Friday, May 24, 2013

Dear Diary: Confessions From A Blogger (13) What makes a real reviewer?


We all know what goes on behind the scenes at our own blogs but rarely do we lift the curtain and share those experiences with others. Dear Diary: Confessions From A Blogger stems from the curiosity. This week I want to talk about What makes someone a real reviewer.


Here is my Confession:
  

A few weeks back I talked about Professional Reviews and why they didn't matter to me. Why do I mention that? Well, during that same time (while reading comments on another blog) I came across a young blogger who mentioned being told they received almost every new review book through online sites. However, what caught my attention was them mentioning a blogger (whose name I've never learned and didn't inquire about) who apparently told her that she wasn't a true blogger/reviewer since she didn't receive Arc's in the mail directly from the publisher. I was floored. Did this person even pause to take into account the fact maybe due to the bloggers age her parents probably didn't allow it? It just seemed so petty not to mention rude and brought me back to that Author who said only Professional reviews mattered. Since that day the young bloggers comment has been on my mind. So today I decided I was finally going to talk about it. 

Probably not all that surprisingly when I was just starting out I never requested books in the mail. I thought I was too small and not well known enough to warrant them.  Most of the books that I received were sent from Indie Authors or I reviewed books that I already owned. However, I always had this nagging voice in the back of my head that didn't want my audience thinking less of me for not reviewing the newest latest and greatest (silly I know). As the weeks turned to months I was starting to become a bit down about the fact I never received popular Arc's like other blogs. Then, due to a kind bloggers suggestion ( Xpresso Reads who is awesome btw) I was turned onto a site called Netgalley and a world of bookish possibilities opened up to me. Sure, I was denied quite a bit in the beginning but with patience I slowly but surely was approved for more and more of them. The Immortal Rules, Code Name Verity, Grave Mercy all those popular books of 2012 were read because of Netgalley approvals.

Fast forward a year and guess what I still use those E-galley sites. Do I feel my reviews mean less because that book wasn't sent through the mail?  Not one bit.  I've become accustomed to using these sites and one of the many benefits is they allow me to read books I might not otherwise try since I don't have to figure out what to do with the book if I don't end up loving it. I just hit delete and poof Galley gone. Sure, I still love receiving those physical Arc's (especially signed copies) but I've also learned it's not the end of the world if I don't always receive them and it certainly doesn't make me less of a blogger either. 

So what makes someone a "real reviewer"? Is it the Arc's, the website, popularity? Please, someone enlighten me. I'd love to know. Maybe that blogger without physical Arc's can't hold a book comfortably like they can an E-Reader, maybe they are allergic to paper or have a deep seated fear of paper cuts, hell maybe its as simple as them just wanting to save the trees! Whatever the reason we shouldn't be tearing new reviewers down because they might not have the same opportunities or reviewing habits as the rest of us.  We should be as helpful as we can while still challenging the new crop to flourish on their own. It's bothered me all this time that someone in the community could think a blogger's reviews weren't worthy since they didn't receive the physical book from the publisher.  Whomever they are, shame on you  and that's all I'm going to say about that!


My name's Kristin, I'm a real reviewer and yes, I receive and review E-Galleys. Don't like it, there's the door. Least that's how I see it. 


Now that you've read my confession, Tell me some of yours:

What makes a real reviewer? 
Do you prefer E-Galley's or Physical books?
Have you ever felt less of a blogger because of your choice?
If you request E-Galleys, Which site do you use?

Leave your responses in the comments below, I love reading them. Have a question? Leave that as well and I'll try and answer it.
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That about wraps up this weeks confessions from a blogger.  Thanks for stopping by and reading,sharing, or commenting on this post. As always, it is appreciated.

7 comments:

  1. What makes a review reviewer?
    Someone who reviews on a semi regular basis, I would say. I don't think it really matters where the reviews are, or how many people read them. If you put in the time, you earn the title.

    Do you prefer E-Galley's or Physical books?
    I've only had experience with E-galleys, truth be told. I live in the armpit of the world, and publishers aren't likely to send me printed copies (though they are most welcome to if they want to :D). In truth, I am very comfortable with my e-reader, and it makes no difference to me not to physically turn pages.

    Have you ever felt less of a blogger because of your choice?
    Not gonna lie, sometimes seeing the heaps of books other people receive makes me feel a little like the ugly stepchild, but then again, sometimes seeing someone with a flashy car gives me that feeling too. Mostly I am just happy that I get to read the book at all. Just like I am pretty darn happy to get to work in my tiny car with absolutely no boot space.

    If you request E-Galleys, Which site do you use?
    I use Netgalley pretty exclusively. I've gotten to read some awesome books through them this year. I also got to read some cringers. I have an Edelweiss account, but that block asking why I want to read the book puts me off. Saying "it sounded kind of cool" does not seem adequate.

    ~ Lindie

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    1. You had me laughing at "it sounded kind of cool". You know how many times I've wanted to put that. Thank you for taking the time to answer all my questions!!

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  2. What makes a review reviewer?
    If you review books, you're a reviewer. Simple as that to me. I'm really not that concerned whether people think I'm a "real" reviewer or not. I just want my readers to enjoy my blog and if they do, I'm happy. Though, to be fair, I do more than review books at mine so maybe my opinion is different than those who only review. I started my blog while I was in library school and cover a variety of topics related to librarianship so book reviews are only part of that.

    Do you prefer E-Galley's or Physical books?
    I prefer e-books and e-galleys. I've had a couple publishers and authors offer me physical books, but its just easier to deal with the electronic ones.

    Have you ever felt less of a blogger because of your choice?
    Nope. Until today I've never even thought about it.

    If you request E-Galleys, Which site do you use?
    I have a NetGalley account, but I haven't used it to request books yet. So far, the books I've reviewed on my site have either been those I acquired myself or those I was offered by the publisher or author. Once I get through the list of those I have to review, I will probably try requesting.

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  3. Wooooooow. I never thought that you had to get ARC's from the publisher to be a "real" reviewer. I think NetGalley is an amazing site. I don't think because it's not in print form it makes it any less special. We still get honored with the author/publisher thinking we're worthy enough to read/review their work. We get to walk down the "New arrivals" section of books stores and say "I read that last month." So what difference does the format make? None! LoL Plus, I only have 2 bookcases. I do not currently have the space for an extra shelf and with all the moves we do in the military and having a weight allotment, I don't really have the extra space in weight to add another bookcase full of books to our stuff. I honestly end up turning around and giving away most of the books I receive for review unless I love them. Then, I get greedy and keep them :P
    Kristin @ Book Sniffers Anonymous

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    Replies
    1. Ah I remember weight allotment. I remember chucking a bunch of shoes so I could keep more books, lol.

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  4. What a weird comment from that blogger! How does getting ARCs from a publisher make you more of a reviewer? I'm all riled up now! It's the quality and content of the reviews that make them-not the source.

    ReplyDelete

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