April 29, 2013

Book Blogger Confessions: Hot Topics Edition

Book Blogger Confessions is a meme that posts the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, where book bloggers "confess" and vent about blogging-related topics. This meme is hosted by Midnyte Reader and For What It's Worth. So click on the link(s), grab the logo and jump right in! Let's get to know each other a little better :).


April 29 Question: Hot topics!
   1) Amazon buys Goodreads. (Find the announcement here). Do you think this is a good thing for readers – or is Amazon the devil? Will this move effect you? Will you be leaving Goodreads?

I don't plan on leaving GR anytime soon, but honestly, on the other hand, I don't have a clue about the impact this move will have on the site. I'm not even an Amazon member, so I'll let those who are more into things be the judges :).

   2) The death of Google Reader. As Google continues to phase out its less popular products, bloggers were scrambling to find a new reader platform to follow their favorite blogs. What have you switched to for a reader?
The big fear though is the loss of Google Friends Connect. How are you preparing if indeed GFC is discontinued? How many subscriber options are too many to offer your followers? What ones are the most popular on your blog?

The truth? I have never even used Google Reader in the first place. *everyone freezes in shock*
Really, you know, I usually scroll down the stream on the dedicated page of my blog and look for the posts that may interest me there. I've never felt the need of actually using Google Reader. Did I miss something?
As for GFC, I think most of the fuss about it eventually disappearing is unjustificated. Still, I would like to cover any base, and to offer my would-be followers more options. But I can't decide on any of them. So I'm really looking forward to what my fellow bloggers have to say :).

   3) What do we owe authors? I read this interesting post the other day. An author had tweeted that if you get all your books from the library it deprives an author of income, another suggested using this fun little graphic to help readers spread the word about a book they love.
What are your thoughts on this? Do they have a point? Do they go too far in expecting readers to only buy their books at indie bookstores, avoid Amazon or expecting readers to go forth and publicize their book after a purchase?

I do get where authors are coming from, of course. In a world where books, songs and movies are most of the time reduced to a mere bit sequence, and in fact disembodied - since they don't necessarily need to be physical anymore - it doesn't even feel like you're stealing something if you don't buy the offspring of someone's art. Having said so, for what concernes this particular department, libraries have been in existence for centuries; friends have always lent each other books; photocopies have been made at work, when someone you knew had a book you would have liked to read but wasn't keen on actually buying. So basically, what I'm wondering about is, WHY NOW? Why authors have suddenly risen and gone on a crusade right now? Could it be because of the increasing number of book lovers populating the net with their (our) blogs and Goodreads-and-the-like accounts? My guess is, some of those authors thought they'd better ride the wave. But in doing so, they have sometimes become a little demanding, maybe because they expect those who found pleasure in a book to do something in order to repay the pleasure said book gave them. Which is understandable - but since when being a fan has become a job? Since when we are supposed to be instructed about the right ways to promote a book, and even go through a list of requirements? If I'm passionate about a novel and go out of my way to spread the word, fine. If I submit a proposal to an author regarding a book I'd like to push forth, it's my choice. Not my job. This is, actually, the publisher's job. Also, the author didn't write that particular book to keep me entertained. She/he wrote that particular book to satisfy a personal need - and (if possible) to make some money out of it in the process. I was only accidentally involved in such a scheme. I paid for said book and read it. That's where it ends, if I don't make a different decision. Fair, isn't it?
As for libraries - should they even be, I don't know, banned? I think that, if someone really liked a library book, they will end up buying it anyway, because good things are for keeps. Of course, if writers don't care about their books finding a loving home, but just about shoving them down readers' throats, they may expect you to buy a novel of theirs, hate it and throw it in the appropriate trash can. It's still a sold copy, right? What else matters?

So now, my dear fellow bloggers, jump into these rough waters at your own risk! ;D What do you think?

14 comments:

  1. Love your post on this all! Especially about the authors. "...since when being a fan became a job?" That line makes me throw my fist in the air. I see what the authors are griping about, but really, I think they're becoming a bit more demanding. At least some of them are. Some of them are as sweet as pie and I still want to hug them. Great post!

    My Book Blogger Confessions

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    1. I'm picturing you with your fists in the air now LOL. Not that I know how you look like - but you know what I mean ;). Thanks! And I'm sure there are many sweet people in the business, or reasonable ones at least.

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  2. I don't use Google Reader either, but I do like GFC. I love what you said about being a fan is not a job and also: "...author didn't write that particular book to keep me entertained. She/he wrote that particular book to satisfy a personal need - and (if possible) to make some money out of it in the process. I was only accidentally involved in such a scheme. I paid for said book and read it. That's where it ends, if I don't make a different decisionand." Just so, so astute. And yeah, I agree...sometimes I feel that authors just want me to buy their books and push other people to buy them...do they even care that I read them?

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  3. Oh! So agree! Since when has being a fan become a job! I thought they were obligated to entertain us! That is what will spread word of mouth. And yeah, we're not the ones hiring authors to write books. That is their choice.

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one staying out of G Reader. I thought I was a freak...well...just a small one, as a matter of fact, but still ;).

      I hope writers do care about us actually reading their books. I understand it's frustrating not to sell them...or not enough...but let's face it, there are so much more books than money. One has to establish priorities (for the books one really wants to read too).

      Quote: "I thought they were obligated to entertain us!"
      LOL.

      Also, thanks. No one had ever called me "astute" before...you always seem to have the best words in store for me :D.

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  4. claps hands and agrees about fans having to do more work. I like to read books, and I will promote you the best way I know how :)

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    1. Yes, it's our choice and our way...out of passion, and in our spare time. Of course. if I did like a book, I'll do my best to spread the word - but you can't expect me to be your advertising office.

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  5. That's what I was thinking...is it because of this symbiotic relationship we have with publishers/authors/bloggers that it's now an issue? I can't imagine this ever came up before when you just went to the bookstore, went home and read your book.

    I LOVE promoting books and authors but on my time and only if I want to. It's not a job.

    The GFC thing just annoys me. i have no idea where it's going and I'm completely clueless about these things. i do whatever is easiest. lol I see so many options pop up then fade out in popularity so I just don't' know where to go from here.

    I hate subscribing by email myself but I guess I should offer the option and now Bloglovin is a pretty good reader but I don't like the idea of people having to sign up for it and follow. too many freaking options!

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    1. Quote: "I LOVE promoting books and authors but on my time and only if I want to. It's not a job."
      My point exactly :).

      As for GFC, I do whatever is easiest too. I hate it to be forced into doing extra things. Also, like you said, there's the pop-up-and-fade issue. Bloglovin', mmh...sounds like it's being forced down our troaths. Also, Lauren (next commenter) pointed out some issues with Bloglovin' in her BBC post. Anyway, just how many account one must have???

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  6. BAHAHAH! I literally did just freeze in shock! Honestly... it's so much better for you because you didn't have to deal with the empty feeling that settled in when they announced it haha. I agree entirelly with what you said about authors. If I legit LOVE there book I will buy it if i've read it elsewhere first... Ive bought atleast 10 books this year that I read from ARCS simply because I loved them!! You said it best... "since when is being a fan a job". Totally agree!

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    1. Thanks! And since ARCs are more or less different from the finished books, I understand buying the book itself in order to have the "real" content.
      You know, I work in a local radio station, but I always buy (not copy) the CDs I really like and want to keep...same for books.

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  7. I'm not planning on leaving Goodreads either. Unless Amazon does something really stupid, and hoping they don't want to ruin a good thing and will leave it alone. And totally agree with your comment that being a fan shouldn't be a job! Authors need to take a step back and chill! *L*

    Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such...

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  8. Despite the fact that it seems like Amazon is trying to take over the world, they don't have a history of purchasing and dismantling so I'm sure goodreads will be fine so I am definitely staying.

    I completely agree with this "She/he wrote that particular book to satisfy a personal need - and (if possible) to make some money out of it in the process." and I think it applies to most authors. I know they all want to make money but they do it first because that need to write.

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    1. Let's hope the big A doesn't mess with GR (too much?). Though I wouldn't be happy if they acquired my reviews - but, on the other hand, I'm not even a member, so I guess they should make a profile for me before they do LOL.

      Thanks :). Of course, if one does write for a living, it matters to them if their book is a big seller or not. But before there were blogs and sites and social networks, no one was supposed to go out and promote a book for them (well, there were less authors back in the day, I'll admit it - due to the Internet, ebooks and the likes not being in existence yet - and less competition). Maybe it's just that everything is magnified through the web nowadays.

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