And here I am, doing what I really tried to avoid for the past couple of weeks. Taking side, or rather not taking side but merely expressing my opinion considering the latest drama in the YA blogosphere. You may all have seen the latest drama evolving around writers and reviewers. The incidents are just that many... In the rare occasion you haven't, just stop reading this post cause like others have said, it's best to stay ignorant. I know I would have wanted to stay ignorant and just enjoy reading my books without knowing anything about how their authors behave or respond to things. Cause in the end of day, for me, it doesn't matter who the author is, what's his/her background or any personal information regarding him/her. What I care about is what he/she writes about and how he/she can deliver their stories. As a reader, all I want is just to enjoy their work. And as a reader, I don't really want to refrain myself from reading books just because I was put off by their writers' behavior. But maybe that's just me, though I seriously doubt it.
Having said that, the whole issue bloggers vs authors lately has bothered me a lot, and in many levels. I have some really lengthy discussions with friends about it. I won't pick a side and say who is right or wrong. For me, there's no right or wrong in this case. Everyone has the right of speaking freely and expressing their opinions. That simple thing called Freedom of Speech, you know? Everyone seems to be forgetting about it lately... So being right or wrong, isn't the case for me here. Whether what you say or write have an impact on you is a whole other thing. It's only natural that your personal opinions and the way you express them reflect your personality and have an impact on your work. Whether you are a reviewer or an author. Whether you like it or not. But everyone has the right to speak freely and be ready to support their expressed opinions. That's how simple are things for me.
Now, I won't even touch the subject of whether it is right or wrong for authors to reply to negative comments and reviews. I won't touch the subject of whether they are entitled to do so when a reviewer is plain mean towards them and their work. I'm not writing this post to judge anyone.
I have read mean reviews about books and believe me that didn't make me want to read a book any less. Believe it or not, I can make up my mind on my own and judge whether a plain mean review is objective or not. I can decide for myself whether I want to read something or not. Shocking right? So, for a writer to respond to a mean review is plainly unnecessary for me, since I don't need anyone to defend their work for me to decide whether I will buy their book or not. And note the word I'm using here: unnecessary. That doesn't mean they can't do it.
Anyway, the reason I decided to write this post isn't to state whether I believe reviewers or authors are right. As I said, there's no right and wrong here, only a matter of Freedom. To which obviously are entitled each and everyone of us, whether we are reviewers or writers.
The reason I'm writing this now is that since this uproar has began, many things have been said. And some of them, just took me over the edge. It's not that suddenly, I don't think that people have the right to say whatever they want. They do. And I'm glad they do. It's just that seeing some of the authors I respect and admire saying how little they regard bloggers and their work saddened me a lot. I certainly don't fancy myself a professional blogger, or that what I write in my reviews is always phrased correctly and in a professional manner and certainly I won't ever aspire for authors or publishers to take my opinion into consideration. But there are some bloggers out there whose work is plainly fantastic. Whose reviews are so well written and their opinions well justified, providing arguments and not just saying "I liked it" or "I didn't like it". And actually reading that authors don't give a damn about what they're saying or immediately assuming that their work is unprofessional just because they are bloggers and not well paid reviewers in various sites just frustrated me to no end... You can't judge someone without firstly read their work. That's being called prejudice in my book...
Everyone is entitled to have an opinion and express it. And I have the right to feel bad for things I read, disagree with them and express my opinion in return. And honestly, all this drama and all those attacks towards bloggers are unjustified according to my opinion always.
I remember that I decided to join the blogging community just because I love books and I love reading. I remember that I went into great pain to build this blog. I was ignorant of anything as far as blogging and building a blog concerns. I remember staying late at night to create a place where I could state my love for books and I remember dreaming of HTML codes for many nights... And I'm guessing most bloggers remember the exact same things. We don't get paid, most of us don't even receive free books for reviews that could maybe substitute payment. But either we have some profit out of our blog or not,in any form, all or the majority of us started blogging to share our love for books and our biggest payment is every new recommendation of a good book we get. It's that simple.
Completely disregarding a whole community of people who spend lots and lots of money to purchase your work and then take the time to read, review and promote it is - for lack of a better word - ungrateful. That's how I see things. And it really pains me to see how little, people I admire, think of me and my fellow blogger friends. The same people I might add that retweet our good reviews, accept to be interviewed by us and in the end of day, it's to us that they send their arcs to be reviewed. So forgive me, but I don't fully understand how all this thing works. It totally eludes me how on the one hand bloggers are unprofessional and on the other they are used for some much needed promotion.
Anyway, this post is really long as it is, and I have to end my ramblings anytime soon. I understand that some of you will agree with me while others will disagree. Just keep in mind that this is just the way I see things and I solely express my personal opinions. I'm not judging anyone about what they think, but their thoughts pain me nevertheless.
I didn't want to enter this crazy drama, but I just couldn't. I was offended by some things that were said, not just personally - cause like I said, either way I don't fancy myself a professional blogger or reviewer - but I felt offended as part of the book blogging community in general. And as a side note, I have to add that not all authors regard us as next to nothing. There are authors whose opinion was expressed in such a way that I can't help but admire, whether I agree with them or not. There are authors who I came to admire as personalities before I even read their work. And thankfully, the majority of authors falls into the latter category.
So thank you dear authors for creating worlds I dream and for keeping my love alive for books!