Hello all. It’s been a bit since I have updated, besides my review yesterday. I’m currently in the midst of reading three different books and, as always, the damn pile looms. But I wanted to update with a very different post for me. I’d like to answer many of the frequently asked questions that readers keep plaguing me with via email. It seems to be the same few questions over and over again so, to be a succinct as possible I will answer them here. If you have any further ones for me, add it to the comments. I will try to answer them all. And thank you.
1. How did you get into blogging?
I work in an independent bookstore in mid-Michigan as the default head of the kids department. I focus primarily on the Young Adult and Intermediate Sections as a specialty but I shelve everything kids. I also run the Science Fiction/Fantasy section as well as the Manga section. I pretty much live and breathe books. Before I started blogging I did amazon and online reviews for our store’s website, then I started a goodreads account. This blog seemed the next logical step.
I blog solely for myself, to keep a record of what I have read and talk about the trends and such. It is a hobby for a passion I enjoy sharing with the world. It’s also a super snazzy way to keep up with my favourite authors.
2. Why are you always reading books that are not out yet?
As a bookseller (professional term) I get early editions of books called advanced reader copies or galleys. These type of books are available for booksellers/bloggers/authors etc etc… professional readers and the like. These editions are rare and distributed heavily to promote a book pre-release date, get advanced reviews, and create buzz. Most of what I read ahead of schedule is in this format, sometimes as early as 6 – 12 months early. These books don’t necessarily reflect the final copies of the books that you will be able to purchase on the release date. Details can be changed, lines cleaned up, and plots edited pre-release date. Occasionally, but very rarely, I receive spiral bound manuscripts as well. These are even rarer than ARCs. I get about 500 -1000 ARCs a year and they tend to be many of the big release titles that everyone gets excited about. I do not get paid for reviews. Yet.
3. Where do you get your books from?
I am on the list for several publishers to receive ARCs, mostly the big 7 – Harpercollins, Random House, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Macmillan, Hachette, and Houghton Mifflin. I do get ARCs from the smaller pubs as well, but these are very unpredictable. The way I landed myself on the pubs radar is by working in the bookstore for 6+ years. When you work in the bookstores the pubs send you these copies to, once again, generate advance buzz in your clientele base. They also ask that you write reviews for several newsletter publications from the books that you are sent. This is in the unspoken agreement – you get books, you write reviews… you don’t write reviews you don’t get any more nifty books pre-pub date. The ARCs can be construed as a method of payment for reviews generated. This is part of the business of book selling. The more you write the more the pubs like you and the more books you get. I’ve been doing it now for 6+ years…there’s a reason I get everything.
4. Can I work for you/write for the blog?
At this time I am unwilling to open up the blog to include other writers save the occasional guest review. As I have said prior, this blog is for me and me alone. I am not ready to let other people change the voice of the site or dilute it down. Also, I cannot afford to pay side writers to write for the site as I don’t make money myself from it as of yet.
5. Can you tell me the details about this upcoming book I really want to read? I have to know what happens.
Absolutely not. Much of the “unspoken agreement” that comes with ARCs is that we do not reveal the big details of the books pre-release, particularly since the details may be subject to change pre-release… But mostly because it’s just common sense not to. I try to be as non-spoilery as possible, particularly about the big important details that inquiring minds want to know – which are largely love triangle related. Seriously folks, if I get another email like “Can you tell me if so-and-so or who-in-the-what-now wins whats-her-face’s heart? I NEED TO KNOW!!!!!” I believe I may lose it. You can wait 6 months to find out… or look at someone else’s review. There are people who love to post spoilers. I am not one of them.
Please Note: My new policy with regards to these frequent “please give me details!!!” emails are as follows… I’m going to start making shit up… And you won’t know the difference. For months. Unless they stop.
6. Can you get books for me?
Again, absolutely not. I am not a free book hook-up. Sorry folks. Find your own means of ARCs.
7. Can you send me this copy of your ARC of *blank*? I live in the US?
8. Can you send me this copy of your ARC of *blank*? I live across the world?
9. Why not?
Because I do not loan out my ARCs. And I do not mail my ARCs to people I don’t know…Halfway across the world…where it costs lots of money to get it from me to you and I’m likely to not get it back… To repeat – I DO NOT LOAN OUT MY BOOKS. So, please, for the love of god, stop asking.
10. What advice do you have for people who want to get into blogging?
Pick a subject you know that you would love to talk about…and stick with it. If you want to write a book blog I do recommend you write one consistently for about 6 months before you start ARC requesting from publishers. Book blogs are a dime a dozen, and lots of people are just in it for the free stuff. You need to prove yourself to pubs before they start helping you.
Also, please write intelligent, thoughtful reviews/articles/posts… and, for’s sake, NO TEXTSPEAK!!! Nobody takes textspeakers seriously, oR PeOpLe WhO wRiTe ReViEwS lIkE tHiS. You look like a moron or a psychotic. The business of writing is the business of language and textspeak degrades the English language. Also, on a personal note – learn to use a thesaurus. And a dictionary. Really, if I have to read another review that starts with “OH MY GOD, this book was Ah-MAZE-ING!!!!” I will stab my own eyes out. Nothing frustrates me more than lazy review writing, particularly so when it is the same phraseology over and over again.
11. Why don’t you do the weekly memes started by other blogs like “In My Mailbox” (The Story Siren) or “Waiting on Wednesday” (Breaking the Spine)?
I tried to do variations on them without directly doing those. I’ve done a few “In my Stack” posts, which I think is similar to Story Siren’s meme. However, whenever I post what I have sitting around my house I am flooded with folks asking (or demanding) I loan them my books.. and, as you can see from my earlier answers above I am growing quite weary of this. I have, more or less, every big YA book that is coming down the pipe for the next 6 months or more… and, frankly, I’ve been accused of showing off by a few bloggers when I say what I have coming up. (This blogging thing seems to be cattier than I once thought.) So, we keep them to a minimum roar. Maybe next year I’ll do something like it, but now, no.
Also – The Waiting on Wednesday like bit can be found in my Cover Porn page. I think it’s the same idea. Mine is just always ongoing. 🙂
Final question: Why do you use so many ellipses?
…because they are cool… and it’s my site, Dammit!
– Follow the Reader –