I’m a self-published author and I want book reviews. So, like all good self-published authors, I troll around to find blogs that review indie books, and I send them sweetly worded book review requests. More often than not, I don’t get a reply back at all. Sometimes, I’ll get a more personal reply saying “no thanks,” and every once in a while, maybe one out of five or six, I’ll get somebody who’ll review my book. Then, unless they’re quick readers (which very few are) I wait. And wait.
It’s frustrating, but I understand where the reviewers are coming from because I’m one of ‘em. I spend a lot of time writing, but an equal amount reading, and what I read are indie books sent to me by authors like me who want a review. I get TONS of requests. And there’s no way I can read every book. Just No Way.
When I started my blog, back in January this year, I didn’t turn anybody down, and two things happened as a result. One: I spent every waking moment reading and I started to neglect my own writing, and two: no matter how much I read, I still couldn’t keep up with demand. I finally had to put a temporary halt to requests so I could catch up on the two-month backlog. And from this, I came to two realizations.
1. No way can I read every book requested of me.
2. I can only read comfortably (and still have room for other things) about 60,000-80,000 words per week. Or about one book. Two if they’re children’s books, but more often than not, one book.
So if I can only read one book a week and I get anywhere from five to twenty requests a week, the only way I can do it and stay sane is to pick one or two books from the slew and politely decline the rest. The Only Way. I could add more reviewers to my site, but I’m not comfortable with that. It’s my site, and I want my opinions reflected, not somebody else’s. Everyone has their own taste in what they like and don’t like, and my site should showcase what I like. So I have to stick to my limit.
So if you’ve been sending out review requests and are frustrated with the lack of results, I hope my explanation helps you out. The self-publishing era is here, and zillions of folks are publishing their stuff. They’re all hoping for reviews. Be happy if you get one out of five blogs requested to review your book. Be ecstatic if you get more than that. And don’t get frustrated if a book reviewer turns you down. They want to read just as much as you want to write. Unfortunately, demand for blog reviews is way greater than the supply.