I was recently made aware of a post interestingly titled 'Why Book Reviewers Are Doing It Wrong' - strong words from a blog named WiseInk, who, from what I can see, have never actually written a book review or own a book blog. This was under a gigantic picture of grumpy cat, presumably summing up the author's feelings about us nasty book bloggers.
You should read the post. It's quite interesting.
"What’s the difference between a self-published author and traditionally published author making their way in the writing world? Online—nothing."
Ha. I wish and wish that indie books were exactly the same but honestly, it's not. Traditionally published books benefit from an editor, who tightens the stories up and makes them much more readable. I've read a lot of indie, and most of the ones that have not paid for editing, they do not read well at all and are full of grammatical errors. Traditionally published books also benefit from a lot of money which means much nicer covers. I don't really want to see your cartoon dragon drawing cover on my blog, I'm sorry.
"The result: book reviewers are ignoring indie authors when they decide which books they decide to publicly review. Review policies on countless book review blogs often cite—on top in bold, conspicuous letters—“we do not accept self-published books.”
Yes, and for good reason. Go and look at my followers. It's not so many, is it, compared the bigger bloggers? I'm in the UK too and I think I'm a fairly obscure, unknown blogger. So I wouldn't receive that many indie requests right? I could consider them? Try one request a day. That's 7 books a week. 30 odd a month. I got swamped, and trying to work out which of these thirty books I could accept and squeeze in with the other books I actually wanted to read was just nightmare inducing. I ended up not accepting at all an only recently allowed some self pubs to contact me.
"Herein lines a golden opportunity for review bloggers: they have a chance to create hype supporting the indie author gems and track their influence in a way they wouldn’t be able to do for big traditional releases."
Hands up those bloggers who have reviewed an indie book and had 1 million+ views and created so much hype. Now raise your hands if you've reviewed an indie book and because the readers don't recognise it, or simply don't like the cover, it has less views than a traditionally published book? Raising my hand here. There seems to be a misconception that if we review a book it automatically gets tons of views and sales. We really don't hold THAT much power.
"By writing off self-published books, reviewers are obviously hurting indie authors. But more critically—bloggers are diminishing their own power... By bloggers saying “no” to self-published books in an effort to decrease their submission piles, they are unfairly and unintentionally maintaining the stigma that traditionally published books are of higher quality and will garner more traffic to their sites."
We may hurt indie authors but.. I'm going to go ahead and be the bad guy here. So. What. Why should I, or any other blogger, feel like they should review indie books? How are we 'diminishing our power'? I may be the only one but I didn't open a book blog to go on some crazy power trip, I just like reading books.
"We think that review bloggers are only hurting their own business by turning down possible gems from indie authors."
Who is this we? We the people? We a couple of people in a shed? When did book reviewing become a business? Why do you care so much about what we all are reading? Why am I asking so many questions?
But most importantly, what's in it for us?