UPDATE – This blog is now in a semi-hiatus status. Please read this post for more information.
Now that I’m averaging a few review requests a week, I wanted to provide a guide to the process I have developed to complete them. If you are an author seeking a review, this page will provide you with a glimpse of the usually unseen end of the reviewer.
Typically requests come to me via email, through many different referrers and occasionally through Goodreads or Twitter. I don’t have a preferred method of initial contact as long as it’s easy to communicate with the author/requestor during the time that I am deciding whether I am going to accept the request. If you include your website, link to Amazon page, or another page, I will visit them. If you include a synopsis of the book I will read it. If you are on Twitter, I will follow you. Creepy? Not so much.
When I agree to read a book, I will email the author to let them know where they are in my current “to be read” list. Currently, I am averaging about 9 long on this list. I am always upfront with what the wait looks like, so it’s the requestor’s final decision if they want to wait or not.
** Note – If you are contacting me regarding an ARC for imminent release (within 30 days) you will get priority over my current TBR**
The above is also good to remember if you are currently waiting for a review and are wondering what’s taking so long.
As I read through each book, I send a “Just Finished”, “Now Starting” tweet in addition to periodic Goodreads progress updates. If I pause reading of a book due to receipt of a priority request, I will also tweet a similar message. While I am reading I will keep track of any spelling, grammar, continuity or other errors I may notice. I do this because for as many times as a book is read or edited it never hurts to have a fresh set of eyes. I am not saying that I will find anything, but if I do, I will forward the list via email once I have read your book. What you do with the list is up to you, but please know that this is provided as a form of constructive feedback and information and nothing else. Nothing irks me more than reading a book review where the reviewer spends more time on nitpicking grammar and spelling errors than they do actually talking about the story, characters, setting and their overall impression. I will not do that. My review will focus solely on the story and not the possible issues that can’t be fixed unless the author is made aware of them.
In order to balance reviews with family, work, and other obligations all reviews are usually written on the weekends. Once completed and posted to the standard places (Amazon, Goodreads and, Jennlyreads), I will also tweet out a link to my review on Jennlyreads. In all the above tweets if the author has a twitter handle I will tag you in them. This is another way for you to know what is going on with your request.
I typically try to respond to all requests received, even if I ultimately end up having to decline the request. To me, nothing is more annoying than to put yourself out there for any reason (book request, job application, etc.) and not receive the common courtesy of a simple response. Nobody is that busy or that important that they cannot be polite.
So that’s my process to date. It’s pretty simple but it’s always nice to know where you stand.