Let’s Get Some Things Straight (Or How I Run This Blog)
Posted May 3, 2009on:
There’s been tons and tons of posts lately dealing with blogger/author relationships, requesting ARCs, and stuff like that. I’m not going to start another debate here since I’m sure most people are tired of commenting the same thing over and over but I do want to get some things cleared up on how I run this blog.
1.) I DO Request Books. I’m going to be 100% honest – I’ve requested books from authors before and I have little problem doing so. Now, don’t get the idea that I see a book, go “Oooh pretty cover!”, and immediately beg the author for a copy. I would never be that selfish. Here’s what happens – I see a book (maybe for the first time, maybe for the tenth) and decide it looks like something I might like. Then I look it up a little more to make sure that it’s something I think I’ll really like. If it is, I’ll look on the authors site for an email to contact. 9 times out of 10, they don’t provide an email (or name) for their publicist. Unless they’re publisher is the one where I have 1 universal contact or I know for sure that they’re represented by a publicist contact I have, the only thing I can do is email the author. (I’ve heard people say that the publisher’s website have the emails but all the ones I’ve found are general contact emails, which I’ve never gotten a response to.) When I email the authors, I tell them why I’m interested in their book, a little about my site (including stats), and thank them. I never, ever expect them just to send me a copy. I understand that they’re ARC supplies are low and that they can’t send to every reviewer who asks. But I also feel that there’s no harm in asking, especially since I’ve been at this for over a year and do work hard at promoting the authors. If I request a book, I WILL review it and put it at a much higher priority than those that are randomly sent or I buy.
2.) I Let People Read My Books! I recently read a comment where a author basically said that it was wrong for reviewers to swap books or let their friends read them. I must say that I found this an extremely selfish thing for them to say. They did provide numbers that showed how it could potentially lower the sales which made it a little more realistic. I could see where that would be true IF the person was planning on buying the book before it was given to them but most of the time that’s not the case.
My friends and I borrow books from each other all the time and I’m sure very few of you have bought every single book you’ve ever read. The commenter said this means less sales but I would say it almost means more. Why? Well, like I said before, just because they’re reading it now doesn’t necessarily mean they were going to buy it in the first place so that wouldn’t be a drop in sales. Second, if they like the book enough, chances are they’ll either go buy themselves a copy or request that the library purchase a copy, and/or tell their friends about it. Third, even if they don’t buy a copy, chances are they’re going to remember the author and when they’re browsing the bookstore and see another book by the author, they’re going to be more likely to pick it up instead of some random book.
Swapping among bloggers…well, seems to me like a good thing for authors. Chances are when they receive the book, it’ll be put in their IMM post and it might even end up with a review which equals more people reading the book. And, if I like the book, I’ll probably check into other books by that other and possibly buy them.
3.) One More Thing… Authors have said “well, why don’t they just go BUY the book when it comes out instead of requesting it” or “buy a copy even if you have the ARC”. The thing is, most of us a teens, and that generally means we don’t have a job. If we don’t have money, how are we supposed to buy books? And, when we do get money to spend on books, it doesn’t make much sense to spend it on something we already have a copy of. That said, I do try to support authors as much as I can. I have a list of authors who have been amazing in working with me or who wrote amazing books. When I do actually get money, I will either buy a finished copy of their book or another of theirs before I buy others. If I really, really like it I’ll go beg the librarian to get it in.
I hope none of this came out too nasty but I just felt that it was important to be clear on how I run this blog. I don’t expect a full-fledged debate to start but if you’ve got any comments on this (esp. if you’re an author!), feel free to let me know.