Smorgasbord Author Promotion and Book Reviews 2021 – Guidelines – Sally Cronin

Last week I had five unsolicited emails from authors that I don’t know, requesting that I review their books, and of course very flattered to be asked. However, it did raise a few issues that I felt needed some clarification.

I have been an avid reader since childhood and it is something that I do for pleasure. This is not a book review site, it is a mix of many things, but primarily these days it is a book promotion platform for authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and the Children’s Reading Room.

As you will have noticed, I blog a great deal as I keep to my vision of an online magazine blog. It keeps me busy every day and I love it. So no complaints from me about that. However, it does mean that I have to schedule time to read, and this year I have made a commitment to reading at least one, if not two books a week.

Currently like most of you I have a TBR as long as both arms, and I try to read in the chronological order that I buy the books. Which is the key here, as I prefer to buy the books that I review, so that there is no pressure to read and review, and I can enjoy at my leisure.

There is an exception to this, and it is when an author I have previously read and reviewed asks if I might accept their book for an advance review. If I feel I can do so in a timely fashion then I am happy to do so.

My focus in 2021 is promoting authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and am delighted to welcome new writers with their books to join the 150 already on the shelves with their reviews, and I will happily promote their new releases and recent reviews regularly.

If you are visiting for the first time here is the links on how you can join other authors in the bookstores.

Main Cafe and Bookstore : Free Author Promotion Cafe and Bookstore

Children to 12 years old: Children’s Reading Room

So I do ask respectfully that if you are an author who is not in the cafe and bookstore that you take advantage of this free promotion that is in place, rather than send me requests to review your books.

Thanks very much for visiting and hope you don’t mind me clarifying how the book reviews fit into the blog… Sally.





44 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Author Promotion and Book Reviews 2021 – Guidelines – Sally Cronin

  1. In a way, these emails and unsolicited messages act as a reminder to check and update the pages on my blog and publish a new blog post to remind readers what processes I have in place, Sally. When I used to review books, I got inundated with requests via the contact Hugh form on my blog from authors who wanted to send me a copy of their book for review. It got so overwhelming for me that I had to pull the plug on it.
    I recently wrote and published a post outlining how to create a contact form on a blog and website and surprise, surprise, I got many scam messages from people I’d never heard of all offering me tips on how to increase the number of visitors to my blog. Of course, they all wanted upfront payment, so I marked and sent messages to my spam folder for quite a few weeks.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I am going to put this post as a page now Hugh and it is there for reference. I do understand that authors need reviews but some do not even have a personal salutation, it is straight in with book links and almost a demand to read their books… I want to support authors but I have learnt over the last eight years that there are those who feel they don’t need to participate and I know you share my view about that. I also have my own writing projects and finding the balance is key to this working for me and everyone else…hugsx

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think it also has something to do with time, Sally. So many rush and try spreading themselves too thinly and end up getting little reward from it. If they gave themselves more time to fewer requests and spread requests out over days instead of a few hours, I’m sure they’d end up with more rewards.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t mind getting unsolicited emails, Sally. After all, we all had to start somewhere. However, I won’t engage with people if they get my name wrong, or send me a message that is obviously one they’ve sent to hundreds of other people. I also don’t engage with people who start with “I love all your blog posts and have read all of them…” yet I’ve never heard of them by way of a comment or a ‘like.’
        That’s why taking time to read guidelines and engaging with someone by way of a name, and a more personal message is far more rewarding than a quick message that says nothing but take, take, take with nothing in return.
        I’m always happy to help those who contact me via my blog with any questions they have on blogging or social media, but when they tell me to also follow their blog, read posts, leave comments and reblog some of their posts, it’s a message I immediately mark as spam.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sally, you are so sweet to write a post like this. I just delete unsolicited requests for me to review books by people I don’t know. I also have a big network and I read and review tons of books, but somehow, unsolicited requests from people who haven’t bothered to find out anything about me, manage to annoy me.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I can relate, Sally. I get a lot of requests for reviews too. I’ll admit that I get so many, that I crafted a response that I can paste into replies. My response is basically that I read for fun and relaxation without obligation to review or even finish a book. One thing I also include is a link to Goodreads Reading Rounds, an Amazon approved review group (because the reviews aren’t reciprocal). I wrote a post about the group some time ago –
    I’m honored that authors reach out and hope that my replies set them on a successful path toward gaining reviews.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. While I’m sure it is flattering to be asked for reviews so many times, I can see that it becomes physically impossible at some point. There are still only 24 hours in a day. You do an amazing job finding a balance of promoting others while also bringing attention to your books.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I also buy the books I review for Rosie’s Book Review Team unless they are not yet available for purchase. The only problems I’ve ever encountered are when I start reading a book and find it has so many problems that a public review would devastate the author – I’d rather convey my remarks personally in that case. Sally, you are my role model!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Thanks, Sally. You do more than your fair share for authors, and it’s impossible to do everything. It’s good to have specific instructions, but I find that, in my case, a lot of the requests I get are evidently from people who haven’t read my blog, so I tend to do what Robbie suggests. If the book and the author sound interesting I might recommend them to check Rosie’s group. Thanks for your hard work, Sally. ♥

    Liked by 2 people

  7. All valid points Sal. Like you, I get my share of requests, and as you know of my recent experience, accepting a book from an unfamiliar author and promising a review, is not an ideal thing, lol. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  8. All great points, Sally.

    I no longer accept random review requests.
    The times these unknowns have simply copied and pasted a group email, so it’s not even personal. And sometimes, they get aggressive when you don’t give the review they wanted or expected.

    These days, I prefer to either buy or read via Kindle Unlimited so that I can choose to leave a review or not, and with no pressure either way. That way, the author gets sales or page-read payment and a sales ranking even if I don’t end up reviewing. So I can still support that way.

    I also no longer post on my blog if the review is less than 3 stars.

    Thanks for all that you do. I find your book cafe a wonderful resource, and have found so many great reads through this blog and your generosity. Hugs xx 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Harmony and agree with you.. I don’t for example put that I am reading a book on Goodreads until I have finished and reviewed as I think it puts unnecessary pressure on the reader and also is not great for some authors where 20 people have said they are reading the book over a period of months but have not reviewed.. Glad you enjoy the Cafe.. I get a lot of fun keeping it ticking over. Pity there is no real coffee…hugsxx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This needed saying, Sally. I’m awed at the amount of time your blog must take and that doesn’t take into account the personal support you give to easily confused people like me who turn to you with other problems. I know from personal experience that you take time to properly read a book before reviewing it and expecting you to drop everything to read someone’s book is an assumption too far -whereas a request from someone you’ve not come across before is shocking. A week ago, someone ‘liked’ a review about one of my books. When I went across to see, the comment that accompanied it was a ‘request’ to review his book. There are comments from others he’s done this to where there’s the fear that he’ll give their book a poor rating in retaliation.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the lovely comment Trish and the incident that you shared is appalling.. apart from the arrogance, it shows a total lack of courtesy. I am usually very happy to promote an author even if I don’t at the time review their book, I did get one reply some time ago when I said I would do this from a gentleman who told me that he only promoted his book on verified book blogs…. okay then lol.. I did check his book in the following months and he had received no reviews.. I wonder why! hugsxx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 24th – 30th January 2021 – 1960s music, America, Book Reviews, pH balance, Anti-Aging and funnies | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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