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Let’s discuss: What Do Bloggers Offer When Receiving A Free Author Copy Of Their Book

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I have something I’d like to put up for discussion, something I don’t even quite know how I feel about myself.

As most book bloggers have experienced, there’s a lot of authors out there who’s generously offering free copies of their books, against an honest review. That’s both common and beneficial for both parties for a number of reasons!

 

The author gets:

  • “Free” advertising (not completely free, as it usually costs them a copy of their book).
  • An entire blog post dedicated to that book
  • Reviews on major online websites like Amazon and Goodreads
  • If the blogger like the book, they’re likely to recommend it.

 

The blogger gets:

  • A “free” book (not completely free, as writing reviews does take quite some time).
  • Increased traffic on their blog, if the author and/or publisher promotes the post.

 

Of course the terms and conditions set by either blogger or author can vary from one individual to another. But I the above mentioned is standardised, so let’s just go with that.

 

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When I agree to read someones book and post a review, I try not to promise a due date – and if they insist, I usually give myself 2 months or so. That’s because most of my reviews are planned that far ahead. Sometimes it’s quicker, but that’s definitely not the norm. As I’m arc and beta reading steadily for a few selected authors, I also need to leave room for their upcoming releases. That’s all been fine until lately, where an author from New Zealand won’t leave me alone.

He messages me like every other day, just to see how I’m doing. He uses endearments and nicknames, like we know each other. I live in England so I’m used to hearing endearments everywhere. Literally everywhere. When the woman at the till gives me my change, she’ll say something like “here you go love”. The same goes for the person at the petrol station, corner shop, bus driver etc. So I’m not a stranger to that. However, I find it different to see it in writing. Somehow that just makes it more personal, and I’m finding that I’m not okay with it!!

I’m sure the author is just checking up on me, to make sure I don’t forget about the book he was kind enough to send me a physical copy of. Yet, a part of me feels like the constant emailing and use of endearments crosses a line. A line I don’t particularly want to be crossed. Some of the authors I’ve read and reviewed for in the past, have become friends. And I love that. But it happened at a natural pace, through a lot of messaging back and forwards, things we had in common and so on. Not through them emailing me every other day “to see how you’re doing sweetie”.

 

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Have you experienced anything like this? How did you deal with it, or how do you think you would? Let’s chat in the comments!

 

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27 thoughts on “Let’s discuss: What Do Bloggers Offer When Receiving A Free Author Copy Of Their Book”

  1. Wow, being called’sweetie’ hasn’t happened to me but I no longer review for authors, only publishers (apart from a couple I know personally and am friends with). I stopped reviewing for authors when they kept being too demanding, and unpleasant. J think in your situation you need to somehow let this author know that you’d rather not be called sweetie (or any other names) as you’d like to keep things professional…or at least ask them to not email/message everyday as you need the time to read the book, and if they’re still insisting on contacting you, well you could always say you’re getting a lot of requests and it’s going to be a lot longer before you can review and you’ll let them know when you do it….In this situation I’d personally question whether you should read that book at all, you don’t know how they’ll react if you don’t give them a favourable review.
    Good luck tut and I hope you manage to deal with that author somehow 😊❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts and ideas of how to solve this problem – that’s very appreciated 🙂 I did email the author and ask that it stops, which it kind of has. And the book didn’t get a great review (not because of this though), which I haven’t heard anything negative for. Phew!

      I can certainly see why it’s tempting to only deal with publishers, there’s bound to be less problems when dealing with people for whom it isn’t personal. And that can indeed be an issue with authors, that it’s their “baby”. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That author is crossing a line, I hope he will leave you alone once the review is done.
    I think to be honest, the authors/publishers get more out of bloggers than the other way round, unless the bloggers are high profile/very popular. Even if I tag authors/publishers in my posts when I share on social media, it’s not guaranteed that they’ll promote my review.
    ARCs have often not had a final proof-read/formatting so it’s not as an enjoyable reading experience as a finished copy would be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you 100% about who’s on top in the review business. Even if my review post is promoted, it’s not propelling me to fame and blog-stardom to have a publisher share and thank me for my review.

      I also agree with you on ARC reading. 80% of the time I receive electronic books, that haven’t been through the final proof read/editing/formatting. So I’m basically receiving a draft. I’m not complaining, after all I still do it, but it is a wellknown fact. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, all true! Maybe if I requested more ARCs, did more blog tours and interacted more with authors/publishers on social media then I’d get more in return, but I have like 101 other things to do 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Gosh this is an interesting one!

    I think there’s a complex relationship between author and book blogger, we’re sort of like little symbiotic creatures that need each other but with that need comes a fine balance and a degree of mutual respect is absolutely required if any kind of relationship (including professional) is to be built.

    Authors need to understand that once their ‘baby’ is out in the world then it’s passing through the eyes of many people – some of whom will love it and some of whom won’t. They also need to understand that while they’re providing a free copy of a book to someone that they’re not exactly doing it for altruistic reasons. If they’re on a timescale or expect regular communication then they should be honest and open about this up front. If not, then they just need to understand that they can’t have full control of their product anymore.

    I can appreciate the twitchiness/ anxiety of authors on low star reviews of their books but actually I am more likely to be interested in a book that has a mix of reviews and ratings and not a suspicious ‘all 20 reviews are 5 stars’ because NOTHING not even award winning novels have blanket top ratings.

    As to the terms of endearment and constant emailing? Nope. Nada. Nah. No.

    Maybe he doesn’t understand the rules of social etiquette (well someone needs to tell him) and maybe he think he’s being cute (he isn’t) but this isn’t the way to build a readership.

    I am English and understand pet names do creep in there from a cultural perspective (my grandad called *everyone* ‘ducky’ and I miss it but you could tell from tone etc. that it was a colloquialism of his) and most people don’t even realise they’re saying it but when it’s in writing – yeah no. You know what you’re writing and if you don’t then writing probably is going to be a tricky career.

    I would suggest writing him an email thanking him for his enthusiasm in your reading his book and that you are fully aware that you have committed to reviewing but that he never confirmed a timeline and so he needs to let you get on with it. It’s worth mentioning that you’d be happier if he addressed you by name so that you can maintain the professional relationship between writer and reviewer. I just hope he gets the message.

    Let us know how it goes/ how he responds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah Gerry, thank you SO much for your thoughts on the matter!! With you actually being English, and not just faking it like me, it’s interesting to read your POV on this. When I first moved to England I was stunned about all the endearments being thrown around, in daily chit chats. When a bus driver said to me “£2 for the ticket, love” I was so surprised I gave her £5 and told her to keep the change. Bet she loved me!!! Now I’m used to them and I’m even using them myself, every now and then. I tend to write “hun” a lot, when I reply on Twitter or blog posts, where I’ve interacted with the blogger/person before. But I couldn’t imagine writing to someone, who’s basically a stranger, “Hi love/dear/sweetie” etc.

      I will keep you updated on what happens after I send my email, hopefully it’ll change things for the better. Because I don’t much like when people check up on me all the time. I don’t even like it, with household chores. Let alone my book reviews. Maybe I’m naive but I always imagined that authors of all people, would understand that life and creativity doesn’t always walk hand in hand. So sometimes things take longer, other times they run so smooth it takes no time at all. But constant interference doesn’t help, and it might even make me dislike the book because I don’t go into it with a fresh mind!!

      Like you I like books with mixed reviews! I’ve even chosen books because of a negative review, and turned out liking what others disliked. The beauty of this is that there’s no science to what we like to read, it’s all subject of individual taste. I’ve had books I thought I’d love and didn’t, and others I thought I’d dislike which I then end up loving. I appreciate low reviews must be stressful for the author, but on the other hand it’s just part of the business. Even if it’s part of the less fun part. It’s no different than if we pour our heart and soul into a blog post, but no one answers, or someone says “why did you bother writing this”.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Bibi, I respond to authors whose blurbs I like. Once I have responded and they have my email, I expect them to call me Shalini which most don’t do. Dear, sweetie, love is out of question. I won’t respond to them if they call me all that. Authors giving us free books is not a big deal as they want Reviews from us. Most of the time it feels they want only 4 stars or more. It has started feeling like a threat nowadays. One even asked me delete my review as it was 2 stars. And nowadays if the book is on kindle unlimited, I don’t even ask the author to send me the book. I hate the obligation and subtle blackmail.
    If someone does call me love or sweetie, my first mail to them would be please call me Shalini. If someone mails me every day, it goes into spam. My reviews have no time limit,
    if the author places a limit to it, I ask them not to give me the book.
    Whew this was quite a long comment

    Like

    1. Oh no, it sounds like you’ve had some bad experience(s) with requesting/accepting books to review. I’ve had an author asking me not to post a low heart review, but that was a bit different as I offered not to based on how much I disliked the book. In my case it was fair play, in yours not so much!!!

      I will take the advise from my council of wise girls, and send an email to the author and request he just calls me Bibi – or Khaleesi. Whichever he prefers 😛

      Like

  5. Everything Kristina said! He may not be aware of it, but that kind of behaviour is definitely crossing the line. I mean, the constant emailing is already toeing the line but the endearments push it too far, I think. And it’s…patronizing? Like he doesn’t expect you to keep your side of the promise if he doesn’t keeping remind you. Definitely write to him and tell him how you feel about it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t even considered it to be patronising, but now that you mention it I can see how it could be. I think for me it’s more about whether it’s okay to use endearments in writing, to people you don’t know. And to me it just makes it too personal – like someone really getting into your personal space.

      I think I will send him an email back and politely ask that he changes how he addresses me. As you and Kristina said, he might not be aware. So it’s worth a try 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Erhh sorry. Sent the other one too early xD

    Although we aren’t PAID, free books definately is bare to the kind of job we do.. and sadly some will over-use that… If we REALLY love the books, we may end up talking about it for years down the line, which is a pretty good publicity. Lots of time and effort go into « promoting » thoses books, for the generosity of the book community if you will.. however, if the book is problematic and having serious issues with an author- it can go downhill pretty fast aswell.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha happens to me all the time 😛 It’s true that reading and reviewing a book doesn’t automatically mean, that the blogger will swoon and talk about the book every time it comes up. But yes, if we love it, it tends to happen. I know I rave about my favourite books all the time lol. And yes, a lot of time and thought goes into writing a post, it’s not as simple as “just” reading the book and write a few lines.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Honestly, you should mention that to the author. They don’t necessarily think of it, but if it makes you uncomfortable, definately tell it to them (as it is your right) and if they still continue… id break the contract and sent it back .

    Liked by 2 people

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