Guest Posting today is the "E" in A&E Kirk. The fabulicious Eileen Kirk! We love her. Really and truly love and adore her. For our entire lives. She's like a mom to us. Oh, right. That's because she really is our mom!
Well, isn't that lovely. Hmmm. They must want something.
Anyway, hello, good day, and nice to "see" you all!
Since Alyssa and I are now authors as well as bloggers I decided to talk about a recent phenomenon churning through the blogosphere and get your opinion.
Do book bloggers review books? The answer may seem an obvious "Yes," but lately their has been some question. Rachel at Parajunkee, a long time blogging friend, gave me the first heads up on this.
The short version is that bloggers wrote some less than stellar reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. An uproar ensued on the web between some authors, agents, and bloggers. At times it got ugly and personal. (Check the links below for more info.)
So where to start? And let's be clear, the following is my opinion.
Book bloggers have a right to their opinion. Call it a review, critique, judgment, expression, or whatever you like. Does it differ from a professional review? Sure.
Does it make it any less valid? Not when it reflects a reader's honest opinion.
Should authors engage in a battle with those posting negative reviews? Absolutely not.
Bloggers are the consumers. Belittling their opinion/review has no value. An author can't please everyone. Book preferences are just too subjective.
If you're going to put your novel out to the public, put out the best product you can, then be ready for the public, all of the public (that reads and reviews an author's book, anyway), to have their say.
The web has opened up a tremendous way for masses of book lovers to share and connect. It also provides a fantastic tool for authors and publishers to market their books to those masses. But the bad has to be taken with the good. And if a book gets reviews, some will be negative.
On Goodreads, THE HUNGER GAMES has over 5000 two-star reviews, CATCHING FIRE has almost as many, and MOCKINGJAY has nearly 15,000 one- and two-star reviews. One of the biggest sellers ever, a major motion picture, and it's been bashed by thousands of readers.
Do you think Suzanne Collins is tracking those babies? Doubt it. And she certainly isn't responding to any of them. She's too busy writing and picking out a gown for the movie premiere.
Will some opinions hurt authors' feelings? No question. Authors put their heart and soul into their books. But attacking a review or reviewer is unprofessional and reflects poorly on the author. And authors can always take Elana Johnson's advice to not read any of their own reviews.
Should bloggers be "professional"? Yes. And by this I mean focus on content, explain your reasoning in a well thought out manner , and refrain from personal attacks. The bloggers I follow do this extremely well. And make their reviews incredibly entertaining!
Do all bloggers act this way? No. But there are no official rules. I see some reviews that are full of hate and go off on some crazy tangent that has nothing to do with the book. I don't spend time on these reviews. Bloggers are free to write the way they want, and readers can choose who suits their fancy to follow.
I see the book blogging community as a big book book club where I get to hear about books from a great bunch of fellow book-loving maniacs. We have various opinions, we agree, we disagree, but we should always be respectful of each other.
There's no need for throwing stones. And if you encounter someone who is, just grab a good book and head to the high ground. Need directions? That's easy.
Just take the High Road.
Now it's your turn.
- What's your opinion on all the drama?
- Did you even know about it?
- Do book bloggers actually write reviews? And if not, what would you call them?
- What do you think about negative reviews?
- How should authors and agents respond, if at all?
Rachel - Parajunkee: What is a Review? - Where I initially heard about all the hoopla
Amelia - Imagination In Focus: Review vs Reaction
The Guardian: YA Novel Readers Clash with Publishing Establishment
Elana Johnson (Author) - What I Think About Reviews
Maggie Stiefvater - The Only Thing I'm Going To Say About Bloggers in 2012
Kat - Cuddly Buggery: The First Five Days on Goodreads
Goodreads: Controversial Review #1
Amazon: Controversial Review #2 , on Goodreads
Goodreads: Another One-Star Review that caught some heat
Thanks to you all for letting me shoot the breeze today. It's been fun and I can't wait to see what you have to say!
And a huge thanks for all the love and support you have given my kids over the years! This community has been the kind of positive influence that a mother dreams of! I adore you all!
Oh, and about that giveaway...
Every tour stop will be giving away something fun. Today, you can win some key items that relate to Aurora, the Hex Boys and their adventure in DEMONS AT DEADNIGHT.
A Celtic Cross Necklace, handcuffs keychain, and one colorful feather hair clip. The contest is International and ends Feb. 24. Just fill out the form below. The only requirement is your name and email. You can tweet for a extra point.
And the giving doesn't end there!
Want a chance at a Kindle Fire!
To enter you need to know the secret phrase given out one word at a time by each blog tour host. Put the words together in sequential order and you'll eventually have the secret phrase!
Starting March 9 (at the end of the tour) you can enter the complete phrase on the AEKIRK Blog Tour Page and earn BIG entry points! Your Kindle Fire will also include your choice of a DEMONS AT DEADNIGHT Skin. Either from the cover, or a Hex Boy group shot or individual "Team" skin of your favorite Hex Hunk!
Today's Secret Word is:
Exciting right?For all the Hex Boys Individual AB-tacular shots, and a list of all the Tour Stops, go the Blog Tour Page.
But for this week it's:
Jan 30: Natalie @ Mindful Musings - Review
Jan 31: Teens Read and Write - Guest Post
Feb 1: Missie @ The Unread Reader - My Book Boyfriend
Feb 2: Lea @ YA Book Queen - Author Interview
Feb 3: Ariel @ Must Love Books- Review
For seventeen-year-old Aurora Lahey, survival is a lifestyle.
Aurora has the crappiest superpower on the planet. And it’s just unleashed a hit squad from hell. Demons are on the hunt, salivating to carve her carcass into confetti.
The Hex Boys—mysterious, hunky, and notorious for their trails of destruction—have the answers Aurora needs to survive. But their overload of deadly secrets and suspicious motives makes trusting them a potentially fatal move.
The battle to save her family, herself, and stop demonic domination may cost Aurora everything worth living for, and force her to reveal her own dark secrets. But no worries. She needs the Hex Boys to pull this off, and, chances are, teaming up with these guys will get her killed anyway.