Comment: Dear Sir/Madam,
would you please be able to write the review of the poetry anthology. you can give a look to the profile of the anthology on the links
[Several links to the poetry anthology.]
I am looking forwards to work in close cooperation with you
best wishes and regards
A few months or so ago this would have made me insanely mad. Now it just makes me facepalm. Why? Because no matter how many articles I and other book bloggers write about the importance of reading review policies and personalizing review requests, people like this man who emailed me won’t listen.
Yet I’m still going to dissect the many reasons why this man went wrong because I’m a little cranky and nitpicky today:
1. He addressed me as Sir/Madam.
Honestly, it’s not that hard to find my name. It’s in the first sentence on my About page, which is along the top of my blog. This is pure laziness and carelessness. He doesn’t care enough to take a few seconds to find out my name, let alone my gender, so why should I even bother clicking on the links in his email, let alone agree to review his book?
2. His grammar is terrible for a writer.
I don’t claim to be a grammar expert; I break the rules of grammar quite frequently here on my blog because a blog is quite casual. A review request is not, however. Review requests are not exactly formal, but they are not so casual that you don’t even bother capitalizing the first letter of your sentences. I get that poets play with the rules of grammar a lot more than bloggers, but to anyone who considers themselves a writer this is completely unacceptable. Even if I had been addressed by my name (or even by my correct gender), I would reject his request for this alone.
If you think I’m being nitpicky about the capitalization, re-read the last sentence: “I am looking forwards to work in close cooperation with you”. Enough said.
3. He didn’t provide me with any information other than telling me to check out links.
If you want me to review your book so badly, you had better include some information to at least get me interested in it. Telling me you’ve written a ‘poetry anthology’ and just giving links makes you look lazy and makes me want to hit the delete button. Again: why should I review your book if you can’t even take the time to copy and paste your own blurb into the email?
4. He didn’t see/chose to ignore that I am closed to submissions until 2014.
This could have been accomplished by looking at my review policy. It’s at the top of it in bold, capital letters. A writer has to know how to read as well as write as far as I know. So why couldn’t he take the time to read my review policy? If he did in fact read my review policy, he chose to ignore the fact that I am closed to submissions for another four months! That, my friends, is massive disrespect and won’t help you get your book reviewed.
5. He didn’t read my full review policy anyway.
You know that part in my Review Policy in the third paragraph that is in bold letters stating what I won’t review? Well, guess what! Poetry is something I won’t review unless you’re Dante, Homer, Virgil or Milton. I guarantee the man submitting his poetry anthology to me is none of the four I mention. Therefore, even if he somehow didn’t see that I’m closed to review requests, he obviously didn’t read the review policy at all. I think we can safely conclude that he was too lazy to read my policy, right?
I know that the types of authors who already do this sort of lazy/ignorant/thoughtless thing won’t be reading this post. If they do, they certainly aren’t about to change right now. However, maybe new writers looking to learn how to write review requests might read this and learn a little something. If nothing else, they’ll learn about why so many reviewers are more than a little frustrated at authors. (Especially self-published authors unfortunately.)