I was going to bring you a review today but due to recent events in the book blogging community I decided instead to bring you this and offer my opinion, a vitriolic diatribe of acid spitting or if you prefer, an open letter to the uninformed masses and the haters.
Firstly, recently there has been some issues with indie authors bullying and harassing certain bloggers. Now, I need to make it perfectly clear that it hasn’t happened to me, all the indie authors that I have had dealings with since I started blogging have always been polite, respectful and completely stand up 100% decent but unfortunately there are always some who will tarnish your good name.
As bloggers we offer honest reviews, the big word there being ‘honest’ and we will review accordingly, offering honest critique. Sadly, we can’t like every book and not every book can be perfect and wonderful, add in varying tastes and what one blogger didn’t like another may love and at times you will get issues with books. I understand that if a blogger gives your book a bad review and doesn’t explain why they didn’t like the book then that would be annoying, trust me, its annoying as a reader, we want to know why the person liked or disliked a book to, not just that they did.
But! Resorting to bullying and harassing the reviewer over it isn’t the right option, frankly, banter is fun but bullying in any form isn’t acceptable behaviour, it’s childish and immature and as an adult you should leave it in the playground, banished to the memories of childhood, otherwise go to the nearest supermarket, buy yourself a dummy and some nappies (pacifier and diapers for my American followers) and dress how you act, like a baby.
Harassing and bullying only gives you a bad name and reputation and while certain bloggers will keep quiet over it others won’t, it’s just plain wrong. Surely you as an author would want to cultivate good relationships with bloggers and your readers?
If the blogger has offered honest critique and explained why they didn’t like certain things in your book, giving reasons behind their thoughts then while disappointed that your work hasn’t got the plaudits and received the response you expected, please don’t take it out on the blogger as they have explained what issues they have, be upset, yes but act mature over it to. We offer honest reviews, it’s what we do and perhaps if you can’t take that honesty then you need to think twice about being a writer and publishing books. I’m fairly certain there isn’t one single book ever released that hasn’t been given a bad review.
This may seem like I’m being harsh but I’m not and I’ll reiterate again, all the indie authors I’ve dealt with have always been really nice in all the dealings I’ve had with them, top people.
A blogger I know (who will remain nameless) one of the nicest bloggers you’ll find, writes decent and detailed reviews, doesn’t write anything negative, always offers critique with reasons why they felt like they did about certain things suffered harassment and bullying over their reviews by authors and it caused them distress. They wrote a heartfelt blog post over it and you could see how much it had upset them, that they were being harassed for giving their honest opinion, causing someone pain like that is wrong, its tant amount to trolling and isn’t acceptable behaviour.
The point I’m trying to get across is that as bloggers and more importantly as readers, we respect you as authors, you put in many countless hours, creating, drafting, writing, fine tuning, editing and finally publishing your work to give us readers hours of pleasure. All I’m asking is that as both bloggers and readers we respect you, please respect us to.
Secondly, there has been issues on Facebook regarding ‘serial’ bloggers and most recently venomous accusations and comments that bloggers aren’t in fact ‘real’ readers, yeah, my response to that was also WTF!
According to the dictionary a ‘reader’ is someone who reads and the definition of ‘real’ is genuine, existing in fact, actual. So, I read and if you cut me, I bleed, ergo I must be real so then I am actually a real reader, simple really, ya dig!
But that’s not what they meant, the uninformed masses imply that as we occasionally/often get sent books for free that we don’t review honestly, only give good reviews to receive more free books and aren’t real readers as we don’t do it due to our love of books but down to advertising ourselves and our blogs for free stuff.
Newsflash to the ignoramuses that think that, I’ve emailed with publishers and they want honest reviews be they good or bad for the books to give an honest and well-rounded overall opinion. Giving good reviews for free books doesn’t work, it’s about honesty and real opinions. It’s wrong of people to imply that, they are saying that we whore ourselves out for free books, I might be a sarcastic ass at times but I’m no manwhore and I always give my honest opinion.
Side note, it should be pretty obvious I offer my honest opinion with this ongoing diatribe! 🙂
Saying that bloggers are not real readers is complete bullshit and while there’ll only be one or two of you who get this WWE reference, it’s apt…..and if you’re not down with that I’ve got 2 words for ya!!!!
It’s begs the question why you felt the need to pick on book bloggers, is blogger bashing fun? Are you jealous of our free books? Did you try to be a blogger and fail? Or do you just think you’re better than us?
I’m not sure how you think that just because we get books to review that it makes our reviews any less valid than yours if you are as you so eloquently put it ‘real readers’. You might right a 20 word review and post it on Goodreads and Amazon or you may not even bother with that, if that’s the case then I ask you if you are a real reader and book lover then why don’t you share your thoughts and write a review? As bloggers we don’t write 20 word reviews, we put time and effort into putting together the best review that we can, highlighting both the good and the bad in a book and our own thoughts and feelings.
We aren’t professionals, we are just simply book lovers. In the syndicated media you get professional reviewers of books, games, films, how are those reviews valid and bloggers aren’t? They get a free product and get paid for it, it’s their job, we do it for the love of it.
Do you realise how much work it takes to run a book blog? Did you think of that when you all decided to put down book bloggers! We write reviews, host blog tours, guest posts, interviews, memes, tags and features to. We visit and comment on various other blogs. And before all that, we create the blog, our own little corner of the Internet, think up a name, design the graphics, etc, it all takes time and it’s worth it, don’t put us down as not being ‘real’ readers when we all put effort into creating and maintaining a blog.
We blog because we are book lovers and we were reading books far before we started blogging, we didn’t wake up one day and think ‘oh, I’ll create a book blog to get free books’ silly dumb dumbs! We created a blog to share our love of books. No matter the genre we read, we are all passionate readers, instead of coming up with crap about us not being real readers, go and visit our blogs, look at the time and effort that we’ve put into them and while you’re there, read our reviews, you will see the love and the passion we have for reading come through in our reviews!
We do this for free, if we get paid no-one ever told me! We might get sent a free book and we read it because we love books but……while the book was free you then need to equate the time spent reviewing. I’m not quick at writing reviews and then you create the review graphics, etc, let’s say that all takes 3 hours, 3 hours at UK minimum wage is approximately £22, if the book cost £8 then we are still out £14 for the time we took to review!
Bloggers aren’t just about free books, admittedly they are wonderful and it’s a great feeling to be added to mailing lists and receive books but it also means that we have put the effort in and that the author/publisher is impressed with our blog. We’d still be blogging even if we never got a free book as we are book lovers.
I recently posted a 5* glowing review for a book, it was one of the first reviews for the soon to be released book, oh no, it was also a free book, the shame, I’ll go to church and repent my sin, then I’ll buy you real readers a gun, you can form a firing squad and shoot me for it! You know what, I could care less that it was a free book, if I hadn’t got a copy to review then I’d have brought it when it had been released anyway as it was a book that interested me! I got a review copy so don’t need to buy it but hopefully some will have seen my review and the book will have come to their attention when without the review it might not have done, that’s what we as bloggers do, share and bring books to other book lovers attention that otherwise might have been overlooked.
As a book lover the best bit wasn’t the free book, no, it was when the author commented on my review, saying that as a debut author it is reviews like mine that makes the journey to getting a book published worthwhile and seeing that readers are enjoying his work!
Likewise, my book of the year for last year was a free book, it was the fourth and final book in a series, I’d purchased the three previous books over the last three years, after reading the first the second and third were pre-orders and release day reads, oh look, books I paid for, are you so-called real readers telling me then that my opinion on that fourth and final book wasn’t valid and was biased?! I don’t think so! You see, it was a book I was looking forward to before I even started or considering blogging and luckily I loved it but if it had been a letdown then I’d have reviewed honestly, it’s what we do!
Our opinions are valid, justifiable, bona fide, genuine and reliable and are a result of many years spent reading books in the genres that we love!!!!
Bloggers don’t just get free books and churn out quick reviews, I hope all you supposed real readers know that, we put time and effort into our blogs and we write passionate reviews! We help indie authors promote their books by reviews, interviews, guest posts, extracts, spotlights, etc and this helps the indie author get their name and their book out there, it HELPS them when they’d be left with no real way to get the book promotion. We also do all those things for publishers to, we help publishers and authors, that is what a blogger does, unpaid, we’re not professionals, just book lovers who in their spare time share that love of books with others.
We help indie, traditional authors and publishers, contrary to what those who think we aren’t real readers may think, to paraphrase The Lion King, it’s not the circle of life, it’s the circle of books, authors, publishers and in a small miniscule way bloggers!
To conclude, before we were book bloggers, we were book lovers and before that we were simply readers. Our infinity with reading and our love for and enjoyment in it has come over many years. While we all have different reasons for blogging at the core, we blog to share our love of books and offer our opinions and thoughts. To say book bloggers aren’t ‘real’ readers is laughable and a complete lie.
When I started writing this last night it was raining, perhaps it was the weather, it probably was, but maybe, just maybe it was God weeping at your ineptitude to comprehend what everyone else already knows and that is that Book bloggers are real readers and those who think otherwise sadly are real idiots.
Now, this afternoon after work and chores, as I reach the conclusion of this diatribe that I’ve spent my spare time writing for my own little blog that I put time and effort into I might add! The sun is shining, again, it’s probably the weather but maybe, just maybe it’s a sign that this post is cathartic and that book bloggers are real readers too!
To all those who claim book bloggers aren’t ‘real’ readers I now await your earnest apologies!
Drew, The Tattooed Book Geek, book lover, book blogger and real reader!
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