Day 13 – A Blogger’s horror story (fiction?)



You did ask for a story.  This is a story.  Wall of text incoming.

Once upon a time there was a blogger.  She was still fairly new and wasn’t sure how to make her name known in the community.  Until now, she’s been doing small stuff, like reviewing novels in Goodreads groups that weren’t remotely ready for publication.  She had big dreams of ARCs and so many author requests that she couldn’t handle the caseload.

One day, she came across a book tour company that would hire inexperienced bloggers like her.  Within a couple days, she’d get countless emails begging her to join the tours.  The covers for these books were lacking, but the blurbs sounded interesting enough.  She agreed to sign on to tour after tour.

She’d do three even four blog review tours a week.  For the most part, the books teetered around the three star mark.  There were a couple that probably deserved two and a half stars (it was close enough not to bother her ethics TOO much), but for the worst books she’d email the book tour company and offer to post a promotional post instead.

One time, she found one of her book tour copies available for free on Amazon.  She downloaded that copy and used the ‘finished’ copy to write her review.  The book tour company was FURIOUS when they read her review.  They had specifically told her to NOT mention formatting errors.  The blogger tried to explain that these formatting errors were still available in the final copy.  Eventually, she caved and deleted that part of her review.  That was her warning, the book tour company said.  Her next mistake would have her removed.

As the blogger gained more experience, she started to despise the work ethics of this blog tour company.  The constant begging, the extended tours because the original hosts wouldn’t slap a three star rating on the crap books, and the negative attitude from the emails for her last minute switches to promo posts or questions in general.  Still naïve to the blogging world, she had taken on too many commitments at once, and even though she did a great job on most of her tour dates, the few that were sub-par were the ones that the book tour company ever responded to.

Many months after she decided to post a promotional post for a book on tour, the blogger decided to give her honest opinion of how craptastic the book was.  She went by her memory of the tour, where most of the other bloggers had decided to do promotional posts instead of reviews.  She didn’t bother to check to see if there was an extended tour to pump out more reviews for the author, who had paid money to get 4 and 5 star reviews.

Well, she posted her one star review and the author decided to follow her back to her blog that night.  He saw that she’d posted something regarding the lack of reviews on the tour.  He exploded.  He demanded that she remove that ‘lie’.  The blogger was humiliated.  She went to the book tour company website and saw that the original 15 review tour had been bumped up to 30 spots.  Shit, she was wrong.  She took down the ‘lie’ and informed the author that she had done so.  She also emailed the book tour company and explained the whole situation.

The next day, the author decided to antagonize her on Goodreads.  He wrote about her on Twitter.  Then, he wrote a post on his blog and said that she deliberately lied and her hatred towards his book was because she wasn’t good enough to publish herself.

The blogger wrote another email to the book tour company.  She asked them how they would like her to handle the situation.  She also asked some of the other bloggers that she’d met over the past year.  What should she do?  Her blogger friends told her to stand up for herself.  The book tour company apologized for the author’s behavior.

The blogger decided to write up a post defending her actions.  She remained as honest as possible.  She admitted her mistake.  She never intended on ‘lying’ about the author.  She’d written over a hundred reviews by this point and this was her first complaint by an author.

Many people came to her defense, including a renown group of trolls.  The author continued to rant about how the blogger had deliberately lied.

The book tour company then emailed the blogger and told her that she should be ashamed of herself.  Apparently, the book tour company didn’t bother to ACTUALLY READ her original post a few days ago that had asked for advice and explained exactly what happened.  Now the book tour company retracted their original support, demanded an immediate apology to the author, and removed her from their list of hosts.

The blogger felt betrayed.  If the book tour company had read her original email to them and asked for her apology on the first day, the blogger would have done so.  But now…the author had slinged her name through so much mud and continued to rant about how worthless of a reviewer and writer that she was.  She tried to withhold her contempt as she told the book tour company how she ‘respected but didn’t agree with their decision’.

However, there was no way she would apologize to the author.  She didn’t deserve to be treated like this by anyone.  And, after the book tour company wrote her that email – if they didn’t fire her, she would have quit.

The author seemed to be enjoying the fifteen minutes of fame and continued posting blog posts about her.  He exposed the fact that she’d been removed as a tour host for her bad behavior.  The blogger had only one option left.  She emailed his publishing company.  It worked.  His publishing company apologized for the author’s behavior.

The next day, it was silent.

The crowds of people looking for drama left her without a second glance.  The author had disappeared entirely.  The blogger did the only thing that she could think of.  She opened a new book and read.

[Disclaimer:  This is a work of fiction.  Any resemblance to real events or people is entirely coincidental…or is it?  Please refer to our fictional blogger as "Cassie" in comments.  We wouldn't want her confused with any other *cough* blogger.  I mean, the scary part about this story is that it could be may have been based on a true story.  Maybe.]

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Day 7 – Top 10 Book Blogger Pet Peeves




I wasn’t quite sure where to go for this one, so here are the top 10 pet peeves in regard to blogging/reviewing.

1.  When I’m sent a PDF review copy from the publisher/author/blog tour.

If you have a kindle, then you understand that PDFs and Kindles are as compatible as dogs and cats.  Sure, there’s always the one odd couple that clicks, but the majority of the time they don’t work well together.  The font size is super tiny and nonadjustable.  The search, notes, and dictionary don’t work in the document.  The formatting is atrocious.  Sometimes, my review copy looks like it has just been attacked by a mob of wingdings.  There’s missing letters, sentences, or even whole paragraphs.  I can’t handle it.  No PDFs…ever.

2.  When WordPress forgets to publish my scheduled post.

I usually procrastinate to the point where this doesn’t happen, but when I try to be proactive, WordPress “forgets” to post my post and I still have to scramble to get the post up in time.

3.  When a giveaway has more hurdles than a high school track.

I like entering giveaways.  I don’t like having to tweet, post a blog comment, AND follow 8 different ways to enter a giveaway.

4.  When my brain refuses to produce a “meaningful” comment.

People like meaningful comments.  These are the comments that give the blog owner that warm, fuzzy feeling and make them say…oh, yeah…someone loves me.  There are times where my brain is right there and has a million different witty things to say.  There’s also times where I’m as uninspired as….yeah, can’t even finish that metaphor, since it ironically requires inspiration.  The best I can come up with is “great review” or “it sounds like something I would like” or the most uninspiring comment ever “+1″.

5.  When people friend me on Goodreads, Google +, Linkin, or Twitter just to send me a review copy of their book.

I am more than a review service.  I am a person.  Socialize with me before you sucker punch me with a review request.

6.  When there is no unhelpful button on Goodreads reviews.

Why is it that on many popular books that the top review is either a fangirl or a troll?  Neither of which have actually reviewed the book and provide any meaningful advice on whether to purchase or not purchase the book.  I want the option to promote the reviews I like and mark down the reviews I don’t — just like on Amazon.

7.  When people quote mistakes on an ARC.

Guys, there is a disclaimer in the ARC that specifically tells you to check with the final product before quoting from an ARC.  Things are fixed.  Things are changed.  I saw this one review where this person gave a one star review because there was ONE sentence that wasn’t grammatically correct in an ARC.  OMG.  Not only that, but 85 freaking people agreed that this was a huge deal and that it was a way better review than the other hundred or so that reviewed the whole book and not one sentence.

8.  When authors have blatantly obvious grammatical or spelling errors in their review request.

It will make me delete your email.  Please don’t ever say “my English isn’t good”.  No, not what I want to hear when I’m trying to decide whether to spend 4-8 hours reading your book.

9.  When there are more gifs than words in a review.

I like gifs, but I need context to understand exactly what and why you choose to use a gif.  Why did you choose a facepalm or a dancing fat man?  What does it really mean?  I over think things too easily.  Just tell me.  Leave the showing to the author and the book.

10.  When bloggers I love have blogs that I hate.

There are some people who I think are absolutely amazing.  I just can’t ever find anything worth commenting on when I visit their blog.  It’s either in genres I don’t read or it’s all promotional bullshit.  It kills me that I can’t reciprocate the love I feel for them via their blog…but I can’t.

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What I Expected vs What I Got — Goodreads

As much as I love Goodreads, it falls short on what I hoped it would be when I first discovered it.

Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Our mission is to help people find and share books they love.  (source)

From this statement, I would assume that the focus of the site would be towards the consumer.  There’s two parts to Goodreads’ mission:

a) help readers find books they love

b) help readers share books they love

And here arises the difference between…

What I Expected vs What I Got


1)  Book Recommendations


What I expected:  I want my friends to know the type of books that I love and find that hidden gem that I’ll fall in love with.

What I got:  Recommendations of books in genres I never read or books that are clearly in need of a red pen.  These books are either written by the “friend” who send me the recommendation or suspiciously seem to be written by a close friend of that “friend”.


2) Messages

What I expected:  When I get a message from someone on goodreads, I’d like it to be personalized.  I’d like for it to be about books or something casual that relates to books.

What I got:  It’s a tie between a random review request and contest spam.

3) Groups

What I expected:  I want to discuss books, genres, and related content with other people.

What I got:  The groups seem to be flooded with authors begging for reviews and bloggers begging for people to visit their blogs.

4) Reviews


What I expected:  Well thought-out reviews that focus on the pros and cons of the book.

What I got:  Gifs.  Lots and lots of animated gifs.

5)  Quizzes

What I expected:  Quizzes that test my literary knowledge of books I have read.

What I got:  Quizzes from books I have either never heard of or never EVER wanted to read.


What I expected:  A site to discuss book and book related things.

What I got: A site with members focused on self-promotion.

What are your thoughts about Goodreads?

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There is no war between bloggers and authors

Today, I’m going to rant about generalizations and I’m going to use generalizations to do it.  So, there!  If you’re not in the mood for ranting, kindly click the x at the top right of your screen.

There’s a hot topic in the book blogging world that irks me as much as the sound of a female cat in heat.   (This sound is more persuasive of a reason to have a cat spayed than the sight of a half dozen kittens destroying your house.)  Anyway, I’m talking about the WAR BETWEEN BLOGGERS AND AUTHORS.  It’s rumored to be rampant on Goodreads, but really it’s just about everywhere in cyberspace where readers and authors connect.

It is my opinion that the majority of the arguments stem from unneeded generalizations.  The problem with generalizations is that they lead to more generalizations.

If I get attacked by one author and blame authors in general, then my statement offends authors that the offense was not directed at.  If one of these authors goes off on bloggers in general being rude and attacking authors, that author’s statement will offend all bloggers.  Then the original blogger, whose generalization blamed all authors, now has additional reason to blame authors.  And the circle continues.

My point is that both bloggers and authors need to not generalize their accusations.  Name specific people so you only offend the people you WANT to offend.

If you don’t have the balls to say a specific person’s name, then keep your ranting off the internet.

What you say:

Some authors are angry bitches.

Who is offended:

Anyone who has ever written a book, considered written a book, or has a friend that has written a book.

What you should say:

Author Jane Poopypants is an angry bitch.

Who is offended:

Author Jane Poopypants.

Newsflash!  There isn’t a war.  Most of the authors and bloggers are not involved in the drama.  Many of us go months or even years blogging without drama.  And vice versa with authors writing and publishing without issues from their readers.

It reminds me of my husband getting all paranoid about the outbreak of killer albino spiders in Florida’s public toilets.  First, we don’t live in Florida.  Second, just because someone says on Facebook that there are killer albino spiders in Florida, doesn’t mean there are.  He tried convincing me about the Giant Killer Wasps in Asia last week.  There was even a news broadcast.  /facepalm.

So, just because there is an article on Huffington Post, Salon, or one of your friends says that some author went psycho on her, does not mean that there is a full-fledge war between bloggers and authors.  It’s the generalization that makes the problem seem way more widespread than it is.

There is no war between bloggers and authors.  

It is X, Y, and Z Bloggers vs A, B, C Authors.

I love all authors, except one.  You can find out why I don’t like him HERE.  All other authors have not given me one damn reason to dislike them.

My name is Lizzy and I’m not part of the author vs blogger battle.  I wish that other bloggers and authors would not use my negative incident with the author as fuel for this battle either.  There’s a chance that this particular author has had otherwise fantastic relationships with other bloggers and readers.

**My reluctance to name the author is only because I don’t want Google to think that this is a negative article about this particular author.  You can find out the author’s name and everyone that transpired between us by clicking on this link.**

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F&F 11: Blogging Tip, Don’t get too attached


Feature and Follow #11

This meme is brought to you by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  Congrats to the featured blogs for this week Thoughts and Pens and No Bent Spines.

For this meme, you can follow me however you’d like.  Whatever makes you come back a second time!  Leave a comment and I’ll be sure to follow you back.

Share something you’ve learned about book blogging or just blogging in general in the last month.

Don’t get too attached.

  • to the authors whose books you review
  • to the reviews you write
  • to social media and blogging communities
  • to your blog
  • to the drama on Goodreads/Amazon

To the authors whose books your review:  The more friendly you are with authors, the harder it will be to remain non-bias in your reviews.  Are you really saying that the book was the best thing since Harry Potter or do you just not want to hurt that nice author’s feelings?  Don’t jeopardize your integrity because you’re afraid of feelings getting hurt.  If you think you’re too close to an author to write a review of a book objectively, then don’t do it.  If you read a book by an author you like, but you don’t like it, there are ONLY two good options.  1) Don’t write the review.  2)  Write the damn one-star review.

There are times where I read a book that someone else recommends and I’m like “WTF kind of medication was she on when reading this?  IS THIS EVEN ENGLISH?”  Firstly, if there are grammar issues…there’s no way you can rate the book 5 stars.  I don’t care if it’s your sister.  If people can’t trust your reviews to be accurate, then no one will want to read your reviews.

To the reviews you write:  There will come times where people will think your opinion is crap.  It may be the author.  It might be other reviewers.  It might be some random hobo who just happened to be browsing Amazon.  Your review will be criticised and dissected.  You could potentially look and/or feel like an idiot when you read the comments on your review.  The best thing for you to do is DISTANCE yourself from responding until you can answer without being emotionally estranged.

  1. Figure out if there are errors in your review or if some moron is trolling you.
  2. If you’re not wrong, find evidence in the book to support your review.
  3. If you’re wrong, fix it!  

If you approach the situation logically and not emotionally, then you will come off as the better person.  Crying on twitter or accusing the other person of harassment only makes you look like you’re attention-seeking and looking for drama.  Let SOMEONE ELSE point out the obvious.

To the events unfolding on social media:  Don’t try to answer every tweet or like every Facebook status that pops up in your feed.  It’s okay to have a life outside of the internet.  I used to always feel guilty that I wasn’t participating enough in the community.  But, it’s okay to miss out on #authorevents on Twitter.  It’s okay to not respond to that email within five minutes.  It’s okay if you don’t retweet every single post on Tribbr.  It’s okay to have a life outside of blogging.

To your blog:  You have my permission to not post every day.  You know what?  How about tomorrow we both take the day off from blogging and go yard-sailing.  We can go hunt for some bargain books and bookshelves.  Sound good?  Don’t worry, there is no blogging police that will email publishers and say, “Don’t give so-and-so this ARC because she didn’t post on last Thursday.  There were exactly 26 hours between posts.”

To the drama on Goodreads and Amazon:  There is a war between authors/reviewers.  And you know what?  I don’t give a flying fuck.  It’s a handful of people on both sides who can’t separate the internet from real life.  It doesn’t really matter if someone did call you a wet diaper on Goodreads.  If they do it to your face, well, then I have a fresh, wet, stinky diaper you can slug them with.


So, why is it so important not to get too attached?

Because the reason YOU started a book review blog was because you love BOOKS.  Don’t let the hobby ruin your passion for books.

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