Hi my darlings!
I have this small - or not so small - thing I must get out of my system. And I wonder what those of you who blog about books (or any other product, really) have to say about it.
Before I start my
rant exposition, please keep in mind that I'm still rather new to the whole blogging thing (despite my two years and a half of posting), and I'm only doing now what the vast majority of you have probably done a thousand times over in a far shorter span of time - that is, requesting books or interacting with publishers. So, I suppose some of my reactions might sound naive. Anyway, please bear with me :).
|Angry. Frustrated. Angry. Frustrated. Angry. Frustrated. You get the picture.|
Premise: I run a very small blog, compared to many others I've seen around. And even when I try and ask for a review copy, I state it very clearly that I don't expect a physical copy, but a PDF at most (besides, I'm aware that no one would ever send a physical copy all the way to Italy). Having said so, I don't really expect publishers to send me anything - though I had the occasional ARC or review copy mailed from indie authors or very small presses. BUT. I recently asked for a review copy of a book that shall remain unnamed, from one of those (self-proclaimed) small presses, and the publishers replied with an email that, in their eyes, was surely meant to be kind - except it contained the following statement:
"Bloggers and their sites associated with professional media sources or libraries will receive first priority."
Pardon my French, but the first words that formed in my head upon reading this were, WTF?!?! WHOM should I be associated with, I don't really understand. But the main thing I don't friggin' understand is - WHY?
This attitude takes away any value from the work we "mere" bloggers do every single day. We're not deemed worthy. Of course, there are different degrees of "professional" even among those who blog for a hobby. Some reviews are, let’s admit it, more of an incoherent fangirling or rant than actual reviews. I can see why some publishers might not be interested in them. But what about all the rest?
I think most of us are very down to earth and set reasonable expectations when it comes to receiving books, regardless of our age and potentially fangirling attitude. Most of us work hard on our reviews, without being compensated in any way - except with the occasional review copy - just for the sake of it. Most of us are pretty talented writers, better than some supposed professionals are - and, lo and behold, we're even doing it without the help of a proof reader. But all this counts for nothing in the eyes of some folks, because we're not "associated" with more (supposedly) reliable - or simply bureaucratic - establishments.
Most of all, we are FREE. (Or we should be. Of course, when you're sent a book directly from the author, or are accepted for a blog tour, you get to compromise just a tiny bit...but this will be material for a future
rant discussion post). This guarantees our honesty when it comes to review a book. I suppose this is the real reason why someone wants to put us under guardianship like minors who lost their parents. Thank you, geniuses - we're all grown up. Teen or adults, we don't need your crutch. You know what - we're going to buy our own books and speak our own friggin' mind. Good luck with your "professional media sources".
Also, my darling publishers...you don't support us, we don't support you (as in, buy your books). It's so simple, really. Sorry for your authors, but seriously.
What do you think? Has this happened to you too? Can you take a guess at what those "professional media sources" are supposed to be? Do you know of any blogger who's working with them? And at the end of the day - do you think we bloggers are getting the respect we deserve?
Note: for all the images thanks to Giphy!