We don’t do a lot of reactionary posts to book blogging drama these days because we tend to stay out of that. Just away. Far away.
But some people wrote a post about all the things that annoy them in the book blogging community. Which is fine. I think everyone should be able to say what they want and how they feel. And A LOT of people agreed with the post, adding that they felt the same way. Which was a little bit of a wake up call, not gonna lie. I tend to view this community with sparkling, rose-coloured glasses made out of pure love.
Remember, even if you didn’t agree with the post, there were a lot of people for whom it resonated with. And why is that? Well, maybe it’s partly because there are problems inherent with a lot of different people converging in an incestuous space and maybe it’s because there are problematic aspects of the community. I don’t think I’m smart enough to comment on which one it is.
But I just wanted to come here and say: Keep being you. Don’t worry about what other people are thinking. All kinds of stuff is going to annoy people. This is a community filled with complex individuals with their own thoughts and feelings. 100% guaranteed you can’t please everyone.
But there was one recurring theme in the confession post that I wanted to address.
I really hate when bloggers brag about their authors being their ‘friends’ or getting ARC’s from their author ‘friends.’
I cringe thinking about the possibility of bloggers being paid to review or or write sponsored posts someday. If there is so much dishonesty and shadiness right now when it comes to a $15 or less book that will be out anyway, I’m scared to think what questionable methods bloggers may resort to when money is on the line.
I think there are so many bloggers out there who are blogging for publicists (in order to stay in their good graces, aka get more ARC’s).
Dear bloggers who won’t stop buttering up authors and talking to them on Twitter 24/7 and giving them nicknames, I can see through your bullshit ways. I can also tell you, I’m not the only one who knows that you’re doing it either for popularity or to snag ARCs from them. Just so you know, it’s tacky as hell.
There is this unkillable idea in the book blogging community that the only way to be legit is to get nothing, ask for nothing and accept nothing. This includes compensation for literally hundreds of hours of work and considerable money each year that goes into maintaining a blog, compensation for publicity and compensation in the form of professional relationships that could help our blogs.
There’s a push to rebuff any kind of money, free books or authorial/publishing friendships that we could have and I feel like this stems from the same kind of attitudes authors are fighting for, to be paid for the work they do/appearances they make. We have inherited this philosophy in the book blogging community that the promotion we get in terms of views is payment enough. We’ve inherited it from authors and publishers and from each other when the truth is, we’re worth so much more.
Okay, maybe we’re not quite ready for that…
Ask yourself this: do you expect the web developers to work for free? The web hosts? The authors? The publicists? The cleaners at the publishing houses?
Okay, not the best guy to be taking your advice from – granted.
And you know, if getting nothing is enough for you, then that’s great. If that’s the way you keep yourself honest then I applaud you. I’m not saying Cuddlebuggery gets paid or makes great contacts or anything. But I also recognise that this condition is unique to book blogging compared to other forms of blogging like beauty blogging, entertainment blogging, lifestyle blogging and general writing on the internet where perks and recompense are becoming common. So I also applaud people who are able to ask to be treated as a professional and to be paid as a professionals and as people who legitimately do work. Because what may be a hobby to some, is quickly becoming a professional venture to others – and that’s okay!
See, I respect a lot of different kind of bloggers. I respect loud bloggers who voice their opinions, and I respect quiet bloggers who work day-to-day reviewing books, just trying to get by. I respect bloggers who post paid content, so long as they disclose that, and I respect bloggers who refuse any paid content. And the good thing about choice and freewill is that you can choose to follow whichever kind of blogger you like.
Accepting that there are a lot of ways to book blog is the first step to a healthier, happier community. You don’t have to support everyone and everything. We’re getting bigger, and what it looks like to be a book blogger is quickly altering. But is this really a bad thing? We’re not all expected to be friends with each other. But we expect authors to respect our spaces and I don’t think we should expect any less of each other.
Author and publicist relationships are such a tricky subject. It’s hard to see from the outside why an author or publicist might be drawn to particular bloggers. You can be cynical and say it’s down to page views and a popularity contest, and I understand that. I, for one, treasure the few friendships I’ve made. I feel like they’re genuine and based on years of shared history and hard work to make them what they are. It’s hard to be new and come into a community where people already know and connect with each other, I get that. It’s like coming to a party late and finding no one at the door to greet you. It’s uncomfortable and confronting. As someone who struggles with social anxiety, I’m right there with you.
If you take anything away from this post. Make friends with as many bloggers, authors and publicists as you can/want to. Connect, have fun, live life big and don’t worry about anyone else. Your blogging style can look like anything you want it to. And that’s a beauty that nobody can take away from you.