Look, we totally understand that book marketing is grueling and hard and often demoralizing. Believe it or not, we actually DO understand what you’re going through. Most book bloggers do. And we want to help authors. Honest we do. Helping authors is one of the main reasons we started this blog to begin with. But there are some things we see on a regular basis (it’s scary how regular that basis is) that make us add authors to our “never ever ever, not if they were the last author on” list. So, with that in mind, here’s a list of things you can do to ensure we’ll never, ever read or review your book.
Social media rudeness
If you friend us on social media (this includes Goodreads) then immediately turn around the second we accept your friend request and say, “Hey, great, now that we’re friends, will you read and promote my book?”—you, sir or madam, are an asshole.
Quick Twitter Tip: In our opinion, there’s an obvious difference between tweets that are just for fun and tweets meant to promote a book, blog post, service or whatever. With that in mind, if you see a tweet from authors, bloggers, podcasters, publishers, etc. that are clearly promotional and you would like to help, do NOT just like their tweet. While it's very sweet that you like whatever is being promoted, simply liking the tweet isn't really helping much. The proper response is to retweet so you can help spread the promotion to as many people as possible. You can still like the tweet if you want to but trust me, the original tweeter really just wants retweets. End of PSA
Surely the rules don’t apply to ME
If you think you’re above the law, we have no time for you. This includes:
I’ve seen lots of authors lately posting bad reviews of their books on social media and encouraging their fans to either, a) Take the opportunity to fluff the author’s ego and remind them that reviewer X is full of crap, or b) Go to Goodreads/Amazon/whatever and vote down the review or tell the reviewer how awful their opinion is. This is despicable author behavior that WILL get you banned from our site.
Here’s the thing. Reviews are for READERS, not authors. If you, as an author, choose to read your reviewers, that’s perfectly fine. But as a reviewer, I’m entitled to my opinion. I have the right to post my review without fear of retribution. And it’s hard enough to get people to review books they’ve read these days as it is. Do you honestly think that publicly shaming reviewers will help that situation?
If you respond to a bad review of your book with hate and nastiness, you better be prepared to never ask us for anything again. We can take criticism. It doesn’t bother us. But we never forget. Note: this also goes for those who ask us to review their book, then reply when we refuse with a “well, you’ll be sorry when I’m the next Nora Roberts” retort.
If you’re on social media whining about lack of sales, lack of reviews, or lack of being on a bestsellers list, we’re not going to read or review your book. I don’t tolerate whining from my child and I won’t tolerate it from authors. It’s a hard business. I get it. Suck it up and move on.
Intentionally mis-marketing your book
Most authors come to realize at some point that the romance market is huge and profitable. This makes some authors think that if they throw a sex scene into their women’s fiction/sci fi/horror novel that they can lie to us, tell us their book is a romance, and that we’ll help them market it or provide a review. Well, let me tell you this: romance readers are smart. They can spot a fake romance a mile away. If they get ONE WHIFF that you’re trying to trick them they’ll shut that shit down with a quickness. Long-story-short: We know when you’re lying to us. We know when your book isn’t really a romance. If you try to pass a book off on us that is not romance, you WILL be ignored.
When we get “to whom it may concern” or “hello, book blogger” emails asking us to read and review your latest children’s book/poetry volume/lit fic novel, we’re smart enough to realize that you’ve sent a blind, spammy email out to any book blogger you could find on the interwebs in the hopes that some of them--any of them--would just take you up on your request. If you don’t have the time to figure out that our blog isn’t suited to your book (I mean, “romance” is right there in the name of the blog. Did you really think we wanted a children’s book here?), then we don’t have time to read and review your book.
“Not your typical romance”
Anyone who says “My romance isn’t a typical romance because it’s full of emotion, and it’s well-written, and I’ve won awards before,” is actually someone who hates romance and is just trying to sponge off the market’s best selling genre. How do I know this? Because fans of the romance genre know that most romance novels are full of emotion and well-written. There are also plenty of romance authors who’ve won prestigious awards. And in fact, there’s no such thing as a “typical” romance novel. They’re all different. Here at Romance Rehab, we love the genre and we have little patience for anyone who thinks their work is too good for it.
We get A LOT of email here at Romance Rehab. Sometimes it’s overwhelming. And believe it or not, we do have lives outside of this gig. So when an author emails on a Monday and is emailing us again on Tuesday saying, “Hey, did you get my review request? I haven’t heard from you yet”—well, it makes us a little stabby. And when we’re feeling stabby, we’re not likely to review and promote your book.
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