The Art Of `Live And Let Live` ( In The Book Blog Community)

” But the world is getting worse and I blame the beginning of it´s demise on social media.”

– Ricky Gervais

 

I bet you saw this one coming, didn’t ya? The Art Of `Live And Let live`. Folks, this is exactly what it is. A post about living and leaving others alone.

This is not a click bait.. For the record: I’m not a click bait book blogger so there will be none of that here.

Normally, I´d go ahead and give you a generalized post on my thoughts regarding the topic at hand. I´d throw in some pros and cons and provide some real examples and include my personal opinion. Not this time. I´ve something else in mind.

Stay factual. Stay realistic. Stay diplomatic. Try to stay neutral. That´s what I try to aim for when typing up my posts. For most of the time I reach my own standards.   I don´t blog about books and book related topics to unleash hell onto others for the sake of personal pleasure. Why am I even telling you all this?

Well, something happened today. Something that had shocked me. I spotted a tweet on Twitter that hit close to home.  And the weird part? It was about my blog post and what it did for other people.

Initially, I had not planned on publishing a post over the weekend. Now I feel like one has to go up. For many of you, this might sound so petty. So annoying.  Trust me- I´m just as annoyed. Please bear with me, dear annoyed non participants. My fingers are crossed that this´ll find an end sooner than later. I have just as much important shit to do.

There has been talk regarding my blog posts. Mind you- this isn´t the first time someone disagreed with one of my posts. But it´s the first time I´m seeing a complaint done behind my back.

My life motto is

`Live and let live.`

 

Unfortunately, this concept is totally alien for many people, It´s easy to live and let live. It´s apparently more fun not to. This also applies for book blogging. Most of the time the things I see happening in the book community are fairly harmless ( by harmless I mean things that don´t have people sobbing in the fetus position at night ). A little bitching here, and a lot of nagging there. Most of the time I find this really great. Opinions are what get conversations rolling. You have an opinion on a topic and share it, even welcome other opinions? I´m in! What I don´t like is when things become personal.

By `live and let live`I´m saying accept what others do and move on. Respect a book bloggers opinion and continue with life as it was.

 

`Live and let live.`

 

Yeah. The offended book committee doesn´t share my life philosophy. They say they do but they don´t.  Instead, these people make it their mission to keep my name within their radars. Because they were offended by one of my posts.
Which posts, you ask? What could be so awful that have people feeling all sorts of uncomfortable? Even feeling personally attacked?

 

The Art Of Pointing Fingers At Book Bloggers

Excuse me for not being a friend of finger pointing at book bloggers. You don´t post links from a book blogger and bash them in a group because you´re fucking unhappy. Have you no common sense?

A post about how unnecessary I feel it is to feel offended by the fakeness of Instagram. My personal opinion on this subject aside- I was told my post offended people. No one cared about my opinion. And it was a positive opinion. I was pro `live and let live`.

Here´s what happened: I was a new member of a Facebook book group and shared a post of mine. Keep in mind that I had been a member for only a short period of time before I shared a link to one of my blog posts. The first comment I received was from the admin.

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” Just read some fucking books.” A sad response from someone I had only exchanged a few words with in a previous post ( she was moody there as well ). Practically a stranger. So, this is how we speak with group members now? I´m appalled by this attitude and behavior.  We´re a book blog community. You can dislike my post but you are not allowed to be uncivilized. My post was clean. I had an opinion. Take it or leave it. Don´t tell me my post was offensive when in reality, you just didn´t like it. There´s a difference. See the difference.

I will not lie- this has been my top 2019 post so far. I´ve had dream worthy views ( and still counting ). I´m pretty sure the majority of the views on this post had been from the offended committee. Because, how dare I talk about a subject and publish my link in a group for book bloggers! Shame on me for trying to be a part of a group.

After that I left the group. Because I´m not stupid. Once an attitude, twice an attitude.. I´m not sticking around for round 3. So, I left. I dusted my hands off and moved on. Best decision I had in a long shot. Unfortunately for me, one group member followed me to my blog and thought it would be wise to continue what I ended in the group  underneath one of my blog posts. One person hunted me down to give me a piece of her mind. Keep in mind- That pilgrim had her little moment in the group I posted my link in. She wasn´t done, though.

 

 

Turns out, I have no empathy because I don´t care about the feelings of others. My post was “harmful”. No, it wasn´t. This discussion was long done for me before the loyal book pilgrim followed me to my blog.

 

 

So, people who are offended by posts are allowed to post about their feelings and I am supposed to sit back and accept wordlessly? No. That´s wrong on so many levels.

 

Then there´s this gem of mine that has caused more than just a stir. This time more people were involved. This is the Twitter post I spotted. The post about my post. A fellow book blogger defended me on her Twitter page and ended up being blocked. Why? Because I published a post about

Why I Don´t Join Book Blog Tours Anymore

The title says exactly what´s in this post. I reveal the reasons why I don´t participate in book blog tours anymore. How can this be misunderstood for anything else? And this had the bush drums going in a book blogger group. Not sure if I should laugh, cry, feel flattered, be shocked…

The reasons have stemmed from my personal experiences. Things that have occurred in the span of my 10 year book blogging career. I have not, and will not reveal the names of these book tour organizers because they´ve retired 2 – 5  years ago.

Why has this post about my not participating in blog tours been written? What was my motive? Do I need one? No. But I´ll amuse everyone anyway. It felt right to share my experiences. I wanted to share my stuff and maybe help others even if it´s by showing them that they aren´t alone with this. What´s wrong with that? Should I have not posted about why blog tours don´t work for ME anymore? Should I have worded the whole thing differently just to have the approval of the offended party? No can do. That would go against my book blog religion.

 

“Some people just don´t care.”

Here´s something to think about:

What would happen ( after having read an experience post of mine ) if the offended person just sat down and asked themselves how this could have happened to a book blogger? The post is open for discussion. Why not get in touch and ask for details. Ask about specifics instead of feeling offended. Because that´s how it looks like from my end of the stick. “I´m offended. I feel attacked.” When it reality my post was never about others. Just me. What is there to feel offended about? Unless these people felt offended on my behalf. Which I highly doubt.

My experiences are my personal facts. You can have your opinion on my opinion but you can´t feel offended by something I´ve dealt with. That´s ridiculous. Unless you´re offended on my behalf. I still doubt that.

 

To sum this whole thing up:

Believe it or not- I wouldn´t publish anything I don´t like. Should someone feel offended by whatever banal post I deem worthy of publishing then there´s always the option of ignoring me.

It´s simple. If you´re not convinced then try it out for yourselves. It works wonders for me.

People, if you are not able to live and let live then at least try! Try for the sake of peace. You can have a good rant. Make a post out of the topic you want to rant about. Ranting is healthy. The behavior I´ve been unofficially subjected to ( because, technically, I haven´t seen the post in the actual Facebook group. Just saw the tweet and was informed by a blogger friend )  is a low form of confrontation. Behind my back. A questionable act against someone who can´t defend themselves because they´re not in the group anymore.

Here´s another thing to consider:

It was clear the person and I weren´t able to meet eye to eye from the start ( although I tried ). The most logical thing to do would be if both went on our merry ways. I did that. The other person didn´t. The fact that this person has been checking on my posts tells me the person is just waiting for something to feel offended about.

The person who targeted my post stated she had planned  to comment on my post at first. She didn´t. I´m now grateful she decided against it. God knows how many more gray hairs I would have gained after a chitchat.

I am not interested in a discussion with this person anymore. Not now, not ever. Should this person reach out to me for whatever reason I will not react. I´ve reacted enough already. The offended parade is officially over. It´s time to move on.

Here´s a kind reminder for the future book blog community: Stop being fucking dicks.

And start working on social skills. Learn how to agree to disagree. Learn how to respect opinions. Learn to live and let live.

 

On a side note:

I´d like to give a huge hug to the person who posted that tweet. She didn´t tag me and I will not tag her because she has been through enough already by defending my blog post and herself.  And of course a Thank You to the person who sent me the screenshot via DM. Thank you. This is what book blogging should be about. Helping each other and standing up for one another. Because what hurts one of us can hurt another book blogger if we keep silent. Thank you, both.

 

On another side note: 

No book blogger should ever stay silent when they feel they´ve been wronged. Speak up. And if you´re not the type then get in touch with a fellow blogger. We don´t just write reviews. We´re a community.

This has been a long post. Much longer than I wanted it to be. My first thought was to dismiss this whole idea of standing up for myself. But I couldn´t. I could be helping others. I want to help others.

What I don´t want it to approach this subject ever again. It´s done. The joke is around the corner. It´s time to read and review and do other fun shit.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you belong to the people who were offended by my posts then do yourselves a favor- Don´t bother commenting. I don´t appreciate wasting my time discussing my crystal clear posts with you. I am not interested.

If you´ve been through the same situation or know someone who has dealt with something similar.. Feel free to share. I´d be more than happy to chat. ❤

 

Much love and don´t forget to share the book love,

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The Art Of Pointing Fingers At Book Bloggers

ATTENTION

It is advised to leave all pitch forks at the doorstep of this blog. Thank you.

 

Maybe the title of this blog post should be “The Art Of Calling People Out On Their Shit” because it truly suits the purpose of this post much better. Or perhaps I should turn this post into a ” How To Start A Bookish Witch Hunt” guide…. Not sure.

Either way- I saw something ( again ) that caught my interest.

I know, I know. Wasn´t it just a few weeks ago when I spotted the last bookish faux pas? It was and it pains me to point out the latest ( and loudest ) tactless acts in this oh so love – sharing book community done by certain online personalities.

 

 

So many people believe us book loving folks are harmless introverts who mind our own business because our noses are constantly stuck in book cracks. We´re all clones of 1970´s librarians. The reality, though, is that we´re just as human as non readers are, and therefore behave like normal everyday people ( unless we´re reading. Then I can´t guarantee what us book people are capable of ). Some of us are genuine and nice and others are just mean shits with too much time on their hands.

 

So, the other day I spotted quite a few posts on how people didn´t quite approve of  Instagrammers “fake coffee”.

 

 

Instagrammers creating fake coffee for pics? Does this mean someone´s trying to sell us all a lie? You mean to tell me, ME, that there ain´t no coffee in those wonderful mug pics I see all the time?

 

 

Well, no, Bitch…. I´m not shook. Not in the slightest. It´s no secret that most Instagram coffee shots don´t have actual coffee in them. Seeing recent posts from quite a few book – people bitch over this matter wasn´t earth shattering. Just simple complaints over the fact that the world is sneaky and corrupt. I can live with that.

But here´s where it gets interesting:

The more complaints I saw the more every complaint sounded like they came from frustrated people. Some even went as far and virtually pointed fingers at certain book bloggers who openly discussed their bookstagram / coffee voodoo. And the more I investigated the more I spotted  hurt people ratting out other people by adding blog links.

 

 

Really? Is this what we´ve reduced ourselves to? ( not including myself here ) Complaining about fake coffee and trying to put others on the spot for doing so?

 

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Soph Is Blogging published a blog post on Bookstagrammers And Their Fake Coffee and even cared enough to reveal her own secrets on how to create great coffee dupes for the ever unforgiving Instagram ( I am mentioning Soph because a link to her blog was posted by one of the many complainants ).

You can tell her post was created to act as a little guide on how to do the fake coffee trick. I don´t know about you but I find this extremely interesting, even as a non coffee drinker. In no way is this a terrible thing. Soph is welcoming others to do the same.

I was always aware of the fact that something wasn´t 100% right with those Insta- coffee pics but I also never cared enough to dig deeper into matter. Because I´m not passionate enough about it but I still find it really cool to find out how coffee dupes are made.

Here´s the thing- Fake coffee is nothing different from the beautiful pimped burgers in Tv commercials. Am I sad about it? No, not really. Soph is more or less offering her pics to her fans / followers, presenting them with something that looks stunning. It´s her creation and she´s spending time getting something up that´s perfect for her.

Now, this doesn´t mean I´m a fan of fake coffee pics. This just means I don´t care enough about them.

I, too, fake some of my Instagram pics and like Soph… I´m not making a secret out of it. Because it should go without saying that most Instagram shots don´t resemble reality. I certainly don´t always have a mug near me when I´m reading. And I sure as hell don´t set my book down and keep it in that position when I´m reading. I don´t even read near the window because my window sills ( as lovely as they are ) don´t allow comfortable seating. My bones would protest after 30 minutes! But my window sill does work wonders for Bookstagram pics. So does the forest in my back yard, and trust me on this one… I do NOT go there for random chapter reads ( mainly due to ticks, boars, foxes, and random creeps. What can I say? I´m careful and shit). Safety is high on my life list so whatever I do with books for Instagram- It´s not what I usually do.

For example: I don´t have chilled walks in the middle of a normally busy road with a book in hand.

And my Disney moment in the woods? Yeah. It´s fake.

 

 

 

My point is- Bookstagram pictures are often staged shots. And that´s okay. Because that´s what Instagram has become- A place to show off creativity. It is not a place where “shallow”  people ( as one complainant kindly stated ) play.

Which brings me to my next point ( and this will not be a popular opinion ) :

I´m for naming this child by its name: People who complain about fake coffee are envious. Or (!!!) they feel like they´ve been cheated on by society. Because I´m positive these complaints don´t come from a place of awe and appreciation.

It´s the same thing with children during art class. There´s always one special booger who will call out on the one artsy kid who dared to cheat the system by taking their wet paint brush and letting it glide over the colored pencil drawing to create a watercolor effect instead of using normal watercolors.

Yes, sometimes bookstagrammers can make other bookstagrammers feel inadequate. But that´s entirely up to the bookstagrammer to see the difference between reality and a lie. Once a person whines about something being “unfair” and “makes their lives difficult” then it´s no one elses problem but theirs. These people have no right to complain over peanuts.

I create “fake” ( although, I´m still having troubles seeing the fake aspect of all this ) because I want to challenge myself. Can I be as creative as…. ? Can I do that too? What if I recreated that Christmas book tree? And I even publish my failures and include the tutorial that led to the failure.

For someone to point their finger at a book blogger  for wanting to be helpful and even share a link to publicly put said book blogger on display ( also hoping to find sympathizers afterwards ) is not the way to go about things in this book community.

No one likes a tattletale, especially when it´s done on the internet. Because that shit can backfire.

 

If you feel I´ve addressed you in particular then I´m sorry I won´t be able to help you. This is a beautiful yet tough love community. Pull those big girl panties up and move on because there are larger issues to tackle in this neck of the woods ( such as self published authors and their sky high book prices ).

 

ATTENTION… again

Hurt bookstagrammers, offended book people and the literary sheriffs are able to collect their pitch forks again. Make sure to direct yourselves in the direction of your usually prefered hangouts to discuss this matter in private. Thank you.  

 

Should you be like me and feel utterly annoyed by this issue ( tbh- it´s bugging the shit out of me ) then feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. Imma dying to see what your thoughts on fake coffee are and if you think it´s okay to point fingers at others publicly.

And and and * waves hands enthusiastically * IF you´re against fake coffee, and you´re willing to have a civilized conversation about it, then please give us annoyed foot folk some insight on what exactly annoys you about the subject. Any info is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

With that being said…. I bid you all a farewell, my dear bookish Padawans. May the literary force be with you.

Much love,

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When You Think You´ve Seen It All ( incl. screenshot show )

Just when you think you´ve seen it all some questionable person comes along and proves you wrong. And boy, was I proven wrong. What I witnessed just takes the cake. No. It takes the cake to a new level of “You kidding me?!“.

I´m going to skip the formalities and ditch any kind of etiquette for this post because what I´ll show you just shows how much respect us book bloggers are given when it comes to wanting to read ARCs ( Advanced Reader´s Copy).

If you don´t approve or accept profanity then I kindly suggest you ignore certain words or just… leave my blog. It´s up to you. I don´t feel like wasting my time trying to come up with a replacement for the word “fuck”.

You all know ( or probably not ) that I´m not new to the book blog world. I´ve been in this business for close to a decade. I was there when the big book blog boom happened. I saw the births of many book blogs and also watched these either grow or collapse.

Trust me when I say: I´ve been there. I´ve done that. I bought way too many shirts.

This is by no means me being an arrogant little turd. This just means I´ve witnessed a lot and lived through 9 years worth of book blogging stuff. Especially when it comes to the Indie – Self publishing community. Nothing should surprise me anymore.

Right now, I´m living the easy going book blog dream. I´m having as much fun as possible. I buy books, I accept ARCs and I request ARCs. Then I review.

For those of you who aren´t familiar with requesting ARCs:

You can do this by using a popular platform that offers ARCs ( Netgalley ) or you can request ARCs directly from the publisher OR (!!) you´ll see an ad somewhere on social media from an author / PA, specifically looking for book bloggers who are willing to read said book.

From all 3 options, I´d say Netgalley and publishers are the easiest route when wanting an ARC. There´s no hassle. You request a book and you either get approved or you don´t. Indie / self published writers seem to make more of a fuss over the whole I´m – looking – for – readers – who´ll – review issue. There´s never a guarantee a book blogger will receive a requested ARC of a book they´re interested in… but it´s always worth a go. You never know if you don´t try, right?

And I fully understand WHY Indie / self published authors go the extra mile with their ARCs. Some of these folks have no clue about marketing. They have no idea how to spread their work and gain footing in the writing business. So, they´ll use whatever worked out for a befriended writer or they´ll copy whatever they´ve seen. TOTALLY FINE.

A few years back I lived for social media ARC ads. Those were simple and easy to manage ( Not easier. Just easy. ) Author X was new and needed exposure and reviews. So, what happened was:

  • Authors/ uber cheerleaders of the author would create a google document ( a sign up form ) for book bloggers interested in ARCs to fill out. This was / is done to keep track of book bloggers and their reviews but also to have a clear overview on how often / far a book would travel. A standard process.
  • A Blog Tour would take place within a certain timeframe and during this time signed up book bloggers would upload their reviews for said book / author. This is also standard. The only problem with this was ( and still is ): Some people aren´t reliable. Life gets in everyone´s way at some point and because of that reviews have often been forgotten or were uploaded late.

And in the end… everyone´s happy. A book blogger was able to read a not yet released book and an author received reviews. A win win situation. All you had to do was fill out a simple google doc. Insert your name, your blog name, blog URL, social media URL and click the box saying you won´t forward the ARC.

Sometime after this authors / PAs / book promotion sites began including little informative guidelines for ARC reviewers.

“If you are unable to rate this book with 3 or more stars then we will assign you to do another post.”

Meaning: If the ARC I so badly wanted to read turns out to be a 2 star rated book then I´m not allowed to participate in the blog tour with my review. I´ll be given something else to post, e.g. cover reveal, excerpt, author interview.

To be honest – This pissed me off. Authors asking for good reviews only? Nice try. Not going to happen, hombres. I eventually quit the social media ARC ads. Almost every author wanted the same thing and none of them were ashamed to ask for it.

Some of my reviews were never included in the book promo tours because of this issue.

The bottom line here is: I believe no author is in the position to demand good reviews only. This marketing strategy makes these authors look desperate. It´s a turn off. I don´t care how bad or good the book or future books will be… I will refuse to support people who take these steps.

I was pretty damn successful in ignoring Social Media ARC ads. Until I saw something on Instagram.

So, authors were using Instagram to look for potential reviewers? Okay. That made me smile. Instagram- out of all social media sites….. Seriously? But hey- I´m not here to complain. So much time has passed. Maybe indie / self publishing authors turned back to being humble and…. excited that anyone wanted to read their books.

And with my luck, the ARC ad I spotted was for a book that actually interested me!

Wonderful!

All I needed to do was comment, take a screenshot of the ad and post it on my Insta feed. Yuck! Why? Why post it on my feed? ( don´t answer that. Lol. I know WHY.) Why force someone to show how MUCH they want the arc? Aren´t PMs and google docs enough? Apparently not. Okay, fine. I was game. As I´ve said- It´s been years since when I requested my last ARC. Shit, I was excited.

This is where I knew I made the biggest mistake in my book blogging career.

Beware! This is a full on screenshot show ( from my own phone ) of the google sign up form from the ARC I requested. Names and book titles will not be revealed because I´m not a complete asshole. This is to show you to what lengths people will go to for exposure.

  1. Ooookay. This is actually a standard opening. Although- the line about not being interested in first time reviewers does leave a bad taste behind. Shut down before having a chance. Outch.salt

2. So far so good…. No. Forget that. They require my age? Since when is this important to review an ARC? Why? What will my age tell them? I´m not afraid to say I´m 36, but… this is weird and in no circumstances appropriate. Who the fuck cares? If you don´t truly need my age then why ask for it?

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3. * SCREECHING TO A HALT * Excuse me? Why I did click on the google doc link in the first place? Because I was interested. And YOU determine ( after making me read a sample of your book ) by my response if the book and I are a good match? HAHAHA. I´ll be the judge of that one.. right after I read the book. At this point I wasn´t even interested in reading the damn book anymore. Such arrogance.

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4. Please DO NOT ask me to post a link from a different book to one of my reviews on Amazon. To a review that has NOTHING to do with the ARC I´m requesting. For fuck´s sake! What is wrong with these people? This is not only disrespectful towards me but also towards the authors who´re already struggling with Amazon reviews. I see what this question for what it is and I find this a pathetic attempt to spread the word. And I don´t care if there´ve been difficulties with Amazon. You want to see if I´m able to post reviews on Amazon? Try going there and finding mine. Or, take my word for it.

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5. Hahahaha. You sleazy….. To which Goodreads review shall I add the link? To the one review I did for a NYT Bestselling author or are you okay with me adding the link to a self published author who only has 5 fans? I will not do this for ANY author. But I will give my Instagram and blog URL.

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6. First I will steal one of my daughter´s color books and color out a picture of a squirrel. Then I will add your name and frame it. Then I plan to remove all my clothes and make a beeline towards the huge trampoline outside and hop on to that and jump the soul out of my body, while holding the picture frame and screaming your name from the top of my lungs. If that doesn´t attrack enough attention I can try roller skating ( naked, of course ) down at the football club and scream and shout. That´s my fan art promo. And if that doesn´t do the trick I could do cartwheels… even with one hand… I might break a few bones because of my AGE… but hey, I´m trying to be creative and shit. If my enthusiasm doesn´t excite you then I might have to sell my body.., all for the sake of promoting the book. WHAT DO THEY THINK A BOOK BLOGGER DOES WITH BOOK PROMO? IS WHAT WE DO NOT GOOD ENOUGH? I find this questionable beyond words. I will promote your book but I won´t bend over backwards for you without being paid. Since I´m positive you´re not willing to pay I´d say you warm up to the idea of me being naked on your behalf.

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7. Am I okay with a PDF file? * sigh * I actually prefer PDF files, yes. But after all this I´m being offered a PDF file? I was sure, after such a questionnaire, they´d give out hardcovers that have been dipped twice in gold. My soul and undivided attention is worth more than a PDF file, ladies. To the how many reviews I write in a year – You have my blog URL. Go and check out the review repertoire if you´re really interested. Stop being lazy demanding shits. Back in the day we worked our asses off for others and other returned the favor. And the read / review pace – You afraid I won´t upload quick enough?

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8. I don´t want to be apart of a super cool super secret FB page. Why? Because your group / street team probably has super many guidelines and outrageous rules. Who knows, you might want to know what my morning routine looks like or how I hold my book when reading.

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So, that was the google doc sign up form. Surprised? Shocked? Or are you not surprised because this is the new normal? Well, it shouldn´t be if it is. This is appalling. I wasn´t applying for a job at some top notch firm. I requested an ARC.

And the worst thing about this is: There are people who will oversee the wrong side of this approach. It´s wrong on so many levels. We´re not at a circus event.

Oh, and if you´re wondering why I haven´t exposed the author – I don´t want to be that person. I´m not out to destroy someone´s career because they made a huge mistake. It´s not my choice to crush someone´s dreams. I´m fully relying on karma.

A google doc sign up form for book bloggers should NOT look like the above. It is NOT right to be picky and exclude first time reviewers. They are willing readers and will do the job just as an experienced book blogger would. Authors have no right to be picky. How dare they?

There is no reason for someone to include their age. I´m not sensitive when it comes to this but I also see no logic behind the request. I´m older. Now what? Will I be sifted out because I don´t fit some pattern?

If the author and people behind the google doc want to see if there´s a match with the book and the reader before hand… then there shouldn´t be any sort of exchange happening. If you are willing to give out advanced reader´s copies then you just have to trust. Because it IS a huge risk. You and I are aware of that. But I have to be the one to lay out all my cards just so you can sleep better at night? You simply cannot cover all bases and think you´ll come out safe by demanding information that shouldn´t be asked.

About the posting “the link” to my Amazon reviews. This should be forbidden. I despise this tactic. It tells me that the author is ready to cross all lines just for the sake of “getting out there”. Every other excuse doesn´t make sense.

Let´s tackle #6. This is ridiculous. Book bloggers are marketing experts. We KNOW what to do. We don´t need to give you a list of things we do to promote books. That ARC ( just as any other ARC ) is never a top priority in life. This sounds harsh, I know. But we´re keeping it real here. I love to book blog and take ARCs seriously. Don´t ask me what I´m willing to do and THEN decide if I´m good enough to promote the ARC. You´d be better off asking straight off the bat for what you´re exactly looking for.

I´m not in any way offended by this. I´m appalled. Because some authors have become picky. I get that ARCs are risky business but this takes the biscuit. I also don´t think the creators of this google doc meant any harm. For them, this was the best option to keep an author from being hurt. But they didn´t think of how this doc would be perceived. Authors usually want to keep things light and fun, just as book bloggers do. But this really isn´t acceptable. Doing something like this shines a bad light on the author. It makes authors look desperate, lazy and entitled.

If you are not ready to accept the fact that you have to work hard for your dreams then you´re not ready to approach them.

I would appreciate if authors wouldn´t take this approach. It´s just too bizarre.
I would appreciate if book bloggers would use their heads and not fall for this.

But above all- I would like for people in the book blog community to know about this. To maybe learn from this mistake and take a different route- A much more blogger friendly one.

Because an author wants something from a book blogger. And a book blogger is ( most of the time ) willing to provide that something for the author.

PS: I wasn´t lucky enough to get my hands on that ARC. Lol. I´m betting that my answers weren´t acceptable.

Now you know what a book blogger goes through sometimes.

I would like to know: Have you had a similar experience with a google sign up doc for an ARC/Blog Tour? I would love to chat about this.

I hope you found this slightly informative or even helpful.

Dear bookish Padawans…. I wish you a wonderful day. ❤ Don´t forget to share the book love. ❤

Take care and be kind.

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Mug Monday & The Truth

Hi everyone and welcome back to my apocalyptic Mug Monday special!

I hope you all are enjoying your day so far? If not- Do not fear. Tomorrow is Tuesday. All will be better in a few hours ( or so I keep telling myself ).

I don´t know why I keep wanting to reveal my latest blog news on Mondays. I belong to  those people who should never be approached at the beginning of the week. I´m moody and grumpy and just… bla. This is also usually a no filter day for me, too. Because of my bla mood I tend to act like I´m entitled to have all the chocolate in the world. Because it´s Monday and all. So, why I bother wanting to share news is beyond me. I should pick a Friday for these posts…

Still, I´m just going to go for it and see what happens.

The title says The Truth.  That´s what I´ll give you. I´m at a point in my blogging career where I feel like I´m not feeling to the book world anymore.  And this is not because I´m suffering from the Monday blues or because I think the content I´m publishing isn´t worth it. I´m sure some of you actually enjoy my concept ( I hope that´s the case ).

Reviews, discussion posts, tags…. It´s not like I belong to a selected few who do these things. I´ve already ditched the cover reveals for upcoming releases and have eliminated the book blog tours from my repertoire ( Why? You´ll get to read all about it soon ). I´ve reduced my book blogging to a simple read / review / discuss book related stuff concept.

It´s what I love to do. It´s also what I´ll continue to do.

Remember- No matter what niche in this business you´re working in ( book blogger, promoter, PA, professional reviewer, etc ) this is all supposed to be fun. It´s about getting in touch with like-minded people and sharing thoughts… even make a friend or eight ( or more ).

November has given me so much time to think about book blogging and what my hobby means to me. Does it still excite me? Do I feel like I´m adding to the community? Do I think I can do better / worse? These questions have been bugging the foo foo out of me.

And no matter how often I asked myself those questions, the answers are always the same: Yes. I feel like I´m supposed to be where I´m at. And I definitely feel like I can do better. The problem with excitement is: It´s temporary. I would like much more to feel like I´m doing whatever the hell I want, instead of feeling like I´m getting lost on a road I find exciting. Because I´m holding back. I´m keeping a lid on things for the sake of peace. We never want to offend a fellow book blogger or an author or a publisher, right? We never want to say things that could make people uncomfortable.I hate this feeling. It´s not who I am. It´s not who I want to continue to be.

All this is sounding like I´m about to give up book blogging. I assure you, I´m not. But I do feel like it´s time for a content make – over.

I don´t want to throw reviews at my followers/ friends and call it a day.  I want to be able to share the weird book related stuff I do offline with the book blog community.

I want to sit down and talk about things hardly anyone bothered to mention. Believe it or not- I bitch a lot about these things when I´m not online. I want to talk about book pricing and explain how they´re created. I want to reveal why a paperback ( sporting 250 pages ) by a self published author costs 16 euros ( 14 British Pounds , 18 USD ). I want to expose the wrong doings and highlight the brilliance of the community. And I want to add in personal stuff that surrounds book topics.

I have worked with authors and blogger for close to a decade and there´s always something to tell. I want to see where I can take this book blogging hobby of mine. If this means slightly branching out then… by all means – Let´s do it.

Starting December I will be gifting you with a new concept. How that will look and what it means for everyone who´s been following me… Be patient. You´ll see soon enough.

November still has a few days left. Let´s enjoy what´s left of this month with the old before we reveal the new right away. Still, I advise you to be prepared. * Insert evil laugh *

It wasn´t my intention to bring down the general mood of this post. So, before this gets more depressing I´ll leave you all on a good note and FINALLY reveal my Mug of the week.

pink mug
The blinding neon pink mug

See those books? Those are the gems from my TBR pile, waiting to be reviewed. See the mug? * face palm * My daughter asked why I never featured her mug. I had no other choice this time. This hot pink neon blinding mess of a color is far better than the one I have to feature next week ( because daughter #2 thinks I need to show her favorite mug, as well ). Dear bookish Padawans… I advise you to be prepared for the dinosaur horse mug next week.

Okay, lovelies,

I´ve had a blast tonight.

Share the book love and watch out for new features!

Much love,

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Ridiculous Book Sex

Alas, a subject I have been dying to write about. A topic that needs further discussion.

Sex in books.

Romance readers want to have a good time while reading. They want the heartache, the sappy moments, etc. If a romance has the whole package, including good sex scenes, then it´s a total win for us readers.

Reality has taught us that sex can be loads of fun ( If done right, of course. ) and reading about it in a book that has a drop-dead-gorgeous male protagonist in it makes the head theater much more fun.

When I´m reading an erotic romance I´m literally waiting for a good sex scene with great sex. You know- the mind-blowing kind. The kind of sex in books that take a reader to a complete new level of horniness. I´m not talking about reading a porn….I´m referring to a romance / erotica novel that has sex in it. ( okay….maybe erotica novels come pretty close to porn, or not. What do I know?!)

In my opinion – reading about sex cannot be compared to pornography because… Well, characters in books have background stories and go through emotional highs and lows. Porn doesn´t. Although, my husband disagrees with me on that one. Just the other day he tried to convince me that porn movies have an actual plot. * Hangs head * Romance novels keep it real to a certain extent.

ANYWAYS…. Back to book sex:
I bow before any author who writes about sex. Period. I cannot imagine how hard it is to write about 2 people screwing and gushing their feelings for each other. Some authors have so much talent in that department. I often ask myself if those scenes came from personal experience or if it´s just a thought up scene. Imagined. Either way…..I love extremely well written, fully described, sensual, intimate sex scenes in novels. Nothing makes me more happy to know someone put a lot of thought into a scene like that. It´s actually pretty cool if you think about it.

But then there are authors who just write about sex. You know…..the questionable kind. The kind that puts huge question marks on my panties instead of making them change their color.

Now- this is a subject we all can discuss to no end because everyone has a different opinion on what good sex is. Which is fine by me. We all have different tastes, right? I´m not judging anyone if they like to read about any type of bed sports. To each is their own. But in some cases ( no matter what kind of sex I´m talking about) the sex is too much to take in. It´s also almost tacky. Tasteless. 

Authors often over-do it with their sex scenes. I´m not talking about all authors. I´m only referring to 75% of self published writers who include sex in their romances.

I consider myself still young, with being 35. I´m practically living in the best years of my life. But not even I find it sexy to read about characters who screw at every given opportunity. I can´t, by all that´s holy, visualize a sex marathon that goes on and on and on without feeling some sort of mental exhaustion after a while.

You have to keep in mind that I´m 35, not 20. I have a hard time keeping up with fictional characters these days because all they want to do is have sex. Even if I wanted to, I couldn´t have as much sex as book characters have. It´s as if these fictional characters are trying to compete with rabbits.

I know that the stories I read ( especially in the romance/erotica world) aren´t meant to be realistic. Still…..cut me some slack here- At some point, a Heroine has to start walking like John Wayne after she´s been well screwed / shagged / fucked by the sex-God from down the road. I´d definitely need a weeks worth of bed rest if were a female protagonist from any sex loaded novel.

I live in Europe…which means people over here are confronted with sex on a daily basis in a healthy way. Sex is apart of life. No need to shut up about it.   Either people like it kinky, or they don´t. No one is utterly fazed or shocked over here. So, before anyone gives me the ” Prude” stamp- keep in mind that I´m as open-minded as anyone can be. You cannot shock me with sexual acts or dirty talk, or what-not. I just do not appreciate bad / too much sex in a book. That just distracts from the actual plot. Or a terrible dialogue, for that matter.

An author can make their characters as kinky as they want them to be…I still don´t think anyone or anything should have sex 20 times a day, as some authors LOVE to make their characters do. That just…..hurts to think about.

 

And, please, * slamming hands on table, leaning forward, giving the stern look*, what is it with the Dialogue during sex scenes? Has anyone noticed how the majority of romance / erotica heros do the ultimate „ You´re so wet for me“ line?

Or, wait! I got a better one!

“Come for me, baby“  *shaking head* Am I the only one who noticed those two sentences in almost EVERY romance / erotica novel lately?

It´s not the sentences alone that are terrible. It´s the fact that those sentences come up in every damn sex scene. Let´s say characters X and Y are having sex for the first time. And all of a sudden X says: „ Oh, you´re so wet for me.“ Okay. It´s a line that isn´t original, but it´s still okay. If an author believes those words must be included, fine.

When X and Y have sex the second and third time ( in the same night, day, week ), X says the same words to Y. Uuhm… * scratching head * Does Y need a bucket because she´s so wet? Should X fetch the Tupperware just in case?

Obviously, X can´t get over the fact that Y gets wet! Y get´s utterly wet as soon as X touches her! Y is leaking.

And when X commands Y to orgasm ( or better…to come – to cum ) Y magically orgasms. Every single time! Some ladies might find that ” to orgasm ” on command is a hard task to do. But who am I kidding * wave off * I´m thinking way to realistic. What do I know, right?

Let´s rehash-

X is fascinated by the fact that Y gets so wet for him all the time that he needs to announce it.

Y can orgasm on command effortlessly because X is DA SHIT!

Let´s do a real life version of a novel sex scene ( of course, a woman has a few options on how to respond to the magic words)-

Guy: „ oh, Baby….you´re so wet for me.“

Woman: ( option nr. 1 ) „ U-huh.“

Woman: ( option nr .2 ) „ Really? How bad is it down there?“

Woman: ( option nr. 3 ) „ Yeah, I´m so wet for you.“

Or the woman might not give any answer and enjoy what´s bound to happen.

Guy: „ You want to come? Then come, NOW!“

Woman: „ Hold on…I´m almost there…“

Guy: „ No. I want you to come, NOW“

Woman: „ I can´t now. Just keep doing what you´re doing…almost there…“

Guy: ” NOW! Damn it ! N.O.W! Why can´t you orgasm on command?!“

Woman: „ Because I´m NOT  Y from those non-unique sex scenes!!!!“

Do you see my point? A dialogue like that can make whatever feelings I developed disappear into thin air. Poof! Just like that. Gone.

It´s also just as cringe-worthy when the words „moist“ and „cream pie“ are over used. There must be a way to replace those words with something more… fitting? Moist are my kitchen towels after I dry the dishes. And cream pie…. it´s a pie or cake, for heaven’s sake.

And now- while we´re at it… Let us comb through the phrases used in sex scenes. Let´s call it the sex lingo.

Ready?

  • …she tasted like honey…..“ ( I guarantee you, no one tastes like honey down south. Male and female do NOT taste like honey. It´s just a fact. If it were true then you´d be seeing a lot more people going down and having a 3 course meal with „honey“)
  • .. until I finally found her secret center…“ ( A vagina isn´t Narnja. It´s not the rabbit hole that leads to Wonderland. It´s not Barbie´s secret garden, either)
  • …his maleness, passing the petal soft folds of her womanhood…“ ( No vagina lips can be compared to petals. Touch a rose petal then touch vagina lips. It ain´t possible. But touch a turkey´s overlapping skin on his neck and then try touching a vagina. And vagina lips don´t fold. They´re bunched in your underwear. )
  • … I was drowning in her juices…“ ( How many characters are leaking? )
  • …I was blinded as I soared over the edge…“ ( I never went blind before/during/after an orgasm. Maybe I´m doing something wrong? And I never soared anywhere except for the one time when I woke up in the middle of the night and wanted to turn on the bedroom light but missed the wall and switch and went „soaring“ towards the floor. That shit hurt.)

Why compare food and drinks to body fluids? Why not stick to the truth instead of misleading the innocent and giving them weird ideas? Am I thinking too realistic here?

Sometimes people don´t smell like Christmas spices when they pull down their underwear. I can already hear you say „ Eeeeew“ after reading that but it´s true. Any person who´s sexually active KNOWS the dark secrets of sex. And no author has interest in coloring out the harsh reality of event.

Most writers would rather have you believe it´s fabulous to give your partner a blowjob after being on the road for 12 hours with 3 bathroom breaks in between ( without the possibility to wash up..like, at all). There are no rose scents involved there, trust me. Yet, authors will have you believing that the sexual drive between their characters is greater than anything else. They let their characters focus on their lust and ignore the wet fox smell.

As you can probably tell by now, I´ve read some crazy stuff over the last few years and I have a strong feeling that nothing is going to change.

Can we just try to call „his sword“ a penis? Use cock, for all I care….but sword? And how about vagina instead of „where she was moist and desperate“? It´s a vagina. It´s a penis. Either you have one or the other. And maybe it´s a good time to mention that sex is fantastic but sex doesn´t always sell. 

I´m just afraid if young women ( who haven´t had sex yet) read those scenes….they´ll think it´s supposed to be like that in real life. * head against table*

Authors should try to come up with better lines. These people aren´t called artists for no reason. Authors have so many ideas and words to work with…. it should be a piece of cake to come up with something better than „You´re so wet for me.“. It´s really not funny anymore to read the same lines in 80% of all books I read.

This is not meant to discourage writers to include sex in their stories. This is meant to help spark their passion for finding better, more authentic words for their scenes.