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You don’t owe me a thing! Why? Because it’s a Labor of Love

A BOOK BLOGGERS RESPONSE to an AUTHORS REQUEST

A picture, or in this case, a graphic, is worth a thousand words apparently, because I have written over 2000 in response… As of 5:15 PM AKDT it had over 700 shares, 202 likes and 54 comments. Instead of enacting my plan to roll over and spend a good four hours just reading through three books I Am working on reviews for…Yes working on. I am sitting here steaming mad and writing this.

Yesterday, I spent 10 hours writing two reviews and making sure my author spotlight for the next two Fridays was perfect, the author image was spot on, I had all their links for stalking finding them around the internet and social media was squared away. Making sure my Amazon associate links were attached to all the title links and book covers and scheduling. *wiping brow* I deserved to read any book I wanted? WAIT, … wait… I WORKED? I spent TIME? I spent efforts making sure that I had great posts, oh and let’s not forget the bloody two hours I spent making sure that all my titles were Pinned on Pinterest to my Bibliophile board, oh and my hour of Librarian tasking I do with the books I am reviewing and promoting in the next week on Goodreads? AND WHAT DO I READ on my iPhone that completely has taken me away from reading the books people are begging, harassing, throwing cookies and bacon at me to read? I read

I’ve got to say, the attitude of entitlement amongst a small number of indies is really wearing at me. Today I’ve seen a poster that talks about ‘liking’ or reviewing books. Fair enough. But then it uses the line: “Please give something back.”This absolutely infuriates me.

When I buy carpet cleaner, the check out assistant doesn’t say: “Oh I know you’re paying for this but you need to give something back too.” Then I’ve seen somewhere share it with the sentiment: “This is true: thousands of people download my books when they’re free and none of them consider helping me.” Newsflash: if you don’t want thousands of people to download your book without having to give something in return, don’t offer it for free.

I know a book is a labour of love – but so is a blog. How many times do these same authors review a blog on a blog directory or vote it up on Picket Fence or tweet about it? Where is their giving back?Sorry for the vent. It just annoys me when I see authors like (names removed for they are not really relevant but they rock) who really DO give back and don’t have anywhere near the same attitude of ‘I want I want I deserve I need…'”

Donna Brown is an author-publicist-coordinator-mother of six cats-dragon hater! OK seriously Donna Brown, of whom I have deep regard and respect for, is by day a publicity assistant, by night an avid blogger and reader. Donna Brown – who has written  posts as of this post on Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dave. MY GODS, did you see that people? OHHHHHHH IT is a bloody labor of LOVE!

Now I have to wonder, WHAT THE FRELL? Granted this conversation is taking place in our special “secret-handshake-needed” love den (AKA Secret FB Group) where we vent, work things out, but I am not fully awake yet. My poor Donna seems to be close to having  a bloody embolism, and it takes a LOT to raise her ire up that high!  So I adjust my pillows and drag my arm out from under Geoff and it is THEN I see another Author/Blogger friend post from the offending twap, the thing that is causing so much anguish and now, now I am pissed. My Kindle is now closed, the iPhone gets put down.. I put the kettle on, make breakfast for the Lord of the Cabin and carb up, because I have a feeling this is going to take some energy.

So logging onto Facebook I see the post from some the offending “author” who thinks that we should, because we are there to support them not only REVIEW “even if it is two sentences” but we should give it high ratings… and click all the appropriate buttons. SO… here is what I read and everyone is already scrambling in response. But you see, I take time, because this blog is a labor of love, and I want it to sparkle (time spent thus far in copying, pasting, making sure my code is right and all of the above – 1 hour)

11 AM ADT One of our beloved authors asks if this is what Donna is talking about. This graphic at the time I am posting this has over 700 shares on Facebook alone FROM the offending persons page. Who knows how far it has gone since then. I watched as 20+ people I know share it and like it.It begs the question… what have you done for ME lately.. oh honestly I don’t care what I get back… ANYWAY here it is:

“Is this what you’re talking about Donna? I know there are words here, but all I’m reading is me,me,me,me,me .. in that Charlie Brown wawawa voice. This makes it seem like writing a book to this poor person was just a treacherous experience that can only be exonerated by good reviews and likes. I wonder what would happen if they got a less than stellar review?”

SOURCE ONE who SUGGESTS we OWE HER/AUTHORS(THE ORIGINATING TWAP posted it on FACEBOOK and does not even have a real blog or website in my NOT SO HUMBLE OPINION…

*Head clutched, tea cup shaking, bacon sitting growing cold and forgotten*

Is this person SERIOUS? OH MY gods. Do they have a freaking CLUE how much time we bloggers  take to READ, make notes, write a review up and make sure it is cross posted on Amazon, Barnes & Noble (which we have to re-word as per B&N’s TOS and it usually has to be shorter) oh and Goodreads, not to mention format (ya it takes time to make the blog posts look pretty PEOPLE). OH wait and for those like me? Make buttons and feature image graphics, link up, write our SEO right, and cross share to Triberr, Facebook pages and groups, G+, Pinterest…. and you know how many time we get a FREAKING THANK YOU? SERIOUSLY? I think maybe 2 out of 5 authors even bother to say thank you to me when I post. And those that do? The next time I have a special event, guess who gets a email from me? Yep it would be these guys, Sweetie! Why do I bother???

TO QOUTE THE OFFENDING POSTER ABOVE

IT IS A LABOR OF LOVE!

Because Amanda was awake four hours before me and just is so much more organized she wrote a glorious guest post and is allowing me to share at 3:10PM ADT … currently I am wearing armor virtually and going back and forth making sure I get the BEST quotes from my brilliant brethren of book bloggers.

Favorite Blogger - By Amanda from livinglearninglovinglife.com/

Thanks Amanda!!

 SO now that Coral (4:03 PM AKDT) has woken up She has a BRILLIANTLY Windows Paint response!

Author Coral Russell of Alchemy of Scrawl

DO YOU KNOW how hard it is for some of us to write a review? How we sweat because we end up having to give a 2 star or a 3 star, heck even a 1 star. I CHOOSE not to POST reviews that are lower than a 3 star because I do not want to hurt the author. I instead write to them and let them know this is why I do not want to review the book live. I have gotten to know you, to like you and KNOW you can do a better job than this. BTW I am a writer too? Want to know how many words I write in a day? No you really do not want to know. I have a book, a cookbook and I have this blog oh and another blog and I am ACTIVE in my Indie community as a wonderfully festive support staff. HECK, I create meme’s and spotlights to help you guys out? WHY??? AGAIN I QUOTE:

IT IS A LABOR OF LOVE!

Want an honest review? Follow my review policy, ask nicely and if you cannot take the heat? Get the heat get out of the kitchen people. Do a vanity press and hand it out to friends who are going to stroke your ego and pet you and make you feel all gooey inside. Read it out loud to the cat, take it to the office White Elephant, but do not expect me to GIVE YOU something you DEMAND or whine for .. or think you should have, because you are not going to get it from people who do this….. wait for it… wait for it.. because……….

IT IS A LABOR OF LOVE!

SO here is just about 1/3 of what I have read and reviewed this year, how much time did you think I took? How many hours away from my family? How sick, for those that know me, have I made myself because I want everything perfect, shiny and bright. DO I HAVE TOO? NO!? But.. again, it is a labor of love. Some people can throw money at it, like my parents, and have time and resources to do other things, like donate and get steps named after them, but me? I have this blog and my time and I am happy to be here. I am happy in my cabin, with my bacon, my recipes, my cat and my man. But do NOT insult me please, do not act entitled. If I could will it, you would FEEL the wrath as I slam my index finger into the delete key.. want a fair honest review? One that could actually hurt because I take my education, my degrees and I pick apart your book? NO want me to write up and blow smoke up your ass to make you feel all shiny, perhaps? But honestly wouldn’t you rather have me read, enjoy and experience your novel? Isn’t THAT the point? Isn’t the review the sprinkles and the candle lit on top? The pretty garnish? Isn’t it enough to know I loved it? Seriously no, I want to tell you and show you! I am as much an exhibitionist as you are with this bog! SO, because someone did not put their cup on under their armor on for the day gets butt hurt when I say their… oh I don’t know, sex scene sucks, but the rest of their book is stellar??? (ya it happened and I do not harp on it… a lot)  WHY?   AGAIN because…

IT IS A LABOR OF LOVE!

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It is now 5:20 PM AKDT I have taken over 2.5 hours to put this together… and I even rushed a bit and did not do that hot of a job, IMNSHO… WHY? Well you figure it out!
(at 4;20 ADT which BTW is 1:20 AM in the UK when she posted this.. but Donna posted on The Indie Exchange HER response:

28 Comments

  1. Great post, Kriss. Things like this make me want to pull my hair out. I’m not an indie hater. I review indie books, I even help run The Indie Exchange to get their work seen but it’s time to remember: you’re peddling a product. Buyers aren’t your friends, they are your consumers. The concierge of a restaurant doesn’t call you and say “It’s time to give something back.” They gave back with their money when they bought the book. Pricing not covering your costs? That’s not the consumer’s fault. They got a freebie? Well, guess what: they gave back with their time.

    Don’t piss off the people who already giving back to you. My Amazon stats tell me clicks through from my blog have led to sales of $2000 on Amazon. That’s hundreds of books. When was the last time you reviewed a blogger’s blog? Or subscribed to their blog via Amazon at a measly 99c a month? Or used their affiliate links? So, yes, when I see this hitting my Facebook wall 12 times in a matter of hours I really do want to shut the whole damn thing down and take back my time and energy.

    Thankfully, there are amazing authors there without the same sense of entitlement and they keep me going, 30+ hours a week, every week. That’s my labour of love.

    • LOVE ya Donna!

    • I love the don’t piss off the people who are already giving back to you. 🙂 They aren’t seeing it and when it’s pointed out to them they get all defensive!
      Show me some love!

  2. ROFL – filled with bacony awesomesauce! Donna’s comment too!
    Show me some love!

  3. Awesome post, I love blogging and writing reviews for authors, blog tours and pubs..but a thank you every once in a while would be nice. Only 2 out of every 5 bother to thank me. You have an awesome blog and the hours you spend on it are apparent and appreciated 🙂
    Show me some love!

  4. Hi. I just want to say I didn’t read this whole post because by this hour my eyes are tired and the post was really long, but I think I get the basic idea; How dare we authors give away our books for free and then ask for something in return, am I right? Well I just want to add my 2 cents since I am one of those people who re-posted the graphic in question today. Let me start out by saying that I do not agree 100% with the wording. Nor did I really agree at all with the message attached to the image by the original poster (it was something along the lines of thousands of people downloading her book and not reviewing). SO what I did was copy and save the image to my computer and then re-uploaded it to my fan page (instead of just clicking share) thus deleting the original message so I could add my own and in mine I made sure to point out that even a “bad” review or low rating is helpful (because it IS and because I respect my readers’ opinions. I would never ask them to only give me HIGH ratings).

    2nd… Before I ever even imagined that I could become a writer, I was a READER and fan of books. Had I known then what I know now, I would have reviewed every single book. Fans like helping. They get excited to think they could have a hand or play a role in the success of someone whose work they admire and believe in. But MOST book lovers are not authors or bloggers or avid networkers. Most of them don’t know at all that they can help us out with a simple star rating or quick 2-sentence review. That is why I re-posted that image. To let my fans know that their opinion matters and makes a difference. I do not think that image was made to target book bloggers who, by the way, I am extremely grateful for – most of my reviews are from book bloggers – but book bloggers also don’t review every single book they receive either. We all only have 24 hours in a day, I understand. But the challenge of the indie author is to find and grasp exposure and if that image enlightened any of my fans, than I’m glad I re-posted it.

    3rd…. Other places/products DO ask for reviews. Every time I buy something online, a movie, business cards, anything, I get an email 2 days later asking for a product review. Bands ask people listen to their demos and like their music videos. It’s the same thing. Authors are not the only ones.

    4th…. I also have a book blog. So yes, I know how much work can go into a well written review, but this image was altering people to the fact that even a short quick product review on Amazon is helpful. I see nothing wrong with this. It’s good to have a mixture of both professional and casual reviews. Not everyone wants to read a 3-4 paragraph review. And if you bloggers need reviews of your blogs I would be happy to do so for you. I always help out fellow writers and artists of all types.

    And Donna Brown, for someone who’s build a mega platform based on helping Indie authors, I think you of all people should have a better understanding of how frustrating the game is for us. My respect for you just when down. Don’t belittle authors for re-posting something you yourself don’t agree with. Obviously it would not have gone viral if there wasn’t some truth in it to hit a nerve in all the authors who re-posted it.

    • The thing is she was stating we should give high reviews. And yes this post was harsh, and it did stir a hornets nest. I hope you read what Donna wrote too and not just respond without reading like you did with my post. For someone with being so tired, you sure had time to write your own opus of anger. And you are entitled to your opinion, but you missed the point COMPLETELY, which is what happens when you do not read something all the way through.

      I did not name names. I only LINKED to their FB page because it is a source. Of course not all authors who also blog are like this, but unfortunately there are a LOT who are. I get it DAILY saying I am beholden to them to write a review because I got their book for free. Well guess what? I buy most of my books I review, I hate review copies because I like to share from the book while I read! Plus it allows me on a psychological level to feel less beholden. ANYWAY thanks for responding!

      I spend over 40 hours a day doing this. They also were encouraging and guilting folks into doing something. By LIKING a book .. it does not help authors to have 90 likes with 11 reviews. Having lists on FB for people to LIKE their books, if you actually read the info on this it messes with the reviews and the stats at Amazon. Just as reviewers should not have friends LIKE their reviews to get their stats up. NOT gonna work. Do it HONESTLY earn it, do not BEG for it. I think again.. you missed the point! BUT that is my opinion!
      Show me some love!

    • You think? Well you know, maybe you’re right. Maybe I should take the 30+ hours I spend helping indies and just do something else with it. Enjoy some time with my family. Do something else that I actually get paid for. Do something else where people don’t get to belittle me time and again. Because right at this moment, at almost 4 a.m. when I’ve just finished putting up yet another post together for an indie author, I’m reading your response and thinking yes, it is VERY frustrating. As for your respect for me, there’s very little I can do about that. I’m entitled to an opinion, just as you are entitled to yours.

      I will also state that I aired my opinion in a private group. The people in that group agreed with my sentiments so exactly that some asked if they could share my words. I agreed. So, to parrot your words, obviously they would not have done that “if there wasn’t some truth in it to hit a nerve”.
      Show me some love!

    • Asking politely for a review is one thing. That graphic is just whiny and she is trying to shame readers into writing a review. “Don’t write a review because you want to tell others about the book. Do it because you owe me something.”

      My post can be read in two ways:
      1) As a snark on the original graphic. Reading the same sentiments from a different POV can point out the flaws in the original argument.

      2) As as reminder that authors aren’t the only ones who bust their butts for little-to-no recognition.
      Show me some love!

    • O M G! You don’t have time to READ a post on a book blogger’s blog, but you have time to post a comment? Your back must hurt from carrying those brass balls around. I took the TIME to read your comment –

      First you did comment on the post, I remember you and I made a point to TAKE THE TIME to go through those comments on the original pic and like the ones I thought pointed out the flaws. From one published author to another, if you posted this, you’re not an adult, you don’t think like an adult, and you don’t act like one. That was the whole point of MY graphic.

      Second, as a life-long eclectic reader it was aimed at readers and I take offense to readers being treated to self-serving teenage whiny drivel. You may EDUCATE readers since this is a new phenomena that their voice, their opinion matters. I totally agree with this which is why I post GUIDES on HOW TO leave reviews on my blog and social media. Many readers, myself included, don’t like to leave bad reviews. That could always be a reason too. The fact is this COULD have been a GREAT resource to educate readers, instead she took the low road and others just happened to be there to point it out.

      Third, YES THEY DO and you know what? I ignore most of them. If I’M not excited about a product enough to spread it via word-of-mouth, I DON’T.

      Fourth, great so actually do it, you know, when you take the TIME to actually read a post… This is a hugely popular book blogging site and she forces authors to be creative and shows off the books better than I will ever be able to.

      How dare you use the word respect. You don’t know Donna. You had nothing to do with her until now. I reserve respect for people that I actually value and whose opinion matters to me. So since you’re not a person who matters to me, I don’t care what happens to you or what you think. ESPECIALLY from a person who didn’t have enough respect to read which is something I’m hearing a lot from authors these days.
      Show me some love!

  5. Can I just say I ? this post? I have just spent the past 3 days… 16 hours each, reading and writing reviews for books that will be spotlighted on my blog. I have another 8 hour day ahead of myself. I have spent 2 hours crafting posts to be appealing and easy to follow – so people WANT the book. I have spread the word with tweets and posts to FB – emailed friends when books are “right up their alley”. And while the majority of authors are supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.. there are always a few who can’t be arsed to make effort on their own behalf – and then have the temerity to email ME to say I didn’t do enough.

    I do this because I love to read – and I appreciate people giving me NEW things to feed that addiction – but I could walk away and have more time with my husband and focus on my food blog, and write about politics or work on my own short stories or just babble in a corner. What keeps me going is the appreciative authors who are pleased that you take the time.
    (and I don’t use an associates account – so when I say I am not compensated – I REALLY am not compensated )
    Show me some love!

  6. Nobody owes a thing – if people read and enjoy my books – wow, that’s great, thank you, if a review is posted, again, thank you. Most don’t and I accept that, even though I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t want feedback. But it’s not why I write, I love it regardless of what others think – and I’ve had some mean, stinking comments. I still write though and always will.

    As for Donna Brown, I’ve only ever seen her being honest, caring and sharing, posting sources of information from all over, leaving it up to readers to decide what they think – she is very supportive of authors and I, for one, thank her.

    I also read and review as many Indie books as I can, to offer support, but I’ve never had a ‘whiny, you owe me this’ ask.

    I write and read with enthusiasm, and whatever happens regarding my books, I’ll always love it. And thank you to everyone who has read /reviewed /not reviewed my work and for all the support and encouragement from whatever source.

    🙂

    • Thank you so much, Julie. I appreciate the support immensely!

      • Well, I appreciate what you do 🙂 Is this where I remind you about my books lol Oh, *gasp* have I started another feud /bad behaviour list? 🙂 Life is far too short for all this.

        • HAH I know it is, wait you have not asked me to review your books LOL do not make me go into a panic woman!

  7. Wow, lol, calm down, woman! Y’know stress kills, right? *gets her a cool cloth for her forehead* 🙂
    Show me some love!

    • heh… you are NOT one of those authors. I so owe you reviews though *snickering*
      Show me some love!

      • LOL, well I’m not saying this at all because of this post, but I’m not worried about it. You can never leave a review and I’ll still get a kick out of your crazy ass blog. 😛
        Show me some love!

  8. I have to admit, I think I shared that image. I also have to admit I didn’t read the whole thing. Just the first few lines. >.> Anyways, being an author, let me tell you the reason I shared the image. I shared it on my personal facebook page. The people there are friends and family. Not book bloggers (wait, I think some might be book bloggers but that’s not why I friended them. If I friend someone for being a book blogger it’s on twitter.) In my eyes, I saw the image aimed towards non-book bloggers. I shared it in hopes that my friends and family would click like or rate my book if they bought it. It was harmless. BUT reading your post, I can see how it feels like a kick in the face. A slap to the hard work I know book bloggers do just for a book.

    I will never argue that a book blogger doesn’t work their butt off. This is just how I saw the image. Aimed towards non-book bloggers. Does that make the image okay? Not sure. After all, I’m pretty grateful to just have people buy my book and have never been fond of begging for likes.

  9. Great post! Book bloggers are amazing and I’m so indebted to them for everything they’ve done to get my book out there…asking them (or any readers) to do more is ridiculous.
    Show me some love!

  10. Thank you for this. As an indie author an blogger I have blogged about this bad behavior as well. I want you to know that it is a few bad apples and I for one appreciate the bloggers who take the time to read my books and review them. I do both so I feel the work on both ends. I think an inflated sense of entitlement is a problem that is larger than the book world (having employed folks) but it is irritating and out of line nonetheless…

  11. Looking at this, I can sort of understand where the original graphic came from; there has been such a hullabaloo lately and I’m always surprised when someone seems to have missed the whole thing. I have seen a lot of authors in the past couple of months expressing frustration over the fact that they’re giving away thousands of copies of their books on Amazon during the KDP promotion and not getting any reviews, and the backlash is a lot of them have announced plans to stop offering their books for free, or even 99 cents, and instead raise the price point. It’s something I’ve gone ’round with some of them about – in my own way – and taken from that understanding, I can see how the original person in question would be thinking “my Gods, people, just post a review already! And gimme those high stars, while you’re at it!” Heh. But you’re right: those of us who read and review books, we spend a lot of time at it. Since Friday morning, I’ve read three books – two of which I’ve reviewed (the third was a beta read, so the “review” as it was went straight to the author). I had to turn down my husband twice about watching a movie because I had promised to have these done. I don’t know if some authors realize how backed up we get, you know?

    As far as getting a response from the authors after we have reviewed their book: well, based upon the backlash so many authors have received for commenting on reviews, do you blame them? They never know when their innocent comment is going to be taken wrong and they’re going to end up being called a badly behaving author for having the audacity *gasp* to comment on a review of their book! It really makes me sad that so many authors are now afraid to interact with the bloggers because of this whole mess, because I love interacting with authors. I love getting their feedback on my reviews; even if they don’t agree with it, as long as they’re not trying to bribe me to change it or something … Heh.

    You rock, Kriss – your posts are always well-thought-out and well-done. Enjoy the tail-end of the warm season up there; soon you’ll be snowed under, right? And think of how much more time you’ll have to read 🙂
    Show me some love!

    • The problem wasn’t that she asked for reviews. It was that she was using shame and guilt to manipulate readers into leaving reviews. As if they owed her something.

      • Yes, I followed all that; my musings were just that: musings, coming from a perspective of having watched discussions of this among authors for a time. It is wrong to try to guilt someone into doing something just because you want them to do it; I was just saying I *sort* of got what the original thought process might have been. *shrug*

        All the best! 🙂
        Show me some love!

  12. I’ve seen authors behaving badly, and cringe. More of the same with the “shaming” readers into writing a review. Write your books, authors, and leave the rest to your fans. Write good books and your fans will support you. Love the book bloggers, and their taking the time to read. I try to recommend (my word for review) books, films, music, and don’t have as much time to devote to reading as many books as I once did — don’t take suggestions from people in what I should read next either now since I like to discover for myself what is out there. The book blogs help me see what books hit a chord. Nice post, Kriss. Have I thanked you lately? You rock. (Ulterior motive here folks: need more bacon . . . )
    Show me some love!

  13. You’re welcome Kathleen. I appreciate your reading it.

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