Monday, August 19, 2013

Discussion #11: The Purpose of Having a "Review Policy" Page & Other Specifics On Your Blog

Recently, I went on Twitter, and a specific tweet reminded me of something. Once, way earlier in my blogging years, an author asked me to review their book, so of course I said yes, of course, because I would feel bad if I didn't-- and the book wasn't even in my comfort zone. I tried reading the book, and I'd ended up skimming to the end (because I couldn't DNF it. I would feel bad. I promised a review.) So I reviewed it, and it was really bad. (My review was really bad, since I was a fobby reviewer.. I think I still am, but definitely better.) I wrote a really negative review, as much as I hated writing it. And guess what, the author comments on my posts and says something like, "Don't believe what this blogger says. I'm the author. I swear it's good." And, I'm just like, "Aren't I entitled to my own opinion? Like, are you kidding me?"

Another time, another author messaged me. (Once again, not naming names.) He politely asked me to read and review his book. And then he went, "Here are the buy links." And I was like-- wait. Shouldn't you be the one supplying me with a free review copy? So I replied, with a polite "I'll-be-sure-to-check-this-out". And then he replied, "You sound so excited! I'll give you an eBook version of it!" So I'd started reading it. There were so many things wrong with that book. The stereotypical teenager, portraying females as sex objects.. Just everything. I'd gotten to page 80 and I couldn't go any further. And then. AND THEN. I had to tell the author. The good thing was, he replied with "Cool, I understand." Which relieved me greatly. BUT THEN. After a few days, he messaged me again with an offer of two Amazon gift cards-- if I read and gave his book a positive review. I just rejected it, right away. He was like, "Are you sure?"

And I just repeatedly rejected his offer. He finally gave up and said, "Thanks. You're the best." Don't know if that was sarcastic or not, but it was surrounded by smiley faces. One of the big rules of being a book blogger is to NEVER ACCEPT MONETARY COMPENSATION FOR A FAKE REVIEW. In the end, I decided not to post a review at all. I left it alone. There were a lot of five-star ratings, and a handful of one-stars. *snorts*

Now, to the point of this post. It's crucial to have a Review Policy page. It really is. You have to write somewhere on your blog that you always post honest reviews (if you don't, you really should), no matter if it's hurtful to the author or not. Include what genre you read and review, include what format you'd like the book in, etc. It makes it easier for both the author and yourself. And please, bloggers. Do not accept review requests that you feel are not in your comfort zone. But at least consider every single one of them. (If you see "I'll pay you to post a positive review," just close that email and delete it. Ignore it.) Respect that the author took the time to email you and imagine how hard it must be to get just a few reviewers.

And, to those authors that email bloggers about reviewing, please respect the bloggers, too. We appreciate that you take the time to email us, but please do remember to read our review policies & etc prior to emailing us. I, personally, smile widely whenever I get a review request. I do consider every single one I get.

Hope this post was helpful, and happy reading!


  1. Thanks for the great post. I haven't even considered this possibility yet because I haven't had an author say bad things about me or my review. But I understand that this happens.
    Until now, I thought the review policy section was to let authors know what kind of books I read. But I'm glad I included the part where I state that my opinion will always be honest.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Johanna @ ChallengingReads

  2. When I have accepted to review books after receiving an e-mail from an author I didn't 'know' yet, I have pointed out in my e-mail where I accept that I hope they have written my review and rating policy, and that they should realize that I might DNF their book AND write a DNF review, or a one-star review.

    I think it's good to remind us all of this, though, it's easier to make sure things are understood before we start reading.

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

  3. I agree that a review policy page is so important to have. I've yet to have people try to pay me to review their book (though one offered to send me a paperback of the book if I posted a review), so I guess I'm lucky in that respect! I've had some books that were a DNF, but I usually try to agree to review only books that I know I'm likely to enjoy. Thanks for sharing this post, though. It's a good reminder to at least go back over that page and tweak it again.

    Laureen @ Ms. Bibliophile.

  4. Great advice! The only request I've gotten so far was for a book I didn't think I'd find interesting, and I saw the email a week after it was sent. Oops...
    (I just ended up ignoring the email because I wasn't sure how to decline politely. I feel like that's not a very nice thing to do though. Hmmm)

    - Kritika @ Snowfakes and Spider Silk

    1. Well, some authors do appreciate getting a reply, even if it's a declination. (None of them seem too happy about it when they reply though..) Thanks for stopping by!


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