BiblioBuffet has guidelines for those seeking to submit books to us for review. They are few in number but clearly stated. We don’t review business, self-help, true crime, New Age, or romance. And we do not review self-published or vanity-published books.
Today I received another email from an author, this one loudly bewailing our policy. I politely explained that this woman’s vanity-house publisher precluded our considering her book for review but thanking her for letting us know about it. I even took the trouble to refer to her a couple of places that did review self-published and vanity-published books.
She didn’t take nicely to my gesture. Ah well, no good deed and all that. Her second email informed me, in rather strident tones, that I was wrong, that her publisher was a “traditional publisher.” She even helpfully provided a long-distance phone number so I could call and ask them.
Now I try to maintain a Zen attitude when things go wrong. I am not always successful, but it does help when I am informed of typos in the new issue (ACK!) or problems with the tech side (groan). I’ll admit I lost a little of my calm at her demand that I make that call.
Fortunately, I have a personal rule that prevents an inappropriate response in certain situations. I allow my brain to scream at me, “Keep your fingers to yourself!” The scream is loud so I tend to listen to it. In this case, I closed the email for a couple of hours. When I later came back to it I was able to compose a calm, quiet, wonderfully Zen-like response. The author is still not happy, but had I not listened to my brain I might have actually made her miserable. I would certainly have made myself miserable. And perhaps even tarnished the real life as well as the online persona I value so highly.