Discussion Post: Unwanted Review Requests

Top Ten Tuesday (14)

This is a discussion post I’ve been wanting to do for a while and this may be viewed as bloggers requesting to review a book that isn’t what I’m looking at today, what I am looking at is authors requesting reviews from us when we don’t want them.

I could easily do another post on handling review requests when you get the book and actually read it but like I said today’s discussion is all about those unwanted review requests. If that sounds like something that might interest you, let me know in the comments too!

I’m definitely curious to see what your thoughts are on this!

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Do You Accept Review Requests From Authors/Publishers?

I personally do not most of the time and usually my Review Policy page states I am not accepting any at all. Why? Because I find that when I do receive requests they aren’t anything I’d be interested in. (which I will get to in my next point…) Am I grateful? Of course! But my reading time is precious to me and I just don’t like wasting time with books I won’t enjoy.

I find it a lot easier to just request books I want to review myself.

Do Authors/Publishers Even Read Review Policy Pages?

***First off before I get too far into this one, of course there are people out there that do but in my experience it seems that generally people do not! I’m not trying to say everyone ignores the review policy pages! ***

While it isn’t essential to have a review policy page on your book blog it probably is a good idea when it comes to receiving and or accepting review requests. It lets authors or publishers know if you are even accepting review requests at the moment and if you are what kinds of books you will accept and in what format. Just makes sense right? This way your time is not wasted and neither is theirs! However, this only works when PEOPLE ACTUALLY READ THE REVIEW POLICY PAGE!

*Cue Rant*

This right here is the reason I quit accepting review requests: because generally people do not read what books I accept or if I’m even accepting any at the time. Then they proceed to send me requests in genres I have absolutely no interest in and send them when I specifically stated I am not accepting ANY at the time.

I’m sorry but I find it pretty annoying when I get sent requests for Adult Fiction when I mostly read and blog about YA Fiction. I wrote down exactly what genres I accept and it seems I get sent nothing but the opposite of those. That really makes me lose hope in accepting review requests.

What is even worse than that is when I get emailed the full book in a PDF format along with the request!

“Hey I was wondering if you’d read my book! Here it is, read it!”

Um, excuse me? I’m sorry but that, to me, is downright rude. I get that you want to promote your book but sending a review copy when it was not approved is not okay. It’s one thing to send me a review request when I’m not accepting any and it’s a completely different thing to just send me a copy and expect me to read it.

How Do You Handle Unwanted Review Requests? 

Honestly? I just ignore them. At first I’d email back and politely tell the requester:

“I’m sorry but as you can see on my review policy page I am not currently accepting any review requests at this time.”

That went fine as most people apologize and were polite back but THEN I started getting some people that would tell me they “didn’t see that on my page”. Um yeah sorry but….it’s at the top in bold and red type so if you didn’t read that you didn’t read my policy at all. So if you didn’t read what I accept then why bother sending me a request?

So my conclusion was that most people requesting reviews from me didn’t bother to read my review policy page and just plain ‘ol didn’t care. So if you don’t care why should I care to email you back at all? Which lead me to just ignoring unwanted requests.

Of course as I said not everyone was like this but my experiences so far have just lead me to not accept requests at all, I get tired of telling people no. Maybe one day I’ll go back but not for a while.

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Overall I hope this didn’t sound too incredibly negative! I wasn’t trying to go into full on bitch mode but this is something I get pretty frustrated with as a book blogger and hopefully some of you can relate!

Do you ever accept review requests? 

What are some of your experiences with unwanted review requests?

How do you deal with unwanted review requests? 

Do you ever get sent unapproved review copies? 

Do you get requests for books that aren’t on your review policy? 

Do you ever get frustrated with unwanted review requests? 

Come join in on the discussion! 

The Sassy


33 thoughts on “Discussion Post: Unwanted Review Requests

  1. whatcathyreadnext April 22, 2017 / 1:45 pm

    Yes, I get them and do occasionally accept them, although less so lately as my TBR pile is huge already. It makes me laugh sometimes how authors try to fit their book into my stated preferred genre – historical fiction – even though it’s really SF zombie apocalypse paranormal romance or such like! However, I do respond to all requests even if it’s to decline as I like to be polite. The only ones I don’t respond to are those that obviously standard emails that haven’t even bothered to address me by name. But I’ve only been blogging for a while and I’m sure after a while it will get downright annoying…

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek April 28, 2017 / 3:48 pm

      That’s a big reason I don’t accept them either is my TBR pile is already ginormous. I agree it is pretty funny as well how they think they can pitch a book that is the TOTAL opposite of what I read, haha! I wish I was as patient and polite as you with requests, I just get so tired of people ignoring my review policy that I decide it’s fair for me to ignore their request as well and for the most part they’re like you said, standard emails.
      I also think it’s safe to say after you’ve been blogging longer you’ll get more annoyed, I know at first I’d respond to everyone even to decline but I’ve been doing this for almost 2 years now and just don’t have the patience for unwanted review requests anymore. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ashley April 22, 2017 / 1:51 pm

    An author’s friend, not the author themselves, but the best friend of an author sent me an email asking if I would review the author’s book because “I read a lot offensive contemporary,” I politely declined saying that I wasn’t accepting books for review. This was before I had a review policy on my homepage.

    Liked by 1 person

      • thesassygeek April 28, 2017 / 3:52 pm

        Haha I was wondering what “offensive contemporary” was and then I thought wow that’s almost an insult, dang autocorrect! 🙂
        I find that a review policy helps a lot if you don’t want to accept requests at any given time, but like I said in the discussion a lot of authors tend to just bypass it anyways which really gets to me sometimes.


      • ashley April 28, 2017 / 3:53 pm

        I can see how it can get annoying.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. TeacherofYA April 22, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    If a book sounds good and it’s in my genre, then I accept the request. I had someone recently follow up bc the book was about to publish, so I scrambled and read it, and I’m grateful bc the book is AWESOME. But others “follow up” with me and it’s like, ok, I said I would review it, but I didn’t know there was a deadline.
    The worst is when they send you the book and say, “can you take a look at this? It’s something I think you’ll like based on your blog,” and then it’s like completely NOT my genre. I don’t even answer those. Let them think the email was sucked into a void.
    Just because I do review for indie authors and try to help doesn’t mean I can review everything.
    And when then will I get time to read the books I want?? Like Strange the Dreamer or Defy the Stars! I have some books on NG that I’m dying to read but I have these people that need these reviews…ugh. Sometimes I want to say “screw it” and post a “I’m not taking review requests” on my blog, but if I did, I would have missed out on some amazing lit. So I’m torn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek April 28, 2017 / 3:58 pm

      Oh definitely! If a book sounds good I’d for sure accept it, it’s just I usually didn’t get any so I just closed up my requests.
      I can also understand ARCs being read and reviewed either before, on, or at least around the publish date but I think if an author is asking YOU to review then they would give you a timeline if they wanted it. Otherwise it’s up to you when you will read and review it, after all they asked you!
      I’m glad I’m not the only one that sends those emails to “the void”, haha! Yeah honestly if they can’t be bothered to see what I even read then I can’t be bothered to decline your email. And our TBRs are already huge, so yes authors can’t expect us to read everything for sure!
      I sometimes think I should put my review policy back up to accepting requests because I do want to accept great books but also I get annoyed more often than that…..

      Liked by 1 person

      • TeacherofYA April 30, 2017 / 11:45 am

        I have it to accepting but I don’t get many good ones lately…I used to give them dates I would have the book reviewed by, but now if they are books of my genre and they don’t care when the review goes up, then I’ll accept. But lately I am getting a lot of “this book comes out May something and if you could review it by then, that would be great.” Nope, I can’t. I have too many books and maybe by September…but not anytime soon, lol! 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Books, Vertigo and Tea April 22, 2017 / 3:21 pm

    This is a great post! You are pretty on point so there is not much I can add to it. I have stopped accepting requests at this time as well. They have been pulling me from what I want to read. I enjoy discovering new authors and books, but I have my own TBR 😉

    I do have a problem with my policies being consistently ignored (but not by all). I think this has also contributed to my decision to stop taking requests. Again pretty much just agreeing with you on all of this haha.

    I will open back up to them when I feel like it.

    Hope you have been enjoying the weekend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek May 10, 2017 / 3:32 pm

      Thanks Danielle!
      Yes, a big part of why I don’t accept requests is also because I have a big enough TBR as it is without adding too many more books to it. Plus I’m a terrible mood reader and having a bunch of deadlines is pressure I don’t like!
      I may open back up to requests as well eventually but only when I have time and then kind of “screen” through requests and see if I’m actually getting anything that pertains to my genres I read. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Charlotte Annelise April 22, 2017 / 5:08 pm

    I think I’ve had about 4 requests and they’ve always been something I would never read, so I think some authors don’t bother actually checking out blogs in depth. I’ve always just ignored the requests, I’ve never thought about emailing back and saying no 😳

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek May 10, 2017 / 3:37 pm

      I think it’s perfectly acceptable not to email back and decline! Especially since they ignored what genres you read in the first place, I know I don’t email back and decline anymore for exactly that reason.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Anna @MyBookishDream April 22, 2017 / 7:00 pm

    I accept requests if the book sounds interesting to me and falls under the genres that I like to read and that I have listed on my blog as “what kind of requests I accept”. At the moment I’m not accepting review requests at all, but still get people asking. It’s really annoying when they don’t even read your page. :/ So far I haven’t had anyone send me their book with the request, but that is really rude and I would definitely decline that request.
    Great post! 😀


  7. Paula Vince April 22, 2017 / 11:01 pm

    That’s a great question. I occasionally accept them if they sound interesting. There have been some pleasant surprises, but very few. When I used to accept a lot, I found I regretted the choice about 90% of the time. And yes, I sometimes wonder why they chose to approach me. Sometimes titles I request on NetGalley turn out to be a letdown, so these days, I have no qualms about refusing titles which wouldn’t have got a bite from me anyway.


  8. Michelle April 23, 2017 / 12:03 pm

    Omg I relate to this so much! My review policy page isn’t even that long why do they not read that?! I specifically stated that I’ll read adult if it isn’t too graphic when it comes to violence and romance and then I get a review request for a book called How Speleology Restored My Sex Drive???
    Don’t worry you don’t sound negative – I completely understand the frustration haha


  9. Whimsically Meghan April 23, 2017 / 6:20 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this! I’m sorry you’ve had rotten luck with this. This is why I’ve been very hesitant about accepting, or even starting to accept review requests. It’s funny I actually got a request the other day that I turned down because I just don’t do them on my blog because I don’t have the time or the energy to go through with it all. I like being able to just review what I want to without people asking me to.


  10. celestialblackrose April 24, 2017 / 10:20 pm

    Great post, and at a great time too. Just a few weeks ago I had someone ask me to review a book that wasn’t anything close to what I put/accept on my review policy. It turned out to be a pretty bad book but I gave it an honest and fair review, gave some feedback even about how to maybe fix some things. Author e-mailed me back saying they wanted to thank me for the review, but if I could please take it down off amazon because it would “affect” their sales. I was so mad that they ignored the type of books I preferred, the book was bad, and they basically seemed to be brushing me off that I just ignored it and blocked them (plus I left the review up).


  11. mediashadowreads April 29, 2017 / 11:40 am

    Basically everything you’ve written is so true. I’ve had my ‘review policy’ page thing up on my blog since very close to the start but I’ve still had people ignore it! Earlier in the year I had someone approach me about reading and reviewing their ‘healthy lifestyle’ book thing…. couldn’t have been further from what I read. It’s takes the mick… it really does, what annoys me the most is when authors/publishers don’t even include your name or blog name when they contact you. Like… seriously… can you be anymore rude!? But yeah, your points are very much valid and very much true!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek May 3, 2017 / 3:59 pm

      So glad it isn’t just me these things happen to! 🙂
      I’m glad I had a review policy page up right away but it didn’t do me any good anyways as a majority of authors ignore it outright! I think the most common problem is the one you had where they ignore the genres you read, like if I don’t read the genre I’m not going to accept your request! It’s honestly a waste of everyone’s time that way. And like you said it is very rude!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mediashadowreads May 3, 2017 / 5:22 pm

        The genre thing is indeed annoying. Like yourself I’ve got my priority genres listed… but like I previously said, I still end up with someone asking me to review books as far from those genres possible… it’s maddening. Plus it’s not that hard to tell what a blogger does and doesn’t like but just taking literally a minute or two to look through their blog. After all our blogs are part of us. You’re right about it wasting everyone’s time… it doesn’t even take a minute to look through people’s review policies… but hey ho… can’t stop them I suppose… as annoying as it is…

        Liked by 1 person

      • thesassygeek May 8, 2017 / 3:42 pm

        Yes, exactly! Like you can take a look at the blog and know immediately if it’s YA or adult or if they like romance/contemporaries or sci-fi/fantasy! And to think we even make it easy for them by literally listing what genres we like!
        Like you said it takes less than a minute, but whatever I suppose it’s something that will just continue to be a frustration unfortunately.


  12. Marie April 30, 2017 / 1:52 am

    Lovely discussion post! My review policy page is, I think, pretty short and underlines the kind of books I like to read, yet people completely ignore it. ACtually, I haven’t been opened to review requests for a while now but I still get emails about it and it kind of makes me mad ahah. You’re not negative at all, it is a bit frustrating indeed to get emails like that. I mean, I want to help authors and everything but I just don’t have the time at the moment.


    • thesassygeek May 4, 2017 / 11:01 am

      Thank you so much! 🙂
      I have had to update my review policy page a lot just to get more and more specific about what I actually read but no matter what it seems it’s ignored.
      Glad I am not the only one! I get kind of irritated when I get sent requests when I say I am closed to them, it’s like “wow you completely ignored my review policy page then”. I’m really happy I don’t sound too negative, as well. I always feel slightly bad but it’s frustrating when people don’t take the time to actually look at your blog.
      I am all for helping authors as well but I also don’t have the time currently and it’s hard to help people who don’t take the time to read my review policy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marie May 4, 2017 / 12:19 pm

        It really is frustrating – and it’s not like review policies are 10-pages long :/ you’re definitely not sounding too negative here. We’re here to help and love to help authors and books but we’re already blogging our hearts out and it takes a load of times – being swallowed in emails that are, well, useless and annoy us because these people don’t pay attention to our hard work is annoying :/

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews May 1, 2017 / 12:53 am

    When I first started blogging I accepted ALL of them because I thought it was so cool that these authors wanted me to read there books. I quickly realised I made a terrible mistake though because I couldn’t read them all. The thing that frustrates me the most is when people won’t read review policies. I don’t know how many places I need to say that I’m not accepting review requests? Or it’s sometimes worse when It’s like “I know you’re not accepting reviews BUT”. I’ve had people get my name wrong or ask me to read romance books and I’m like??? STOP!!! HAHA. Sometimes I’ll reply and say no, but sometimes I’ll just ignore them if I’m feeling tired or drained. I’ve received like 2 unsolicited physical books because I’m on a publisher’s database. One was a historical romance which nope, but the other is a YA that looks kinda interesting. If I’m not interested in it though, I’m not going to read it.

    Great post, Heather!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek May 4, 2017 / 11:16 am

      That’s because it IS cool, haha! I’m always very flattered people would consider me to review their books but if it isn’t something I’d normally read I would decline because there’s no way I’m torturing myself like that!
      It’s also really sad because I feel like practically NO ONE reads review policies! And apparently we need to plaster if aren’t accepting requests all over our blogs! I also hate when I get requests to read genres I dislike, like you said, STAHP!
      I used to politely decline every single one but I figured if they can ignore my review policy, I can ignore their email.
      I’ve only received two unsolicited books as well from Scholastic randomly. They were children’s books too and I’m like “ummmm no?”. It was weird.
      Thanks Lauren, I’m really glad I’m not the only one that deals with these things and gets frustrated! 🙂


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  15. Briana May 2, 2017 / 10:49 pm

    Your experience sounds extremely similar to mine. I changed my policy years ago to indicate that I’m not accepting requests because people weren’t listening to my review policy anyway, and I was rarely pitched something I actually wanted to read. People still send requests, still ignoring the fact I’m not open to them, so I just ignore the emails. Anyway, I find it stressful to send my review straight to the other; I’m far more open to working with publishers and not potentially having to tell an author to their face (well, over email), I gave their book two stars or something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek May 8, 2017 / 2:28 pm

      Yes, thank you! 🙂
      100% agree with you, that’s exactly what happens with me as well. My policy is ignored or I get sent requests for books that don’t interest me at all.
      This is exactly why I don’t accept them anymore and like you said I STILL get them anyways and so I think it’s fair to ignore the emails as well.
      Fortunately I haven’t reviewed a book for an author, just publishers. I feel like I’d have a hard time telling an author to their face I didn’t enjoy it too.


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