Friday, April 6, 2018

[Book Blogger Hop] Honest Review Process Stress


Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer, where you answer a question and join a "hop". The purpose is to help bloggers discover and get to know one another.

For this week's question, Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews asks:
Do you overextend yourself with too many reviews because you can't pass up a book in hopes you will get them all done or do you carefully plan and be sure you can fulfill the deadlines for all the promised reviews? 

My answer:
Oooooh yes. Now don't get me wrong. I am so grateful that authors and publishers trust me and send me books for review! It can just be a bit overwhelming at times. Especially when my Honest Review Policy isn't read before someone sends a request over.

There are also many times when I deny a request... For a lovely article that perfectly sums that topic up, check out Reasons why a blogger declines your review request and doesn’t want you on their blog by The Tattooed Book Geek.

When I first started blogging, I took on way too many honest reviews in just a short amount of time. This ended up putting me into a slump because I was rushing to read everything by the date I had set, and missing out on new releases that I wanted to also read.

Sticking to the dates I have given someone is SO important to me. I take this process very seriously and missing a deadline is really upsetting to me. There have been a couple instances where I had to write to a bunch of authors and publishers to let them know that I was in a slump and needed to move the date back. Luckily, they were all so understanding! But it still felt wrong.

Luckily, I have adjusted my process since I began to make sure it better fits my life-schedule. This has done wonders for my stress levels. I'm still tweaking my process and have a ways to go, but I'm definitely making progress!

I'm currently booked through the end of 2018. Once I get caught up, I would like to take a short break to catch up on my reading backlist and to adjust my process once more before I dive back in. :)

A few lessons I have learned from honest review requests:
  • Using a Google Form for submissions and keeping track of everything in a spreadsheet is incredibly helpful. 
  • Accept 2-3 honest reviews per month max. 
  • Keep a zero tolerance policy for rudeness or pushiness. 
  • Don't be afraid to DNF.
  • Stay in touch.

Thanks for reading!
For related reading, check out Honest Review Requests Gone Wrong.

36 comments:

  1. Those are all great tips! And it IS stressful when real life and review commitments collide. It sounds like you have a pretty good plan though. It's so easy to get overwhelmed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sure is! I'm constantly working on my process to make it better! :)

      Delete
  2. This is a problem I don't really have (I rarely get requests for reviews), but I can see how it would be a problem for other bloggers. I don't really have a problem saying no to people; I mean, I feel a little bad, but I know they're probably reaching out to tons of other bloggers.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Some great tips, Erica. In the early days, I hated to say no, and so I accepted all review requests. I soon realised that was unrealistic. For one, there wasn't enough time, but secondly, it also meant I was reading books that didn't always suit me, so I had to give them a lower rating. Now, I am selective in what I accept/request and only go for titles I genuinely believe I will enjoy and will have the time to finish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly!! I need to work on saying no! Thanks for stopping by! :)

      Delete
  4. I definitely had too many books to read and review for awhile, but I've gotten a lot better at keeping that in check. I try not to request too much on my own and when people ask me, I have to be really interested and/or know I'll have to get to it. I like being able to read more of the books that I just come across - so newer releases, backlist books I already own, etc. I'm also in a book club now so that's one book every month that's just my own thing...so yeah, I like where I'm at now. It happens when you have to push back a review though. We all have lives outside blogging!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely! I seem to be in a similar boat as you!! I cut my honest reviews back to two a month, but I think one a month is more realistic so I can keep up with my book clubs, new releases, and back listed works as well. Thanks for stopping by! :)

      Delete
  5. I rarely accept books for review because the stress ruins reading and blogging for me. Way to be so organized.

    ReplyDelete
  6. One day I'll try honest reviews again. It was just too much pressure for me!! The need to please everyone stopped me from enjoying reading! I need to try out Netgalley sometime, everyone's talking about how great it is but I haven't really requested a book before. Awesome answer E! <3

    ReplyDelete
  7. I need to work on saying no as well and step back from review requests. I really want to tackle more of the books on my TBR and purchased books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For sure! This needs to be my goal of 2019!!

      Delete
  8. I like the idea of using Google forms and a spreadsheet to track things :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I agree that it can be overwhelming at times. I am like you, when I first started my blog many years ago I accepted too many books for review at a time. I felt like I had been rushed too. Now I take my time because I have other things going on and don't have a lot of time to spend reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being careful about how many books you accept is one of the thing I make sure to tell any new bloggers I meet! :)

      Delete
  10. Wow....marvelous answer.

    Love the tips too.

    Also going to look at your post about why I turned down your book for review. :)

    Looks as if you have a method to your reading and reviewing. Great job.

    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You've got some great tips here, Erica!! I'm glad you were able to find a request and review schedule that works for you. Luckily, I haven't been inundated with requests, and most of the time I say no because accepting too many requests would mean not having enough movie books, which is the point of my blog. Plus, I don't have the time to read a whole bunch of books at a time.

    Katisha @ Reel Literature

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! :) Yeah, I definitely need to cut back if I choose to take on more honest reviews. I accepted way too many too quickly!

      Delete
  12. The stress that comes with thinking I might miss a deadline is one of the reasons why I no longer accept review requests. I also found it really hard to stay excited about these review requests when there were other books I wanted to read instead. I even get stressed when it comes to ARCs, so I try to limit the amount I end up requesting. Sometimes I'm less than successful. Loved reading how you stay organized when it comes to review requests!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally understand that! I think that's where I'm headed as well. I know I definitely need to be more selective with the books I take on for honest reviews.

      Delete
  13. Holy cow! I can't imagine planning me reading all the way through the end of the year (granted I suck at planning anything to begin with). Clearly YOU are Wonder Woman and I'm just an imposter!. - Katie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahahahaha! I know, it's a little crazy! I'm not sure if I'll be doing honest reviews next year. I may take a break. :)

      Delete
  14. Very good tips, Erica. I keep a running list of mine too - easier that way!

    ReplyDelete
  15. It's definitely very important to know your schedule and know what kind of work load that you can handle when it comes to review requests. I also think it's important that, if there's a deadline, it's been discussed and agreed upon so it works for both me and the requester so there's no further miscommunication. I also hate missing deadlines, but sometimes life does get in the way. I've had a few instances of requesters requesting a book review, saying there's no deadline, wait until I accept, and then tell me they want it done in the next few days - review policies need to be read!!

    I posted a more indepth answer on my own blog if you'd be interested in reading it! :) http://inkblottings.com/book-blogger-hop-april-6th/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness! That's so annoying! That's definitely something I need to make sure it outlined in my review policy!

      Delete
  16. I just recently started receiving requests to review author's books. Let me tell you....it gets overwhelming. I have issues saying no and i'm a people pleaser so it's not easy. I think I've taken on too much though and now it's hard to catch up. I think i'll step back from reading review books for a bit. Loved your answer!! Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm totally the same way!! I hate saying no!

      Delete
  17. Lots of great tips here. I've definitely tried to be more selective with review requests, although I still go request happy on Netgalley occasionally.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love your answer. I do overwhlem myself time and again aceepting too many review requests. I am gonna have to try the Google form method u mentioned and don't mind me if I use yours as an inspiration.

    Gayathri @ Elgee Writes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely!! Go for it! :-D It's SO helpful!

      Delete