Tag: authors

Catfishing, Negative Reviews and Fear of Blogging

Posted November 6, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 29 Comments

There have been a few news stories about authors behaving badly; that is not to say that some bloggers are probably doing the same. What I am referring to is the article about catfishing and dog poo in the mailbox. This has lead to some bloggers being involved in a review blackout and others too scared to blog at all. It is a sad day when a small group of people ruin it for the rest of us. I am not standing on the side of the bloggers or the author; these articles are one sided and until I have both sides I cannot justify picking a side.

I am a book blogger and therefore I am more likely to side with the bloggers. We do not owe an author anything; we are first and foremost readers and we are allowed to love or hate a book. As bloggers we are just passionate readers that love books so much that we wish to share it. For the most part we review books, some of will offer literary criticism but for the mostly it is just a personal opinion.

My biggest concern is that people are scared to blog and share their passion because of fear. Writing is a passion and I get that authors can get overly protective of their work but by doing this they are trying to squash someone else’s passion. If I was to ever to write a book, I don’t think I would ever want to read the reviews; book tastes vary and not everyone is going to like it.

I have even wondered if my reviews are going to set an author off. I have had some negative reviews (see The Steadfast Reader’s great post on The Necessary Evil of Negative Reviews) and I am not afraid to express my opinion but I am not going to censor myself. For one thing, my opinion is not the typical norm, I’m a small fish in the blogging world and finally my average rating on Goodreads is 3.5. So that means I love most of the books I read and it isn’t too often that I have to write a negative review.

What it all comes down to acceptance of others people’s opinions. I am a big believer of negative reviews, it allows our readers to know what we like and don’t like. As a blogger we don’t owe anything to authors; our readers expect honesty. However I want to remind book bloggers to be respectful and constructive. I would love to know what others think about the current articles going around.

Supporting Your Favourite Authors

Posted May 13, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 0 Comments

How do you support your favourite authors? I just listened to a great podcast of The Readers (my favourite bookish podcast, so check it out) about supporting authors and I thought I would add my thoughts as well. Sure, a lot of authors only want reviews and being a book blogger I get a lot of requests to read books and review them when really my blog is just a way to document my reading journey and talk about my favourite topic, books. I have a review policy which basically says, I’m happy to accept books but there is no guarantee that I’ll read them. If I do read a book, I will write something about it as it is part of documenting my journey but I do try to be constructive and say why the book didn’t work for me but I never go out of my way to be mean. Book reviews are a great way to share thoughts of a book and help support the author but there are so many other ways to do so now.

In a world of social media you can like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter or if you are a fan of tumbleweeds you can try Google+ (most of my favourite authors are no longer living, so if I follow them that would be a little weird). I’ve had mixed experiences with authors on Twitter; some will just retweet every nice thing said about their book (I know one that will retweet everything, even the bad stuff) and sure that might be good in a way but these authors are not worth following. I follow some great authors that interact with their follows and it can be a great experience (sometimes if you end up not liking the book, they suddenly unfollow you). I had an interesting experience with an author who contacted me to thank me for reading and reviewing his book even though I didn’t like it and while I felt a little bad for not liking it after the thank you I now have more respect for this author for going out of his way to interact with his readers.

There are also book signings and bookish events, you can show your support for an author by going and hear them read or talk about their book. This is a good way to meet the author and get a book signed. I think you learn so much about an author by actually meeting them and see how they interact with the readers and they are also a lot of fun. I remember going to see an author and realised I was wearing a shirt that said “I’d rather be reading Dostoevsky” and this particular author ended up signing my copy of the book with an apology for being neither Russian or dead, which was really amusing and makes that book that much more special (even though I wasn’t a huge fan of it).

But when it comes down to it, the best way to support an author is just reading their books. Not necessarily buying their book, even going to the library (your local library needs support too) is a way to support the author (I believe they still getting royalties from library books). It’s not always about the royalties, sharing their creativity is important as well and in some cases what the authors value the most. If you love the book maybe go buy the book too, just to give them that extra support but remember to support your local indie bookstore whenever possible; they don’t always have the book you are looking for but if you don’t support them they may not be there for long.

So when it comes down to it, I personally feel the best way to support an author is to just read their books and maybe buy them (but never pirate them). A review helps to promote their book as well, but that really comes down to personal preference. Goodreads may not be perfect but I do trust my friends opinions of a book, rather than reading a stranger’s review. I would love to know any other ways we can help support the authors we love or any stories you would like to share that helped change your opinion of an author.