Friday, January 31, 2014

A Peek into my Inbox - or How to Automatically Disqualify Your Novel for Review

I admit, I was a little naive when I agreed to be the blog administrator during Mindy's sabbatical.  Mindy did such an amazing job administrating the blog and prepping me, but there were some things that I don't think I'd have believed had she even tried to explain them to me.

Case in point:


Heyyyy! So glad u are reading my book 4 a review!!!! I hope u totes like it  Let me know if ya have any awsome questions. Catch ya on the flip side!


Unknown author*

I shudder to recall how many identical emails like this I receive, almost daily.  Don't get me wrong, we love it when authors and publishers contact us, either via email or Facebook.  We love hearing that people would like us to review their books, and we love connecting with people who have the same love of words that we do.  But.


We love books.  We love the written word.  We love well-written books!  It just so happens that more than one of the amazing reviewers on this blog happen to be in education (and it makes our editing, red-pen wielding fingers itch for a crack at those emails!!), and an email is often the first contact or the first mention of an author we ever receive.

We would love to consider your book for review, really!  However - in an email like my lovely little satirical example above, what kind of message does that send about the caliber of your book?

There are times that I worry that I may have missed the next Old Man and the Sea or Grapes of Wrath, simply because the emailed request was so unprofessional I automatically hit delete.  And yet, I have no guilt.  As a self-professed grammar** nerd, I appreciate a well-written correspondence.  It shows me that, as an author, my correspondent is detail-oriented enough to show me I can expect the same caliber of writing in the book being presented.

Authors, we couldn't do this job without you!  You are amazing, and the stories you have to share are ones we may just be waiting for.  But, please, best foot forward!

*Unknown author, in this case, is actually a good friend of mine who thought he was joking about the worst case scenario … little did he know his hyperbole was spot on!  Reused with his permission. 

** Yes, I have an opinion on the Oxford comma.  I also am a staunch believer in the two spaces after a period -- it just looks nicer, and I will defend my grammatical decisions to the death!


ailyn koay said...

At least now I know that I am not alone in the 'delete' button scenario. But tell me, do you shoot an email back saying your request for review has been declined?

Marsh Mayhem said...

Sometimes! If I do, I make sure to tell them why and suggest knowing their audience a bit better!


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