After much thought and pondering, I’ve come to a few decisions over my blog and there are a few minor changes happening that may alter how the blog is run and the posts you’ll see.
For some time now I’ve been feeling really out of sorts about how the relationship between bloggers and publishers works. Blogging has changed so much even since I’ve started and now I get sent things I didn’t ask for that don’t really relate to the kind of books I read. They’re YA but so far off my usual reads that I just know I’ll never look at them. I get asked to be part of blog tours before I’ve been offered the book to review.
I get some books that make me wonder if they have been sent to the wrong person. I’ve chatted with a few other bloggers about my moans and groans and I know I’m not alone in how I feel. We LOVE books and want to read great things but when you sometimes end up feeling like just a marketing tool, and not a part of the publishing process at all, then it really makes you feel like “why do I even bother?”.
I want to give you, the people that read my blog and want to hear my thoughts on books and authors, really good quality posts that I feel happy to read myself. I don’t want to feel like I’m not appreciated for the work I do on the blog and want to write and read when and how I like.
I’ve decided that from now on, when it comes to blog tours, I’m only taking on tours from authors that I’ve dealt with before and have a relationship or a blog tour for a new book that really stood out for me ONCE I’VE READ IT. This way I’ll still be looking out for new authors and interesting books but I just can’t take on every tour going. Blog tours are very alike in content nowadays and I’d rather not do a tour and just contact an author directly at a later date for a guest post. No one wants to see the same old stuff on blog tours and I’d hazard a guess that authors hate repeating themselves.
I’m working on a new feature that aims to interview authors….with a twist. Shout out to Jim from YA Contempary for the original inspiration. I want to check around other blogger interview features first to check I’m not dupicating anything already out there, but it will be coming in the next few months and will hopefully fill a gap left by the blog tours. I’ve been lucky enough to get to know many authors since I began blogging and so contacting them directly and sorting something out that works for us both seems more sensible at this point.
Lastly; I’m cutting WAY back on the books I request from publishers. I have a whole bookcase full of unread books and it’s out of control so I want to take those on first. I don’t like taking books and not providing an honest review for ages and that has happened, unintentionally. Plus, as I said above, I get things to review that I never ask for and now they will generally be donated to local libraries, charity shops or offered to another blogger if I can afford the postage.
I wish the relationship between bloggers and publishers was more open at times because there are some truly fabulous publishers (and specific publicists) but then there are also the ones that rarely reply to emails and quite frankly I wonder if they even read my blog, based on the things they send. Bloggers are hugely important and I’ve seen the power of bloggers opinion in action so many times now that I think it’s ok to say that I have to set up ground rules for myself. Otherwise it’s like flying a flag over my blog declaring myself as a doormat that is easily swayed by freebie books. It’s never been about the free books. It’s a wonderful bonus in order to get reviews out ahead of time, and I’m very grateful for them but it isn’t why any of us blog. We have a voice and I’m choosing to use mine and see what happens.
If any publishers, or authors for that matter, want to respond to this post then I’d LOVE to hear from you and you can email me (details on the Contact tab at the top) or leave a comment here. Tell me what you think and how bloggers are viewed from the other side.
I won’t be upset or angry but I want to know what can be done to change the idea that bloggers just sit around and chat books and have no life. Trust me. We try to have one sometimes. I’m not a fool and know that this post won’t please everyone and there are bloggers that will disagree with me but I’m not going to let a bit of fear stop me being honest with you all.
Are bloggers just seen as a bit of marketing for a book? Do you pay attention to the blogs and send books that interest individual bloggers rather than a mass mail out? How do you deal with bloggers? Are we individuals to you or are you forced due to time etc to just see us as a collective? What do you wish would change to make the relationship work better on both sides?
Authors: How do you view bloggers? What do think about the way bloggers are treated/dealt with via publishers, good or bad? Do you prefer dealing with bloggers directly instead of using middle men?