f0zKg0J4zFLYz-Yq0aednQVqREE Once Upon a Prologue: Discussion Post - #6: Working With Indie Authors
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Discussion Post - #6: Working With Indie Authors

Discussion Post - #6
Working With Indie Authors
And Where the Lines Blur - And Shouldn't

With all the recent drama happening in and around the blogging community, I felt compelled to say SOMETHING.  It's so wild to me, seeing all these events unfolding around us.  I'm not one for drama.  I'm REALLY not one for drama.  I don't like it, and it has no place in my life.  Sometimes it finds me, and then I'll deal with it as it comes, but I don't EVER go out and chase it down.  I haven't stuck my neck out very far with everything in the blogging community, so a lot of what's gone down has passed me by, or I only know bits and pieces through blogging friends; unfortunately, I've known a few who were affected, and my heart goes out to these sweet, awesome ladies.  

I've seen several bloggers who have changed their review policies recently to state that they won't be working with Indie authors any longer.  And I think on the whole, we're all becoming a little more cautious about who we work with, what we accept and don't, and what projects we take on, and that's as sad as it is scary!  

The blogging community is a place for us ALL to come together.  I see that as bloggers AND authors.  

There are some incredibly supportive and enthusiastic authors out there, who love and respect book bloggers, and who consider us a valuable resource.  Then there are the bad apples who are spoiling it for the good ones, which is a real shame.  Here's my thoughts.

  • I won't stop working with Indie authors, UNLESS I am unfortunate enough to have the sort of experience that I know a few others have.  
  • Here's why: I've enjoyed my experience with EVERY self-published author I've worked with since starting my blog.  Now granted, there haven't been a hundred authors lining up to have my review their books.  And some that I have read have blown me away, while others needed improvement, but were still great books.  I have found Indie authors to be incredibly patient and generous people.  Yes, people.  They're human, like you, me, and the next person.  I've been fortunate enough to ONLY witness the good side of working with self-published authors.  
  • Even if they aren't signed to a traditional publishing house, they are STILL AUTHORS.  Their words are still their dream, wrapped up in page numbers and chapters, and put out in the world for others to read.  And as a writer myself, though unpublished, that thought gives me goosebumps.  I've lived with, cried with, agonized for, and cheered for my characters for YEARS and I STILL cannot imagine the sheer terror of waiting for a review, knowing it might be good, and it might be bad.   Long story short: just because they aren't backed by Harper or Houghton Mifflin or Macmillan does not discredit their work or make it any LESS important!  
It amazes me - in a bad way - to see authors behaving poorly, and discrediting their name, bloggers being made to feel as if their opinions don't matter, or feel threatened.  That should NEVER happen.  Likewise, bloggers - not that I personally know OR have seen of this happening - should never go out of their way to bait authors.   I personally have NEVER seen any reviews or posts on ANY of the blogs I visit and support where a blogger is attacking an author.  

Authors and bloggers must work together to form a partnership! 

  • There is a HUGE, VAST different between writing a negative review, and outright slamming an author.   
  •  It is possible to write a negative review and still try to find SOMETHING positive about the book to highlight.  I've never written a review - even of a book I disliked - where I didn't point out AT LEAST ONE THING I enjoyed about the book.
  • It IS possible to write a negative review while still retaining your integrity.  It's VERY possible - I've seen countless bloggers do it, and I've done it myself.   
We must ALL work to keep a sense of community intact! 

  • Bloggers must understand that just like WE have feelings and hopes for our blogs, authors have those same feelings and hopes when it comes to their books. 
  • Authors must understand that  MOST bloggers do not intend to insult the authors personally when they write a less than favorable review.  A lot of bloggers are writers, too, so WE UNDERSTAND.  
  • Both parties involved should always remain professional, even in difficult times.  Remember: what you put online is there FOREVER.  Think before you react: is what you're about to do or say something you can own up to later, or will you be ashamed?  
  • It has to be next to impossible to separate your feelings and be objective, but when authors send their book out into the world, they are NOT promised only favorable, glowing reviews.  Nor are bloggers "owed" free books to review!
  • Reviewing books - by way of ARCs or review requests - is a privilege, NOT A RIGHT.   
This is where y'all come in.   What ways can authors and bloggers work together?  Emails to keep communication open?  Guest posts to get to know one another?  Have you ever have a less than stellar experience with an Indie author?  (If so, no names or book titles, please!)  If so...how did you react?  Or by turn, have you had a really positive experience with an Indie author?

If you'd like to submit a discussion topic, please do so here!


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