Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bloggers and Book Reviews: Guest Post by "The Bookish Brunette"

Hey everyone! I’m Ashley, I run a book review blog called The Bookish Brunette but I’m here today on The Worst Book Ever (dude, being an author and all- maybe you should change the title of your blog... Just a thought) because Aaron asked me to write a little post from a book blogger’s point of view on the things TO-DO and the things you NOT to-do do when talking to a blogger about your book. Now remember, the things I’m about to tell you are just MY opinion- other blogger’s may completely disagree!

I’m a big fan of lists, so that’s how I’m going to attack this thing! The “TO-DO” list, being the acceptable and preferable way of handling things. And the “DO NOT- (UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES) DO” list, being the things that will more than likely make me say NO to reviewing your book.

Let’s START with the positive:
(the acceptable)

Book bloggers not only have our blogs to maintain, events to host, books to read, review and promote... We also have LIVES. Families, birthdays, holidays, bedtimes, dinner to make... You get the point.
When sending a review request, help us out- it will make our lives a little easier if you just send us the info we need:
  • In the subject line of the email put:  Review Request: (Title of your book)
  • Title, Publication details (date... etc)
  • SUMMARY of your book
It’d be AWESOME if you included links to your:
  • Website
  • Twitter
  • Amazon
  • Goodreads (or similar)
READ MY REVIEW POLICY. You’d assume this is a given right? WRONG. There are always clear indicators when my review policy has been ignored... For example, when I get a request asking me if I only read zombie books. Uh... Really? I mean... REALLY???

Be professional, now I only say this because that’s what you’re SUPPOSED to say. In my opinion, I like a more personal approach- because I’m about as unprofessional as they come. I know right? Is it that obvious? I’m not a fan of formalities, as I happen to be a very personable kinda chick.

Have LINKS posted on your website (to Goodreads, Amazon, B&N... ANYWHERE your books can be viewed or purchased! And make sure they are updated regularly!) You’d be surprised how many authors don’t do this... Some don’t even HAVE websites. If that’s the case I can’t even begin to assist you!

Spellcheck is your friend. I’m a HORRIFIC speller... that little squiggly red line is my BFF. If my seven year old can articulate a better email than you, then you’re chances of me accepting your book for review aren’t very good. I look at it like this: If your review request email is badly written, I can’t imagine trying to get through an entire book.

If you want your book reviewed within a certain time frame, ASK. Let me know, or it just goes to the back of a very long line... My review queue is CRAZY- I do my best, but I guarantee nothing!

Watch what you say on Twitter... or on ANY social network AND who you say it to. I’m totally not even being sarcastic either. This is VERY important. There are certain authors that I REFUSE to read because of things I’ve seen posted from them on Twitter. Yeah... their book may be the best thing since the freaking Internet- guess I’ll never know.
If you KNOW me at all or have ever witnessed one of my Twitter conversations *giggles* then you know I’m not exactly the picture of freaking “nice, sweet, chaste, ethical or modest” Right? But, I’m also not trying to sell books... so do with that what you will!

•    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
Now... FOR ME, if the following things occur the chances are VERY slim that I will review your book:
(the unacceptable)

When you are requesting a review or even “casually” bringing up your novel to me, DON’T say to me “I know you’ll love my book.”
Seriously. This totally freaking irritates me! HOW do you know I’ll love your book? Name me 5 books that I LOVED, that somehow relate to your genre of writing. If you’ve looked at my blog and researched ME enough to KNOW that I’d love your book- then you should be able to tell me.  

DON’T address an email, “Dear Blogger”. I get that you’re busy. Hey... ME TOO! But again, if you’ve taken the time to GLANCE at my blog- my NAME is at the bottom of EACH and EVERY post. I’m not even picky, I’ll take ,Bookish Brunette’ and of course I’m ever partial to ‘Zombie Queen’ *grin*. But addressing me as ‘Book Blogger’ tells me several things:
  • You didn’t even LOOK at ONE post on my blog. If you don’t care, then neither do I.
  • You surely can’t know anything about what types of books I may enjoy.
  • That ‘Book Bloggers’ are all interchangeable to you. If you’ve worked with any of us, then you know this is in fact, very much NOT the case.
If I say no to your request once, and you feel you MUST ask again... Fine. But, I’m PROBABLY going to say no again. DON’T get mad, WHY would you WANT me to review something I don’t think I would like? Do you really want me to give you a negative review? I HATE writing bad reviews. Seriously.

My  book is called “****”. It’s Science Fiction. I would love for you to review it on your blog.
Thank you,
WHAT??? I can’t tell you how many of these I get. Um... No. I’m sorry, I don’t have time to hunt down a description and decide whether or not I want to review it or not. Not because I think I’m ‘so important’ but because I’m busy.

SEND ME LINKS, or give me ALL THE INFO that I’ll need to know about you and your book in your email! (refer to #1 on the “To-Do” list)

Dude... DON’T insult me or my blog. I once had someone tell me that my blog was “too pink” but they’d still like me to review their book. Really? No thank you- me and my PINK, stiletto rated blog of AWESOMENESS have better things to do.

DO NOT assume that I’m going to review your book. ASK ME. I absolutely can’t stand when I get a “request” that says, “When will your review be posted?”
How about, “Never. Is never good for you?” because when you just assume that I have the time or that I WANT to read your book, I’m going to be a tad irritated.

DO NOT ask me to review your book on Twitter. This irritates me. I’m sorry, and this may make me a horrid human being... Well, so be it. Go to my blog and shoot me an email, it takes five minutes total. There are a few reasons for this, and I’ll name them for you:
  • I keep all my review requests in a special folder in my email, so I’m able to refer back to it and contact the author. Over Twitter, I have no such email... and chances are your request has thus gotten lost.
  • When you ask me over my Twitter feed, I have a real issue saying NO if I have no interest in reading your book. Hey, it happens. If you write historical war fiction, chances are I totally don’t want to read it at all. Not saying the writing isn’t amazing, but guess what? It’s not something I’m into. And honestly, do you want me tweeting to 2,500 people that your book holds no interest to me? Yeah, neither do I. Just don’t do it.
  • The exception to the ‘NEVER’ ask over Twitter rule, is if I’ve already shown interest in reading your book (ex: it’s on my Goodreads wishlist or something similar). Then, and only then is it acceptable to assault my twitter feed.

Hopefully this will help... someone. And honestly, if I seemed harsh or hateful- I totally didn’t mean to. I’m just an honest and often times sarcastic type of chick (comes in handy with the whole review thing and all) Thanks for having me on Aaron!! Wicked thrilled my opinion is soooo sacred to you!

The Bookish Brunette


Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.


  1. Bookish Brunette! I see you all the time on Book Den, and I believe at Man Eating Bookworm as well. I keep waiting for your review policy to accept new entries, because you've never reviewed me before ;) I want to sneak into your queue! Er, don't take that too dirty...

    YA: Cheat, Liar, Coward, Thief, Thug
    Fiction: Shackled
    Shorts: Disappear, Hooded

  2. Love it, Ash!

    btw, nice to meet you, Aaron Patterson!!!

  3. Love the post. Ashley you rock, and I think that those are very valid points! I happen to like your sarcastic, fun personality.

  4. Ha!! Thanks guys! <3

    @JE... Where in my Review Policy does it say I'm not accepting reviews? Lol :)

  5. As always Ashley, an epic post of awesomeness. And Aaron Patterson, you've got some pretty cool looking books here . . . I'm pleased to "meet" you.

  6. Aaron! Don't ever remove this entry from your blog! I'm going to NEED it for constant reference. Fantastic.

  7. Thanks, Ashley. It never hurts to just turn the tables in your mind and think how you would like to be approached to review a book. I like your sense of humor approach to life. Have a great holiday season.

    Aaron, thanks for visiting my blog. I hope it was a pleasant visit. Your own blog is eye-catching, yet professional : a hard combo to achieve, Roland

  8. No worries Jammie, and thanks Roland I hope the content helps out.

    Nice to meet you in cyber-land Danielle...and Asheley. =)

  9. great post I agree with all of it. Was a great read :)

  10. In today's life clubbing industry has been here for several decades, but the logistics and guest list management is still in many cases very “old school” and paper based. Zeguestlist a great tool that optimizes guest list management With an easy one touch check.
    nightclub guest list

  11. Ashley - I absolutely ADORE your posts!! <3

    Hi Aaron, it's nice to 'meet' you & I love the name of your blog!! I hope to read and review Airel sometime soon :)

    Sharon @ Obsession with Books

  12. I can't believe the not-to do lists. I have refused so many books, because authors don't read my review policy. Seriously. I get some weird requests. This was right on because I deal with this as well.

    Great post.