Since I am still on the mend and not quite ready to tackle a review, I thought we could chat about something that this recent flare up has brought back into the light for me: Timeframes. As bloggers who often accept review copies, I think most of us try to adhere to some form of a policy or two when reviewing. We usually have them clearly spelled out on our blog and can be caught venting when a requester completely ignores them 😉 I know because this is one of my biggest peeves as a blogger. Reading an email regarding a request and knowing within several moments that my easy to locate, simply spelled out policies were ignored sets me on fire.
If there is one area of policies that I have seen that varies greatly, it is timeframes. Some bloggers choose to address this in a straightforward, spelled out manner, while others may not even include them. Being that blogging etiquette is a common discussion (spoken and unspoken) let’s chat about what we each feel is acceptable or “professional” when it comes to…
To start, I will be fair and highlight what my policy states regarding review times:
“All reviews are of my own honest opinion and my sole property. I have the right to decline any review or material at my own discretion. The length of time it takes me to complete and review each title will vary. I generally do not promise a specific timeframe for accepted review copies. Please mention any specific time requirements in your initial contact.“
Why this is my policy:
I tend to leave this option pretty open for obvious reasons. I live with a chronic illness, and weeks such as this, I can and will fall behind. I have no intention of over committing myself or adding undue stress that will turn this experience into an insurmountable task. This is my hobby and not my job. While I love providing authors with what might be viewed as a beneficial service, it does not take priority in life. That does not mean I am not passionate, just realistic.
How do I address my “lack of” timeframes with authors and publishers:
- I have my Rating & Review Guidelines posted clearly and also mentioned again on my contact form.
- I always reiterate this when agreeing to accept a title. Somewhere in the email communication you will find that I clearly state I am unable to promise a review within any certain amount of time. Then I let the requester decide.
- I very seldom will participate in tours or events that require reviews within a set amount of time.
So with that all being said, I do understand bloggers choosing to provide a “guaranteed” timeframe for the copies they accept and also know that there are times such as tours and release blitz where it is beneficial to receive that promise. So what is reasonable and practical?
I generally can read several titles a week when feeling well, but we also have to factor in how fast we can actually write a review after completing a title. This process seems to range from a matter of 15 minutes to several days depending on who you ask. I typically take a day to write a review. I also tend to write them immediately after completing a story, where I know others prefer to reflect longer. It seems to be a completely individualized process so there is quite possibly no right answer. The few times I accepted copies for tours, I simply specified that I required at least two weeks for each title ( a little buffer room never hurts). But what happens when we fail to make the deadline for any number of reasons?
So Here Are My Questions for You
Do you set specific timeframes when agreeing to review titles?
If you do, what is the average timeframe and how did you come up with this?
How do you feel about not committing to a guaranteed time (something similar to my policy)?
When do you feel that it is okay for the requester to ask for a promised date or amount of time?
If you fail to meet a deadline, how do you handle it?
Just a nice and easy chat since it has been on mind as I fall further behind 😉