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A Note To Authors (and PR people, too) October 3, 2008

Posted by Warren in Uncategorized.
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I get a lot of requests to review books. More than I can handle, in fact, and right now I’m WAAAY behind on reviews (I’ve got one or two books I’ve had for almost a year and haven’t finished — tells you how good they are, huh?). But I still get press releases from writers and their PR agents telling me about their newest book and asking me to review it.
MOST of these are simply form email. Some are actually personalized email to me, where the author mentions a similar book I’ve reviewed, or something like that. I agree to read just about every request I get from someone who has taken the trouble to familiarize themselves with what I’ve read and reviewed in the past (not tough to do, between this blog, my my review blog, and Blogcritics. Right now I’m not taking any new books unless they sound REALLY good or they’re by an author I really like, just because of the backlog.
I’m amazed, though, at how many people just send out mass email, hoping to find someone to review their book. I get press releases from all kinds of “spiritual enlightenment” authors who have no clue that the review they get here will be a bad one, just based on theology. They don’t know what I’m about — they just know I write reviews.
I read this piece by Chris Brogan today, and even though I don’t get near the volume of email that I’m sure he gets, I can understand where he’s coming from. When I get a bad PR email about a book that I just have to read, it makes me wonder — if the author can’t write a decent email promoting their book, what must the book be like? And nine times out of ten, I ignore the email, and never read the book if it shows up unsolicited. I wish every author and press agent would read Chris’ post, at the very least, and start sending out better press releases about their books.

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