How Do You Deal With Pushy People Online?

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It’s Monday! Woo-hoo! And guess who still hasn’t been getting any sleep???? Well, at least I managed to make some progress on outlining one of several WIPs this morning—after lying on the couch for an hour trying to will myself back to sleep (and looking at strange music videos with the volume muted). Ah. The perks of waking up at 3 a.m. You should try it, folks:)

So what’s on my mind today? Well, in celebration of No Sleep Mondays (#NSM), I’d like to talk about pushy people online (because when you’re sleep deprived like yours truly, you’re eleven out of ten times more likely to tell a “pushy” person where to stick it).

Here’s the scenario:

I get quite a few book review requests. As I have stated numerous times on this blog, I am not an official book reviewer, per se. I repeat: Quanie is not an official book reviewer.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof:

Book Reviewer (from Quanie’s dictionary): noun. Someone who loves to read books, oftentimes with a critical eye. Often solicits authors to submit books for consideration because they have time to read books critically, post a review, and repeat the process as many times as necessary.

Quanie: noun (although can sometimes double as an adjective). Hasn’t been able to read anything since the arrival of Le Munchkin a year and a half ago. Tries to read books, especially by authors she meets online, but has come to the conclusion that she may not get to read another book all the way through until Le Munchkin is in kindergarten. But she’s not a quitter and will continue to try!

So anyway, I get a lot of book review requests, but one request in particular really took the cake. The exchange went something like this:

*Names have been changed to protect the pushy person’s identity*

Cleophis Wonderbutt: Hey, Quanie! Really love your blog! I was wondering: I have a book I’d like you to review. It’s about 150,000 words, mystery, suspense, women’s fiction with a tad bit of paranormal. Oh; and it’s a comedy, too!  I have attached the novel as a word document, but I’d be happy to send you a PDF file if you prefer. I’ve also attached a non disclosure agreement, as I am very weary about this copyright thing.

My apologies in advance for the typos in the manuscript, lol!

All Best,


Quanie: Cleophis, congratulations on finishing your novel! I know how excited you must be, but I actually don’t review books. Have you tried some of the groups on Goodreads or Googling reviewers in your genre(s) and querying them directly?

Best of luck to you!


Cleophis: Quanie, thank you for your response, dear! I understand that you are not reviewing books, but you will not regret this! Can you please please please review my book and post your review on Amazon and Goodreads within the week? I’m on a deadline. Thx. Oh; and I really loved The New Mrs. Collins! Can you please send a copy to my mother?

*Bangs head against keyboard*

You guys, I embellished a bit here, but the exchange above is not too far off from the actual correspondence between me and this author. No wonder I can’t get any sleep! As someone who sends out quite a few book review requests myself, I understand wanting exposure just as much as the next author, but what happened to the days when we took no for an answer, said to ourselves, “When one door closes a window opens somewhere else,” and kept it moving? When does persistence evolve into something else? Like annoyance? Or a nice, ice cold 24 ounce can of whup ass????

Of course, this author isn’t the only pushy person I’ve come across online (I’m looking at you, spammer who keeps sending me an invoice for web services despite the fact that I never hired you), but they had a certain je ne sais quois that really fried my grits. The nerve!

Okay, guys, sorry about the rant! What about others? Even if you haven’t had to deal with overly persistent authors who can’t take no for an answer, what types of pushy people have you dealt with, online or in person? Used car salesmen? Mattress salesmen?

Let’s talk about it!

35 thoughts on “How Do You Deal With Pushy People Online?

  1. I had someone request money from me, because they thought book published equaled big bucks. I politely said no, explaining I am nearly as poor as pre-published me. They unfriended me on Facebook. Oh well.

    I read all kinds of books when my kids were little…The Cat in the Hat, Mr. Brown Can Moo, Little Monsters Bedtime Stories…those count, right?

  2. LOL! I’m the same way with book reviews. I only review them because I read them. Independently. For fun. Because I had time. (Or made time.) I’m sorry for your pushing review requests. The people that bother me are the ones trying to sell essential oils, Norwex, Usborne Books, upscale makeup sales, etc. Basically any multilevel marketing, no thank you. If I want something, I’ll go buy it–not market it, sell it, and badger all my friends into buying it too.
    Crystal Collier recently posted..How Animals Can Inspire You… (IWSG)My Profile

    • Ha! The makeup sellers are the worst! I’ve come across some pretty “interesting” “opportunities” for multilevel marketing stuff. I’ve been told to “create a list of friends and family to contact for referrals.” Um, no thanks, dude! I like my friends and family and want to keep them!
      Quanie recently posted..On Writing and Unaccomplished GoalsMy Profile

  3. Oh my gosh Quanie! I feel your pain. I come across pushy people all of the time & it gets on my last nerve. No means no, so people really need to get over themselves & stop begging for Christ’s sake! It’s pathetic!

    There are so many other resources out here. She definitely need to do some research.

    I hope I’m not pushy in any way (I really don’t think I am). A simple yes of no will do for me & I’ll keep it moving.

  4. Dear God, was that for real?
    A word doc for review? Then a non-disclosure? Then typos all over? Then begging?

    I haven’t received anything like this (and hope I don’t, but then it’d be easy for me — delete button = good friend). I have received emails from authors who don’t bother to find out my name or pour out paragraphs of what their books are about and attach a PDF hoping that I’d read it (without actually asking if I would read it). And it’s all fine, really. I try to reply that my schedule is full when I feel like it. Otherwise … delete button = good friend.

  5. BAHAHA. Yes. Okay, not as bad as that exchange, but it has happened to me. I try to reiterate as much as possible I don’t review books. If I want to that’s a whole other thing, but it’s not my bag, baby. My blog is really more for fun! The best is when they need the review in a day. Really??

  6. Oog. >_< I've never had to deal with someone like that, but if it happens, I hope I'd handle it as well as you did. I'd like to think that after my first distinct and definite "no", I'd just delete their e-mails and move on with my life. (Though if they told me I wouldn't regret it, I'd be sorely tempted to reply saying that I already did.) But ye gods, did they really tell you they were on a deadline? Some people…
    Mason T. Matchak recently posted..Darkness Called, and I Hung Up.My Profile

  7. Hi Quanie, First, I love this post. That person should be sending their manuscript to a pro editor for gosh sake!! The gall in expecting you to read their stuff full of typos no less. 🙁 I’ve dealt with a pushy car insurance company last fall. They began calling me months before my insurance renewal was due—to ‘talk’ they said. Then when the time came I renewed with another company. In spite of that fact, the pushy company continued harassing me via my cell phone and emails. I finally told them to stop or else I would file a harassment complaint. They finally stopped. I don’t even know where I would have filed the complaint but the threat worked.

    I’ve been awake at 3 am the last few nights as well. Drives me crazy.
    lisa thomson-The Great Escape… recently posted..Will GIRLS Ever Become Women?My Profile

  8. Quanie, I love our weekly lunchtime online ‘meetings’. Cleophis Wonderbutt slayed me! You are MUCH nicer than me. I don’t even respond anymore, because I don’t have time for the back and forth. At first I hated to be so rude, but then I got over it. Because you know what? Half the time, even if you take the time to review the book (or in my case feature the author) you never hear boo from them again. Now THAT’s rude. You want to use my platform for your own purposes, but you don’t want to support said platform? #BuhBye
    Faith Simone recently posted..Committed to LoveMy Profile

  9. I just don’t even respond anymore. Mostly because they don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. I only do my “Best Books” post each month and it’s only for those of you who support my books by helping with book launches and such, as well as my Aladdin M!x authors and a few random books I read because I want to read them. So it ain’t gonna happen no matter how fancy their emails are! The worst are the random people on Facebook who email you to ask if you’ll read their book and give them feedback. You usually have a mutual friend…and you’re a jerk if you don’t respond. I just say I’ve been advised by my attorney to never read an unpublished manuscript because it’s a liability (they could sue if they decide I stole their idea later). Oh, and I point them toward a good writer’s group or critique group. That usually shuts them up.

  10. Sorry for the pushiness you’ve been going through. I also understand where the author is coming from. Having another author review their manuscript and getting a good review is a seal of approval that’ll help with their branding, platform and book sales. However, at times like yours, not taking the no for an answer does not look well. And that they didn’t do their research. Yes, another author’s review would do wonders and it doesn’t hurt to take a chance to request they review your book even when they don’t do reviews. But why continue to persist if the odds are not in your favor. Especially when they’re plenty of book bloggers who’d be ecstatic to review your book. And thing is, they’re not really hard to find. They’re on Goodreads, LibraryThing, on social media (just use hashtag #bookblog) and they’re even listed ( I even check a blogger’s review policy before I send a review request. So if I could do all that research, so can they. I don’t bother with them and if they keep pushing, I just might end up blocking them. Tenacity is all good but still have to know when to back off and move on.
    Lidy recently posted..Did You Know…World Poetry Day*My Profile

  11. Quanie,

    I am so horrible about responding to pushy people in a positive way especially when I haven’t had any sleep.Like last night. I face pushy students, coworkers and people who think that I can conjure poetry on demand. I commend all of you who have great suggestions. I’m so grateful to learn about #NSM.

    • People always want something from you–and for nothing! I’ve learned this about saying no: the people who matter don’t care and the people who care don’t matter. If they get mad, then…well, they can stay mad (for as long as it takes for them to feel better again). And yes! #NSM is totally a thing!
      Quanie recently posted..How Do You Deal With Pushy People Online?My Profile

  12. Bwhahaha! I literally burst out laughing…and I’m sitting in a co-working space.

    Something I’ve deal with recently are pushy website owners that want content in exchange for ‘exposure.’ I’m a freelance writer…like I write for a living. (Occasionally, I’ll write something for free…just because I’m interested or it’s for an online friend that I love.) But I told one website owner, I didn’t have the bandwidth to contribute and she responded by asking me AGAIN to contribute the following week. The same happened with another website owner a couple months ago.

    It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in dealing with pushy people.
    M. Simone Boyd recently posted..Why I Hate to Talk About Sex…But I’m Going to Do It AnywayMy Profile

    • I think the attitude is, “Pretend you didn’t hear the first ‘no’ and maybe you get a yes the second time around.” That’s why I could never be, like, a door to door sales person. After one “no” I’d be like, “You know what? I totally respect your wishes. Have a great day.” I’d suck at it!
      Quanie recently posted..How Do You Deal With Pushy People Online?My Profile

  13. oh lawd, Quanie. I know this ALL TOO WELL. I’m sorry you have to not only send ONE polite reply, but two! It’s like a combination of too pushy, and clueless about social norms. Something about the internet age has shoved decorum out a three-story window.

    I usually get this kind of request from men—the kind where they just *go ahead and attach the manuscript without even asking you first*. What I’ve started doing is sending back an email that says, “My professional time and expertise costs $65/hour. Please let me know if this is acceptable to you and I’m happy to read your unsolicited manuscript.”

    Keep trucking!

  14. This is such a good topic. I’ve had some issues with pushy people in other areas of life, and I still haven’t figured out a great way to deal with them other than to keep repeating words and phrases like “that won’t be possible” and “no.”

    I’ll be listening quietly in the hope that someone else will have other suggestions!
    Lydia recently posted..Go Take a WalkMy Profile

    • Hi Lydia! I’ve found that the best way to deal with pushy people is like this: say no (politely if you can), and if they are still persistent, ignore them. They’ll eventually stop talking because who wants to sit there looking crazy and talking to themselves??? Also, “no,” is such a complete sentence. No other explanations needed after that! Thanks for stopping by:)
      Quanie recently posted..How Do You Deal With Pushy People Online?My Profile

  15. Ugh. Those ‘three O’ clocks’ can be murder on an unsuspecting antagonist! (grin) I can’t believe the gall of Ms. Wonderbutt (I’m still giggling). But honestly, you need your sleep, hon. What I found that worked for me was taking a walk every day, completing one dreaded project and perhaps leaping a tall building or two; providing Le Munchkin can fit it into her schedule as well 🙂
    Currently, I get pesky emails promising if I send money for them to promote my books at a festival in France (?) it will be the last I’ll ever spend. I’ve explained that all my funding goes to the Preservation of Sanity Among Writers Exposed to (this kind) Stupidity. However, I have moments when I’d love to jump through the phone lines and choke the recorded message that says I’ll be arrested by the Feds on five felony counts if I don’t pick up the phone. I hate to wish the worst (fleas of a thousand camels…) on someone I don’t even know, but there you have it 😉
    diedre recently posted..A Midnight Kiss and TellMy Profile

  16. I’ve had people do the same to me. I’m not a book reviewer either. I review books only when I want to. What gets me is when they don’t ask and just send their book. That’s not the etiquette to get reviews or even to approach real reviewers. They have to accept your story. Then to set a week deadline for such a long novel? No no, dear, the reviewer will post the review when they can. Most have like 5 books to read before yours. I notice when things like this happen, they are new, inexperienced writers/authors. But for some reason they don’t know how to be professional or courteous.
    Chrys Fey recently posted..Diet and Food – Character ERMy Profile

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