I used to accept review requests on Nose Graze, but I actually closed down all requests only a few short months after creating my blog. I realized that I just couldn’t handle it. Here’s why:
I’m just not interested
I wasn’t interested in 99.9% of the requests I received. Most of them had covers that looked like they were put together in Paint, or had nothing to do with my reading interests, or they just didn’t look like good books. Sometimes this was due to the author completely ignoring my review policy and reading preferences, and other times the book did fit into a genre I like but the book itself just didn’t sound good.
And this leads into point #2…
It’s so awkward!
I obsess over awkwardness. Things that shouldn’t be awkward feel awkward to me. I make them awkward. I interpret them as awkward. And then I stress about how awkward they are!
I felt so awkward turning down review requests. I always felt bad saying, “No, your book doesn’t sound like something I’d like,” so I’d make up excuses instead. I’d try to let them down easy by saying, “Sorry, my TBR pile is just too big, I can’t take on anymore books right now.” But then it would get 10x more awkward when the author would try to work around that and offer to give me the book anyway “in case a space opened up”. Crap, what now?
Then if I actually did read the book but really didn’t like it, it got awkward yet again! How do I explain this? How can I tell them I hated the book without hurting their feelings? Do I even have to tell them? Can I just disappear into a hole and never let them know?
I’d rather do the choosing
Finally I realized something pretty big. I just don’t have the personality for this. I suck at turning people down, then I suck even worse at giving them bad news. I’m just terrible at it! I can’t do it! Why put myself through that if I hate it so much and wasn’t getting very good pitches anyway?
I’d rather be the one doing the pitching. I’d rather get turned down than be the one turning people down. I’d rather look at a list of all the available books (NetGalley, Edelweiss) and pick and choose which ones I want to read. If I get denied, whatevs. But for me, this is sooo much better than receiving requests, most of which I’m not interested in anyway.
Less stress, less hassle, less awkwardness. Oh, and less emails to sift through.