Every day I get pummeled with email requests from authors, publishers, publicists, tour hosts, and other people, asking me to review or feature their book. I rarely respond to these requests. As an author or publicist, this can be very frustrating and disheartening, especially when you’ve done everything right.
I understand that it’s hard work to market a book and that bloggers are an essential (and free) part of that plan, so it’s frustrating when we don’t respond to email. I want to give you a glimpse into what it’s like from my side of the computer screen and give you a little insight into why I’m not responding to your email (or anyone else’s). Believe me, it’s not just you that’s hearing crickets. It’s 95% of the people that contact me. And the vast majority of the time, it has nothing to do with the book you’re trying to promote or the way you’ve worded your email. It has everything to do with these six reasons.
1. This is a Hobby
As much as I would love to get paid for reading books all day, blogging simply doesn’t bring in any income. In spite of what many people think, book blogging is a hobby. No profit = hobby. This hobby comes with a lot of email, but my other responsibilities come first.
Answering email takes a lot of time. Even sending out a form letter saying that I can’t read a book takes more time than you’d think. I get between 5 and 12 requests each day. Sometimes more. I have limited amounts of time each day that I can spend reading or blogging. When I’m prioritizing my day, email is not on the list.
3. Desperate Begging
I used to respond to every request I got. I would say something like “thanks for thinking of me, but I’m swamped and won’t be able to read your book”, but that was an open invitation for desperate begging. I got tired of people trying to bully, pressure, beg, and guilt trip me into reading their book. It was awkward and made me feel defensive and weird.
4. I Have a Life Beyond Blogging and Email
As mentioned above, I don’t have much time to read and blog. I have three kids, one of which is still a baby. I have a husband, a home, a neighborhood, friends, and responsibilities in my church and at my kids’ school. I also do design and writing work on the side, which takes up a lot of time. My time for reading and blogging comes a couple times per week, during school hours when my baby is napping, or after all the kids are asleep at night. Spending hours answering email for a hobby I don’t get paid for isn’t on my priority list.
5. Life is Short
Life is too short to spend it answering email. I’d rather spend that time with my family.
6. I’m Just One Person
It’s just me (and sometimes Miss K) working on this blog. It’s time consuming, frustrating, and wonderful. While I would love to be Wonder Woman and do everything, I’m not. So if you contact me and never hear back, please don’t take offense. I’m just one person with a hobby and a lot of other things on her plate. Keep your chin up and keep going!
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