This post has been simmering in the background for a while. All the drama bloggers have suffered this year has finally made me boil over. Reviewers should not be called out (or called a "bitch," "idiot," "moron," etc.) because they didn't like a book, and yet, for some ungodly reason, it is happening every WEEK. And I'm freaking tired of it. I'm tired of feeling like I, as a book blogger, brings nothing positive to the book community table. Because you know what? I freaking do.
I don't usually post about drama; in fact, I don't think I ever have. (Although I have a drama label apparently . . .?) But like I said above, I AM TIRED of it. I have things to say and since I have that right, I damn well am going to speak my mind about this.
From what I understand, self-published author Carrol Bryant is pissed that he didn't get the reviews (and interviews?) he was promised. (We're not even going into the detail about him having a thing with a minor, because ew.) (Although from my understanding, that is what fueled this whole thing. Hm.) (Nope, not going there, because ew.) He implies that book blogging is a business and when you request a book or accept a review request, you are know contractually obliged to review the book. To keep your promise.
Oh my god; are you fucking kidding me?
I do not owe you anything. Blogging is NOT my job. For all the book bloggers I know (myself included) blogging is a hobby treated like a job. Do you KNOW how hard it is to work full time (or even part time) and put in 30-40 hours in your blog? And then take it a step forward: these bloggers have lives. A lot of the ones I know are in school, and some have part time jobs on top of all that. Dude. It's a hard life. And yet we continue to freaking blog about books because (shocker) we LIKE books.
But here's the thing: shit happens. I don't have time to read all the books I was sent, whether I requested them, accepted the review request, or it was unsolicited. Or hell, even if I fucking BOUGHT the damn book. It is NOT my fault if I lose interest in the book, if I don't follow up on my "promise" to review it. I have a life. I have a family. I have a job and am a full time college student. Sometimes I have to let reading slide because goddamnit, it's called BALANCING and if I don't balance my life I get stressed and don't sleep.
And hell, sometimes the book sucks so hard that I don't want to finish it. A book has to pass two tests for me: 1) did it hook me at all during the first chapter? If it doesn't, I put it in the give away pile and delete the book from my Goodreads list. I don't mention it again. 2) How do I feel after 25% (or 100 pages)? Do I want to continue reading this book? Sometimes, sometimes, if the book passes the first test and not the second test, I will delete it from my Goodreads list; I won't talk about it. And sometimes I mark it DNF and write a review about why I chose not to finish it.
I don't post reviews of most DNF books to my blog. I just don't. If the book angers me enough, sometimes I will. Because I want people to be aware of my opinion of the book.
But here's the deal: You do not own me. You do not have the right to tell me how to blog, what books to read and review. I am not a social media tool you can use for book awareness. I'm a freaking human being. I will gladly work WITH you--if you treat me as a human. As an equal. I am not Twitter. I am not Facebook. I am not Goodreads, or a marketing website, or whatever. I'm a human and deserve to be treated as so.
Bloggers know how to make a lot of noise. We have the potential to influence sells; I know for a fact that I've persuaded quite a few people to read a book based on my reviews, so I see the shiny potential I have for helping YOU promote your book(s.)
But freaking treat me like a human; don't be a douchebag who goes around thinking he's the biggest thing since sliced bread. Because once again: I am a human and since slavery is illegal, you cannot own me. You don't own me. There is no contract between the reviewer and author (or publicist or whatever.) There is no promise, unless I say "I promise I'll review the book." And if I didn't? Well . . . end of story.
There really isn't a reason to go batshit insane because you didn't get reviews. It happens. Move on.
The lovely author who promoted this post said he was going to delete the original blog post. Since I'm forced onto my iPad until I can get my computer fixed (I'm typing this post on my step sister's computer), I screen shotted the entire blog post, which is broken into three parts (because of the iPad). This is for those who missed out and want to read Bryant's post.
Obviously clicky to embiggen.
And the infamous list:
Please note the comment, where Wendy (Cupcake and a Latte) is one of the bloggers "black-listed" says she has never heard of his books. Which I figured was going to happen.
I knew I smelled bullshit as soon as this post came to my attention. I'm going to go try to fix my computer now.
Wendy from the midnight garden (one of my favorite blogs and reviewers) has a great list of blog posts about the recent drama, if you want to check that out.
Kat and Steph from cuddlebuggery have an excellent weekly roundup where they talk about the latest scandal and other buzz worthy news.
You know. If you aren't sick of this drama like the rest of us.
OH. One of the things brought up was if Bryant emailed these reviewers asking if they were going to review his books, etc. Since I have a huge backlog, and I know a few authors who sent me review copies are wondering if I'll ever review their books, send me an email asking if I am going to review your book. A lot of them I haven't gotten to, but if you want to know the status of your book, PLEASE email me. (gypsybookreviews @ yahoo dot com) I do not want any of you to feel like Bryant did/does! But please realize I can't make any promises at this time. But I WILL answer each and every email I get.
I can see this going in a bad direction. Whatever, don't care. (you SEE?? I have a laidback personality! You KNOW this has to have bothered me a whole lot in order for me to talk about it!)