Posted in Book Reviews

Why It’s Okay To Say No To Book Review Requests

When you run a book blog, the more it grows, the more authors may come across it. If you have a decent following then they’re going to want you to review their work.

Everyone likes different genres, some more than others. If you love mystery novels and can’t stand historical fiction, then what do you do if an author asks you to review their historical fiction book?

Why It's Okay To Say No To Book Review Requests

A lot of reviewers don’t like saying no to authors when they ask such a request. I’m one of those reviewers. Sometimes it’s hard to say no.

When an author, a publisher, or a publicist contacts you, you feel flattered. How could they have possibly come across a blog such as your own? And your blog looked good enough to them to make them want to contact you. It makes you feel good so of course, you want to please them.

However, saying no to a review request will please them better rather than reviewing a book you won’t enjoy and therefore won’t give a good review.

A book review is nothing more than your opinion on the book. We all like different things and read books from different perspectives.

There are no bad books, but if there’s a book I don’t particularly care for, I’m not going to give it five stars.

When writing a book review, be sure to make it clear that you’re just stating your own opinion. Authors obviously don’t want anything 1- or 2-star ratings on their books, but you can’t please everyone.

That’s why, if there’s a genre or even a summary of a book that you don’t seem into, be honest with the author and say no to the request. Being honest and not wanting to risk a bad review will be much better than not enjoying the book.

The author will appreciate it.

Have you ever said no to a review request before? Let me know in the comments below!

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Born and raised in Massachusetts, Rachel Poli is a writer and blogger. She has an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a bachelor’s degree in English Studies. She enjoys writing young adult novels, middle-grade, and children’s picture books. She is currently working on her first novel.

26 thoughts on “Why It’s Okay To Say No To Book Review Requests

  1. I have sad no before, I was asked to read a book that I didn’t understand what it was about and it also didn’t sound good to so I said no.

      1. I’ve also said no because I was asked for the wrong reason. I generally only buy good books that I think I will love and sometimes that means I rate high. They wanted a high rating because they thought I would like anything.

  2. Great post. As an author I enjoy reading other’s books too and I always review. But if I come across a book I didn’t like for various reasons, I just don’t review it. It’s difficult to have to read a book in a genre we don’t appreciate and have to review it. 🙂

    1. I know what you mean. I review everything I read, but I’ve never rated a book one or two stars. The lowest I go is three stars which is “just okay” for me, it wasn’t my cup of coffee. 🙂

  3. It also happens to writers, believe me! I never ask for reviews, as I know Amazon weeks out the ‘I was sent a free book in exchange for an unbiased review’. BUT, I am constantly bombarded with people wanting me to comment on their books, edit their book, or review it. And I’m NOT a reviewer. It is a real pain, as these people are never ‘followers’, just random people. And I say no. No hesitation, coz I know if I pick up on anything wrong, I will get stick in industrial amounts!!

    1. Oh, yeah. I’m a writer too and I hear you, lol. I always feel bad for saying no, but it’s for the best for everyone if you’re just honest upfront like that.

  4. “And your blog looked good enough to them to make them want to contact you. It makes you feel good so of course, you want to please them” I agree. Sometimes I feel guilty when I have to turn down a review request because Im afraid theyd get offended. I wish I could mastsr the art of saying no xD

  5. Great post Rachel. Saying no is definitely important, as is authors who actually tell you clearly who the book is aimed for. I was given a book as a “sci-fi” turns out it was (I assume) designed for kids because it certainly didn’t come across as a book for adults. Wasn’t my thing and I couldn’t even finish it. Authors need to be really clear on their target audience and reviewers need to be able to step away with a polite no 🙂

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