Book Blogger Hop: Help Authors Without Reviewing

The prompt

This Week’s prompt is “If you receive a request from an author to read his/her book and you don’t have time, do you suggest another way to help the author? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews)”

About The Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, Billy @coffeeaddictedwriter relaunched the hop on February 15, 2013. Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog. 

Bookish Thoughts about helping authors

To make it short: no. Now, before you think I’m some sort of an asshole, let me explain.

I have a review policy that I expect authors and publishers to follow. One, because it makes organizing easier on me, and two, because I expect them to show some respect for the time and work I put into my blog.

I spent so much time reading through and replying to requests that didn’t fit my blog at all, that were mass mailed to every book blogger they could find – one time they actually put everyone’s email as cc, not even bcc – that I wasn’t able to do the work I wanted and needed to do.

So, I ended up putting a little something in it to make sure someone read my policy before emailing me. If I don’t see that wording in the email’s subject line, I delete it. Without reading it. It makes everything so much easier and I can give more focus to those authors who deserve it. Even if I might end up saying I won’t review their work.

But I will never decline a review or other request because of time issues. My policy is always up to date, so I tell people which sort of request I can fulfill at the moment and which ones are currently closed.

Not even once has someone read my review policy and asked for a currently closed request. Of course, there are authors requesting something that is currently closed, but those don’t follow my subject rule and therefore they get deleted either way.

The Queer’s way of helping authors

Even when I am open to reviewing queer books, I don’t accept every request. There are only so many hours in a day and I don’t accept a book for review if I think I end up not enjoying it. So if that happens, I decline and wish them the best of luck getting reviews.

Sometimes though, like that email I have in my inbox right now, I am interested in a book. But the content warnings the author gave in their email to me – also something I ask for in my policy – mean I am unsure if I can read their book right now. A few months from now I could be in a better headspace and fully enjoy their work, but right now I’ll probably end up dnf-ing. I have written about the way I handle that situation in my Let’s Talk Bookish post about reviewing books, so I won’t repeat it here.

I like to avoid that situation if I expect it to happen. But I still want to help with promotion. So there are a few options:

  • a guest post on The Queer Bookish
  • an excerpt
  • a giveaway for one ore more copies of the book
  • a release blitz
  • an interview
  • something else the author would like

The options are somewhat dependent on if the book has already been published and the like.

But there are definitely options other than me reviewing a book to give it a place on my blog. Also, those options can be requested without me saying no to a review request or on top of it of course.

How do you handle requests you can’t fulfill?

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