Tuesday, July 29, 2008

When Are You Going To Get To My Book?!

This post was inspired by C. Leigh Purtill’s comment on the Is Asking For Books Offensive? post. Behold, the comment:

I guess part of what I'm asking is, if I send a reviewer a book and I don't hear anything after a couple of months, should I assume the reviewer didn't like the book?

(read full comment here)

So, since we’ve got this awesome community unveiling the barrier between authors and reviewers here, I thought I’d turn it into an official post. Let’s talk about it!

Reviewers, how long does it take for you to get to a book?

Are you ever bothered by authors following up with you (in a polite manner)?

How do you decide what book you’ll read next from your pile?

What’s the longest you’ve ever taken to review a book?

Authors, if a reviewer has stated they have a lot of books on their pile and any new material won’t be reviewed for a while, would you still send the book to them? What about reviewers who don’t guarantee a review?

How long before you start getting annoyed and want to email the review?

What’s the longest a reviewer has taken to get to your book?

** as always, anonymous entries = fine :D **

23 comments:

Steph said...

My responses:

It's taken me as as little as two days to as much as, so far, two months. I do have some books that have been with me since mid-April, though. How I choose the next book is tricky -- I've got a busy schedule, so sometimes I just want something I'm guaranteed to like. Other times, I pick books that I think complement my current reviewed selection. If books arrive from Book Divas, those get first priority because I like cleaning my slate with them so whenever great new books come in, I can claim them. :)

Also, I have absolutely NO problem with authors emailing me to follow up. Chances are, I'll get to their book faster. (Though it goes without saying that I'd prefer it if you didn't threaten me or anything ...) Even if they weren't the one to send their book or arrange for their publicist to send me the book, if they see their book on my "blog-to-read" shelf (meaning I got it from their publisher directly), they know I'll review it cos I review everything sent to me and they can certainly status query on that. I don't mind.

Steph

ambeen said...

Q:How long does it take for you to get to a book?

A: It depends really. I'm tentative to give an average because I wouldn't want someone holding me to that average later. For the sake of the discussion, I would say if everything is going well for me, 2-3 weeks once receiving the book.

Q: Are you ever bothered by authors following up with you (in a polite manner)?

A: Never happened before, but not at all. I would most likely move the book to the top of my TBR pile because it shows the author is invested in it, and I'm not just a random reviewer they're hoping for a positive review from. Maybe I'm wrong, but even if you don't care about my opinion, email anyway and I'll think you do.

Q: How do you decide what book you’ll read next from your pile?

A: Usually it's whatever I have the urge to read the most. Although, this summer when I had several to read and review, I read the ones I knew I might not like first. I wanted to save the best for last in that instance. 98% of the time, though, the review is up because I had an urge to read your book above all the rest.

Q: What’s the longest you’ve ever taken to review a book?

A: Probably close to 2 months.I received a couple right before classes got crazy and had to wait till after finals to read them. I think I've gotten the rest in under a month. My fastest was Alexa Young's Frenemies. The day after I got it I read it and reviewed it later that same week.

Book Chic said...

Alright, I'm gonna do this in number form. Makes things easier for me, lol.

1) The length of time always depends, but usually I try to do it in the order I receive the books in, so if I get a book that I really want to read, I'm not gonna put it ahead of something else that's been with me for a month. But usually this doesn't always work, lol. I still have books from last September (but they were from the same author, so I reviewed one of them and am planning on getting to the others eventually). So, in other words, usually a book will be with me for a little while before I get to it. But it does vary a bit, like with Coraline which I reviewed tonight, I only received it a few weeks ago, but it was a quick read and I needed something to post, so I read it today and posted a review.

2) Nope, not at all, and I've had a couple email me asking about when I'd get to their book. The one I mentioned above was Jennifer Laurens, and what happened there was that I didn't realize that I had had the books for that long of a period because time flew by WAY fast. If an author follows up with me, I usually post their review soon after, but it depends sometimes on when their book is released. Let's take Paper Towns for instance. I've had a copy of that for about a month now, so if John Green emailed me and was like "Where's my review?" I would tell him to wait until October. I hardly ever do reviews of books way before their release date. The only exception was the giveaway month because I wanted people to have a sense of the book that they had a chance to win. But usually, following up is not a problem at all.

3) Usually, it's based on the release date of a book. I like to post the review around the time of the book's release. And like I said earlier, I try to do books in order as well, but with the huge TBR pile I have now, that's not practical, so I like this release date rule. And if I've got a book that was already released, then it can be posted whenever, so it can take me longer to get to those.

4) That record is still going on, lol. See #1... I should probably get to them before a year goes by.


But yeah, never assume that the reviewer didn't like the book. We have our own lives outside of reviewing, so it's hard to get around to all the books we receive sometimes. So just check in with a little message, and see what's going on. :)

*Heather* said...

it usually takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Most of the time it's about a week, or two. Sometimes it's a few months. I have a book that's been with me since either the end of may or beginning of April and I haven't gotten around to it. It sort of depends what I'm doing, how busy I am, and what other books I have to read at the time I get it, because once I've ignored a book for a few weeks, it tends to lose it's interest because it fits into my shelf and looks almost natural, as if I've read it already. And it's only the books I wasn't ecstatic about recieving that I even ignore for a few days, so it's a whole vicious cycle.

I'm never bothered if an author does a follow up, trying to find out where I am and how I'm doing with the book and the review. If I've read it and am reviewing it, it's nice to be able to tell them to watch out for it coming soon. If I haven't gotten to it, it gives me a little boost to get going, or reminds me that I have it and that my reviewing it has at least a little impact on someone else's life. It's always wonderful to know that.

I usually decide what I'll read next by random plucking from my shelf or by when they came in. Sometimes I judge them by the cover, or others I judge by the author and how I came about recieving this particular book. If someone is waiting for the review, it's a higher priority. If not, and I just won it in a contest, it falls lower on the list. It's nearly random, honestly.

I've taken a MASSIVE amount of time to review a book. Up to 3 months. I read Suite Scarlett forever ago, and have yet to review. I think I read it in April. I just don't like reviewing books in a series because I can't judge the conclusion, so that put me off a bit, and also it's just so great and hilarious that I don't think my review could do it justice. I think that's the longest it's ever taken.

I love these posts, Steph.

Heather

ALEXA YOUNG said...

Hi. I'm really just leaving a comment because I know you know I'm here. (Wow...that sitemeter thing really rocks. In a seriously creepy manner. I had NO. IDEA. Wow. Again.)

Okay, while I'm here, I guess I should also weigh in with my usual authorial pearls of wisdom (I'll do the Q&A format too because I like to copy smart people like the lovely reviewers here):

1. If a reviewer has stated they have a lot of books on their pile and any new material won’t be reviewed for a while, OF COURSE I'll still send the book to them. Why? Because I'm a publicity whore and I have the patience of a saint. (Were/are saints really patient though? I wanna know.)

2. If reviewers don’t guarantee a review, I'll STILL send them a book. (See publicity whore comment above.)

3. I get annoyed and want to email the reviewer within 24 hours of sending the book. See, I was lying about the patience-of-saint thing, and I also tend to be a fairly irritable person. Okay, I'm kidding. Sort of. Most of the time, I actually kind of forget who I've sent the book to (because, you know, I'm a publicity whore so I send it to A LOT of people). Seeing a trend here?

4. Most reviewers were actually really good about reviewing FRENEMIES right away. I guess they all knew about my little patience issues and/or wanted to join the, um, party asap?

Love this topic. Still kind of creeped out that you're watching every move I make. :-O

xo

Gabbi said...

Whenever an author sends me a book, it goes to the top of my TBR pile. If I'm reading something else at the time, then whenever I'm finished with that one, I'll read the book that was sent to me.

Things like time of the year have lots of effect to. I.e., I'm less likely to review in the summer, more likely to in the winter.

C. Leigh Purtill said...

Hey, I inspired a post! That's never happened before. Thanks, Steph - and thanks to the reviewers who responded. This is exactly the info I was asking about. I do especially like Heather's comment: "once I've ignored a book for a few weeks, it tends to lose it's interest because it fits into my shelf and looks almost natural, as if I've read it already." LOL!

I've never *not* sent a book to a reviewer because he or she couldn't guarantee a review (positive or not). The ONLY reason I have ever not sent a book is when I have run out of books, as I mentioned before. I look at reviewers as readers, first and foremost. Which leads me to the below--

To answer a question that was asked before about genre and whether authors don't want people reviewing books out of the genre they typically read, I would say, from my own personal experience, I don't mind. I did last year when my first novel came out because I was getting reviews from people who NEVER read or like my genre of book. The thing about that is, you are practically guaranteed to get a lousy review/rating! LOL! Now, this time around with my second book, I was getting the same kind of thing - people reading and reviewing who don't normally read contemporary coming-of-age - and this time, it doesn't bother me at all because I think readers are smart and can figure out that a reviewer didn't like a book because it wasn't in the genre they usually read. In other words, they can read between the lines of the review. And if you can get a reviewer like that to give you a positive review, then that's even better!

I hate to bug people, which is why I asked this question initially. When I send books out, I try to let them go and not worry but like Alexa, I only *think* I have the patience of a saint. But I'm also pretty easily pleased: I soooo appreciate when anyone even mentions my book!

How long have some reviewers taken? Oooh, eight months and counting for at least 2. :) And that's WITH me ever so politely following up *once.* [sigh]

This is a great thread. I'm really getting a lot out of it and I hope others are too. Your posts are providing a wonderful opportunity for author and reviewer to connect. Thanks again, Steph.

paperxxflowers said...

Darn! I forgot to go back and comment on the requesting books post. Oh well.

Well... since our postal system sucks... I usually don't get the books as soon as some people think I do (this happens with shipping out prizes too). But once I get the books, I usually move along in a steady pace and have the books read within a month (but... your review might not be up within a month. I try to space them out.).


Q: Are you ever bothered by authors following up with you (in a polite manner)?

Not at all! I'm more likely to kick their book at the top of the pile if they email me about it! It makes me feel special :]

Q: How do you decide what book you’ll read next from your pile?

I have like absolutely no room in my bookshelf so books are just piled everywhere. When I start a new book off of my TBR pile(s), it's usually random. Unless I see one that looks really interesting to me or (see above) the author emailed me about it or I've been waiting to read it.

Q: What’s the longest you’ve ever taken to review a book?

Well.... There are some books that I read about a month and a half ago that I still haven't written a review for. They were my own books though (didn't get them from someone else) so I don't feel as pressured to write a review. But I've been lazy and haven't been writing reviews lately. (yeah... I'll get to that.)

ambeen said...

Alexa, I felt the same way when she first got the Sitemeter and would randomly IM me saying, "Visiting my blog, huh?" I was a little weirded out at first...

then I got my own. :P

Hope. said...

-->Reviewers, how long does it take for you to get to a book?

It depends. I'm a busy person, so during the school year, espically, it takes me longer than usual. Now that I have my permit and can drive, it takes me longer, too, because I can't read in the car. So, usually a few weeks, but that all depends.

-->Are you ever bothered by authors following up with you (in a polite manner)?

If it's polite, no. If they are rude (which I haven't encountered before) then I might get a little irritated that they don't understand that I have other stuff to do. I understand that they want their book to be reviewed and they want to know if it'll get done soon.

-->How do you decide what book you’ll read next from your pile?

I try to go by when the book arrived at my house. But if I'm in the mood to read a certain genre, then I'll read that book before the others.

-->What’s the longest you’ve ever taken to review a book?

Because of my schedule, I have waited the longest about two months. I am a part of about three or four different programs where I have to review a book by a certain time, so those automatically go to the top of my stack. I hate taking so long, but there are other things that I do outside of blogging.

hope.

The Book Muncher said...

i'm just gonna write some of my thoughts...

it really depends on how long it takes me to review a book on how much i read it, when i get it, and my schedule. if i get a deadline, i always review the book faster, but i usually dont like those in case something comes up. i choose books based on what interests me too, so if i'm getting a book to review that i really want to read, chances are the review will be written faster.

i dont really care if an author contacts me to remind me. but i dont forget. seriously, i've made like a lot of lists of all the books i have to review so i dont forget.

i dont know the longest. it's still running i guess. :D

Liviania said...

There are a few books I've had since May and haven't reviewed yet. I read a mix of review books for two sites, pleasure books that no one has asked me to review, and school books. Usually there's almost a month between when I read a book and the review is finished and posted - sometimes the time gap is more.

I do not mind authors e-mailing me to follow up . . . as long as they don't e-mail me every two days or so. Once a week works fine.

I try to post reviews around the release date now, although some of my first reviews are way early. That can affect the timing of the review.

I've decided not to guarantee a review because sometimes I just don't want to finish a book and it isn't bad enough to write a warning review. If this happens I will inform the author (if I received the book from them).

Lenore said...

Once again, great topic Steph!

I try to review around the release date unless I receive the book way ahead of time and the author/publicist asks me to review sooner.

I have an excel sheet to help me keep track of my tbr.

Since I'm overseas a lot of the year, I have the books sent to my US address and my dad gathers them up until they fill a box (doesn't take that long) and then he sends them to me. Since I'm essentially paying extra shipping, I try to make sure I really have an interest in reading the books I request/am offered. This system can also push back a review by a couple of weeks since I have to wait until the books get to me and then I have like 10 to read all at once. If anyone wants their book at the top of the pile, ask to send it to my overseas address!

I've had a couple of publicists send follow-up e-mails and that always gets the book higher up in the pile.

Anonymous said...

WOw do you really live in tonga?? i have relatives there well in Australia

Steph said...

If you mean because of my MySpace profile, then no -- I just put it there randomly.

Steph

Reader Rabbit said...

Q:How long does it take for you to get to a book?

A: It really depends. Anywhere from that second to 2 months later lol.

Q: Are you ever bothered by authors following up with you (in a polite manner)?

A:Nope. I think it`s great when they do because it shows they remember I exist and care about what we have to say!

Q: How do you decide what book you’ll read next from your pile?

A: Whatever I really want to read or something that has been sitting around so long that i feel rude not reading it.

Q: What’s the longest you’ve ever taken to review a book?

A: Maybe 6 weeks or so? I`m not really sure lol since there are 2 of us someone usually gets to it before it`s been a century

harmonybookreviews said...

How long does it take for you to get to a book?
It all depends. If it's a book I really, really, really want, then chances are I'll pick it up the minute I get it. Sometimes though, it takes a while. I think I have a few books on my shelf from the beginning of June or before. I feel bad not getting to them asap. It's just that once they've been on my shelf for a while, they begin loosing SOME interest. I will get to them, though.

Are you ever bothered by authors following up with you (in a polite manner)? Nope. I've only had it happen once. I may not read that book next but I won't wait forever either.

The authors just have to realize that I have a pretty large TBR pile and sometimes I can't just read their book the day I get it.

How do you decide what book you’ll read next from your pile?
Hmm...it's pretty much based on my mood. Sometimes I'll just want to read an "easy" book (one about famous people or something) but other times I'll want a book that makes me think.

Sometimes, though, I just close my eyes and pick a book.


What’s the longest you’ve ever taken to review a book?
Oh, hmmm... I don't know. A few months, I think

BTW, Steph, I'm linking to all these posts from my blog.

Chelsie said...

.::Reviewers, how long does it take for you to get to a book?::.

It's very hard to say, really... if I have a deadline (for example, a release date or if I get something from FirstLook) I will read it first. But other than that, I read my books in a pretty random order.

.::Are you ever bothered by authors following up with you (in a polite manner)?::.

It's never happened before, but I don't think it would bother me as long as they were polite.

But if an author were to email me and ask about their book, it would give me extra motivation to read it.

.::How do you decide what book you’ll read next from your pile?::.

Here's how I try to organize my books.

I have two piles.

One is books that I really want to read, but have no obligation to read them soon.

And the other is books that I have to read soon, whether it's because they were highly recommended, by a favorite author, or sent to me to review.

Other than that, I really have no way to tell when I'll get to it. I try to read them in the order that I received them, or if I see I have a book that I've had for awhile I'll read that, but I never stick to any set plan.

.::What’s the longest you’ve ever taken to review a book?::.

There is one I think I've had for 2-3 months, but other than that I think it's been less than that.


These were some fantastic questions... =D

C. Leigh Purtill said...

Wow, I have to say this thread has been utterly eye-opening! Steph, thanks again for posting this. I don't think I'll be as afraid to follow-up with reviewers next time around!

[word verification: evrylgx = "every large x"? hmmm, "reviewer x"...coincidence?]

Steph said...

Leigh - that was my exact intention. Never fear us reviewers - I for one am rarely offended by things authors do. :) It's more like what they DON'T do that bothers me. Namely, not replying to emails after they were the ones to contact me first. *sigh*

Steph
PS how cool :) I guess my own blog has a sort of misguided idea of me, but that's fine. :)

ALEXA YOUNG said...

Hi. Yup. I'm here again. :) And you know exactly how long I've been here...so you know exactly how long it takes me to read comments. Ugh. The whole big brother thing really is crazy! :)

teenbookreview said...

How long does it take for you to get to a book?

It can be forever...or never. I don't guarantee a review because I don't finish books that I don't want to finish after the first fifty pages or so, as the review would be nearly always be negative if I forced myself to read a book, and that's not good for anyone. I try to read the first fifty pages of everything I get, but even that takes awhile to get to. Months, even.

Are you ever bothered by authors following up with you (in a polite manner)?

No, as long as they are polite and they don't do it repeatedly. Emailing me over and over after I've explained that sometimes I am slow, I'm human, I have a life, and I've also been away from home for seven of the past eight weeks, is a little much. Once or twice is fine.

How do you decide what book you’ll read next from your pile?

It's pretty random.

What’s the longest you’ve ever taken to review a book?

There have been books I've never reviewed, but I try to make those few and far between...For the others, well, the record's still running. It can be months and months. I wish I could just review for a full-time job, but, well, I can't. I go to school and have a part-time job as well.

The Compulsive Reader said...

How long does it take for you to get to a book?

Average time once I receive a book is about three days. There have been certain books I'll pick up immeditely, and sometime there are books that aren't sue out for months that I'll wait a while to read.
Are you ever bothered by authors following up with you (in a polite manner)?

As long as they're polit, no. It may make me feel a little guilty, but honestly, I don't blame them. This is their book--they wanna know what people think!

How do you decide what book you’ll read next from your pile?

I have a stack and where your book goes in that stack is decided by a few factors: first come, first serve, priority (how soon is it coming out?) need (do I need to do a feature on it soon?), and very occaisonally, preference. Also, authors should know that in order for me to actually read books of my own, I do this thing that for every ten books I am required to review, I read one of my own that I'm not required to review.


What’s the longest you’ve ever taken to review a book?

I got Rumors in the mail early July, I just now finsihed it and am working on a review. So about a month is the longest for me.

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Hey! For some reason, this embedded comment form makes most people click twice before the comment is processed and published. It's not you - it's just that it's a new Blogger feature with kinks and all that. (But I adore it and don't wanna get rid of it!) I removed Captcha to make the process easier. You don't have to rewrite the comments twice; just click on SUBMIT twice and it should work. If not, email me. Thanks! -Steph