Maybe last week or so, I posted a review on my blog for The Seduction Expert by Saya Lopez Ortega. Not a big deal right? Well, apparently there has been some controversy over VSP Publishing and how they were asking for reviews on this specific book. After reading my account, and some other accounts, do you feel like something wrong was done? Let me know.
So I remember getting a message on Goodreads from VSP Publishing asking if I would be willing to read and review a book. Thinking nothing of it because I had started getting requests already, I said sure. They then said that they would send it in an email. That sounds about normal, right? Well, now that I’m trying to find research for this blog post, it looks like all traces of their contacting me on Goodreads is mysteriously gone. No trace of me sending them a response or receiving an initial email.
Well, on June 30th, I (along with a bunch of other people) received an email with the book. See the screenshot below. Nothing sketchy on mine, right? Well, besides a bunch of emails for other bloggers that didn’t need to be shared. That could have been a human error or not, but either way it happened. I didn’t look at anyone else’s emails, and made sure that I only responded to VSP.
Now, if you look at the screenshots from Megan on Goodreads, you can see that they specifically said to send them an email if the review was going to be less than 3 stars rather than posting it. I don’t know about you, but if a publisher is going to send emails out to a bunch of people and ask for an honest review, wouldn’t having a restriction on the star rating defeat the purpose of having an actual honest review? Here is an account of the situation from Krystal and Melissa, along with a post from 2018 about this situation happening again with VSP, again with this novel.
Looking at all of these, it would seem like it’s a little hazy on whether procedure was done correctly on VSP’s side. Also, if you read the post from 2018, you can see that VSP commented on that blog, and tried to say that they had sent an email to the poster but did not receive a response. I don’t know how true that is since I’m not the original poster, but it’s interesting that they took the time to comment on that post. If you also look at Krystal’s review comments, Jen from VSP commented on there as well.
So what do you guys think? Was something done wrong with this whole situation? I personally didn’t like the book enough to rate it higher than a 3, and since I wasn’t told to not post if it was less than 3 stars, I didn’t get any initial sketchy feeling until today, when I was trying to find my initial email request but see that it’s completely gone. Do you feel like the situation has been exacerbated and blown out of proportion for no reason? As a new blogger, I’d love to hear your opinion on both VSP and this situation so I can know in the future what to look out for when accepting review requests.