I’m cool with my place in the blogosphere. I am. I’m never going to have the time and energy to be one of the BIG bloggers with 10,000+ Facebook fans or Twitter followers. I got into this for the love of books. It will be what keeps me doing it.
If there is money in blogging, I’m not partaking. I already have a job. And a business. And a husband and two kids. This is supposed to be a fun outlet.
Yet I find the politics of book blogging baffling.
I’ve met some of THE coolest women blogging. “Met” in that 21st century way where you can know people without actually meeting them face to face. You know who you are. Thank you for allowing me a seat at your respective tables.
Props to the authors who know how much a ReTweet (RT) or a Facebook share can mean to a blogger. The page views ONE of these can produce are astounding. Said views help drive up your stats. Stats mean everything when you’re requesting galleys and ARC’s. The better your stats, the better your chances are of snagging an advance copy of a book.
I have to give a special bit of love to Sylvia Day for an especially amazing RT that produced more page views than I ever thought possible. The greatest honor goes to Jennifer Probst for handing my single best view day EVER. I took screen shots of my stats…true story. Neither of these women need me for anything…they’ve built their audience. Once they were small, too. Clearly they (or a great intern/assistant) have figured out that a little appreciation goes a long way.
To the hungry new authors who have given me an ARC despite my inability to help move 2000 copies of their book on Amazon, I thank you. I assure you when I get a minute, I’m going to read and review your book. Fun fact. One of my first reviews was Leah Raeder’s UNTEACHABLE. I saw her book on Goodreads and asked her for an ARC. I couldn’t get arrested requesting ARC’s or galleys in the usual places at the time and she was an unknown indie author with one of the best-written blurbs I’d ever seen. The book is stunning. I wrote my review. Nobody read it. Then UNTEACHABLE came out and built a quick, devoted following. Suddenly, Leah RTing and FB sharing something I wrote for her blog tour could yield 100+ blog views for me in a day. That sort of turnaround in less than two months is remarkable to me.
I don’t understand a few things.
The world of ARC’s and galleys makes absolutely no sense. You request them from a number of places. One week you’re approved for 5 books and the next week you’re chopped liver. Lately I’ve been universally DENIED (several times in one day, thankyouverymuch) by several large publishing houses even AFTER giving other books they’ve published stellar reviews. In a world where one good review by me here, on Amazon, or Goodreads could sell more books than it costs to send an ARC to a blogger, it seems awfully, well, ungrateful. I post here and there because traffic on one drives traffic to the others. It’s all symbiotic. Every day I get a message from Amazon thanking me for helping someone make a decision to buy a particular book based on my review. I like to get my opinions on books out. Reviewing the books I read is a creative outlet…I don’t NEED anything in return. However, the galley or ARC is a nice, “Hey…thanks for your participation! Keep it up!”.
I understand piracy is an issue. I get it and it would piss me off something awful if someone gave away my hard work. I don’t have the answers…but it seems to me that drawing arbitrary lines in the sand only serves to anger people.
So, in short, if you’re one of the ones who cared enough to invite me in, I thank you. Whatever did it for you (I assure you it wasn’t my blog traffic), I appreciate it more than I can tell you.
And with that, I’m off to check my galley requests. Yes…I suppose I’m a bit of a masochist. (ooooh…I wonder if Joey W. Hill or Annabel Joseph have written anything new?)