I read something yesterday that really annoyed me. Someone had read a ‘hyped‘ book and was very disappointed in it. In itself, that is fair enough but what I took from the comment was that it seemed implied by that person that everyone else who had loved the book was lying about it and that their opinions were all wrong.
This did not sit well with me and well, some other things have been niggling away at me recently too. So here we are and I am addressing recent BS in the book blogging community.
Reading is subjective. This should be obvious but it doesn’t seem to be to some, so, once more with feeling! READING. IS. SUBJECTIVE! You might love a book, someone else might hate it. Your view is valid. The other person’s view is valid too. Just because their view is different to yours it doesn’t make it wrong.
If a book doesn’t work for you, don’t bitch about all of the people who loved it. No, they didn’t lie in their reviews, they just have different opinions and tastes to you.
We all have different tastes and it is unfair to question the integrity of someone just because they liked a book that you didn’t. Yes, some hyped books are perhaps not deserving of all the hype that they receive while others that deserve the hype fly under the radar. You do know though that you could always check Amazon and Goodreads for negative reviews if you wanted to see a full spectrum of views on the book instead of just believing the hype before you purchased the travesty to literature that you despised so much.
Hype is marketing. If a book is hyped it means that the publisher and publicists are doing their job! They have started the hype train and many of us are on it because we have read and then genuinely loved the book. We bought into the hype and it worked for us, there was a chance it wouldn’t work and if that was the case then we’d have moved on. You buy into the hype and love the book, it’s on you. You buy into the hype and dislike the book, again, it’s on you. No-one can know what you will and won’t like only you and you know why! Because we are all different and reading is subjective!
Perhaps, at times, the amount of hype for a book proclaiming it ‘the next big thing‘ is detrimental to the book and whilst you find it to be a decent read you aren’t blown away by it. Sadly, again, that’s on you as you believed the hype. This won’t be your first rodeo and chances are that you have read many other books that were hyped before, ask yourself how many books can be the greatest book ever?! So, yes, perhaps hype can hurt a book but it is you that has given lofty expectations to the book in your own mind and no-one else. Sure, the publisher, the publicist and all the glowing positive reviews will have helped, that’s what building hype is but something inside of you decided that you needed to read the book and in the end, it is you who is disappointed with it.
I’d love to see someone try and tell me that my view on a book is wrong. I loved it, you hated it, I’m wrong. I hated it, you loved it, I’m wrong. No! No! No! We just have different tastes and preferences. My view is valid and so is yours. Though! If we are getting down and dirty and delving into the nitty-gritty (might steal that line for a review as it is pretty cool) then I’d go as far as to say that my view is more valid because I don’t go around telling other people that their view is wrong! Yes, I’m taking the moral high ground, it’s new for me and you can see me sitting on my high horse, it’s usually where you are sat.
You wrote that there should be some way to warn off other potential readers. There is, it is staring you right in the face! A negative review highlighting YOUR issues with the book and why it didn’t work for YOU on YOUR blog!
You do know it is possible to write a negative review and highlight your issues with a book without dissing the author. If you have to resort to dissing an author in a review simply because you didn’t like the book then maybe you need to consider whether or not you should be reviewing at all.
The above isn’t me being two-faced and going back on my ‘there is no right or wrong way to review‘ mantra. No, it is me, speaking as someone who thinks that the reviews that they write are shit yet still has the ability to highlight issues that I have with a book without dissing the author. If I can do it I’m sure that you can.
I’m a firm believer in posting what you want on your blog and it is ‘my blog, my rules‘ and ‘your blog, your rules‘. You only post positive reviews then go for it. You post reviews for every book you read be they positive or negative then go for it. But! To not want to write a negative review on your blog but to want a way to warn other potential readers of the book and about the issues that YOU had with it. The glaringly obvious solution is a review, chica! You can’t expect someone else to warn people about the issues that YOU encountered with the book as they are your issues and only you know what they are. How do you do that? Write a review otherwise, don’t complain about being very disappointed in a book, lament the hype and state that everyone who loved the book is wrong. I’ll get some other bloggers and we’ll all club together to get you the £10 for the book so we don’t have to listen to you crying over it, sorted.
While we are at it I saw a review the other day that said that the person had issues with the book due to its content and that the book needed trigger warnings. Not an issue and no hate on the subject from me! I wrote a whole post on trigger warnings and my view on them that you can find !!HERE!! But! If you are saying that a book needed trigger warnings due to its content then maybe list the trigger warnings that it needed in your review otherwise what was the point in mentioning that they are needed? Anyone reading the review still doesn’t know what actual warnings the book warrants as you didn’t say which technically makes you saying that it needs warnings redundant because different people are triggered by different things!
Don’t tell me how to review. There is no right or wrong way to review so please don’t try and tell me, as a blogger who spends their free time blogging how the fuck I should be reviewing according to you. If you are going to question the quality of reviews then you see that over there? It is a door, open it, walk through it and then fuck off! Also, don’t let it hit you on the way out cos if you dawdle I’ll slam that fucker in your face! I would ask who the fuck you think you are to think that you can question the quality of other people’s reviews? What qualifications do you have? Then, after you have shown me your diploma, degree doctorate and PhD please tell me what qualifications I’m personally lacking? I didn’t realise that I needed a degree to write a review and post it on my blog. Which, I may add is a hobby. I play video games too. That’s another hobby just like blogging. Do I need a degree to play video games? I wish I’d known that, thanks for the clarification! Now, I do have a degree in being an asshole and sarcasm so I guess I’m qualified in both of them and I’m fucking good at them too.
As bloggers, we share our thoughts on books, nothing more, we aren’t professionals so quit with the bitching about the quality of our reviews! For authors moaning, seriously! You think that there should be a uniform way to review and that every blogger should write their reviews in the same way, ha fucking ha! You all write different books so you CANNOT state that all reviews should be written the same. Maybe I should go and tell you all how to write, I’m not qualified but who cares about that, I don’t. For others, nah, you either think that you are the pinnacle of reviewing and that everyone else should try and reach for your coat-tails and review like you or you don’t actually review but love to criticise others. If you are at the pinnacle, realise this, everyone is different and everyone reviews differently and for those who criticise simply because they have nothing better to do. Get a life or even better, you try writing review after review after review and then have some twat come and slander the quality of them!
I also saw that someone said that they have trouble with being unbiased as a paid for reviewer. Well……..most of us don’t get paid to review so we don’t have that problem! I can honestly say that if I got paid to review then I would still be honest and I would be able to be unbiased in my reviews. Obviously, it’s not going to happen and I don’t want to get paid anyway. There would be too many chains and constraints put on the reviews and as I said, what I write is shit but in the la la land where I do get paid. You know the one, it’s the alternate universe where bloggers don’t get continually bashed over a myriad assortment of BS and I have a bevvy of blogubines surrounding me then yes, if cash changed hands and I was a book hooker (I’ll even start at the end and read the book back to front if that floats your boat but kinky shit like that is extra) then I’d still be able to review honestly and give an unbiased review because like Kurt Angle, though I’m only using one of his I’s I have integrity!
I think that if you can’t be unbiased because you get paid then that says all that you need to know about that person’s integrity, they have none!
If an author is paying for a review then they might expect a positive review in exchange for the payment but that goes against giving an honest review. If you have integrity then you should tell the author, no! It’ll be an honest review and whether it is positive or negative will be determined after I’ve finished reading the book.
I think part of this issue comes from authors not wanting to pay out if they get a negative review in the first place making the reviewer feel pressured to be overly positive to get the payment. It’s understandable, in a way as the author is obviously hoping for a positive review and promotion but again, that goes against reviewing honestly and authors saying that they want honest reviews. What that tells you is that an author wants an honest review when the review is in exchange for a copy of the book but not when they pay for a review, then, they want a positive review. No, it doesn’t work like that and let me tell you something. C’mon in close and I’ll whisper it in your ear…..there is not a single book that has ever been released that hasn’t received negative feedback, negative reviews and garnered criticism. Now, I’m sure that your husband/wife/lover/fuck buddy/friend/mother or father told you that you have created a masterpiece, the next big thing and that depending on your genre that you will be the next Stephen King, J. K. Rowling or George R.R. Martin but sadly that won’t be the case! So, what you need to do is pull up your granny panties, bunch them up nice and tight, pull up your tighty whiteys and then clench your cheeks as you accept the honest feedback on your not so master masterpiece, OK?!
This is mute though as I said, most of us don’t get paid for reviews, we do this for free and as an extension of our love for reading. Don’t tarnish the many with the actions of the minority!
Seriously, you know who you are (sadly there is many) and before you start you can take your whole ‘you get paid because you get a free book‘ BS and go fuck yourself with it! You don’t call out other types of bloggers and then question their integrity and the validity of their reviews and yet they do charge for reviews as it is the done thing in their chosen area of blogging. But a book blogger got a free book to review, sigh, the world is ending and they have sold their soul for a free copy of a £10 book. Deluded fucking madness! You don’t trust book blogger reviews then don’t read them, it is as simple as that!
It is understandable why some bloggers don’t post negative reviews on their blogs not because they want their blog to be a bastion for book love. No, it’s because some authors act like babies when they receive a less than stellar review and then go on to harass the blogger, try it with me, I am begging you!
So, authors before you ask why that particular blogger only posts positive reviews look at others of your ilk because some of their behaviour is disgraceful. It’s no surprise why many bloggers don’t want to work with indie authors and it’s not because we think that we are better than you, no! It’s because of the risk of potential hassle. And other bloggers, if you question why a blogger only posts positive reviews then just don’t, OK?! It is their blog, they can do what they want without your permission and try keeping your opinion to yourself!
Yes, it’s only a minority of authors, a very small one at that too and most are brilliant. However, when you give up your spare time to blog the last thing you want is aggro. Frankly, you could work with fifty authors and forty-nine of them could be awesome and appreciative and one could be a twat and it is that one who ruins it for the rest and sours working with indie authors for that particular blogger.
When you see authors bashing bloggers it reeks of sourness and jealousy. Jealousy that other authors are getting reviews and content spots and sourness because you are not. Maybe look at your demeanour and how you interact with bloggers and then you would have a better outcome with bloggers. I actually wrote a whole blog post on reasons why a blogger declines your review request. You can find the link !!HERE!! and maybe it might be worth checking out for some of you.
Also, authors, we owe you nothing. Just because we have a blog it doesn’t mean that we are required to read your book or have you appear on our blog so get over that mentality and we can get along. Stop believing that you are doing us a favour if you offer us an ARC or appear on our blog too, you’re not! We work together, it is a mutually beneficial opportunity for both parties involved.
Let’s bring up reader shaming by supposed book snobs! As a fantasy fan I’ve seen the whole ‘it’s not real literature‘ that is occasionally bandied around about the genre. I’ve also seen the shaming around YA and adults who read YA. Listen up knobs! Sorry, snobs! If you don’t have a knob then you can go and buy a strap-on and you can all be knobs! 😉 LET. PEOPLE. READ. WHAT. THE. FUCK. THEY. WANT! It has nothing to do with you what another person reads so let them be. All books are literature and people read for enjoyment so obviously, they are going to read what they enjoy, it’s not rocket science to realise that and for the love of god just let people read what they want without fear of reprisal or backlash over it!
One last thing, commenting! If you are going to comment on another person’s blog then keep it civil! Don’t get personal and troll them on their own blog just because you disagree with how they have written a post or you disagree with their opinion. The issue isn’t with them, it is their blog and the issue is with you. You don’t like how someone writes their posts, you disagree with their opinion or heaven forbid something that they wrote offended you, don’t follow them! If you really do still feel the need to comment and express your grievances because you really need the spotlight shining on you then keep it respectful! If you can’t keep your comments respectful (ha, yes, I’m the most disrespectful person there is) walk away, just walk away and keep quiet because it isn’t all about you (which some need to realise) and the blogger doesn’t need to know that you have been deeply offended by them.
It’s no wonder bloggers are starting to question why they bother blogging. Every week it is bash a blogger week, usually, the same old shit rehashed over and over again and it is tiring! We offer a free service and we blog because we love reading. You shouldn’t be shitting on us! No! You should be shouting our fucking praises!
So, to the haters, I hope this post gave you a mouthful to choke on and fuck you! 😉
You will have noticed that there are many uses of the word ‘fuck‘ strewn throughout this post. Often, I have no fucks to give, this time, I had many.
There is no pack mentality involved with bloggers we simply stick up for what we do and due to that, each other! Where there is one there will be many as we all give our free time to shout about books because we love reading. I don’t need a pack behind me to back me up and anyway, I have no pack, that was shown recently when I lost followers, people who I classed as blog friends who turned on me over an issue and yet, here I am, still shouting about bloggers because even if I stand alone, if I stand as a lone wolf, that is what I do. I have a voice, I have an opinion, I will be heard, I can review how I want and I can run my blog how I want too!
The only person who will burn my blog to the ground is me, the only person who will decide how I post is me, anyone tries to tell me otherwise, fuck you!