I get that editors and publishers may have strict standards, or need their contributors to adhere to very specific formatting guidelines. I really do understand that. And I understand that, even in instances where these writing gigs don't pay you a cent, still, the editor/publisher has every right to expect that those they select to contribute to their publication will have to be both able and willing to jump through their hoops.
But here's what I don't get. An editor or publisher needs new book reviewers. They send out the call -- hey! review books for us! Get free books! You respond, saying, hey, I'd love to review books for you.
They respond back to you. You need to format your reviews this way, you need to include the following things in your reviews, you need to follow a certain sort of style... and, oh yeah... sorry, forgot to mention this before... you need to live in a country you don't actually live in.
Sorry, didn't I mention that?
Also, they include about two paragraphs of snotty bullshit about how, if you're working for them, you can't use a pseudonym, you have to write under your own name, and hey, maybe you'll find that to be a liberating experience, to behave in a more mature fashion for a change... this last because, apparently, you wrote to them from an email address that was more creative than email@example.com.
Even that, though, is not the kiss of death. What is the kiss of death, for me, at least, is when they employ the following phrase: "If you can't do this, then I can't use you."
Here's the thing: There is a very small number of people in this world who are allowed to 'use' me without paying me money. In fact, that list is pretty much, my wife, and when she 'uses' me, well, it's fun for both of us.
If you're offering me the opportunity to do the one thing in the world I do really well and you don't want to pay me to do it, well, you better talk awful sweet to me.
Telling me that you "can't use me" just makes you a fucking douchebag.