Tag Archives: annoying

How to piss off a book blogger, part III

Pissed Off

OK, I’m not really pissed off. That would be giving random people on the internet too much control over me and my emotional wellbeing. But seriously people, this is just RUDE and why exactly would I want to go out of my way to do a favor for a person who’s sole interaction with me and my blog is rude and dismissive? Can we say shooting yourself in the foot?

I’m talking, of course, about people who, not only can’t be bothered to read a blog’s policies before requesting a review, but don’t even bother to look; who don’t even bother with e-mail but jut pop a spammy comment in the comment section of another book’s review.

Here is an example. It was pulled from here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 1.26.09 PMThat is just so darned rude! But even Moon, above, did better than the one I received today.  He at least kept it brief and stuck to a review post, as opposed to a permanent page, like Mr. McMillian.

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 1.35.51 PM

He posted this as a comment on my permanent review page. As if I want this to be an everlasting fixture of the blog. At least Moon’s will get buried with each new post I write.

Yes, I could delete them, (In fact, see that red spam button in the image above? Yeah, that’s what I pressed for McMillian’s book.) but honestly I think they deserved to be shamed a little. No doubt these authors are as desperate for reviews as everyone else, but unless instructed to by the blogger, this is the 100% wrong way to request one. I don’t know a single blogger who would be happy with this. Plus, am I supposed to buy the book you’re spamming me to review? Because you can’t attach a file to a comment, so how is that supposed to even work?

It may not be a pubic service I’m providing by calling these guys (and others like them) out, but hopefully it will remind them to do better by the people they are soliciting for reviews. No one likes to waste time and believe me, this is a waste of time—mine and the author’s—because if the request is almost guaranteed not to result in a review, writing it is a waste of everyone’s time.

And it’s not just here that I find this sort of thing, though it’s my primary emphasis today. How about this one I received in a Goodreads friend request?

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 1.47.21 PM

I’ll let you guess if I accepted or not…no, of course I didn’t. I answered thus:

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 1.51.14 PM

I can at least give the man credit for being polite in his response, but get the real sense he still didn’t (maybe doesn’t) see the problem. The fact that it’s for charity in no way negates the fact that his solicitation was spam. (Nor does it excuse it.)

I appreciate your honesty and understand that my approach may irritate some.
But I’m trying hard, in my own little way, to help this island (Islay) that is losing population. Half of the book proceeds will support students of its high school on their mission trip to a third world country.
I don’t need the income from the book. It’s a giving-back sort of thing for me.
Hope you understand. Sorry to offend you.

I get it, you send out dozens of review requests and probably have a pretty poor response rate (everyone does) and it can be awful easy to forget that this is in fact a form of professional communication, even with hobby bloggers like myself. It can be easy to fall into an abbreviated, ‘I’ll just throw this one our just in case’ mentality. But let me assure you that, on the receiving end, we feel it and it does not reflect well on you or your book.


I don’t need more than a sentence or two and a linked file in a request email. I don’t need flattery or press releases or extended synopses. It’s all nice, but I don’t think poorly of someone who doesn’t include it, so long as I have the basics. But I do need you to follow the direction, so that your book can travel the appropriate path to my reading list.

In my case, I track the emails. It’s how I list the books that have been sent to me for review requests. That means a blog comment doesn’t even make it onto the list. It simply doesn’t exist in the format I file requests in. So it is 100% ineffective and I would bet I’m not the only blogger with systems like this.

To bring this all around to the beginning though, I’m not even overly concerned at this point with effectiveness (because frankly, if you put so little effort into a request, I don’t care if it works or not) but with the flat out rudeness of it. This is rude and you just plain shouldn’t be rude to me if you want me to read your book.

Related posts:

How to piss off a book blogger, part I

How to piss off a book blogger, part II