I recently received one of the worst review requests e-mails that has ever landed in my inbox in the two years that I have been book blogging (and there have been some really bad ones) but this one actually disgusted me to the point that I felt the need to rant about it. And thus, my new Axe to Grind Feature was born.
Alright, so, the vast majority of request-ors successfully come up with something reasonable for the subject line. “Review Request” is pretty hard to screw up but that’s the easy part, things immediately start to go downhill from there.
Ok, so where did the name Sophie come from? My name’s not Sophie, I have two associate reviewers and neither of their names even come close either. I think that my name is pretty easy to find on my blog so I am baffled as to how this mistake continues to repeatedly occur. My name is at the bottom of all of my blog posts, it’s on all of my social media profiles, it’s on my About Page and heck, it’s even in my e-mail address so why do so many people get it wrong!? If you’re not 100% sure what my name is then don’t include it in your e-mail. A simple “Hi” would suffice and save you from immediately pissing me off before I have even read your e-mail.
I read your review policy and I realize that a contemporary romance might not be a book you’d normally read but I’m wondering if you might make an exception?
When I first read this opening sentence I was baffled. Thank you for taking the time to read my policy (most request-ors don’t) but… The author pretty much answers her own question and yet, she has the nerve to not only admit that she’s blatantly ignoring my review policy but asks me to make an exception. Euumm, okaaay… Why do you think I have a review policy? Because I like typing up useless information just for the heck of it? I mean, c’mon! If this author would have spent 1 minute browsing my blog she would have realized that I stick to my policy. I. Don’t. Read. Contemporary Romance. Period. Who are you to ask me for a favour when you can’t even get my name right?
I’m writing to request a review for my book, INSERT TITLE HERE. Yes, it’s a romance novel but it’s primarily a love story about soldiers coming home from war.
Here she reiterates that the book doesn’t revolve around a paranormal plot line. Was she hoping to convince me by providing extra details about the story? I’m sorry but the mention of “a love story about soldiers coming home from war” already has me yawing. Not my thing. At all. I like werewolves, carnage, violence and sex. Does this book sound like it has any of those elements? Nope.
And that’s all of the information that she provided about her book. No blurb. No cover. No links to give me easy access to additional details. I get tons of review requests every day; do you really think that I have the time or the inclination to research all of them? I hate to break it to you but if your initial e-mail doesn’t catch my attention from the get-go and you don’t provide enough information for me to be able to make up my mind as to whether I want to accept your request or not I am deleting your e-mail.
I’ve attached a PDF of my book.
Whenever I receive a request with a file attachment I cringe. Please don’t include your book in your original e-mail. It comes across as pushy and/or cocky. I feel like I’m either being strong armed into reading the book (i.e. I already have the book so how can I say no?) or that the author is assuming that I couldn’t possibly not be interested in accepting their request. Unless you’re including the cover of your book or a press release there shouldn’t be any files attached in a first contact e-mail. It’s just bad form.
Am I wrong for getting so worked up over this e-mail? I don’t think that I am. I put a lot of time, effort and money into my blog, and when a request-or can’t take a couple of minutes to learn my name, poke around on my site a bit to get a feel for my reading preferences and write a somewhat courteous review request e-mail, I have a very hard time even considering their submission. Why would I spend 5+ hours reading their book and then an additional 45 minutes typing up a review? Yes, I realize that the market is extremely competitive and that authors get rejected more often than not but c’mon; if you want me to spend hours on your novel you can at least give me 5 minutes of your precious time.
I know this rant won’t change anything and that I’ll continue receiving preposterous requests on a daily basis but at least it made me feel better and the next time I get an idiotic e-mail like the example listed above I can just refer the sender to this post.
About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada