When I started down this adventure of book reviewing there were a lot of factors that I took into account before ever putting my name, image, and email address out there for authors and other readers to use as a resource and a reference. First of all, I wanted to be serious with myself regarding my willingness to even do this at all. I was committed. I was always reading something, so why not make good use out of the things I was reading. I didn’t really want to review the “popular” stuff, because well, they are popular for a reason. I wanted to find that special something out there in the form of an author who while he or she may not be struggling, they could certainly use a little bit of help on their new adventure.
I think I squealed when I had my first request! I made a point from that request forward to respond on a weekly basis in the same manner. I referred back to my Review Policy, and if the book was something I was interested in, I accepted.
This venture has not been going on very long for me, and I am getting book review requests in a couple of times a week. I still get really excited and happy when I see that an author has taken the time to read my previous reviews, comment on my review process, and request me to review their work.
All of this positive came to a screeching halt, that practically stopped me in my tracks and left me speechless this week. I had a request to review a book that just wasn’t my type. I felt horrible, I felt bad, and I thought that if I didn’t look at the email it might just disappear out of my inbox. It didn’t. I had to suck it up and make a decision, and that decision wasn’t something that I just knee jerked and decided after a short period of time.
Is it okay to say no? I really believe that it is, and I politely declined to review this author’s book. I gave my honest reason being that the genre of the book was something that I wasn’t really interested in, and I didn’t feel that I would be able to give this work an honest review.
When an artist spends their time, their energy, and they sacrifice for the sake of their medium I truly believe that it’s important as a consumer and reviewer to be honest. I was honest with this author out of respect for their work, and I was honest with myself knowing that if I had reviewed this book, I would be kidding myself and not living up to the purpose of my blog.
Authors, how do you feel when someone says no? Reviewers, how do you say no?
Edited to add: Of course all this goes out the window when the author you politely declined gives you a dozen reasons why you should like their book, genre's aside. Okay, just remember, I'm very honest!!!