I know that blogging is a activity that many think is easy peasy, not a lot of work and couldn’t possibly be very frustrating. And while most of that is true, at times there are some things that drive us nuts.
Today Melissa, of Chick Lit Central, and I go through some of the things that often times drive us crazy or have us questioning even ourselves. Read about our book blogging irritations and our responses to them, below.
When we’re told that certain authors are not available to do interviews and then see other bloggers posting interviews with them.
This really has happened and I won’t name who was involved either. Even if I adore the author (or even the blogger featuring them), it gets under my skin. It’s not like these authors don’t know who I am or how much my blog has supported them.
I work with authors as an author assist and at times I’ve had an author tell me ‘yeah I’ll participate in anything’ so I line up a bunch of guest posts and author q&a’s and then the author decides they’re too busy. UH… that doesn’t make the author look bad, that makes me look bad.
I know authors are busy (I just finished writing my first book and I put this post off for a month… sorry Melissa!) but I can’t stress how important it is to take the opportunities sent to you to promote yourself. You never know who might be reading and what they can do for your sales. MOST bloggers will offer promo spots of guest posts and author q&a’s even if they can’t review your book and you’ll get more yes’s than no’s if you volunteer to do this. So let them know when you pitch them that if they can’t review you’d be up for a author participation post.
Not having a specific list of publication dates available each month.
It’s a pain to try to figure out certain pub dates and then I end up missing some anyway.
I’ve gotten to the point where I just share about the pub days that I was informed about. I don’t have the time to go looking up pub dates of all the books out there. And I’m learning about more and more books every day. I keep track of pub dates on my calendar as soon as I am aware of them, but I still miss some. Sometimes the dates change and that throws me off, as well.
I’ve actually tried to do these posts and noticed it takes me hours upon hours to search for upcoming releases and it’s just not worth my time. I’d love to support each of the new releases within my genres but no one is telling me when they’re coming out so I’ve given up on this.
When other bloggers get review copies and I haven’t even heard from the publisher or author about the book.
My blog has been around long enough and i have been connected with a lot of publishers, so i don’t get why this happens. Sometimes the people who get advanced copies don’t even have blogs or don’t actively blog on the ones they have.
The other thing I’ve noticed is that most publishers are expecting bloggers to have e-readers. I do, but some of my reviewers don’t. NetGalley works for me, but it doesn’t work for some of my reviewers who have e-readers.
I see so many bloggers getting five print books from publishers/authors and publicists a week, when I rarely even get one print book a month… How do they do it? Am I not established enough? Am I a sucky review writer? (LOL) All the doubt creeps into my head.
I love my ereader and I use it for 75% of the reading I do. However, I have severe optical migraines and being in front of a screen is what brings them on. I prefer physical copies and it’s pretty rare when I tell someone this issue and I actually recieve a physical copy. That’s fine, I understand but it’s gonna take longer to review your book.
I’m going to update part of my response above here because I wrote that a month ago… and things have changed. Why? I have no idea. But in the recent month I think I’ve received 10 books I didn’t request from publishers. One publisher has actually sent me 3 of the same book (amazing book, just why 3?) so I have some to giveaway. But most of the books I’ve gotten are books that aren’t in my genre.
Having to be positive even if you don’t like a book.
This is definitely a curse when it comes to being a book blogger. We form connections with authors and end up reading and reviewing their books. However, I’ve come across books that I’m lukewarm on and feel like I have to put a positive spin on them anyway. Sometimes I just don’t even bother and inform the author or publisher that we’ll feature in a different way. Even then, I just tell them it’s not my (or my reviewer’s) “cup of tea.” I feel like I have more breathing room on a book I got from the library, where I may not have a connection with the author at all.
Ah yes… definitely the blogger curse. I can’t say I love every book I’ve read or even reviewed. If you’ve never noticed I tend to have more of a bitchy side than my sweet friend Melissa, lol. I think writing a negative review in my own ‘bitchy/snarky’ style could actually be great press in the idea that no press is bad press. But I try to keep it classier than that and I make myself point out the things I did love and I keep my ‘what I didn’t love’ section short and sweet while not ruining a relationship with an author I might love.
Spam on comments and in e-mails.
I get so many unwanted e-mails clogging up my inbox. Even when I unsubscribe whenever possible, somehow I’m never fully removed from any given list. It’s like the whack-a-mole game….you unsubscribe from one unwanted e-mail site and another one comes up to take its place. Don’t even get me started on people who want me to advertise for stuff that has nothing to do with my blog. And better yet…the comments. One of my review posts always gets the same comment about applying for a loan. Sometimes another loan shark will join them. I end up sending the comments to one of my reviewers and we joke about them.
I do get a lot of spam on comments but a filter grabs most of it. However… I get a lot of stuff from PR people that I know I’ve never sent my info to and I’d say 100% of it is stuff I’d never EVER read or promote. How are they getting my info and requesting me? Obviously my email is online but do they think this is great promotional practice? I’d hate to tell an author I requested 3000 bloggers, basically anyone with an email and since none of them read the genre of your book I didn’t get any bites. That’s a terrible marketing ploy.
When you review a book, which takes sometimes 3-8 hours of your time at minimum and you don’t even get as much as a “Thank You” from an author.
Most authors are thankful for reviews, but I’m extra impressed when a well-known and busy author likes my tweet about their review. However, if an author isn’t nice about my review (or one from a reviewer at my blog), I’m less likely to help promote their books in the future.
I’ve had this happen… quite a lot. It’s discouraging and it’s actually kind of pushed along a reading slump at times. Yes, I love to read but… it takes up a lot of my time and when I don’t get a response, a thank you, a retweet, nothing… I’m not going to review for you again that’s for sure.
When you send an interview to an author and get back one-sentence answers… that doesn’t make for much of an interview.
I buffer up the post with the book synopsis, blurbs from other authors, pictures, etc. It might help to reply to their answer, making it seem conversational.
I butter up all my posts with book info, author info etc. I do like Melissa’s idea on replying to the answer as if in a conversation (I might steal that). However… if you feel like my questions aren’t great enough to get more than a one sentence answer, let me know! lol
Constant “Have you read my book yet?” “Am I still on your list?” and “follow-up” e-mails.
Those are the authors I’m less likely to review for. I put on my review policy page that timely reviews are not guaranteed.
I don’t guarantee a review just because I’ve accepted your book. Maybe your 200 word blurb made it sound amazing but after chapter 3… not so much. Not every book is for everyone. If you see a review down the road, halle-freaking-lujah. If not, I didn’t want to post something and hurt your feelings and I’ve noticed sending some authors the ‘I didn’t love it’ explanaton email causes me more grief than it’s worth. If you don’t get a review in a few months, move on.
I recently got a request that was directed to the person who did the logo design for our blog and it was about parenting resources! That went into my trash folder before I even read the entire message. It amuses me even more when people get mad when we turn them down, even though their book is totally not a fit.
Melissa and I actually send these requests to each other with the title of WTF? And we laugh and laugh.
I’m gonna say this, and it’s probably only the 1,134th time I have… one paragraph of romance or a few funny romantic jokes DOES NOT MAKE YOUR BOOK A ROM COM. For the love of the God people… if it’s a sci-fi romance opera, it won’t fit into chick lit or romantic comedy. It is what it is… be proud of what you wrote and stop begging the wrong people for reviews. *megaphone drop*
Seeing book tours that fit into my genres FULL of blogs just like mine and yet I never heard of the tour at all…
I think it depends on who is running the tour. I only work with a couple of blog tour companies, including yours. It’s a lot of work to have your blog participate in millions of tours.
Sometimes I wonder if the authors & publishers are choosing the people on tour specifically and they have go to people. I’m obviously not on their list. I wish I was. I try to remember my blog is only about a year and a half old so many people don’t know about me. And thank you Melissa for always doing my tours! You’re awesome!
We’d love to hear the issues you as a Book Blogger have in the comments below!
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