Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

These are my thoughts on various trends that have me rolling my eyes, raising my eyebrows and in general wondering about the state of book blogging. I’ve discussed readathonsgiveawaysblog hopsrulesreasons to start bloggingfollowerscommentsoverdoing guest bloggingreviewing, and writing expertise.

What is it with bloggers? It seems we will take any little thing and blow it up into ridiculous proportions. Anyone remember Franzengate? How about the FTC mandate? What about a beloved blogger who dared compare U.S. bloggers with British bloggers? The furor over the BBAW awards? These are all memorable moments in the blogging world, as they quickly became scandals of epic proportions.

On the one hand, one can never fault book bloggers for being passionate. We love our books, authors, and publishers. We will defend them until we take our last breath. This passion, however, is a double-edged sword, as there is the distinct tendency to go a wee bit overboard when it comes to rallying a defense.

This passion can be a very good thing. Laurie Halse Anderson’s response to her novel, Speak, being banned because someone considered the rape scenes pornographic, with the subsequent outcry by bloggers and publishers alike, was an amazing and worthwhile event. Banned Book Week is always another phenomenal rallying point. Book bloggers use their voices to speak their minds and defend worthwhile causes every day.

My issue is when bloggers try to make something out of nothing. Last week’s debacle over William Morrow’s policy change for bloggers was a great example of this. All the publicists are trying to do is drive down costs and ensure that everyone receives the books that they want to receive. Also, they want to ensure that the money they are spending is being used to maximum effect by suggesting a time frame for bloggers to finish the reviews. Yet the furor this announcement caused was absolutely ridiculous. As someone else stated, if bloggers can have review policies and limit what books one will receive, why can’t publishers not have a similar policy? More importantly, why was this even an issue for bloggers? Publishers are not here to give us unlimited free review copies. Those review copies we receive for free cost a lot of money to print and to send. If publishers are not seeing reviews for these novels in a timely fashion, i.e. when they will have the most impact on book sales, then sending out these review copies is not helping them recoup those costs. It’s simple business.

The harsh reality is that book bloggers will quickly lose their credence and their power should they start creating a scandal over every single issue. If the furor over review copy policies implemented by publishers continues, then publishers will no longer want to work with bloggers but spend their money sending copies to those who appreciate them. If book bloggers continue to try to make scandals out of nothing, or at least fail to discuss certain hot topics with cooler heads, then our voices, which we prize so dearly, will quickly be ignored. I, for one, do not want to see this happen.

So, my fellow bloggers, let’s let cooler heads prevail. Not everything has to be scandalous. Not everything is a personal attack against bloggers. Keep your heads and keep your voices. It is the only we will continue to make our mark in the world.

It’s your turn. How do you feel about the fact that we seem to see a scandal a week in the blogger world? Is it justified or too much?


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