Monday, September 21, 2009

Top 5 things you need to know before you ask me to review your book

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by my blog, and for considering my as a potential reviewer for your book. Here are a few things you should know about me before you send that email -

1. I have a life outside this blog. While I would love to make this my sole profession, as of yet it doesn't pay the bills. This means I have a full-time job, as well as a family, that demands attention. In fact, I have TWO young children who demand a whole lot of it! I ONLY accept books on a "for review consideration" basis - this means that even if I accept your book, I cannot guarantee a review. It is always my intention to review each book I receive - however, sometimes life happens, and my plans have to be set aside to take care of reality.

2. I want to love your book. I really, really do. However, if I don't, I will be upfront about that in my review. While the tone of my reviews is generally positive, and I feel very strongly that all authors deserve the same level of respect I would wish for myself, I won't represent my feelings about a book as any different than they really are.

3. There are some books I just don't want to read. I don't enjoy the following content:
- extreme, graphic depictions of war or battle (they bore me, and then I start to skim, and once I've started to skim you've lost me)
- copious, gratuitous sexual content (again, I'll be skimming, and you don't want me to skim)
- graphic depictions of violence against women, children, or animals (these actions hurt me to my core, and it is rare I find a book I believe can justify their inclusion)
- self-help books (I've married into a family of mental health professionals. My self has all the help it needs, thanks.)

4. Have you heard I need more shelves? In addition to the book you want me to read, I have a significant number of my own books I have acquired because they sound fabulous. Accordingly, I have to limit the number of books for review I accept each month. If I have to say no to your request, it doesn't mean I don't think your book sounds great - it probably just means I've reached my limit for that month. I would love to hear from you again in the future, when I will probably have less on my plate.

Additionally, I have recently discovered a new love for the AUDIOBOOK format! I am happy to accept requests for audiobook reviews, and as I have a daily commute to work and a LOT of laundry to do, you can expect that I will review your work promptly.

5. I love discovering new authors! Some of my favorite books in the past couple of years have been from authors I'd never heard of before. I have had mixed results with self-published work, and do occasionally accept those books for review. However, I maintain the same review standards for ALL books I read, and will not lower my expectations for a book simply because it has been self-published. I do have a Kindle, so if your work is available in that format I am willing to consider it.

If you think I might be a good fit for your book, I'd love to have you contact me at elischulenburg(AT)gmail(dot)com. If you have questions not answered above, you are welcome to send an email to the above address. Thanks again for considering me as a potential reviewer for your book! I wish you all the best.


Beth F said...

Great list. I have a life too and say so in my review policy: family and work always take a front seat.

Jen - devourer of books said...

Oooh, so you have a strict limit on the number of books you accept each month? That's very smart. I wonder if I would have the discipline for that...

J.S. Peyton said...

Everything you've said here is absolutely true. If I had a review policy, this is what it would be. At this point, I'm not offered very many free books, and I only accept those which I suspect I might actually want to read in the near future. On average, I think I work in about three review books a year.

Really, as much as I like free books, I always prefer not feeling obligated to read anything at any point in time.

Carrie said...

=D I totally enjoyed reading your post -- because so much of it is true for me as well! haha. Thanks for posting that!

Kristen said...

Love your comment on why no self-help books. Bwahahaha!

Luanne said...

What an absolutely great, succinct list! You've said it so well. I'm trying to get through my accepted review copies and will have to start being selective I think in order to keep up my 'real life'"!

Holly said...

Terrific list. I have a mild review policy listed, but I've been thinking of revamping it. And I've been thinking of moving away from the self-help type books once I've finished the tours I've committed to.

I want to get back into reading because I want to read, not because I'm obligated to do so.

Jenners said...

This is wonderful! I've been thinking perhaps I should do something similar. I'm not swamped with offers yet but I've been getting more and more and I turn most of them down because I just don't read that fast, feel pressure to read books I accept for review first, and sometimes the books just don't sound that great. It is so hard to resist but it is for the best. Great job!

Elizabeth said...

Beth - I made that my first point, as much for ME as for them.

Jen - yeah, I'm starting one. It's rough, and there will be some leeway, but I have to be strict or I'll say yes to everything!

J.S. Peyton - I didn't have one for a long time, but honestly, it's as much for ME as for anyone else.

Carrie - thanks!

Kristen - well, seriously. Sometimes it's like Dr. Phil around here...(I kid because I love them.)

Luanne - thanks for the compliment!

Holly - exactly! It has to be fun. When it becomes a commitment, it's too much.

Jenners - well, I'm sure I don't receive as many offers as a lot of bloggers, but I wanted to set my limits so I don't get out of control.

MarthaE said...

This is a great list presented with humor! Well done!
I am setting new limits for myself starting January if not December! Otherwise life starts to get crowded out by reviewing! =o)
Would you consider teaming for interview series?