Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Almost Bragging Book Review Request

Time again for another book review request worth poking a little fun at.  One a week for the next few months until I get caught up.  Honest, I have that many.  Heck, I’ve flagged several in the next couple of weeks alone.

Anyway, here’s the one for this week.  I am editing out specifics, but here is the gist of what I was sent.

Dear Hall of Fame Reviewer,
I'm the author of the newly published book XXXXXXX.

I'm happy to let you know...

This book won third place, in Specific Book Festival Mentioned but Editted Out.,
which honors the best of international publishing.

The book was also named an "Honorable Mention" in Second Specific Book Festival.

It has received several good reviews including Kirkus review and from amazon Hall of Fame Reviewers – Grady Harp and Rebecca Reads.

I'll gladly send a complimentary copy if you consider it for review.

Book Title is published by Publisher (Publication date).
I would highly appreciate your valuable time and effort and welcome any honest, unbiased opinion.

Okay, so what was wrong with this request?

For starters, at least try to pretend you didn’t just run a computer program and get my e-mail address.  Even if you aren’t going to pretend you’ve read my reviews, you can take the time to say Dear Mark.  (Of course, if you are going to take the time to comment on one of my reviews, please act like you’ve paid attention to them, but those are issues that will come up in weeks to come.)

Now, honestly, I get the fact that, out of hundreds of books, your book getting 3rd or Honorable mention is a big deal to you.  And it probably really does mean something overall.  But as I was reading this e-mail, it seemed like you were bragging about nothing.  1st?  Definitely include it.  But if you are going to talk about 3rd, please tell me how many books were in the category instead of just giving me a link to the award (which I took out of what I quoted above).  I’m sorry, but I’m not that impressed by 3rd or Honorable Mention without at least a little context, especially since I haven’t heard of either festival before.

Then, there’s the recommendations from other Amazon reviewers.  While I do respect Rebecca Reads, Grady is suspect as a reviewer.  Glowing praise from him doesn’t necessarily mean much.  It’s kind of like getting a rave from Harriet Klausner actually.

Finally, what is your book about?  Fiction?  Non-fiction?  And if it is non-fiction, how much of that do I review?  (More now than I was when I got this e-mail, which is still pretty small.)  If you want me to read your book, don’t just send me the Amazon link and talk about all the praise it’s gotten.  Take a couple of sentences to tell me what it is about.

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