I have a bad habit of saying 'yes' a little too often. I am not alone in this weakness but unfortunately I have not quite cured myself of the knee-jerk reaction. Recently, the most glaring result was my lamentable procrastination at finishing an online class that I was so misguided as to sign up for, right before I received 3 edits from the publisher that I have been affiliated with for the past year. Murphy's Law being what it is, I also received an edit from one of the authors who I freelance for plus another from a company that I sporadically edit for.
Ok, of course the paying jobs go first and my wonderful liaison at Night Owl told me not to panic when I was late for my review deadlines although it bothers me when I don't keep my commitments so I try not to miss the mark by too many days. Part of my problem is that I have received quite a few titles independently that I am also working my way through and when I like the story, I want to get it as much exposure as possible so I ask to add it to my pile at Night Owl.
Are you beginning to get the picture? So, I ended up completing the vast majority of the class in 2 days (and yes, I did pass, phew!). At this moment in time, I owe reviews to Night Owl for 29 books. 6 of those I volunteered to add...and, although I have already read 4 out of those 6, I haven't written up the review for them. Some of the edits have been finished but I am still struggling with an extremely long manuscript because the author and I don't quite see eye-to-eye about many of the changes I have suggested even though I am following the style sheet dictated by the publisher. Sigh. I have finished 2 of the freelance edits I have gotten over the past 3 weeks and a new one has just hit my mailbox. Ok, why am I sharing this?
I have had trouble keeping the blogposts fresh because I haven't had the time or energy to write companion posts for the books I am reviewing so I started signing up for blog tours. That way, I am exposing my readers to new books and sometimes giving them an opportunity to enter into a contest. I love to ENTER contests, lol. Different companies operate a little differently and some are a bit more polished than others but they share the common thread that they want to help spread the word about authors' books. I am sure that they charge for their time (and they should) BUT I don't get paid for featuring books. The only time I make money from the blog is when someone clicks on one of the book covers that takes them to Amazon and actually makes a purchase. I get a small percentage of the purchase, even if it is other than the book that led the customer to Amazon in the first place.
I am pretty small and I don't have a lot of followers because I don't twist readers' arms by making it a requirement for them to enter the contests. I am always quite appreciative when people sign up to follow me but I don't really believe in such strong-arm tactics, even though some publishers will not consider sending me review copies because I have so few followers.
So...I was REALLY surprised to follow a link that was driving a small amount of traffic to my blog and discover that I was being attacked in an author's blogpost. I started off reading the posting that was analyzing the effectiveness of using a blog tour.
(Aside: I am impressed by those who successfully run blog tours because they are an incredible amount of work. I had a bad experience last year with a tour operator that made me a little wary but for the most part, it has been interesting to participate. It naturally requires a bit of work on the blog host's part (and I particularly seem to have trouble posting pictures and most recently, a working Rafflecopter) so one of my fears is always that I will forget to post everything. When I can, I try to read the book that is being featured but I don't always have the time.)
Ok, back to the author's post...he was complaining about not having reviews and then he segued into the fact that the bloggers were not complying with their agreements and cited...The Reading Addict, complete with link!!! He complained that the only thing up on my blog was a banner but nothing else about his book! (Note: Regular visitors may notice that I had an explosion of banners this month as I signed up for various tours. Unfortunately, I feel that it makes my blog look a little crowded but I haven't quite figured out how to rectify this since I do want people to realize that these books are about to be featured.)
This was the first that I had heard of his displeasure. I am pretty sure that I can be contacted easily...if only by leaving a comment at the end of one of my posts. Then, one of the people commenting on his post added her .02 about lack of professionalism among bloggers, yadda yadda yadda. Grrr. I was highly offended to be attacked in this fashion and it certainly makes me unlikely to ever want to read and review his book. I will go ahead and publish the posting (which was prepared about 4 weeks ago) about his book on the date I committed to but I am certainly unlikely to ever deal with him again. Perhaps he feels that negative comments about him are better than none at all? Ironically, I just finished reading a list of the top 5 things that authors think are important about life (link) and the overwhelming consensus was to be nice to others. I confess, I am having trouble holding on to that thought today, lol.
So, my point is, before making a judgement about someone else's qualifications or lack thereof, make sure you have all of the details! I am not posting the author's name nor that of his book here because I am disinclined to give him any other citations...he has subsequently removed his self-described diatribe and now is espousing his belief that blog tours are not useful for selling books, amazingly based on his evaluation of a tour that isn't even finished yet.
I have to think that he just doesn't think things through...and he still hasn't bothered to apologize directly although I have to wonder if he doesn't know how to delete comments since my response to his original post is still listed. I guess it's a good thing that I hadn't committed to reviewing his book as I might have been tempted to be more brutally honest than I usually am for reviews (I usually reserve my pithier comments for those I am editing, lol).