I love social media, there is so much good on it but lets face it, there is also a lot of negative stuff out there too. Lately there has been a lot of negativity surrounding bloggers, blogger bashing has been rife and the old chestnut of SPOILER REVIEWS! So lets talk about it a bit, strap in guys this could get long!
So, why so much hate for bloggers? The thing I hear over and over is "I want to hear from REAL READERS, not bloggers!" So I will address this first and why it causes upset. We ARE REAL READERS, we are real people, we have lives, families, jobs, pets, obsessions but when anyone is called fake, and repeatedly so, it does get upsetting as we are human beings. I think the problem is some people confuse book bloggers with say life style bloggers, beauty bloggers and the like who DO GET PAID to do reviews, book bloggers do not. There are a handful of book bloggers out there who charge, and some do so underhandedly which is always wrong. If you are paid to review something, you need to declare it. Some authors are still getting caught out with this, over at Book Connectors (a group for authors and trusted bloggers), one of our members, the lovely Amanda from Go Book Yourself created a logo (see on the left hand side). We do what we do because we love books, reviews are honest and FREE, please do not pay for reviews. I think maybe the confusion is they think we get paid so we must be lying, or they only see the books we love so assume it must be a lie? Trying to engage people about this is frustrating because certainly on Facebook the most vocal wouldn't engage in the why. As BT used to say, it is good to chat and the best way to get to the root of a problem is to gab, communicate, talk, some of my fav things!
So what is a Book Blogger? A book blogger is a real reader, a person who loves reading but where some readers would read a book and move on or tell a friend over a cuppa, a book blogger will write about it, shout about it on their blog, tweet etc. Now here is where we differ a wee bit, some book bloggers only post about the books they love on their blogs, I tend to do all of mine. A lot of book bloggers got into blogging for different reasons, for some it is a hobby, some to keep tags on what they read, some it has helped with social/health issues. We all blog for different reasons and that is ok, some will only blog the books they loved and again for different reasons. Yes they read books they didn't like and some may still rate them on Goodreads, some will just delete them from their shelves. Some feel that an author has spent so long writing a book they have loved they can't bring themselves to say anything if they can't say anything positive and that is ok too.
Me and mine is a wee bit different. I try to review all the books I read and if it is a review copy I feel I owe it to the author, if I DNF (did not finish) I now private message publisher or author instead of reviewing a book I didn't complete. I used to review absolutely everything, even DNF books however after many debates, chats, discussions I no longer do. I once was party to a chat with authors who said they gave out over 300 copies (downloads) of their books out to readers for honest reviews and got a handful of feedback, reviews and the silence was the worst. Had folk hated the books? Downloaded but not got to yet? (review piles easily get into the hundreds) Was it not for them? Silence they can't work with and I personally think all reviews have their place, excluding trolls, author bashing and spoiler reviews (I will come back to them!). If you are constructive, most authors are happy to have feedback, something didn't work for you, why? It is ok to not all love the same thing, we never will, even classics, well known authors, masterpieces have critics and low ratings because even if you are Picasso you will never please everyone, ever! However, it doesn't hurt to be polite, I do reviews from 1-5 star ratings, I make sure authors read my review policy before asking for a review. I will always be honest in my reviews and what doesn't work for me can be hugely popular for others. But I would never bash an author, no one should, you are not what you eat and an author is not what they write. Whilst I think everyone should be allowed to review a book how they feel slagging an author and questioning their morality because they write horror or graphic scenes/books is unacceptable. Be honest not rude.
And now, the SPOILER REVIEWS! Oh guys it doesn't matter if you are "just a reader" or "just a blogger", we are as well to just burn the books to be honest if we are dropping spoilers.
I cannot imagine why anyone who loves books (or movies) would do this. Speaking to an author this morning and someone left them a review saying they had seen a spoiler for their book and as a result won't be reading ANY of their books! How horrible is that, for the reader having a whole series or author ruined for them, for the author, having all those weeks/months/years of work ruined because someone decided to giveaway the plot.
Read your books, if you review please think about what you write, low or high ratings just please do not include spoilers, only a handful of people will go on to read a book that has been ruined for them. Don't be that person. If you don't know about bloggers, ask, but in short, we are readers who just geek a wee bit more by being more vocal. Support your authors, buy their books, if finances are hard (we have all been there) use your libraries. We are still supporting our authors and keeping libraries alive. Book Bloggers are people, we love chatting books, if you want to ask them something just do it, we love books and most of us love gabbing. I love meeting fellow bookworms and met so many great folk through virtual book clubs, book events (LOVE THEM) are great, get involved. But above all, just do what you do, enjoy reading, we are all book lovers and book worms whether we blog/review or not and spread the love for the printed word xxx
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