Why I Don´t Join Book Blog Tours Anymore

Book blog tours- You either love them or you dislike them. Either you participate in one or you don´t.

 

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There are many ways for an author to successfully promote their book but none are as effective as a virtual book blog tour. I´d even say it´s THE MOST idiot proof way to get a reader´s attention. So many people hang around social media- Why not take advantage of that?

 

 

While I do believe book blog tours are a nice additional marketing tool for authors I can´t say I´m too impressed with how a book blog tour usually pans out for book bloggers. Sure, we can receive new followers along the way and might be able to form a bond with an author.  But if you take a long hard look at book blog tours you can tell that many MANY things are a little fishy. Things that stink to high heaven.

 

 

As it often is- One simply cannot speak for all book blog tours. But one can definitely speak for the majority of ´em ( in my case- I can speak for the tours for romance, YA, erotica, women´s fiction genres ).

You see – There are rules for a book blog tour. Rules I often never agreed with because most of them made no sense to me. As a book blogger who treats this whole thing as a hobby ( and who knows what can be gained in the business ) I never felt at home with all the restrictions and rules that were set out. Now, I dont´disagree with rules. In some areas in life rules are very much needed. But none of the hobbies I actively live out during the day have rules. Why should a book blog tour have them? Why should book blogging in general have rules?

Alas, the rules of book blog tours were what made me whisper “fuck this shit. I need a drink.” to my laptop.

 

 

Rule #1     

Don´t Forward The ARC 

I know there are some airheads who think it´s acceptable to receive an ARC and then pass it on to their friends / family / fellow bloggers. These people need to be reminded what an ARC is and how to handle them. I´m not mad about this rule. I´m just annoyed that it still has to be mentioned. Bloggers should KNOW by now how harmful it is for an author if their book gets passed around. This annoys me. But not as much as the way some authors & book promo people go about this whole ARC business.

Look, I get it. By clicking the box on the Google doc form I agree to not forward the ARC to a third party. But what´s stopping the next book blogger from doing it anyways, you know? This is not me condoning piracy or anything. All I´m saying is that there are some tec savvy bastards out there. By agreeing to not do so by clicking a check box is not preventing this from happening. Use an anti theft ebook software, secure your files by restricting certain actions, send a pdf then delete it after it´s been read. There are ways to make life hard for someone who wants to share an ARC.

My advice for authors offering ARCs would be: Create a check box option that says-

 

“I understand that this ARC is protected by ____ and cannot be forwarded to a third party.”

 

That is something I will take seriously. It´s a statement that the book has been protected and can´t be shared. Voila!

Regardless of my feelings towards this check box clicking agreement, I have never and would never forward an ARC. Because I don´t have time for this shit. Read / review / move the fuck on.

 

 

 

Rule #2   

Promote The Book. Not Your Review.

 

Pretty simple, right? You sign up and request to review the book that´s  being promoted. Then you write a review and promote the book. Wrong. Quite often your opinion will be sorted out before you even manage to write a review for the damn book.

 

“Please contact us if you feel you aren´t able to rate this book with 3 or more stars. We will make sure to give you a new assignment.”

 

In other words- My opinion is only wanted when it´s dripping with praises. Gottcha. Wait, what?!

I´m seeing this issue with a black and white mindset. There´s a high demand for reviews in the book world. And authors need reviews in order to get sales going. So, when an author kindly provides me with an ARC for their book in exchange for a review, and I type up a 2 star review because that´s how I felt about said ARC… it´s not wanted?! Well, screw that!  Authors aren´t allowed to be picky. Of course, I understand the dynamics of book promotions and that you can´t necessarily promote a book with a 2 star review. The whole idea of a book blog tour is to promote an author and their book, right? But what if I told you that a 2 star review isn´t necessarily harmful? This is something many need to wrap their heads around. 1 star, 2 stars, 3 stars…. They´re generalized subjective opinions. It may be an opinion no one else will share.

A book blogger is then asked to not publish the review during the tour. Okay. So, basically, the author has saved themselves from a lesser review…. for the time being. Because they´re not interested in your opinion. They´re interested in praises and future sales. They´re interested in rainbows and unicorns.

I used to hate this so much. Most of the time I was able to give good book ratings for blog tour books. But when I did stumble upon a 2 star read, and I was asked to swap my assignment for something less “harmful for the author” I stepped away from the tour then waited until the tour was over and published my 2 star review for that same book days later.

My point is: Authors and book promo sites can´t avoid a book receiving a less than stellar rating. It´ll happen on way or another. Seeing a book blog tour with shining reviews looks unrealistic.

“Promote the book, not your opinion.” Yes, yes. My bad for misunderstanding that this is a shower the author / the book with praises tour instead of a book blog tour. How unthoughtful of me.

 

 

 

Rule #3   

Publish Your Post On Time. Preferably At An Impossible Time.

There´s a brilliant way to get on a book promo site´s shitlist- Not posting your scheduled post on time.

Whether it´s because you´ve posted too early or because you´ve posted way too late ( or not at all because you´re a ditz that has a memory of a goldfish )… You will most likely not win any plus points on this subject. Unless you´ve been sitting at your Mimaw´s death bed, you´re other excuses might not be accepted. Because there´s always the pre – scheduling option.

Yes, that small button that allows you to pre schedule a blog tour post can make your life so easy. But not all book bloggers schedule ahead. Why? Because a book spotlight isn´t a life or death situation for many bloggers. And why is that? Because many of us treat this as our hobby. Some book bloggers can´t give their hobby the attention it needs.

Still, book promo sites and authors demand to see posts go up at a certain time. For whatever reason, it doesn´t make sense.

I belonged to the people who pre scheduled blog posts. But on a few occasions, I slipped. Simply forgot about a blog tour because of a rough week at work, or having to deal with real life issues. Sometimes I forgot about a blog tour because friends dropped my unannounced with cheese and a bottle of rosé.

And because of the few times I slipped I received shit from the other end.

 

“You will be removed from our A – List. “

“I asked for all posts to go up at 7 EST.”

 

( insert appalled tone ) Yes, and I deeply apologize for holding my daughter´s hair back last night while she hung over the toilet screaming “I´m dying” as she puked the life out of her tiny body. Next time I´ll just call the babysitter. Would that put me back on your A – List?

My point is:  I understand how important a book blog tour is for an author AND book promo people. I´m aware how much authors pay for marketing geniuses to promote their work. I understand the need to make dreams come true.  What I don´t accept is how egotistical people are.  This is my hobby. We had an agreement. I clearly wasn´t able to meet the standards. This is not the end of the world. This can be fixed.  I´m not getting paid for any of this. Shit happens and when you have kids shit happens more often than not. Why this is not accepted is beyond me.

Mind you- This isn´t always the case. Some promo sites are forgiving and understanding when reality demands our attention. But many others aren´t forgiving. And I´ve simply had enough of this.

 

 

 

Rule #4   

The More Participants, The Better

 

Yes, yes. * waves off * We know. The more people who partake in a book blog tour the better. Because this means when many book blogger post about a book the further the book will travel. And that means more exposure. A total win for an author! They´re getting their money´s worth and maybe earning a buck or two. It´s their dream to see their book make it´s rounds, collecting feedback from all corners.

 

 

There´s a small yet crucial problem with this. And it has all to do with the package an author picks. Say an author wants exposure for their book. They want have a book blog tour done but only pick the simple book spotlight package. This book package offers a small feature for the book including an even smaller book info slip with social media & purchase links. Not a terrible choice but when this option is offered and 150 book bloggers sign up for this option there´s a huge chance people will be seeing this post for longer than expected. This works in favor for the author, sure. But it´s annoying, especially when these 150 book bloggers follow each other. And the problem with this is: We see the same post over and over again without having the option do see anything else that might spark our / a followers interest about that book. And worse? When the publication date is months away. Doing a book tour for a new release months before it hits the market isn´t the wisest choice. People tend to forget shit or become less interested when they know the book release is in 3 months.

But hey, at least people got to see the book, right?

This has bugged me for a long time. You get a book shoved down your throat months before it even releases.

 

 

 

Rule #5   

Don´t Expect A Thank You

I admit, this was what drove me to swear off book blog tours- The lack of recognition. The fact that book blog tours are sometimes ungrateful for a book blogger. I really don´t know how often I need to repeat this, but… Book bloggers are hard working minions who will bend over backwards for an author.  A simple Thank You has never killed anyone. I am not aware of any deaths of authors after they´ve expressed their gratitude towards a book blogger. In my opinion, the least an author could do is:

  • Visit the book bloggers blog and leave a comment
  • Follow the book bloggers blog
  • Thank them privately or publicly

I´ve witnessed authors who boldly claimed it wasn´t their job to thank a book blogger. It should be the book promo people who need to send out the thank you emails, simply because these people have been paid to do the job. To be honest- Almost all book promo people are well-mannered and thank all the book bloggers who participated in their tours. Book bloggers acknowledge that but wouldn´t it be nicer is the authors themselves took 5 minutes out of their busy, creative schedules to contact the bloggers personally?

It´s not about showering a book blogger with love. A book blog tour is about putting the author in a bright light, making them stand out so people will recognize them / their book. A book blog tour isn´t about a book blogger. We´re just needed to help. Without book bloggers, there are no book blog tours.

Every book blogger I know is starving for recognition and are often satisfied with a simple Thank You. How hard is it to say two words? It´s not and many authors who don´t get in touch with the people who promoted their books should be ashamed of themselves.

Many might not care about this. But I care. We´re living in a world where kindness is being taken for granted.

 

“They´re book bloggers. That´s what they do.” 

 

Yes, but there´s more to it than just click click, publish.

Many authors / publishers won´t bother with a thank you. A few make it a point to thank the invisible helpers.

 


 

I guess you can say book blog tours have pissed me off. That´s not entirely true. I once believed book blog tours were a brilliant way for authors to receive recognition. Now, after having seen so much go down with blog tours, I can say I´m not interested in this part of the business anymore. Because a writer isn´t the only person who exists. the 20 – 150 book bloggers promoting the author exist as well.

I write reviews under my own terms. I publish posts when I decide. I promote when the time is right for me.

As for the benefits of receiving early ARCs… The euphoria stage has passed and I´ve become a patient woman. I don´t have to read a book months before release. I have time.


 

What do you think about book blog tours? Do you participate in them? Do you enjoy being a part of a virtual book tour? Let´s chat ❤

 


 

Thank you so much for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed and that you were able to see my reasons for removing myself from book tours. ( if not, that´s fine. You´re forgiven )

Much love,

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5 ReasonsWhy I Avoid Hyped Books

Hyped books. Something I love to avoid. Which is so sad! I want to read a book that looks and sounds awesome, too. I can´t, though. My inner weirdo won´t let me. When I see a hyped book I immediately roll my eyes. I can´t help myself. It just happens.

Maybe it´s because I´m truly weird. Or perhaps it´s because I´m not a pushy person and hate when others are pushy. Oh, speaking of being pushy…. Ever thought of the definition of a hyped book?

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You´re welcome.

 

Hyped books are like flu season. It hits hard. Everyone eventually gets it. Everyone´s talking about it. And with time it doesn´t really leave. It lingers and makes our lives a living hell before it let´s us move on, Then, we wait for the next virus to attack us.

That´s how I see hyped books. Because they´re everywhere. They come from out of nowhere, stay a while then disappear ( reluctantly ). Ha! That´s just wishful thinking on my part. The reality of hyped books looks more like this:

Book magically appears. Book stays on social media for an eternity.

But why is that? What turns a simple published book into a hyped read? Who´s responsible for the hype? HOW CAN WE STOP THIS MADNESS?!

 

 

If I start to over analyze the subject my blood pressure might rise high enough to shoot a hole through my roof. We don´t want that to happen. Instead, let me tell you the 5 Reasons Why I Avoid Hyped Books.

 


 

5 reasons

 

 

  1. Overkill Book Promotion. 

You see a brand new published book. Fab cover. Interesting book description. The stars are aligned. But then you have a few minutes to spare and check out Instagram or any other popular social media platform and before you know it… that brand new book you saw is being shoved down your throat by 3/4 of the world´s book loving population. Everywhere you look that book is THERE. Yeah, no. I´ll pass.

 

2. 8 Million 5 Star Reviews

Hahaha. Nice try, fans of a hyped book / obsessive fans of trendy author. You can´t be trusted. Ever. Because a book is never completely flawless. I understand that while a book may be a 5 star read I also understand that all books, even the best from the best, have parts or scenes that weren´t to someone´s liking, or maybe the writing was slow… I mean- this is just my overall opinion but… no book, not even the 5 star reviews I publish for certain books are without flaws. I just don´t consider some flaws significant enough to mention.

Give me some flaws between the love gushing to work with and I might consider reading a hyped book.

 

3.  Die – Hard Fans

This is actually tied with #1 but it´s still not bad to give these folks a closer inspection. Die – hard fans…Super not trust-worthy. Why? Because all die – hard fans do is promote one and the same book to death. It´s what they do. They can´t move on. And if they do then it´s another round of long-term, annoying book promo. Also, these people don´t allow room for opinions that might differ from theirs.

 

4. When Your Friend Sends A Text

You know a hyped book has reached it´s peek when your book loving friend calls or texts to ask if you already read the latest hit. I live in a village… far far away from any form of city life. People roll the sidewalks away after 6 p.m. I have one bestie in this God forgotten place and when she calls to tell me I HAVE to read `The Fault In Our Stars` by John Green then I can´t. Seeing the book on the internet is one thing. I can avoid the internet. I can´t avoid my friend. An eye roll worthy moment for me whenever this happens ( and it only happens with hyped reads ).

 

5. The Ever Growing Pressure Of Not Having Read A Popular Book

Reading pressure. I don´t like that feeling at all. It´s the same with classic literature. Back in the day I felt awful for being a bookworm and not having read the true literary classics. I felt left out. I felt like I wasn´t worthy enough. Guess what? Screw that and the pressure bestowed upon us readers for not having read a hyped book. “What?! You haven´t read book XYZ yet?!” Yeah. I haven´t. And I probably never will. Thanks to all the wonderful people who´ve secured the book´s life long spotlight. Once I feel pressured I immediately lock down. Then it´s a “Too bad” type of situation.

 

The driving force behind hyped books are the fans. Of course, not all fans from hyped books are scary nutcases obsessive fans. Some book blogs I follow love certain hyped books and that´s totally fine. I understand the need to read a book that looks and sounds good. To  each is their own. Normal fans aren´t the ones shoving hyped books in my face. It´s the ones who can´t seem to let go.

Sadly, these obsessive readers ruin it for others.

Then there´s that overkill marketing from publishers. Sheesh. We get it. The book is good. How about marketing every other book the exact same way? Make it fair for everyone? Balance, maybe?

With that being said- I´m not completely immune. I´ve caved and read hyped books and I sometimes still do. It´s takes years of avoidance and a million discussions with befriended book people to convince me, though. I have to be 100% on board with a hyped book.


What are your thoughts on hyped books? Do you read them or avoid them? Let´s chat.

 

That´s it for today. Stay tuned to find out which hyped books I´ve been successfully avoiding and which I´ve avoided but eventually caved and read. Thank you so much for reading. ❤ Share the book love.


 

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Instagram Feature: Morgana´s Book Box

So, it´s been a little over a year since I started my Instagram project- Morgana´s Book Box.

During my Insta – year I´ve learned many things about Instagram.

  1. The algorithm is the cause of all evil
  2. Bookstagramming ( Book + Instagram = Bookstagram, Book blogger on Instagram = Bookstagrammer ) is tough

A year ago I had a mission to grace the pic – world with my idea of book promotion.

And in that year I´ve seen alot, met many wonderful people and… well, I´ve basically seen pics. Wonderful pictures, crappy pictures… Pictures that made my nose wrinkle and pictures that had me rolling on the floor, laughing.

Instagram is a fun place to hang out.

My grande plan to make the book world a prettier place slowly died down around September ´17. The idea to present a new kind of book promotion became harder and harder with each week. I gained followers but it seemed like those numbers weren´t really that interested in my content. Or they were but the algorithm made it hard for them to see my features. Either way, it sucked.

Don´t get me wrong- I had ideas. I still have them. It´s just that book blogging doesn´t seem to function over on Instagram. Fun bookish stuff? Absolutely. But actual book blogging? Not so much.

I had a slight feeling that my book box idea was getting old.

As much as I wanted to, I couldn´t stick to one theme. It was time to expand my horizon.

Try out new ways to promote books. Because, that´s what I do, right? I book blog.

Besides, I´m pretty sure no one is interested in the bomb that went off in my kitchen or the unmade bed in my bedroom.

So, here are my new book features, sans book box.

 

  1. Inside a book. I like open book pictures. They look cool no matter what book you use. A huge plus point is the little snippet you give from a featured book.

 

2. Indoor Book Box. I´m an outdoor person. Nature provides so much to work with. Indoor pics are cool but not everyday. I feel limited when I´m doing indoor features.

 

3. Close Up. A super SUPER close up of a bookish item. When you don´t have a book at your disposal then you dig out your swag.

 

4. Flowers. Another indoor feature. Since it´s freezing cold outside and nothing is blooming I´m stuck with working with fake flowers. Not all too terrible. I quite like the flowers after using 6 filters. 

 

5. Me. Yes. It´s happened. I crossed the book promotion line and posted a pic of myself. It´s book related. Anything book related goes, right? 

 

Anyone following Morgana´s Book Box on Instagram will be seeing more than just book box pictures. It´s time for creativity to take over!

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