Today I had the honor of getting my very first request to review a book on my blog. I opened the e-mail excitedly and looked forward to this awesome opportunity.
However, my excitement disappeared when I read For: Blog Name That Isn’t Books And Boston.
I continued on to read Dear Blog Name That Isn’t Books And Boston.
Then, I skimmed past an excerpt of the novel, some mumbo-jumbo about the author, and finally got to the ending line of I would be very honored if you would consider my novel for a review on Blog Name That Isn’t Books And Boston!
I was not pleased. Yes, I understand that this mistake was not personal and likely due to some silly technical error, but I found this very unprofessional. If I was an author trying to self-promote my book I’d like to think that I would exercise a bit more tact and make sure I actually get the bloggers’ names right when sending out mass requests for book reviews.
I have to admit, I sent the author a bit of a scathing reply. It wasn’t completely mean, but it pretty much summed up what I said here about professionalism and all that. I concluded with saying that if they were in fact trying to contact me and not Blog Name That Isn’t Books And Boston, they should write back so we could discuss the possible book review.
Shortly after sending this I received another e-mail. The author was extremely apologetic and explained that they must have incorrectly inserted the e-mails into the program they use to send out book requests. Honestly, I started to feel like a bit of an a**hole. Here I was being rude to this individual who made a mistake that I just as easily could have done. I have absolutely confused names multiple times. Still, in a professional setting you do need to be careful.
Then, I noticed this sentence in the 2nd email:
I would be very honored if you would review Book Name for Books in Boston!
Granted, it is a very small error, but I stopped feeling like an a**hole immediately. For those who didn’t notice, the author’s second reply (in which they were apologetic about the previous error) addressed me as Books in Boston, when my blog name (as I said multiple times in my reply to their first e-mail) is Books And Boston. Maybe I’m just being a b*tch, but you’d think after the first error an author would be extra careful to use the correct name the second time.
I think I’m not going to bother replying to this e-mail. Needless to say, I’m not doing the review.
For all you authors out there, what do you think? Am I just being a b*tch? (I promise I won’t get mad if you say I am – I’m really curious about other people’s opinions on this). Do you make sure to be extra careful about things like this when sending out e-mails? And for other book bloggers – have you ever encountered a similar situation with book review requests? How might you have handled this differently?
To the author who wrote me: If you happen to read this, I do understand that you made a mistake, but it was careless. I don’t want an additional apology, but be aware of this in the future. Careless mistakes DO affect the professional image you are trying to portray. Also, I have not listed your name or title of your book because I am not trying to call you out or injure your reputation at all. The e-mails provoked a necessary discussion on proper etiquette though, so that is why it is being posted here.