I came across this service, Booksneeze, the other day. It looked like a great idea. They send out books to bloggers, the bloggers review the book, publish a review and copy it to a site such as Amazon, and then get to do what they want with the book.
Thinking this would be a great little addition to my website, I applied. I looked through the website just to check any details, couldn’t find any reason as to why I wouldn’t get approved. As part of the application process, they ask what country you’re from, which makes sense because they’d need to send out the book to you and would need to know the address.
So I applied, and waited for my approval.
A couple of days later, I got an email.
Dear Ben Clapton,
Thank you for applying to join BookSneeze.com. Unfortunately, at this time we cannot accept your application. If you have any questions, you can contact us at…
Now, I’m alright with the rejection, as I just thought it would be something nice to do. However, the lack of details as to why annoyed me. Was there something that I could do to change so that my application could be accepted? I responded, asking
Can you expand on any reasons why my application was refused?
The response from Booksneeze came back as follows.
BookSneeze applicants must show that they actively maintain a personal, public blog in order to be accepted into the program. We do not accept Facebook, Amazon or any other type of community profile site as a viable form of blog. We are currently seeking bloggers who have a greater subscription following. In addition, our program is intended for bloggers who regularly post content. Feel free to contact us at a later time once your blog meets these criteria, and we’ll be happy to review your application again. Please note that you cannot submit another application, as we keep all applicants on file.
Now, my blog is personal and public, and not on Facebook or Amazon, so that wasn’t an issue. I also post content regularly, so that isn’t an issue either. So it must be my subscription following. Now I’m not sure if they can see my subscription details or not, but admittedly it’s not a great number. So I asked what number of subscribers they were looking for so that I knew when I could let them know when to review my application. Their response:
We are looking for at least 30 followers and at least two posts per week. Also, we are currently only accepting bloggers within the US. This may change back in the future.
Now, my problem is: if they are currently only accepting bloggers within the US, why was this a) not mentioned in the first e-mail, and b) not mentioned anywhere on the website? I would think that would be a fairly important piece of information.
Overall, I think Booksneeze is a great idea, however I will be unlikely to reapply because their organisation seems to be somewhat lacking.
Edit 3/5/2012: I looked at Booksneeze again, and in their “Frequently Asked Questions” they now have stated that the number of subscribers must be public and a minimum of 30, minimum of 1 post a week, and must reside in the US. At least they’ve put some more information up.