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26 thoughts on “Discussion: Review Requests: yay or nay?

  1. I get bombed with review requests from authors and at first I accepted almost all of them! What the check was I thinking? Haha. Now I only accept the ones I think I will really enjoy and if authors don’t use my name, there’s no way I’m saying yes!! On my blog it clearly states I do not read science fiction and yet I get tons of requests for it!! Delete!!
    Awesome post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I almost fell in that trap as well. It’s so easy to just say yes but if you’re going to hate the book you won’t be doing anyone any good. That’s always something I consider, if I doubt I will enjoy it I won’t be helping the author either.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My question is: is there a way you can still have authors send you ARC’s even if you’re not a book reviewer? I LOVE reading and it would be amazing to get hold of some, but I feel you have to be a reviewer to do so….?🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Uhhm I think you do have to review books in order to get ARCs but if you do not post reviews on your blog you might be able to do that on goodreads or amazon or something. Sadly ARCs are meant to be reviewed, because the goal is to spread the word about the book, so I don’t think you’ll be able to get ARCs without returning the favour in the form of a review.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a review policy waiting in my drafts but I don’t want to put it up because I have such a pile of books that I want to wait until it goes down and I have a feeling that even if I put that I’m not accepting requests posting the review policy will invite people to send me lots of unwanted emails.
    I do get a few emails filtering through and I’ve always responded, some I have taken on but haven’t got round to reading yet. However there was one author who emailed me fairly recently, who I responded to with a no because I have no time, the author responding thanking me for getting back in touch and then emailed me two days later a quite harsh email asking why I hadn’t replied to his review request. I got a laugh out of it because I got to point out to this author that they were a tool but they are now blacklisted in my book 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure that posting a review policy will immediately fill your inbox with emails. I’ve had one on my blog from the beginning but never got any requests until I enlisted.. but it’s probably different for everyone.
      That’s so weird! Luckily I’ve never gotten any such emails 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ugh, I get weird ones all the time…some that I get are totally my kind of books, but a lot of the time I get ones from people who obviously have not read my blog or my review policy. Once I was called Grand, and I emailed them back and told them if they can’t get my name right, I’m not reviewing their book, obviously!
    But the ones that really irk me are for books that they still want me to buy after sending me the email: come check out my new horror novel (I don’t read horror) bc it’s on Amazon for $.99! I would love for you to review it! (Umm, no?)
    It’s hard; some of the best books have come from authors emailing me, but it’s apparent when someone hasn’t read my review policy, you know?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes those are the worst! When you get a request for a book that’s not even close to something you’d like. Luckily I’ve never had an author asking me to pay for their book, that’s just rude!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, that was the biggest surprise: “hope you’ll read my book, here’s the link to buy it!” And I’m like……hmmmm….
        NOPE. 🙄

        Like

  5. I get a lot of review requests as well, and the books are usually not ones I’m interested in. They are mostly dark fantasy or dystopian books, and I have had to decline a lot of them as I’d probably dislike them. I’ve read and reviewed maybe 5 ish books from author requests, and there was only one that I really liked. I find that authors often don’t read review policies thoroughly!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve gotten three review requests already, and said no to all of them. I feel really bad, but I have a right to, you know? After my first and second one, I decided to put “no review requests” at the top of my contact form, buuuuuut there was still a person who requested. 😄 She was still really nice though! I think that I would totally support them (because I can definitely imagine myself in a position like theirs), but not at the moment. Plus this was at a time when I didn’t talk openly with my mother about blogging (even though I don’t do that now either… 😄 ) and so I wasn’t sure if she’d be okay with me saying yes. Also I have no e-reader, which is the most basic form that requesting authors use. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ugh seriously! why don’t people read? (I know it’s hard and all 😛 ) If you don’t want review requests you shouldn’t have to decline people who send you requests anyway… Yeah, e-readers are the best form to read ARCs, bless my dad for giving me his old iPad so I can read so much more!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve taken to rarely excepting a review request and contemplated stating I don’t take reviews at all and sticking to netgalley and books from publishers that I request. I’ve just been disappointed so many times and some of the request are so dodgy/strange like we can tell when you’ve copy and pasted a message and not bothered to read my review page. Great discussion 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I stick mainly to netgalley as well, because those are books I anticipate reading, though if an author comes with a great book, I do accept their requests (not always though). Those copy-paste emails are definitely nice, and I’ve gotten some very strange requests as well, I guess it’s just something you’re going to have to deal with if you take review requests. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I have been accepting book review requests but lately i’m struggling as its alot of pressure as they have deadlines and i’m already reading something. Then the ones that i really struggle to read just keep sitting there yelling at me to finish so i can review it but if i’m not enjoying it how can i finish and review it? Then to tell them that..its so hard sometimes

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I understand… so far I haven’t been in the position that I have to tell an author their book wasn’t enjoyable and/or that I had to quit reading it, but it is something I think about before accepting. It’s a risk but yeah, they’ll understand (I hope).

      Like

  9. I’ve gotten a few review requests and while they were hit or miss, most of them were ones that sounded right up my alley. I’ve politely declined a few, due to timing or my interest level. Some, though, I’ve really lucked out and found a real gem. 🙂

    Lauren @ Always Me

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great! Finding gems is an amazing thing. I’ve read a couple of great unknown books this way as well 🙂

      Like

  10. I get all these Urban Fantasie Spiritual Romance thingy books all the time and I’m just LIKE WHAT? Please read my Review Policy. I most likely decline. I’ve gotten about 30 in total and I started at the beginning of this year and have only accepted 2. Oops.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha yeah, for me those spiritual romance things are a no-go even if they send it to me for free xD
      I haven’t gotten that many requests luckily, otherwise I would never get to reading them. Declining is okay if you don’t think you’ll like the book, so don’t worry about low acceptance rates 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I discovered your blog recently, and I LOVE your graphics 😀 They’re just so pretty

    And yes. I’ve gotten a couple of review requests from different authors, but I’ve mostly declined them. One wanted me to review a thriller/adult fiction book, but they wanted me to have a spotlight (so, that’s better, maybe??) and I declined…

    Very interesting post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thanks 😀
      Declining is really okay if you don’t think you’ll enjoy the book, you ain’t helping anyone if you’re going to spend time on reading and reviewing a book if you don’t like it! Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

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