Book Blogger Confessions-Do We “Owe” Publishers

Book Blogger Confessions is a newish meme hosted by Tiger’s All Consuming Media or For What It’s Worth. On the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month they be discuss a topic that effects book bloggers and then give other bloggers a chance to vent, share their opinion or offer a solution.

If you want to participate just grab their button and include it in your post with a link to either Tiger’s All Consuming Media or For What It’s Worth. They will be providing a linky at the end of their posts so people can "hop" to see all the participants answers.

This Week’s Question: What do we owe publishers and authors? If we accept ARC’s do we “owe” anything to them or just an honest review to our followers? As book bloggers are we obligated to do more than just review books? Post covers – participate in book tours – host guest posts – promote authors?

As a blogger, I don’t feel that I “owe” publishers anything.  I run my blog for fun, and I don’t receive any compensation for all of the time that I spend on it.  I do receive review books, but I don’t believe that I am obligated to positively review them, or even review them at all.  If it is a book that I requested, then I feel that I should make my best effort to read and review it in a timely fashion.  If it is an unsolicited title, and it looks interesting, I will do my best to squeeze it into the schedule as soon as possible.  The problem with this is that time isn’t a limitless resource, and I only have so much of it to spread around.  Even when I want to read and review something, time constraints often interfere with my carefully prepared schedule.

That being said, when I agree to participate in a blog tour, I do feel obligated to post on my assigned date. Because it was starting to feel too much like work, I have cut back on “hard” post dates for reviews.  I am always open for an author interview or guest post, but the reviews are much more time consuming, and when I feel pressured to read a book, I don’t enjoy it as much. 

I post covers because I enjoy discovering new books to read, and I want to share my excitement of each new discovery.  I run giveaways as a way to recycle books that I have already read, and to promote reading.  The bottom line here is that I blog because I love books, and I need a platform to express my love for books.  Most of the people I hang out with in real life don’t read, and a few of them have even told me that they find reading a form of torture.  I just think they are reading the wrong books, but what do I know?  I find it a form of torture to NOT have time to read!

Book blogging is my hobby, not my profession.  Until it starts paying the mortgage, I don’t feel obligated to do anything.  If I ran my blog out of a sense of duty, it would quickly become tedious, and I wouldn’t want to do it anymore.  This is supposed to be fun, not work.

What do you think? Is there an obligation to publishers or authors implied when you run a book blog?


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7 thoughts on “Book Blogger Confessions-Do We “Owe” Publishers

  • July 16, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I totally agree with you! Expecting a favorable review in exchange for a free book is counterproductive. Reviews by definition are one person’s opinion. If that opinion has be bought then it’s no longer an opinion, it’s advertisement and it’s value is greatly diminished. (Oh, and “reading books is torture?” That’s crazy talk!! LOL) Interesting post, Julie. Thanks for sharing!!

  • July 16, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Hi, Paige! Yeah, one of my co-workers told me that she considers reading a form of torture. I cried a little.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • July 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I hate when I get an email for a book and they only ask for foavorable reviews. Its not going to happen because I could love it or hate it, but its an honest review. I agree blogging should be fun , and not feeling like a job.

  • July 16, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    @Julie – I have reduced the number of self-pubbed author I will review. Only times I get grief over reviews seem to be from them. I decided all of the drama is not worth it anymore.

  • July 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Each time I hop to the next blog and see the answer to the question, I’m still surprised there’s the idea publishers might think bloggers owe them something. It sounds so foreign, I almost want to say bloggers are delusion for even thinking publishers think bloggers are indebted. But from what I’ve seen in the publishing industry, I can see some publishers suggesting bloggers owe them.

    To me the idea is like going into a clothing store and trying on the outfits (may or may not purchase the clothes), then the salesperson expecting you to model the clothes to the other customers just because you decided to try out the garments. It just doesn’t happen.

  • July 16, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Oh how I wish blogging could pay the mortgage!!! lol

    I don’t accept many books anymore or sign up for things like I used to. I want blogging to be my little escape from reality to share my thoughts not an obligation.

  • July 17, 2012 at 10:39 am

    It would be nice to make money on my blog, but I spend money on my blog instead. I don’t think that I owe them anything. I prefer that they send me electronic books, that doesn’t cost the publishers anything. I am so far behind on my reviews, that I feel the stress. I do this because I love reading. If the book isn’t up to par, I will not post a review telling my followers and friends that it’s good. I think I owe more to the people who are with me everyday as we discover books, not to the one time publisher or author.

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