Shakespeare knew what he was talking about in Measure for Measure. I wasn't going to get involved in this (boy, is this the falsest statement of the blogging world right now), but I feel like things need to be said. I need to defend myself as a blogger, so that my readers and visitors know that bloggers are getting a really bad rap right now.
First, the reviews.
Apparently, people are being bashed publicly on Goodreads (it has not happened to me, but I think the more famous blogs that have Goodreads pages have been having these problems). We understand as bloggers that an author's reputation is very important. One bad review from an established blogger can affect sales of that author's book. But that doesn't mean that you can bash us on our Goodreads page, or delete our reviews. Our reviews (bad or good) are up there for a reason: to give people our opinions that want to read these books. Our reputation as a blogger is also very important. We want to read these books partially for enjoyment, but also because we want to share our opinions about it with people. It's why we put our reviews online for the entire world to read. I can imagine as an author being disheartened by a bad review, but I can't imagine taking the risk of bashing a reviewer for it. Because you can bet your coveted unpublished manuscript they're never going to read any of your books again AND they'll still put up their review for other people to read, and they will not be nice about it. The other part of our reputation that's apparently hanging by a thread is that people are saying we take money for our reviews. I hate to be dramatic here but: I WOULD NEVER. The idea that people are thinking that we receive compensation for our reviews is absurd and goes against everything I personally stand for. I am not afraid to write a bad review. And I know a lot of bloggers that aren't. We are a book blogging community, and while sometimes we get mad at each other, we support each other. And this is unacceptable.
Here's an article about charging for reviews: http://michelegormanwriter.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/should-bloggers-charge-for-reviews.html
And here's the site about the Goodreads bashing: http://stopthegrbullies.com/
Now, about BEA and ALA:
You know, there's that saying, a few people ruin it for everyone. That's kind of what's happened with these book conventions. Some bloggers are greedy. I heard from a few people at ALA Midwinter that bloggers were being severely looked down upon and were told they shouldn't be there. I was actually unsure about going to ALA Annual in Anaheim because of this, but I didn't want to be intimidated. I wanted to meet with publishers and see what they were really excited about for this coming fall/winter. Yes, I did get a lot of books. There's something about all these people trying to grab books that gives you an adrenaline rush and makes you want to do the same. But when I would pick up a book, I would read the back and decide whether I really wanted it or not. If I didn't I would put it back. But I saw people just grabbing whatever. There was even this older gentleman who grabbed the most girly middle grade and YA books and he barely even glanced at them. So it wasn't a blogger this time that was grabbing what they shouldn't. We're not there to steal from you. Anyone can buy a pass to BEA or ALA. I understand that it's called American Library Association, but bloggers have a lot of say in what people will want to read as well. I have nearly 500 followers. While numbers don't mean a lot to me, that means that almost every single follower will at least skim one of my reviews and think, "I want to read this book now." And getting to read books early builds up the hype of it so that even more people will want to read it. I went to ALA because I wanted the books for two reasons: I want to read them because they sound awesome; I want people to know how awesome (or not awesome) they are. Reading is not just for me anymore.
Is there no more love for book nerds? Because that's all we really are at heart. And just because we're not librarians or physical booksellers, I still feel like we're professional readers. We deserve to be treated with respect too.
Alright, I'm done ranting. Hopefully this'll all blow over. I feel like there's been a lot lately that needs to blow over, but I believe in the blogging community. I love all of you guys, fellow bloggers and followers. You guys make it all worth it.
EDIT: I want to make a distinction in regards to the reviews. If I don't like the book, instead of completely tearing it to shreds with potentially hurtful words, I try giving constructive criticism. I can actually understand authors getting a little pissed off when a reviewer hates a book but never explains how it could have been better, just that they hated everything about it. If you write a review that is just hating on the book, then you should definitely be expecting some backlash, whether that's from the author or other book reviewers/readers.