This isn't the easiest post to write. Especially knowing that lots of people new to blogging may read it and think that I am rather ungrateful.
But I exercise my right to freedom of expression and I want to talk about the art of saying no. Let's face it. Saying no is not an easy thing to do. There are times in life when we are presented with choices and even the most determined of mind are tempted to say yes to something they know will do more harm than good.
Thankfully, saying yes to a review request will not endanger your health. It may endanger your sanity if you are a worrier like me and always aim to please. [Note this does not mean compromising by writing a lovely review when you thought the book was mediocre at best]. It means feeling that you need to have read and reviewed the book by release date. [Which is frankly impossible]. I miss the freedom of reading whatever I feel like. Don't misunderstand me, I do love being a reviewer for publishing houses. I guess in a rather vain way it makes me feel like my opinion is valued. The problem is more to do with the art of saying no.
How does one know when it is the right word?
I am at the point now where I am saying yes because I want to do one or two publicists a favour rather than actually read the book. As you can imagine this does not lead to me being a very happy Bookette because I am reading way outside of my comfort zone. I am also carrying a huge amount of guilt about the books that I haven't reviewed from months ago. Now most publicists do not mind at all if you don't read everything they send you. They appreciate your honesty when you say a book doesn't appeal to you. They say thank you when you email a review even if it is not a glowing recommendation of that title. But even if you are asked once where a review has got to you can't help feeling like you didn't hand your homework in on time.
What to do people?
The obvious answer is to learn the art of saying no. It is learning to politely ask to only be sent certain genres. (The ones you like obviously). But I believe it is time to go a step further and asked to be removed from some lists because at the heart of this is a girl who has a job, is trying to write a book and wants to read whatever she feels like and not what is due for release next week.
So tell me, what are your thoughts on this?
When you receive a review book do you email the publicist and let them know it has arrived safely and the date you expect to post the review? And how do you even know when it will be posted unless you are a blogger with a military ethic?