Book Blogger Confessions is a meme that allows book bloggers to discuss issues unique to what we encounter in the blogging world. Every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month we will post a question and invite you to answer, comment and discuss opinions and different views.
Please keep the dialogue courteous. No bashing!
If you would like to participate in this meme sign up below and please feel free to to grab the button to include in your post with a link to For What It's Worth Reviews or here at Midnyte Reader.
Question: We have an extra Monday this month and thought we’d address some hot topics in the book blogosphere. Pick one – or answer them all! It’s up to you. If a new crisis hits by then (& it probably will lol) feel free to address that as well.
~Amazon buys Goodreads (Find the announcement here) Do you think this is a good thing for readers – or is Amazon the devil? Will this move effect you? Will you be leaving Goodreads?
~ The death of Google Reader As Google continues to phase out it’s less popular products, bloggers were scrambling to find a new reader platform to follow their favorite blogs. What have you switched to for a reader?
~The big fear though is the loss of Google Friends Connect. How are you preparing if indeed GFC is discontinued? How many subscriber options are too many to offer your followers? What ones are the most popular on your blog? Also, how are you preparing if GFC does go by the wayside?
~What do we owe authors? There are several schools of thought. Authors of course would like us to buy their books and promote them. And that's okay, right? I mean we do that!
However, when people start to get pushy and expect bloggers to be publicity machines it can get a little...uncomfortable. My co-host Karen from For What It's Worth brought this post HERE to my attention. It originated from this post HERE about an author that tweeted if you get all your books from the library it deprives an author of income and another suggested using this graphic to help readers spread the word about a book. You can get lost reading these posts that link to other posts, but I wanted to present all the information.
What are your thoughts on this? Do authors have a point or do they go too far with reader expectations?
~Amazon/Goodreads: I am pretty ambivalent about Amazon buying Goodreads. Some claim that Amazon is akin to the Evil Empire and I can see their point of view. Amazon has been instrumental in putting smaller bookstores out of business, Amazon doesn't just sell books, but other merchandise as well with competitive pricing. Not only that, but now they have their own publishing and fashion line. Parajunkee wrote a great post about it HERE. However, although I see the scheme, it doesn't bother me. I often buy from Amazon anyway. I can't afford to make a economic statement by NOT buying the cheaper priced merchandise from them. Do I think they're trying to take over the world? Perhaps. At least the online purchasing market. However, I don't think they will brainwash me, but maybe I'm being naive. To be honest, I really can't afford to go on spending sprees because of mind altering consumer tacticts.
~Google Reader: I never really used Google Reader to follow blogs. I have them in my bookmarks and I go down the list using that. Maybe it's not so efficient, but it's what I do. I did sign up for Bloglovin though and I am finding myself utilizing that. It's a platform I like.
~GFC: Yes, I admit it. If GFC goes away I will be very sad. So sue me. I can't help it. I like seeing how many people are on my little widget, even if they never come back, even if it's bogus, even if it is not really a clear indication of how many people are following my blog. There is just something validating and satisfying about GFC and I still get a huge thrill when I see a new follower. I'm not sure how many ways to follow is *too* much. I mean one reader may prefer a subscription by e-mail, while another prefers a GFC. I think it's okay to offer people different ways to follow. I do think that GFC will go away. First I will cry. Then I may finally make the move to Wordpress. Do you hear that Google?!!!
~Author Publicity: Wow. WOWWWW. For an author to dictate to their readership is mind boggling. Books are entertainment (in some cases educational), but basically, for me they fall into the same media category as movies and magazines. They are there for the public to enjoy. We don't have to read a book to live our lives, the same way we need to buy food. We read to enhance our lives. We read for pleasure and enjoyment. Is it our responsibility to pay full price for a book so that authors and the publishing industry can survive?
Clothes get put on sale. Should we not buy from a sale rack or a store like TJ Maxx because the original stores (like Macy's or Nieman Marcus), designers and manufacturers are not getting the highest price they should? As a consumer we always try to find the best bargain we can. Otherwise, we may forego that pair of pants altogether. I've never heard of designers demonizing us for going to a thrift shop or demanding we rate their shoes. This actually is done already on several purchasing sites anyway. Maybe this isn't the best analogy because we definitely need to wear clothes, but we don't need to wear the nicest clothes on the racks, correct?
I don't go to movies in order to support an actor's salary. I go because the story looks good or the actor starring has been compelling in the past. Again, I go to be entertained. If we all decided to stop going to the movies because we want to see the show for free on television (which we pay for cable anyway) and the whole motion picture industry crumbled would the Hollywood executives blame the public? Or would they find some other solution?
Along the same lines THIS article about author Terry Dearey's views made me want to cry. Or scream.
"The libraries are doing nothing for the book industry. They give
nothing back, whereas bookshops are selling the book, and the
author and the publisher get paid, which is as it should be. What
other entertainment do we expect to get for free?" he asked.
I thought this was kind of appalling. My library is crowded every time I visit. There are plenty of people who utilize it for their (gasp) free services. There are plenty of populations that don't have computers or income for books, even in so called affluent areas. Libraries give nothing back? Really? Really?
Look, I tell people in my own office who complain that they don't get paid enough for what they do that maybe they should consider another job. Simple as that. If an author is writing to "make money" they are writing for the wrong reason. Of course, that's just my naive starry eyed opinion. But if someone simply wants a job to make money consider medicine or law or something else lucrative.
Again, maybe I'm naive but I thought writers wrote because they
In a follow up article Mr. Dearey defends himself:
"No-one is even reading what I’m saying. I never attacked
libraries, I said we need to think about people’s access to
literature. I don’t see poor people in libraries, I see middle
class people with their arms stuffed like looters...People are
entitled to their views but I wish they would just discuss them
with me rather than try to poison me with spiteful remarks."
Hmmm. How does he know he's not seeing poor people in libraries? Also, maybe he should go to a depressed socio-economic area and browse around the libraries there.
Okay, so I don't really know how Mr. Dearey would change people's access to literature, but it does seem that publishing houses are certainly thinking about it with the rise of digital books.
If libraries do go by the wayside or are drastically changed because books and magazines should not be free, (because let's face it NOTHING in life should be free), I think that there will be more bargain book stores, book swaps and maybe more organizations that give out books to promote reading (kind of like World Book Night).
How about you guys? Do you have any feelings about the above topics?