There are days where I actually dread opening up my email or checking the submissions on my review form because I know it's just going to be an exercise in adding authors to my black list. Some of these authors I can dismiss as being lazy and opportunistic, dropping spam bombs on every reviewer they can find. These are authors who mined my email address from my Amazon profile, never bothering to read the very simple statement that identifies me as a "Science fiction & fantasy reader, reviewer, and writer."
These are the authors who send me review requests for books like . . .
- Being Equal Doesn't Mean Being the Same (SELF-EMPOWERMENT BOOK)
- Introduction to Journal Writing: The Absolute Beginner's Guide to the Life Changing Habit (TEEN & YOUNG ADULT / SELF-HELP)
- Minecraft: 50 Unofficial Minecraft Books in 1 (CHILDREN'S EBOOKS / ACTIVITY BOOKS)
- I just released my first two COLORING BOOKS on Amazon
Then there are authors who actually made an effort to stop by the blog, who made a point of visiting my Review Policy, and who took the time to fill out the Review Request form. Forget lazy and opportunistic, the authors that get blacklisted here are nothing less than rude, ignorant, and possibly even arrogant. They are authors who deliberately ignored the very clear cautions about what I won't read (one at the top of the page, and one above the request form).
What you won't find here is faith-based fiction, religious themes, YA or NA fiction, romance novels, poetry, and self-help or how-to books. These are subjects that do not appeal to me, so please don't waste time your time or mine by submitting such titles.
Before you waste your time filling out the form, please remember that I do NOT read YA/NA fiction. I am NOT interested, and your pitch is NOT going to change that.
These are the authors who send me review requests with notes like . . .
- This eBook will help kids grow in the positive directions. The only best way on how to do this is by use of positive affirmations. (GENRE: SELF-HELP)
- The first volume in a trilogy of YOUNG ADULT fantasy adventures sure to delight fans of C.S. Lewis
- For YOUNG ADULTS and adults with open minds
- I AM SLEEPLESS: SIM 299, a newly released YA Science Fiction novel
In case you think I'm exaggerating, the above are all examples from the past week.
I have nothing but respect and admiration for most authors. I know what goes into writing and editing a book. I have nothing but sympathy for the challenges they face in marketing their own work. It's not an easy job, but you're never going to be successful if you don't do your homework. Blatantly ignoring a reviewer's guidelines is only going to get you blacklisted and forever consigned to the spam folder.
Finally, the same caution about doing your homework applies to book communities like Goodreads. Blindly adding friends just so you can spam them with invitations to your young adult, romance, or self-help group is just as offensive and insulting. The only thing worse is re-inviting them (multiple times) when they've declined the invitation. That's a quick and easy way to not just getting yourself unfriended, but flagged as well.
Yeah, I'm being a bit of an ass this morning, but this shit frustrates me. Every spam email I have to scan through, every day I have to open my review form for nonsense, and every time I have to go through the nonsense of cleaning up Goodreads . . . that's time I can't spend reading and reviewing books from authors who are intelligent, polite, and respectful - and that's the real shame.