I'm sure many of you have noticed that there has been a lot of drama and upheaval in the book community lately.
Between angry readers bashing authors because they find their newest books bad or crazed authors bashing reviewers and fans I can't decide what is worth.
I really truly find myself sad as a blogger seeing so much of this.
I started blogging because I loved books and I wanted to be able to share that love with others. I still love doing too. Believe me no matter what shit storm forms in the community I will always love doing what I do.
For those of you who aren't bloggers, let me explain to you a little about what we go through.
I feel like I should make this point made perfectly clear WE DON'T GET PAID TO BLOG. It is like an unpaid internship. You put all of your time, hard work, blood, sweat, and tears into it. And you really get nothing in return. Yes there is the sweet gooey feeling you get when an author acknowledges your presence. I can't tell you how rewarding that feeling is actually.
When an author responds to a review or reveal. I'm pretty sure after that happens we all go around pretending that that re-tweet and thank you now qualify you on BFF status with the author, and you will go falsely brag to all your book friends about how you and the author are now coordinating matching tees and getting coffee every third Saturday of the month.
Oh wait, that's only me doing that? whoops hehe
But really, other than that personal reward, bloggers don't really do what they do because they want something. They do it because they love, and absolutely truly care about supporting the book community. Are there perks? Of course. As any good book addict can attest... there is nothing better than a free book.
And yes as a blogger I get my fair share off free books. Some I beg a publisher for (Yes I have no shame. I will do it if it is a book a truly care about and want to read and review)
But others the publishers reach out to me for. One in particular was Fat Girl Walking by Brittany Gibbons. I did a review a couple weeks back for it and it was one of those that the publisher sent me an email going hey would you like a copy of this book and the opportunity to review it? Well Let me tell you, I am not a big memoir biography kinda person but after I read the description of this one I really thought I would enjoy it and low and behold... It was one of the best reads I've had this year. I would have probably never even considered the book if not for that email to do a review. I also get indi authors that will reach out to me offering a copy of a book in exchange for an honest review. Those are always beneficial for the blog and the author. Not only do we get to read a book but that author then gets some publicity and hype. Yes a blogger does influence other readers. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT. What a blogger says and does on the internet will stay with you. I have had people who follow my blog later come back and tell me that they picked up a book I had suggested. Bloggers/Reviewers are one of the biggest influences I think on if someone will decided to pick up a book and read it.
Now I'm sure a few of you are going wait Kayla!...
...I know for a fact that blah blah blah gets paid to do their blog. And yes, some larger blogs will make money but that is a whole separate thing. They get sponsorship's or hired by companies that they will write blog posts for. but the paid blogs are like 1 in 500. Very few actually get that. Most of the bloggers out there do it purely out of love for it.
I write my posts because I hope that my opinion will help you find a book and love it as much as I do. That I can show you something new and magical and you can then go and share that with your friends.
Now I told you about the perks with publishing companies and such but also as a blogger we work pretty closely with PR companies. so other than scouring social media and find news, we hook up with PR companies and join tours and reviews and such. They are a bloggers best friend and will give us all the information we need to make posts and get the word out there.
Many of the big name authors use them so if you are planning on starting a blog I would suggest you get in contact with them and start building up a running relationship. They will be a key source in getting ARC's (Advanced Readers Copies) and many of the fun things that come with being a blogger. (If you are interested in how to get in touch with some few PR companies feel free to ask. I will help get you pointed in the right direction)
So... what does all of that have to do with this now lengthy post? Well, I wanted to explain how bloggers get their materials and explain that we are under no obligation to do what we do. I repeat I DO NOT HAVE TO BLOG AND REVIEW. It is my choice to do this out of my love for it. So when I see a blogger get bashed or put down by readers, and even other bloggers. And most recently authors, and that really pisses me off.
Everything a blogger does is for the readers and the authors. And yes I know, not every blogger does things the right way. Some cheat the system, some are rude and vulgar, and some are very opinionated and will refuse to even have a civil conversation if you disagree with their opinion. I know it happens, I don't agree with it. I am always welcome to peoples opinions and views. Even if they are different than my own. I want my blog to be a place for people to feel safe and free to talk. To share likes and dislikes and all that jazz. Now my blog is still fairly small so really not that much of that stuff happens unless I get a 50 Shades thread going. But there are still people who look for my posts and interact.
Heck I even got my job as a PA because of this exact thing. An indi author reached out to me for some advice and a few months later I found myself with a new job and now a new best friend.
I have made some good friends in general through the blog though, people that I started talking to on my Facebook page and that are now on my private page and I talk to daily.
So when I hear the things I have about authors yelling and cursing out bloggers who are sharing and promoting because the author thinks they are "steeling" their work it makes me so so mad. How on earth do you think people know who you are? It takes promotion and sharing like crazy to get a name out into the world, and when someone does you a favor that's how you react????? NO BUENO!!!!!
Same goes for the author I read about recently on Goodreads who yelled at a reviewer because she rated his book 1 star. Not only did he give her grief several times on a public thread, but he also went after multiple other people who told him that how he was treating the reviewer was wrong. He was rude, condescending, and in my personal opinion a few screws loose.
And while these authors behaviors are appalling to me, it isn't just them in the wrong lately. After a release from a pretty well known author this week I saw a lot of readers negatively react to the book. Now I have not read this authors books so I have no opinion on the book, but I was sad to see so many people putting down the book. And on her fan page and Facebook groups too. No one is going to like every book an author writes, it happens. And from what I know the books are pretty emotional and not always pretty. But some of the comments were really harsh and rude. It is perfectly ok to say you don't like a book. But I don't like you going to an authors private page and blasting them for not writing a book the way you wanted it to be written. Or because you think the series is being drug out. You know how you fix that. Stop reading the series. It is ok. I have done it. After the first 8 books I had to just stop a series. I no longer was into that type of book and as bad as I felt for not continuing, I just couldn't do it. Something that I had been into when I was 17 just doesn't sometimes carry over to 22 year old me. And as I said IT IS OK. But this bashing and hate because of that sort of thing needs to stop.
To be honest there are times when I just want to say the hell with it and shut down my blog. It is a lot of work and stress that I don't have to be dealing with. I know a lot of bloggers who have been feeling the same way lately too. There is so much drama and politics in blogging over the past year or 2. I only have been blogging 2 years and even I have noticed the changes. Blogging use to be fun and a hobby and now it really runs like a small business.
I know I have mostly decided to take a break for the summer. Only doing reviews and a few tours here and there for books that I really have an interest in. It's a way to get back to the basics for me. To remember why I started doing this in the first place.
The thing I want to leave ya'll with after so many words is that we all need to treat each other with respect and compassion.
If you don't like something then go about saying that in a polite and well mannered way.
And if you are an author I ask you to please just remember how you make your living and how your books are selling. If not for your fans (the good and the bad ones) you wouldn't have a job. So no matter how they rate or review you, just remember it is only one person out of how many billion that is saying that and is not worth you breaking your integrity because of. All you will accomplish is making yourself look bad.
I hope ya'll take in some of what I said into consideration and if you feel like you need to agree or disagree feel free too. All I ask is that you do it in a respectable manner, and I will show you the same back.
And I shall leave you with some cosmic Jensen Dancing after all that