Why We Aren’t Accepting Your Book

You guys are aware that I contribute to YA Indie. I give my advice to authors but I’m only one person. It’s always great to hear other people’s perspectives about issues. This is where I need you!

I recently wrote a few posts for YA Indie. One about why authors should care about book bloggers. I have one going up Sunday about how to find the best blogger for them. I have an idea for another post but I would really like to hear other bloggers’ opinions about the topic first.

You just received a review request. You’re not totally sold on the book though. What makes you say ‘no’ to this book instead of accepting it? (Besides the obvious answer of it doesn’t fit within your review policy)

If you want to be featured in the post with your answer, email me your answer. Put YA Indie in the subject heading. It could be just one thing with a paragraph explaining your answer, a few bullet points with a quick explanation of each, whatever works for you. Depending on how many replies I get, I might be able to put everyone’s answer in or just a few. I’ll let you know either way.

If you just want to contribute to the conversation, comment below!

Any bit of advice you can give will be incredibly helpful to the authors. They might not be aware of some of the faux pas they’re committing.

9 thoughts on “Why We Aren’t Accepting Your Book

  1. I’m not YA, but I’ve answered a lot of pitch emails this morning and have been thinking about this. A lot of times the blurb doesn’t tell me a lot about the book. If I can’t get a handle on it, I can’t really decide whether or not it will be for me, and I frequently say no unless there’s something that intrigues me. Then I ask for more info.

    Also, I get a lot of pitches for books described as lit fic with very specific genre elements. It’s not that I mind that. I love genre books, but I don’t review romance, and when you try to sell it as something else, I opt out.

    When the author emails me him or herself, I’m also hesitant. It then feels very personal. What if I don’t like the book? So often I will turn a book down because of that – unless there is something that really hooks me about the book. It is extremely difficult for me to turn down an author, and often I feel really really guilty. I say no when I genuinely don’t think the book is for me, but it’s still difficult. How do authors want to be told that?

    I have also had authors follow up when I say “Thank you so much for the email; however, this book doesn’t really fall in my interest area. Best of luck!” – They want to know why. I usually don’t respond because what do they want me to say? It doesn’t sound interesting. Pitch was boring. I don’t like the sound of it. Very uncomfortable.

    Another big thing for me: recently I have had at least a dozen authors send me very informal emails that just say something along the lines of “please review” and attach a digital (usually Kindle) copy. A. It’s presumptuous. B. I don’t have a Kindle. C. See A again. I know they may not intend to come across that way, but for me, it does.

    Ok – sorry to be so long winded, but I think there’s room on both sides. How can I effectively turn down a book? What would authors appreciate in terms of the response?

  2. I think for me the thing that turns me off most is when someone tries to sell me on romance by telling me it’s something else. As far as taking submissions directly from authors I don’t mind at all, as long as they understand that I am going to give an honest review and there is going to be some criticism involved. I don’t want to pass up any potentially talented authors just because they don’t have people helping them market.

  3. Unfortunately, I’ve received some very unprofessional e-mails – excessive caps, poor grammar, etc. – and while those may be obvious things to avoid, so far they have been my biggest turn offs. Other than that the biggest deciding factors are excerpts (must, must, must be well written and mostly typo-free) and the description and cover (probably just personal taste).

What are your thoughts? (Comments are moderated. Yours will be up as soon as I read it!)

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