Monday, March 15, 2010

Courtesy...Is it a Thing of the Past?

Growing up and referenced many times in my book "Sensitivity 101 for the Heterosexual Male" is a thing called courtesy--treating others with the respect they deserve. You know things like holding open a door for the next person to step through or holding an elevator, possibly using your turn signal when changing lanes or turning, and always walking to the right of the middle. These all used to be common place occurrences you would see every day. But something has happened...where have these things gone?
People seem to be much more "me" orientated these days...gone are the days of helping others or even just being friendly. What I see daily are people fighting over the last sample at a Costco demo cart, sneaking into someone else's parking space and it seems like no one even smiles at each other any more. When is the last time you said good morning to a stranger?
So with all this happening why should I be surprised that business courtesy is also missing--all businesses are run by these same people.
This subject came up as I was discussing book reviews with my editor. He asked how things were going and my reply was "There doesn't seem to be any trust any more in the world. I am getting e-mails daily from "respectable" companies or people who would love to read and review my book. They say they have read the first 25 pages from my website and really would like the opportunity to help promote my book. So I send them a copy, spending $5.00 for a postage fee, and wait...and wait...and wait! One out of every 4 of these businesses never get back to me. Does that mean they never received the book, or maybe read it and didn't like it, or possibly was it a scam just to get a free book? "
I don't have the answers...maybe I don't even know the questions anymore...but all I ask is for a quick e-mail explaining why there is no review done. If you don't like the book, that's fine. If you didn't understand it, no problem, if it just wasn't your cup of tea, I truly understand. What I don't get is why you spend your time e-mailing me in the first place and then never follow through. it a thing of the past? Or am I just ranting on and on about nothing? Come on authors, I am sure you have had this or something like this happen to you. Please share your vents here with me...maybe we can make a difference!


  1. I am not an author, but I am a book reviewer and would like to share a few thoughts. I understand your frustration with reviewers who agree to write a book review but they never get back with you.
    I will begin by saying that I am still a work in progress. I worked as a school librarian for 30 years but I am just getting my feet wet in the book review business. When I get a new book to review, I like to take my time and enjoy the experience of reading. I wish I was a speed reader, but I am not. When I write the review, I want to take time to do the best job I can. The time spent reading a book and writing a review can really add up. I do not accept payment for my book reviews, and I would imagine that most of my fellow reviewers have the same policy.
    You said that one out of four book reviewers never get back to you. That means you get reviews for 75% of the books you send out.
    My advice is to be patient and allow at least a month for the reviewer to publish the review. If I didn't hear from them in a month, then I would email them and ask if they received the book and ask when the review will be published. I think honest communication and a little sensitivity can go a long way in getting the results that you are seeking.

  2. Thanks Janette,
    I understand the time it takes as I also do reviews. My qualms are not with the authors or the people I ASK to do reviews on my book, it is with the "companies" that send me requests to review my book. They contact me, but never follow through.
    I have at least 7 outstanding requests from these types of people or organizations that came to me in December or before.
    All they have to do is tell me it may take 2-3 months for a review and I'd understand...but I never get any response back after they get my book.
    I am finding that authors are more receptive and quicker to give reviews than the "professional" reviewers. Not only that, but they are much more appreciative when I post portons of their reviews on my website and include a link to the whole gives them some exposure, too!