Weird Review Requests – A Review

November 9, 2017 fun, miscellaneous 11

This post has been a long time coming, guys. I wasn’t sure whether to write it at first, because I didn’t want to scare off any legitimate partners interested in my blog, but these promo requests were too good to not share with you. I’m thrilled to have my buddy Shannon from It Starts at Midnight on board for this post, because she has some delicious stories to share with you.

If you’ve had a blog for a while, it’s likely that you have been contacted by someone to advertize their product, whatever that may be. It can be a great opportunity for both parties to work together on projects when everything fits, but when it doesn’t… hilarity ensues. Shannon and I compiled a list of random promo requests we got, because sometimes what happens behind the scenes doesn’t need to stay behind the scenes.

Lawn care maintenance (and possibly patios)

Vlora: We both got this one. I think it was a running joke at one point. Why the hell do we seem like people who would be interested in lawn maintenance? I don’t even have a lawn, and if I did it would probably end up like my single houseplant – dead. Shannon says patios may have been involved as well, which I don’t remember, but hey, at least I kind of like patios, I guess? I don’t particularly have a lot of people in my life who have patios, but I imagine they’re nice. I don’t remember if they offered us anything, but I’m finding it difficult to imagine that they would have provided us with a lawn and patio, so probably not. To be honest, I still find this whole thing hilarious, so thanks for brightening my day, lawn people.

Shannon: I’m like, “Susan, do I really look like I have a patio? Or if I did, that I’d care what it looked like? Get it together.”

Beauty Products

Shannon: HAHAHAHHAHAHA. Oh honey, you’ve stumbled across the wrong damn blog.

Vlora: I didn’t get this one, but I enjoy your daily posts about different kinds of foundation. No idea why you would say no to that tbh.

Medicine on Amazon

Vlora: I think this was just me? It may have been dietary supplements, but it was available on amazon, and it was weird. Yes, random company I’ve never heard of, of course I would like to take your questionable pills and link to them on my blog. I can’t recall if they offered to provide me a test sample, but either way: strong pass.

Shannon: I do hope your mother/Nancy Reagan reminded you to “just say no”.

Addiction Recovery

Vlora: This one was Shannon’s, so I’ll let her fill in the details. I would however like to say that I come to Shannon’s blog for a lot of things but none of them include addiction recovery. Did you see her obsession with The 100 and The Hunger Games? If anyone needs addiction recovery, it’s her. Apologies if you’re an expert in this field, and I just failed to realize all this time though, Shannon.

Shannon: Oh shit. That is why they contacted me, isn’t it? Because I really do need addiction recovery? This particular “offer” told me that I should be advertising recovery because “the holiday season is upon us”, and I literally have no idea why that would matter. I low key want to email back and ask. For research, obviously.

Whoever Sarah Is

Shannon: I got an email once, addressed to Sarah. I don’t know who Sarah is, but she is not me. I deleted it, because I didn’t care about the book or Sarah. About a week later, I got a follow-up email. Or, Sarah did. Asking Sarah again if she might be interested, as this was the date of the book’s release. I don’t know if Sarah was interested, but Shannon sure as hell wasn’t.

Vlora: I can see how they would get confused. Your names do start with the same first letter.

Furniture/Interior Design

Vlora: Okay, so I should probably mention that this company made it a point to connect their products to the theme of my blog, so they’re already a step ahead of everyone else. They said that they would be interested in how I incorporate books into my living spaces or something along those lines (currently, I’m collecting books on the floor because I ran out of shelves, if that sparks anyone’s creative muse). That’s all nice enough. But obviously they wanted me to write a post about my ideas and link to their products, which is literally just free advertising with absolutely no gain for me or my followers. If I sell out, I’d like to at least, you know, actually get some money for it. Or shelves, so my books don’t have to live on the floor anymore, have a heart.

Shannon: I am still waiting to be offered a mattress. This is totally applicable, since I read almost exclusively in my bed. Call me.

Guest Posts About Blood Sugar

Shannon: This could not be more useless for readers of my blog. I mean, sure, one or two might have diabetes, I suppose. But as a whole? Hard pass.

Vlora: I’m sure there are blogs focused on health that they could be contacting? I wonder what they were thinking. Is liking books associated with high blood sugar? We’ll never know.

An Infographic about Moving to England

Vlora: I mean, I did move to England a year ago? I’ve already left again now, but at least I can sort of see where they got the idea I might be interested? The thing that confuses me the most about this is that anyone is so passionate about their infographic that they would ask people to advertise it. I think the person who contacted me wasn’t even the person who originally made the graphic but their agent or something?? For a moment I thought the English government was behind it all or possibly the Queen??? and just wanted to animate people to move to England, but then I remembered Brexit, so that theory crashed and burned. I don’t even know. I guess it takes a long time to make an infographic, and you really want people to see it afterwards.

Shannon: Pink lemonade just shot out of my nose, it was wildly unattractive. But I think you’re right- they probably realized that they were stuck with this useless infographic, it took seven weeks to make, and now they’ll pawn it on any poor soul willing to take the bait. Not today, Satan.


Vlora: Okay, in all fairness this company actually offered me some sort of ecurrency to buy and test their products, and I guess letter writing is semi-related to books? Maybe? A little? I just did not have the time or energy to review stationery at that point in my life, but hey if you’re really interested let me know. I can’t say stationery is one of my great passions in life, but I do appreciate a good design. Not sure how they stumbled upon my blog though. Did I ever talk about stationery? Do I sleeptype posts about stationery I haven’t noticed? We may never know.

Shannon: Maybe they thought that testing stationery could be your new fun way to procrastinate… 🤔

In seriousness, I got this too, and… why? Is it the “Paperless” thing? It tried to tell me it partnered with Kate Spade and Oscar de la Renta, but… if it isn’t a tangible thing, why exactly do I care? Give me a purse or leave me alone.

Yet More Furniture

Vlora: What is it with all these furniture websites discovering book blogs? This particular company wanted me to create a post about my dream reading space, which at first glance seems fair enough. I like books! I like beautiful reading spaces! This is definitely relevant to my interests. You know what’s not relevant to my interests? Pointless advertisements of products I don’t know on my blog. This company yet again wanted me to link to their furniture while creating my dream reading space with no actual products to review and obviously no compensation. If y’all are interested in buying furniture, and you would like me to review it for you without testing it, because you think I’m in some way qualified, do let me know so I can get back to them. Otherwise, pass again.

Shannon: No free furniture, no free blog post. Still waiting on that mattress….


Vlora: That sounds promising! Finally something we’re familiar with. Book blogs – books, it makes sense, right? Think again. It’s common procedure to offer a blogger a review copy if a publisher/author wants the blogger to review their book. According to Shannon, some people didn’t get the memo.

Shannon: I mean, it’s one thing to offer me a book. It’s a totally different thing to ask me to buy your random ass book. Do you know how poor we as a community are? We have spent all our money on blogging and books and bookish crap, and now we are about three dollars away from living in a van down by the river. These clowns think I am going to go buy some nonsense on Amazon? And then review it? Looks like someone had too many cocktails at lunch.

When they really need you to read the book

Shannon: Look, I get it, you want me to review your book. My review policy says that if I don’t respond, that means “no”. Do you know why? Because I lack time. And I don’t have the desire to respond to all 927 emails a week I get asking me to review stuff, sorry. Most authors totally get that! This week, I have received my fourth email asking me to review some book. Spoiler: the best way to get someone to review your book probably isn’t harassing them.

Vlora: This hasn’t happened to me, thankfully. I try to respond to emails when I can unless they sound extremely dodgy, but sometimes I forget. In those cases I sometimes receive a follow-up, which is perfectly fine, but four emails in one week? I see how that could turn you off.

If you have a blog, what was the weirdest promo request you got? If you’re a reader, which of these random requests would you be interested in the most? Anything in particular I haven’t reviewed that you need to see? I’m taking requests. Make sure to stop by Shannon’s blog It Starts at Midnight, or just send her a mattress to show your appreciation.

11 Responses to “Weird Review Requests – A Review”

  1. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    I’m laughing about Shannon’s discovery that she does need addiction recovery, and the lawn stuff haha.

    I’ve also gotten the paperless stationary and dream reading space ones. But like you guys, I didn’t see the point of doing free advertising for furniture products that I’ve never seen/tried in real life when I wasn’t even getting anything out of it. And the stationary one just wasn’t something I’d ever use and didn’t relate to my blog since I never talk about stationary or crafting or anything like that. I’ve also gotten requests to share completely random, irrelevant infographics, like I think one about sports salaries or something?

    The weirdest for me was, I got contacted recently to review sex toys??? Like, nothing against sex toy reviewers, but what exactly about my blog made them think *I* would be one??? Am I talking about sex scenes too much??? Lol.
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Bookish Musings: Separating the Author from the BookMy Profile

  2. Mikky @ Nocturnal Predators Reviews

    Am I the only one who finds the possibility of receiving free stationery for review interesting? I write a lot of stuff down and always have to have a list of things to buy every time I leave the house because if I don’t I come back missing half of what I needed to buy. Great post! The lawn care maintenance one was hilarious! :)

  3. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    Is it bad that I laughed at this post even though I have read it? That’s probably bad. Or narcissistic, at the very least? For the love of god, how many times do I have to mention that I want a new bed before someone sends me one? You think someone like Cait would merit a new bed?

    So, just as I predicted, I got a new one last night! This one wasn’t for Shannon OR Sarah, it was for Angela and her “very unique blog with well written posts and memorable graphics”. Which is so ironic because I. AM. NOT. ANGELA. And clearly they copied and pasted.

    Also, so happy that you found the gif. SO. HAPPY.
    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted…Bookish Bummers of 2017My Profile

  4. Inge

    We actually did agree to do the stationery post and it was a lot more fun than expected! But I’m still a paper gal, I just love snail mail.

    I remember the lawn one, I laughed so hard at that! This post is fabulous and you two work really well together. Thank you for the laughs.
    Inge recently posted…Of Wonderland Book Club: November 2017My Profile

  5. Katisha @ Reel Literature

    This post was just too funny! Those requests are so outrageous. My review requests usually die because after I agree to review someone’s book, they go ghost on me. I guess there must always be something in my teeth.

    Also, should I be jealous that I’ve never received the dream reading spaces request when one of the first posts I wrote on my blog is 10 Must Haves for My Dream Reading Nook? Where is my free mattress?!

  6. Valerie

    OMg Shannon you don’t need a new mattress, the one you have is FINE. If anything, give me THAT one and I’ll give you…my mattress? How about that.

    All of these are hilarious though. I don’t even read my emails, so I can’t even tell you the funniest one. I actually did one though, because I liked the idea, but it got sketchy really fast when I wasn’t allowed to mention they even contacted me. Weird.
    Valerie recently posted…Shiny, Pretty CoversMy Profile

  7. Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks

    I’m basically getting popcorn right now.

    Lawn and patio? :DDD okay, that’ something I haven’t heard for sure :D

    Yeah, that’s one other thing. Do they AT LEAST offer some reward? :D cause like, why else would you even do it?

    I’d fall for the stationery. Stationery is like my vice. And bookworms are often stationery nerds! So that one’s not that far off. Except for the ecurrency bit :D now that’s a bit weird.
    Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks recently posted…Sunday post #34My Profile

  1. Sunday post #34 - AvalinahsBooks

    […] Vlora @ Reviews and Cake joins up with Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight to talk about the most ridiculous promo requests they’ve received over the years […]

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