Friday, January 30, 2009

The Frustrations Of A Book Reviewer - Volume 2: A Thankless Job?


When we started our review website, I always knew that you can't please everyone all the time. But what I'm sharing with you today just takes the cake. Please see the following email and note that this has not been altered in any way. I did omit the name of the author to protect the not so innocent.


Mr. Hubbert:

Could you at least summarize what is wrong with it? The opening page conveyed it would probably be three months or more before you even had a chance to read and review it. What exactly was it? You did not care for the plot? You found too many grammatical, errors in punctuation? How much time did you even spend reading before you even made your decision. I submitted my request for a review approximately one week, ago. How did you manage to get through enough of it to determine that it was not suitable for you website? You know what. Nevermind and FFFFffUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKK YYYYYYYYYYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111


That email was NOT in response to an actual review that we did but just an inquiry request for their book to be reviewed. Of course the profanity was unprofessional and childish, but this person didn't follow our submission guidelines. Our guidelines state to send a chapter excerpt in order to be considered for a review. This person chose to send their entire book and for some reason thought that someone was reading their entire book. I rejected it and as always offered them to post info about their book in our Yahoo group or even to purchase advertising. This is an example of a person that obviously knows nothing about this business and won't get far in it. A part of me wanted to respond immediately with a few choice words myself, but instead I took the high road and simply ignored this person.


If this person had came to me the right way, maybe I could have provided some feedback as to why their book wasn't accepted. I don't think people understand the time and dedication that it takes to select books for our website. It also takes time to review these books too.

Thankless job? Sometimes...but I still love it!

Radiah

Please feel free to leave your comments below!!!

29 comments:

Angelia... said...

Wow...I am shocked, though I am not sure why...as an author I know that everything I write is not for everyone...as a reviewer I will not like every book...if writers are going to be in this business, and believe me I know as someone who has published eight of her own books...we must thicken our skin and learn that diplomacy is important...sorry you had to go through that...but keep up the good work...

Blessings!
angelia

Rebecca said...

Well, that person was just out of line. No matter what, you should always remain professional. If you must get angry about something, do it tactfully. If they were a decent writer, they would have been able to let you know how angry they were without dropping the big f-bomb. What a lack of imagination!

This is a great post. I enjoy that you got your frustrations out in a much more constructive way than the author was able to do.

:) Have a great day!

Gwyneth Bolton said...

Forget getting far in the literary industry, this person is probably having a hard time getting far in life in general. They can't follow directions and then want to curse other folks out as soon as they can't get their way?? Nope, wouldn't get far... Sorry you had to be subjected to that.

Gwyneth

Sharon said...

I know there are reasons you didn't disclose this author and I definitely respect that, but if I knew I would DEFINITELY NOT support him/her and buy their books.

Rhonda McKnight said...

I agree with Gwen, this behavior is being exhibited everywhere in their life. No one behaves that way.

Carleen Brice said...

The funniest part: "I submitted my request for a review approximately one week, ago." I'm sorry but that literally made me LOL. A whole week and you didn't read and review his/her masterpiece?? Shame on you! :)

Anonymous said...

Carleen,

I thought by a week he was saying you couldn't have read it yet. No matter, he's got to be a really short man who washes his hands every 15 minutes.

Anonymous said...

I wanna know who the nut is too.

Deatri King-Bey said...

I'm with Gwen, this person is probably having difficulty in other walks of life also.

Sad, sad, sad. And if he/she continues acting this way, he/she's book will most likely never make it to the bookshelf anyway.

Peace
Dee

Monica Marie Jones said...

Oh my! I must admit that I get a bit emotional when a reviewer does not want to review my book, or when I get a not so favorable review...but I have never felt moved to curse.

Monica Marie Jones
Author
http://www.monicamariejones.com

Beverly said...

Agree with all of the comments.

The"author" also needs to realize that this a small community and will probably not get any play in it.

You did not the right thing and not response.

Some peiple are just rude and classless.

Claudia Brown-Mosley said...

This is really a shame because everything that you write, everyone is not going to like. We as authors have to learn that if we are planning to go to the top. We have to take the bad with the good.

Tee C. Royal said...

Not following directions is one of my biggest pet peeves. And a week? ROFL.

Shake it off sis...

Just know that you're appreciated for what you're doing and don't let a few bad apples spoil it for everyone else. Trust me. After 8 years of doing this, I've had my share of ingrates and nuts, and it took me awhile not to want to immediate reply and tell'em off. In the end, you don't need the stress. As you said, it's a lot of work organizing & reviewing, sooooooooooo...whoever this author is he/she will be okay.

-Tee

embrownny said...

Some people just never take the time to pay attention to instructions. Then, when things don't go their way, they can blame someone else other than themselves.

Locksie said...

That is not professional at all! But I'm not too shocked about it since I've had an author deal with me the same way because that person was not pleased with the four star review, and felt the review should have been a five star. I got chewed out in an email but I didn't even respond to that irate author otherwise it would have been back and forth and I just don't have time for that!

Don't worry, you just keep up the good work you are doing and know that you are well respected!

As far as I see it; if an author does not want an honest opinion then don't send your work for a review.

Enjoy the weekend.
Locksie

Karen O'Bannon said...

LOL! How rude.

Ms. Toni said...

I think it’s sad but not surprising. More and more authors are behaving badly. What happened to professionalism? You didn't like their book, then something must be wrong with you. They didn't follow directins, then something must be wrong with you. It's crazy! But look at the bright side - the author did you a favor.

Linda Chavis said...

You need to expose that mofo. LOLLOL

Joey Pinkney said...

After a while, stuff like this is not shocking. As a virtually one-man-show, I get stuff like this every once in a while.

I had one author ask for an interview, got the questions and wrote whatever she wanted to let the world know about her book and the global issues it solved. She didn't even answer the questions!

I was like, "Um... Could you please answer the questions and limit your synopsis to one paragraph so I can get it posted?" I got the interview back with my questions in between every other paragraph. No continuity.

You know what I did? I ran it just like that! It's the worst interview on my site in my opinion. If you can find it, it reads as if author had someone transcribe it from a padded cell in some psychoward.

PBW said...

Just when I thought nothing shocked me anymore - that did.

I'd hate to read an e-mail she'd write to a reviewer that didn't like her book.

Sylvia Hubbard said...

that was really uncalled for. i know you work very hard and that must be down heartening to see someone just disrespect you like that.

you are much loved in the community R!

Anonymous said...

I'm just an avid book reader addict and was shocked at what the writer said and in all fairness thought I would look at the submission guidelines and I found that #5 and #9 made it very clear of what you needed from the writer to be considered for a review. It just showed me that the writer only read line #1 and ran with the misconception that you wanted a full copy of the book and once again didn't bother to go back and re-read the guidelines once you emailed them back with a rejection but went on to just attack you for their own mistake instead of learning from it and moving on to the next step in getting someone to review the book. You handled this just right by not going down to their level and leashing back out. I'm so proud to be a part of the Urban Review Family. Keep up the good work.

Tina Allen

Brenda Hampton said...

I'm not shocked by this at all and I've heard from other book reviewers as well that this kind of thing happens a lot. It's a shame too, especially since many reviewers take time out of their busy schedules to help authors. A special note to the author who responded in such a way...if you can't take the heat, then get out of the kitchen. This industry is not for you.

tia said...

Ugh! Hefty ego, terrible attitude, delusional, AND comma happy on top of all that? I hope he/she appreciates your professionalism and class in not posting his/her name. Some people truly have no idea how this type of foolishness can come back and bite them in the butt. Always catches up to 'em sooner or later.

I do have to say, though, out of all the errors in this short little note, the two in "You found too many grammatical, errors in punctuation?" sure did tickle me!! LOL!

Vanessa A. Johnson said...

Well, if this author's book was anything like her comments, it's no wonder you rejected the book. Please don't let one bad apple spoil it for all of us who really appreciate what you, and all other reviewers do. I think the manner in which you handled the situation speaks volumes about your professionalism. Keep your head high.

Dera Williams said...

Unfortunately, this author has displayed such poor judgement that he/she will sooner or later expose himself/herself. As a member of a review team, I know how thankless this job can be but also rewarding. Keep doing your thing in supporting black authors and I applaud your professionalism.

Desiree said...

I read the post and wanted to laugh. Authors I love yall but yall can be tempermental when it comes tou yur babies and this particular author just had a tantrum. What's really funny is that this person expects you to stop everything for their work and life just does not work that way. You try your best to provide a service to the best of your ability but if you can't follow the rules you can not expect to get anything. That is just real. Hold your head up and keep walking knowing u are the better for not going to this person's level.

Genesis said...

Is it not hard enough to navigate this business without being an ass? Whew, glad you shook it off and took the high road.

stellbread said...

Wow, that was unprofessional. Hell, I've received nearly two dozen rejections for various reasons (but I do currently have book out), and I never entertained the idea of writing something like that to a publisher or potential reviewer.

What some people do not under stand that IF YOU DO NOT FOLLOW THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES TO THE LETTER, you will get kicked to the curb like Burger King did "Herb."