Now, as Chami and I try to mix up our posts a bit in order to keep things more interesting for you guys, today I decided to post about something that Chami and I have discussed quite a bit- especially in the last couple of months. Review requests from authors and publishers make up a big part of book blogging and so today I'm going to discuss a few of the good and bad things about them.
This post is by no way us trying to brag about the books we've been sent, nor are we saying that every author is like this- these are only a few things that we've noticed. We aren't 'experts' either, we haven't been sent millions of books by authors and certainly haven't reviewed all of the ones we've been sent (yet).
Let's start with the good things:
1. Having this blog has given us the chance to talk to some truly lovely and amazing authors, not only through reviewing their books but through blog tours, interviews, giveaways, guest posts etc.
2. A lot of these authors will go a very long way to make sure that you get the best out of your experience with them. Honestly, the dedication of some of these authors has really blown us away. As some of you may know Chami and I live way out in Australia but this hasn't stopped authors from mailing us things all the way from America and Europe which is absolutely lovely- and not just books either, we're talking bookmarks, letters, thank-you cards and everything.
3. Authors are willing to help bloggers out. As you may have seen from our blogoversary celebrations last July- authors we've met over the last year have allowed us to host giveaways for them, taken time to write guest posts and just be genuinely supportive.
4. Not everything is about free books and other things though, e-mails have been sent back and forth about all sorts of topics- school, travel, other books, illnesses etc. There are certainly authors we've met who I consider to be friends, and that's really nice.
5. Chami and I have taken way too long to get reviews up sometimes (we are still working on a whole bunch of them) and it's something I definitely stress over, so it's really nice when authors are understanding when it comes to time frames. The more understanding you are, the more likely we are to go out of our way to get your reviews done.
It's these sorts of good things that really makes blogging worth while and feel like we're helping out a friend or family member rather than an author living in a completely different country that we've never met. This being said, there are downsides as well.
1. This is probably one of the biggest things for us, in fact I have stressed myself out about this particular thing so many times and it's really the opposite side of number 5. Which is the fact that some authors just don't seem to appreciate the time that you take. Now we don't expect a muffin basket or something for our time but we would like a simple 'thank-you' especially when it comes to reviews.
2. Another thing is authors or publishers who send us requests to review their books and then never send us a book. We understand that things get busy and you forget, but if you've taken the time to send us a request and we've accepted- please actually send us the book.
3. We accept almost every request that we are sent, but we can tell if you haven't taken the time to really look at our blog. We get that you may be busy, but please at least look at our About Us and Review Policy page.
4. This another big one that has been bugging me the last couple of months. There are two of us that run this blog- Chami AND Ely. Unless we've replied to your e-mail just signed as one of us, then please use both of our names. This is especially for original e-mails, the moment you address your e-mail to one of us and not the other, we know you haven't looked at our blog. Also, please make sure you spell our names right. We think they're pretty simple.
5. Spam e-mails. We find that these usually come from publishers rather than authors. But these e-mails promote books (generally which aren't in our list of accepted genres) and they can appear by the bucketload. These are usually the only requests we actually turn down.
Anyway, that's my two cents worth. I'll be doing a similar post to this next week about the actual requests themselves- as in what to say and etc. so if you're interested in that please check back next week.