Okay, this isn’t really going to be a letter, exactly, but more of a defense piece for the book bloggers the world ’round who bust their ass for very little, if any, return on their invested time.
Every Thursday when I wake up, I get stupid excited. From the moment I get up until the moment I go to bed, there is a super-fun thing happening on Facebook. IABB Confessions. If you’re an author, reader, or book blogger, you may already have seen them. They’re so much fun!
It’s a great little Facebook page which goes by the name Indie Authors & Book Blogs. They are a strictly promotional page (they don’t accept review requests) which has created a weekly………well, it’s not exactly a “meme”….
They have a Google Docs form. You go fill in your confession, they make a graphic of it, and post it. It’s all totally anonymous. Say whatever you want as a reader, author, or book blogger.
I’ve done it. I’ve even had a few of them go up on IABB. It’s kind of fun. However, every time one of mine gets posted, I go and completely ruin the anonymity of it all by sharing the IABB graphic and saying “Look!!!! My confession got posted!!!!” I don’t have a reason to hide behind an anonymous confession. It’s just fun to participate.
Anyway, I am a little bit appalled by one of today’s confessions. Again, anonymous, so posting this here shouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Here we go….
I read this an immediately went a little aggro. As both an author and an active book blogger, I can tell you that this author’s assumptions about the role of a book blogger in the publishing industry is sadly misplaced and, writing as a book blogger, I will happily clear the air a touch.
I am actually going to break this thing down line by line because there is sooooo much wrong with this short little statement….
Dear Book Blogs,
Thank you for reading and reviewing my first novel.
Aww, that’s sweet! You’re welcome!
But it doesn’t help that you post a review on Amazon and Goodreads…
Ummm, yes, actually it does. It’s been proven that the more reviews you have, the better your sales will be…….which is why reviews are so important for indie authors. Even services such as Bookbub have a minimum review count requirement in order to advertise with them. Moving on….
…but you never post the buy links with the review in Facebook and Twitter.
You’re absolutely right. I don’t. Because I’m not in this specifically for you. I post the link to my review so my readership can see what I have to say about your book, then choose to buy it from there. I hate to break it to you authors out there, but no one is buying shit when you blindly post the buy links on social media. New readers don’t just blow money on authors they’ve never heard of. They usually want to read a review first (WHICH IS WHY I POST MY REVIEW LINK) or by recommendation from their reader buddies. Just because you choose to FLOOD Twitter and Facebook with Amazon short links doesn’t mean it’s actually helping you. That’s called spamming, and I will NOT lose my readership because you feel I should be posting your buy links instead of my review link. My main priority as a book blogger is to drive traffic to my book blog. These people follow me on Twitter and Facebook to read my reviews, not get random buy links thrown at them. For the record, just about every single book blogger I know, yours truly included, makes sure their posts include buy links for the book…..
I need to make money, so please help me.
If you need to make money, go get a job and do writing as a side gig until it’s making you enough money to responsibly justify the decision to write full time. As a book blogger, I think I make a grand total of about $20/month off of my Amazon Affiliates links. Hardly enough to live off of, and yet, the “job” of being a book blogger takes up about 20+ hours of my average week. Which I do for free. On top of the 40 hours I work every week at my day job.
As an author, I still have to work full time to support my household. If you’re an author, and you’re freaking out this bad about making money off your shit, maybe being an author isn’t for you. The overnight success stories are a fluke. That is NOT what happens with the majority of people who set out to make a career of writing. Icy cold bucket of truth, I know, but it is what it is. To succeed as an indie author, you need to market your cute little ass off, which requires the spending of money in most cases.
Then it just seems to me you get a free read/book and don’t feel the need to help me.
Okay, ummmm, eat me. The author who wrote this confession states RIGHT IN THEIR CONFESSION “you post a review on Amazon and Goodreads…” And that’s exactly what you were agreed to receive in exchange for the review copy of your book. The book is given in exchange for a fair an honest review. It is not given in exchange for a review and guarantee of sales. When did this stop being understood? You got what you made the exchange for, so how is the book blogger in the wrong in this situation???
Isn’t that why you have a blog? To “help” the author???
No, it isn’t. I cant speak for EVERY book blogger out there, but for me, personally, I started my book blog because I love to read and I wanted to join a community of like-minded people. When I started Pure Textuality, I was a one-man crew and I didn’t even know ARC’s were a thing. When publishers started sending me books, I panicked because I am REALLY picky about my reading material. The Big Six (Five) still send me unsolicited ARC’s, but I have it right in my review policy for indies to NOT send me your books without me first responding to your review request. If I am not interested in your book, there is no point in you sending it to me because I am not going to read it. However, if I let you know that I will, I will, and you will get a fair and honest review in exchange. No where in any of my policies does it say “send me your book and I will guarantee a 39% increase in your sales!”
There are certainly book bloggers out there who operate solely to promote authors. Most of them are based on Facebook and they will share the SHIT out If that’s what you’re looking for, go find them, but don’t get your panties in a twist because a book blogger did what they agreed to and nothing more.
All of this being said, there are book bloggers out there who accept review copies and then never post a review. Those folks are in a different category and that’s not what the author’s gripe was in the confession, so please do not start firing that argument off. It has nothing to do this particular confession. That’s a whole other issue all together.
The point to this post is simply to serve as a reminder. A reminder that book bloggers are not your marketing people. You have to hire a publicist for that. A reminder that a free ebook is not “payment” for services. It’s an exchange for a review, nothing more. Book bloggers work their asses off for free to support what we do. Cut them a break and give them the love they deserve!