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I have been doing some thinking and I've come to the conclusion that I need to take a temporary break from book blogging. NOTE: Any tour stops that I've committed to will be honored. I have decided that I want to combine my love of books, blogging, knitting, movies digital photography and life in general into 1 blog so that I don't feel so overwhelmed. Right now I feel like my book blogging is a job, I already have one of those. My plan is to come back in the near future with a new blog and a new plan.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Discussion Post ~ Bloggers BEWARE of Author's behaving badly (AKA Author's laying a smackdown on book bloggers?!)

NOTE: I will be adding my extremely personal thoughts on this at the end of this post.
It does seem that all hell has broken loose in the book blogging community again.  Not good peeps! I've been going through my google reader and I've been reading all these horror stories about all the hell that's being unleashed on us "unprofessional reviewers*" (AKA Book Bloggers).  The post that I just linked to is written by an author who had a couple of bad reviews of posted about her book and had the nerve to "call out" two book blogs (Book Binge and Chick Lit Plus).  On top of that the author (Sylvia Massara) had this to say about book bloggers:
"Oftentimes, the people who set up these kinds of blogs have never written a thing in their lives, except maybe a grocery list. Most are avid readers who think they are qualified to review someone else’s work. So it’s very sad when they go about damaging the image of upcoming small press and indie authors with the rubbish they write."
I think that this post was EXTREMELY unprofessional and I think that the two blogs that were called out in this post responded in a professional manner and put the facts out there for their readers to see and read.  If you want to check out their responses Book Binge had this to say and Chick Lit Plus had this to say.
Ah, and then we get to the good stuff....How In My Mailbox** is to quote the unnamed author “those "in my mailbox" posts represent everything that's wrong with the whole scene. It's all about status and swag.”  Then there's the whole book bloggers don't sell books/shouldn't be given ARC's/and how we're only in it for the free books.  Seriously, I have some pretty serious thoughts on all of this.....which your about to read.
I saw all these posts and I was deeply troubled by all of this.  For a while now I've been struggling with my book blogging (if you hadn't noticed from my lack of posting).  I feel that it has turned into a job and I already have one of those.  I know that this is mostly my fault and I asked for it when I decided to start 2 additional book blogs.  But getting back on point...All of this negativity has really troubled me.
I just don't understand how an author could go so far as to attack a blogger on a VERY public form of media known as the INTERNET!  That is completely classless and trashy on their part.  Sure we as book bloggers don't always write glowing reviews of everything that we read.  It happens.  Life isn't all sunshine and happiness.  Put on your big girl/boy under ware and get over it. JMHO.
I don't know about anyone else out there but I think that In My Mailbox is a pretty AWESOME meme.  I don't always get to participate but even if I don't I always find more books to add to my wish list when I go through my google reader.  Honestly, I look forward to In My Mailbox...even if I don't get to participate.  It makes me happy to see all those bloggers out there gushing with happiness over the books they got in the mail, from the library or just went out and bought.  FOR KRISTI~ Party on Kristi
I think it is very unfair to say that book bloggers don't sell books.  I think that there are enough of us out there that anyone who comes across some one's review either intentionally or accidentally that we might influence a book buyers decision.  I know that before I started book blogging I came across some review blogs for a couple of books that I was considering buying and reading the reviews helped me to make my decision.  For another blogger's opinion on book bloggers and their impact click here OR to read an author's take on book blogger's check out this post.
I was extremely offended when I found that many people believe that we book bloggers are only in it for the free books and ARC's.  I don't know about anyone else but I spend more money and time buying books or checking them out of the library or swapping them on than I spend trying to coherse a book out of an author.  Actually, I've NEVER approached an author about getting a copy of their book and I am only occasionally contacted with review requests.  Maybe there are bloggers out there who are fishing for "free books."  I am NOT one of them.
So I am going to conclude this post before I turn it into a full length novel.  Though I do have 1 message for all the haters out there.....Hell Hath No Fury Like Book Blogger's Scorned. 
*Found in a post posted by Jeremy West of Novel Thoughts
**Found in a post posted by Kristi of The Story Siren


Kasey said...

Very good post and I completely agree that the author was being incredibly unprofessional. I'm a book blogger and I'll be honest, I love free books. I don't know that I could say I didn't love them, but the thing is, I've bought almost 500 of my own books, I have currently about 8 different books checked out from the library, and in the span of my life I've won 6 books from contests hosted on book reviewing blogs. So if people think that it's really a great business to receive free books, they obviously don't review books. I do it for fun, because I love it and because I know that I've discovered and purchased dozens of books solely because I discovered them or read a favorable review on a blog.

Juju at Tales of said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Juju at Tales of said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Juju at Tales of said...

I found the culprint:


We do this because we love it.
We are some of the cheapest publicity out there.
We are a buying force that loves books in a time when the future of books has been called iffy.
I understand her point but she was totally harsh.

Serena @ PensiveBookeaters said...

I think the whole situation is terrible, there's ALWAYS disrespectful people in every profession. There's going to rude author, rude bloggers, rude mailmen, rude customer service people.

I think people are giving way too much attention the "bad" author. I'm personally ignoring it, not making a post about it and moving on.

Maggie Desmond-O'Brien said...

Ugh, really? I wish this author could see how much time I spend promoting the books I really love, especially the small press and indie books I know need the attention. Book blogging is like an unpaid volunteer position in promotion sometimes, it feels like. Sheesh.

Gotta agree with Serena, though, that there will always be disrespectful people in every profession, and that we should carry on and know it's not our problem. Thanks for the post!

Lexie said...

I have seen a number of posts about this subject and the more I read the more angry I get! I just recently started a book blog and had no idea what an incredible community there is out there! I love that there are so many people out there that I can connect with and talk about books. I also find all kinds of books that I otherwise would never have read. So, instead of some authors trashing bloggers they should be thanking all of you for helping to sell their books! (And of course I know most authors do.)

The other whole part of this that makes me furious is saying that bloggers don't know how to write. Well, first of all, we are READERS not the WRITERS so get over it. And second, I know that many of the bloggers I read have a lot of experience WRITING. Many are librarians or editors or aspiring authors themselves. I myself studied English for 4 years in college and have worked as a professional technical WRITER for the last 5. Though we all are not novelists, we still have the right to express ourselves no matter what our writing level is.
(OK, I'm done ranting! But thanks for your post!)

Ricki said...

I have this to say about the In My Mailbox meme: it is total eyecandy. I love seeing everyone's and I do my own because it is a great way to show off books (because, really, who doesn't judge a book by its cover?). My blog is a little different, though, because I started it mainly to compete in reading challenges and not to review (but I do give my opinions on the books I read that are not for the site I actually review for). I am totally not in it for the free books and never saw In My Mailbox as a way to say, "Ha, ha - I got this for free!"

Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal said...

Indie author Amanda Hocking wrote a blog about this the other day (not in response to the blog you're addressing but how book bloggers help sell books) and has stats to back it up. I think she said she sold 600 books in the month of May and roughly 4000 in the month of June, when bloggers began reviewing her books.

I respected what she has to say because she's very down to earth about how bad reviews are a way of life. Not everyone is going to like every book she writes and she's okay with that.

As for the author who bashed the two blogs: That's just bad form and maybe she needs to find another profession if she can't suck it up and take the bad with the good.

Nina B. said...

High five to you, Jamie! I guess that author does not have that much knowledge about marketing strategies, because as far as I am concerned, book bloggers are actually people who help market author's books - for free. We may receive free books from time to time, but we have an even wider reach than any advertising program could ever have. We network with each other, influence our readers, families, friends, university classmates, even fellow bloggers about books and IMM is such a good place to start when you are hunting for books. I have been a blogger for just two months now and apart from NetGalley and Booksneeze, I have never requested for free books and only got a few requests to review some author's books. I buy my own copies of books I really want to read and I actually busted a lot more money on books in the time I started blogging than before that, so to say that we actually have no use and are just in it for the free books? I strongly disagree.

Thank you so much for writing about this matter, book bloggers should stick together because we are awesome!

Brush Up On Your Reading

Mary (BookHounds) said...

I am supposed to be blog hopping, but just spent the last few minutes reading your post. You make some excellent points and I agree with you. I did IMM when I first started blogging and didn't know what a MEME was and was totally attacked by a few bloggers since I didn't post it right or give credit to The Story Siren. Instead of explaining what it was, they said some pretty nasty things to me about stealing a Meme from Kristi. I almost quit blogging that day and I am glad that those few bloggers are in the minority. I try not to post anything negative on my blog since it always comes back to haunt you.