Monday, June 8, 2015

A blogging conundrum

For the past few months I've been inundated with requests to review books. Inundated, I tell you. Not just one a month, or one a week, but at least one request a day. Is it because so many book bloggers have stopped blogging? Is it because more and more writers are getting published through non-traditional means?






(gif courtesy of Giphy.com)


Whatever the cause, I have to say thank you so very much for thinking of me, but I'm sorry; I can't possibly review--or even read--all the books from all the authors who request it.

Why?

Well, for one thing, I'm human, not a reading machine. Yes, I do read a lot, but there are only so many hours in the day, and I must spend time with my family, do household chores, get some form of exercise every day (I have RA and need to get up and move around), and of course block out time for my own writing and for reading other blogs. And yes, occasionally checking in with Twitter or Facebook.

Furthermore, let's be clear here. I post recommendations, not reviews. This blog only features books I love. Not every book can make the cut. And of course, I'm only one person, with one opinion. Your opinion may differ.

If you're similarly flooded with book review requests, how do you handle it?


22 comments:

  1. I've also seen an uptick in book review requests. I'm selective and usually say yes to about 50% of the titles. I do a quick research of the book to see if it is something I'd enjoy. Even then I don't post a review unless it's a book I'd recommend.

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    1. I'm pretty selective too, Greg. Usually I'm honest and just say I simply don't have time, or that I don't review self-published books. Glad to hear you also post reviews only of books you'd recommend.

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  2. I politely decline anything self published, since it's hard to get those for a school library. If it's something that sounds good, I'm glad to get a copy, since I frequently run out of things to read. Think of it as a nice perk, but you can always say no!

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    1. I hate saying no. That's the problem! But I'm learning to. Karen, you read more than anyone I know (and that's saying something!) so I can understand that you accept the review copies. But yes, I've tried to state in my review policy that I don't review self-published books, yet about 80% of the requests I get are still from self-published authors.

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  3. Joanne, I think your review policy as stated on the sidebar is excellent. You might want to choose one day a week where you look at the requests that have come in and choose only the ones that interest you -- with of course, no guarantee that you'll recommend it unless you like it. As for declining self-published books, I am sympathetic, because I was there myself once. But I also used to write for a POD book review site and simply had to quit because 90% of the books were not professionally up to standard. I did not have time to read 9 bad ones to find the 1 shiny gem.

    IMO, authors who are successful at self-publishing, like Susan Kaye Quinn, don't go chasing down reviews at blogs. They write good books, build up their audience, and let the audience spread the word.

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    1. Thanks, Dianne. Good suggestion. I have told some authors that I'll gladly read the book but there's no guarantee I'll review it. That's very true about self-published authors like Susan Kaye Quinn, who are successful without begging for reviews.

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  4. I get a lot of review or interview/guest post requests too. I don't have anytime to review new books, because I can barely get to the ones I want to read already. And I'm wanting to start reading some adult fiction. I always feel guilty saying no, but I really don't want to blog anymore than I am. You shouldn't feel bad. We should all read what we enjoy and we all have a huge list of authors we really like. I just try to politely explain why I'm too busy.

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    1. That sounds like the best thing to do, Natalie.

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  5. For a while, I was jumping on everything that came my way, but I have had books around for months I can't get to. I've stopped taking anything except what I choose for SF Book Review with an occasional something else I can't resist. But I am cutting back even those and starting to read some adult books as well. I'm getting fewer requests since I've said no to so many. Good luck with stemming the tide.

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    1. Thanks, Rosi. Good to know I'm not alone in this!

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  6. I agree with everything everyone has said above. I know it is hard to say no, but the reality is that blogging is not a paid job. As you say, Joanne, we have to spend time doing things in our own lives. I do occasionally take on blog tours etc., but I am highly selective. And I won't post on a book that I haven't enjoyed.

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    1. Thanks for weighing in, Michael. Sometimes it can be hard to say no, but I've learned I have to do it. There are only so many hours in a day!

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  7. I know what you mean. I am booked up until the end of August. I don't - I can't accept all the books I am asked to review. It is just too many.

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  8. I make time to review special books I've liked, but I don't take requests, because I also want to blog about other things. And also, like you, I need life outside of the blogosphere. I think you are handling it just right.

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  9. Great post! I agree that is impossible to read all the books people ask us to read. I also only review books I really enjoy, so not all books make the cut. I used to say yes to the requests and found I didn't always like the books and I would rather spend my time reading something else. So now I only accept a few and politely decline the others.
    ~Jess

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    1. Glad to hear I'm not alone and you only review books you love, Jess.

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  10. I'm so sorry for the stress, Joanne.
    This sounds like me, about the same time last year. :/

    I definitely only share books I love on my blog, unless I personally go out of my way to request an ARC I always reserve the right not to share a book I didn't enjoy.
    Oh and I had to learn to say no too, but I was already burned out by then.
    Hugs.

    Akoss

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    1. So sorry you got so burned out, Akoss. Hugs right back at ya!

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  11. Since I'm coming back from a 3 year hiatus from blogging and I'm reading as many picture books as I can get my hands on I wish I would get more requests. But it seems like only people looking are middle grade and YA. I actually have had to seek out some authors on my own to get books. I post all books I read on my blog but I give my opinion and I tell what my son thought of it. Since my son has several learning disabilities I find it interesting to see what books I like versus what he likes.

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    1. Wow! I'm impressed that you came back to blogging after three years away. Best of luck finding picture books to review. Does your library get many new ones in?

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YAY for comments! I read and appreciate each one and I always try to answer. All opinions welcome. Let's have a conversation.