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I am taking a blogging break for a little while. I am in the process of getting all of my challenges for 2011 picked out so you'll see a bunch of those posts.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Discussion Post ~ Bloggers Beware of Unprofessional Authors (AKA Authors handing out Book Blogger Smackdown!?)

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 Paperbackswap.com 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


Savannah said...

This is very troubling and sad to see.

Linda Kish said...

I read the reviews to get an honest opinion of books. Not everyone likes everything they read. And if they were all positive reviews, I would think they weren't being honest.

Alexia561 said...

Excellent post! It's outrageous that some authors are basically insulting their readers. I know that I've found several books that I might otherwise have missed thanks to book blogs. And I'm always adding to my wishlist while reading the various IMM posts. I trust book bloggers. I've never trusted paid reviewers. This author has shot herself in the foot and is an idiot.

Alyssa (Redhead Heroines) said...

I just left a comment on the original post by Sylvia Massara.

I don't mind that she is personally insulting book bloggers, because I know that her elitist visions of herself as some high-and-mighty author, who obviously cannot take criticism, just showcases how seriously insecure she is with her own writing, and too be honest, I feel a little sorry for her.

Don't be discouraged, fellow book bloggers! Authors with low self-esteem are no concern of ours! Keep reading and blog on! :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Sickening isn't it? We do what we do as a labor of love.

Nic @ Irresistible Reads said...

Great post! I completely agree with your thoughts :)

AngelicNytmare said...

Nice post. I'm like you I spend most my time at the bookstore going through the YA shelves once, twice, sometimes three times over just to look at the books that are out. I randomly buy books that have a interesting sounding synopsis or pretty bookcover. (Yes I'm a bookcover person), and even if it has bad reviews I'll usually give it a try. We all have our own taste in books not everyone is going to like the same thing. I know I spend a good amount of my checks on books, and to see someone say that we're only for free stuff is irritating. Now that have a library card I get quite a few from there as well. I've never requested a "free book" from publishers or authors. Anyways, enough of my rambling. Thanks for the post.

Megan Kelley Hall said...

As an author and a book publicist, bloggers are the lifeblood of the industry right now. In an industry where huge publishing powerhouses are crumbling and book review pages in newspapers and mags are shrinking, bloggers are the ones who are supporting and helping the book industry flourish. You guys make reading cool and are spreading the word about great books. Please keep it up! Don't let a few bitter people get you down. Authors LOVE book bloggers! (at least this author does!) xoxo

Sakura Sandra said...

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Sara said...

Good post on an upsetting issue! I was really confused that the author thought that only other writers should review her book; surely the books is written for readers? And then the best qualified people to judge it are those who read a lot. In fact, being able to write could hinder someone's ability to judge how a non-writer (like, the rest of us) would enjoy it.
Personally, the only problem I have with "unprofessional reviewers" is when Amazon reviews are skewed by people who got a delivery late and so give a book a negative review - unhelpful! Otherwise, it's all a great atmosphere that expands the available responses and builds up enthusiasm for reading.