When Book Reviews Attack!
After completing a handful of free book reviews here at Suess’s Pieces and receiving several requests for future reviews, I have discovered a problem with my book review model. So things are about to change around here. And I’m about to make myself look like the meanest person you ever did meet.
Yo, Authors, I’m Not Your Private Fangirl
I started reviewing books for free as a way to help self-published and little-known authors get a modicum of online publicity for their works, and I was glad to do it. What can I say? I’m a writer who likes to give back where she can. However, I started receiving requests from authors* that made me wonder if I had the word groupie or fangirl tattooed on my forehead.
Initially the requests from authors seemed innocuous enough. I was asked to make comments on a blog post. Then I was asked to write a post on Suess’s Pieces in response to one author’s recent blog post with a link back to the original (in addition to the initial review.) I was later asked to retweet this or that.
Blah, blah, blah.
I ignored these different requests for the most part. Manners and etiquette aren’t universal traits, after all. But then yesterday I received an @mention on Twitter after letting an author know that her book had arrived and was in the queue for review. The author wrote, “Super! Some readers have taken pictures of them and the book at a race track and FB(ed) it. Will you?”
Um, ‘scuse me?
Fuck no, I won’t drive myself to the IMS with your 133-page “novel”, ask someone to take a picture of me with it, and then upload it to Facebook for you. First of all, I haven’t even read the book yet. But odds are it sucks. Second, what the hell? We are not friends. I am not a pushover.
Yoohoo! I’m Already Doing You a Favor
Is there anybody in there?
Writing a review (for free!) of a book that will likely never get a mention in Booklist or the Times might not be enough to qualify me for sainthood, but it is something you should kind of pretend to be grateful for. Say thank you, and move along. Or, if you prefer, return my kindness with a kindness of your own. But don’t keep asking me to give up more of my time to promote your pet project. It’s rude.
Reviews take time! (Cue The More You Know Star and some B-list TV personality.) First there’s the actual book reading, which, in the case of most self-published works, is excruciating. And then there’s writing, formatting, and publishing the review. Even my brief book reviews rob me of several precious hours. That’s time I could be copywriting for a real client or cleaning out my dog’s ears.
New Book Review Policy
There will be a fee for all future book reviews**. Prices are as follows:
Standard Review, completed in 6-8 weeks: $149
Expedited Review, completed in 4-6 weeks: $199
Both standard and expedited reviews will be a minimum of 400 words and will include publication of cover art, two links to the book’s Amazon page using my affiliate account, and a link to the author’s website or blog.
WARNING: Paid book reviews do not necessarily equal favorable reviews. In fact, future reviews will be brutally honest critiques of your work that could garner a lot of attention. But hey, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, right?
Seriously, Em? No One Will Ever Pay That
Well, you’d be surprised. But if I never write another review on Suess’s Pieces again, I’m okay with that.
Book reviews on Suess’s Pieces are changing effective immediately.
Authors and publicists go here to request a book review.
*Not all of them, mind you. Some of them were quite nice to deal with. But certainly there were enough to piss me off and prompt me to write this post.
**Previously agreed to free reviews will still be honored.
Photo credit: nkzs