The question this time comes from a post I saw by Mint @ Mint Loves Books:
Do you accept review requests?
These are my personal opinions. I do not expect anyone to agree with anything here, and in fact, I’m certain that many will disagree and/or even hate many of the things I’ve written below. Sorry about that, but you are always welcome to express your own opinions – be they contrary or comparable – in the comments section. So, with that out of the way… let the controversy begin!
What made me think about this topic?
As noted above, I saw a post by Mint @ Mint Loves Books called “Why I don’t accept review requests.” and that made me think it would be a good topic for discussion. She posed a few questions. They include: Do you keep your review requests open? Why or why not? What has your experience been with review requests you’ve accepted/denied?
Do you keep your review requests open? Why or why not?
When I first started blogging, I was always open to review requests – both from authors and from publishers. Then I started getting ARCs from NetGalley and Edelweiss and my Kindle started to get filled up. At a certain point, I decided that I just had too many books to read, and it might be better to close up that avenue. However, on my Book Reviewing Policy page, I left the door open a crack by saying:
SORRY, I am not presently accepting new books for review (but you can always try to convince me that your book is worth my making time to read and review).
What has your experience been with review requests you’ve accepted/denied?
Several authors and publishers have tried to convince me to read and review their books. I have accepted a minority of them, since most don’t bother to look at my blog or my reviewing policy page, or even my Goodreads profile, and they send me queries for books that are WAY out of my genre preferences. These get automatic denials. I can tell if they haven’t done their homework, or if they’re trying to get me to read some badly written crap from the emails. I swear, I wonder how anyone with any level of self-esteem can send out an email with terrible grammar or tons of spelling mistakes, and expect us to believe that’s not how their book will end up being as well!
Of the books I have accepted, I’ve had mixed results. For example, one author who approached me wanted me to read her contemporary women’s fiction book that she promised wasn’t romance. She told the truth, and I’m soon going to be reading her third novel! Another author wanted to send me her YA fantasy novel, but there was something in her email that made me take notice, and not reject it outright. Soon after I (halfheartedly) agreed, she mentioned that she was also publishing a travel memoir. I asked her if I could beg off on the YA novel and read her memoir instead. She agreed, and I just LOVED that book. Last year she published an adult, literary fiction novel, and I loved that one as well. So far, only one other author offered me a book that I didn’t reject and I enjoyed it (but it didn’t wow me).
Regarding those books I accepted reluctantly, a few of these authors were so anxious to get me to read their books that they sent physical copies! I’m sorry to say that I only finished reading one of them, and then the book got a review of only 2.5/5 stars. Two others I just won’t bother even looking at, because I just don’t read fantasy novels. Another one had WAY too much graphic sex for my taste, and the last one I gave up on because of the incessant name-dropping of famous Hollywood people, which detracted from the main protagonist’s story. So annoying!
Finally a few publishers have offered me books, but mostly they don’t sound like good matches to my tastes. This is different from the relationships I’ve developed with a few publicists, who noticed my reviews of books by their authors and/or their imprints. That’s reaped me some excellent novels.
There you have it!
So… what about you?
Do you get many unsolicited review requests? If so, how do you decide which ones to accept and which ones to reject? What has been your experience with the books you accepted?
This post is my 11th entry in the 2022 Discussion Challenge & Giveaway, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight!