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>X hits the spot

>Reviewer X has a good discussion going on blog reviewing. I confess I’m dying to try Twitter if only to see just WHO is:

comparing their “hit lists” for authors they plan to ask for ARCs, trading e-mail addresses and results, complaining about whether they’re getting an ARC, and actually encouraging each other to send nasty mail to authors they “know” have ARCs, and just won’t give them to them. As if they’re entitled! (And YES, I have the transcripts. I was appalled.)

I don’t do book reviewing here, so I hesitate to join the discussion. Oh, not really. I’m surprised to find out that some book-bloggers request ARCs from authors. Way tacky. But then, it must work often enough if it’s being debated as a practice. The forum also has me wondering about just what effect YA book-blogging was having on sales and readership: if the audience for review blogs is mainly other review blogs, and if they are all scrambling for ARCs, do any books get sold as a result? And: Are these bloggers largely adults reading for their own enjoyment and essentially simply swapping recommendations (and tips on how to score free books) among themselves? But then I saw that the very smart X was fifteen and the world brightened a little.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Anonymous says:

    >I read as much of the bloggers’ comments as I could stand, hoping that SOMEONE might acknowledge the fact that ARCs cost money to manufacture and postage to mail – not to mention author’s time and gas to get to the postoffice.

  2. Lyle Blake says:

    >If I had a book published and was contacted by anyone, blogger or print reviewer, asking me for a copy of the book, I would be totally bemused and refer the person to the publicity department of my publisher. Isn’t that what they’re for? The only reason I can think of why anyone would write directly to the author for a copy of the book is if the book is self-published. Maybe I’m totally out of touch with the way things work nowadays.

  3. kristin cashore says:

    >I have no idea if YA-book-blogging has any effect on readership or sales. But I can attest that the ARC requests from bloggers definitely happen. I recently asked my publisher if I could put a publisher contact name on my blog specifically for ARC requests, so that I didn’t have to keep forwarding the emails to my publicity department. I don’t know how my publisher decides which requests to fulfill, if any.

    Roger, on an unrelated note, I wanted to thank you for your comment under Wise Judge Werlin’s decision. I had the same thought, but didn’t feel comfortable commenting there.

  4. Anonymous says:

    >if the audience for review blogs is mainly other review blogs, and if they are all scrambling for ARCs, do any books get sold as a result?

    Yes, I’ve seen bloggers swap ARCs, not good, I know. Happy to say I don’t.

    Are these bloggers largely adults reading for their own enjoyment and essentially simply swapping recommendations (and tips on how to score free books) among themselves?

    No not largely adult but teens too!

    Do book blogs help sell books. DEFINITELY!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    >Sharon from Sharon Loves Books and Cats

    And Alea from Pop Culture junkie

    Asked Sarah Quigley for a TMI ARC, she said no, and they debated over whether Sharon should leave her a snarky message about it- then they moved on to hitting up other people for their ARCs.

    But don’t take my word for it, they tweeted it all (start at the bottom):

    @sharonluvscats so they were like hi, no? usually people that say no just don’t say anything and we figure out it’s a no!3:24 PM Mar 3rd from web in reply to sharonluvscats

    # @mint910 uncross them cause it’s a no. jeez not having much luck today. my p.o. box was empty too!3:13 PM Mar 3rd from TweetDeck

    @sharonluvscats they are crossed!1:35 PM Mar 3rd from web in reply to sharonluvscats

    # @mint910 I sent them an email ::fingers crossed::1:31 PM Mar 3rd from TweetDeck

    # @mint910 i might have to email them and see if they will send me that one too.1:27 PM Mar 3rd from TweetDeck

    # @mint910 she emailed me back said the arc well is dried up12:48 PM Mar 3rd from txt

    @sharonluvscats 5 minutes more. so spill about the tmi business, i’m about to be sad over here!12:48 PM Mar 3rd from web in reply to sharonluvscats

    # @sharonluvscats did you email her or did she email you just now? to find that out.12:22 PM Mar 3rd from web in reply to sharonluvscats

    # @sharonluvscats yeah12:21 PM Mar 3rd from web in reply to sharonluvscats

    # @mint910 not yet don’t really want to start a feud just yet.12:20 PM Mar 3rd from txt

    # @sharonluvscats did you leave a snarky comment? i want to see12:19 PM Mar 3rd from web in reply to sharonluvscats

    # @sharonluvscats did she just email you??? i wonder if i’m getting an email next? look for that tomorrow for both of us!12:18 PM Mar 3rd from web in reply to sharonluvscats

    # @mint910 no TMI copies left :(12:15 PM Mar 3rd from txt

  6. Roger Sutton says:

    >That doesn’t seem so bad, Anon 7:32. I was hoping for something more like @readroger Katherine Paterson such a b.i. let’s egg her house 😉 grr rofl

  7. Lyndale Press says:

    >Hi Roger,
    Thanks for bringing up this topic – very interesting.

  8. >As a book blogger who reads books for fun and occasionally joins in on a conversation, I can say that there are many authors out there approaching book bloggers like myself offering to ship a free copy (usually not an ARC but a published final) in exchange for a review. I had a “small” conversation yesterday on my blog about ARC posts and the comments are very interesting–mostly from the blogger’s point of view about ARCs.

  9. Anonymous says:

    >I think is unfair the amount of book some book blogger are receiving and every YA book blog receive the same books so I ask myself: how many times did you want to read a review of the same book? The book bloggers have this thing: YA swap and are only allowed their elite group. If unfair I spend hundreds of dollars in books every year and this people are receiving books for free and a lot of them don’t read the half of the book they have. Take for example the author of that blog put a picture of a luggage ( ) full of books that she receive (a lot of ARCS) how many of those ARC or the regular books she receive she review in the next few months? There some few good book blogs but there’s only few most of them are doing book blogs for free books that’s the truth.

  10. Sarahbear9789 says:

    >Hello, I am a YA book reviewer. I don’t get as large amount of ARCs as other reviewers, but honestly it is awesome when I do. I get the majority my books from buying or getting them at library. I know that ARC cost money to produce and ship. I try not accept them unless I really want to read the book. Every book that I get will be reviewed at some point.
    I actually followed quite a few blogs for about 6 months before starting one and did buy some of the books reccomended. I love book blogging and have met some of my best friends that way. As for asking authors, I don’t do it, the author gets enough request and I can wait the 6 months… I have plenty to read. I do ask author for interview and they are all cool about it
    As for the YA Swap, I am a part of it. We swap and let others borrow books. The only thing is that you have to be book blogging for 3 months and seem trustworthy. I got through about 25 to 35 books a month and I don’t review every single book.

  11. Anonymous says:

    >I don’t think so. I know that some bloggers are in it just to get free books, and its said that they have ruined what the take on the rest of us is. I think that it is unfair to say that what Sharon and Alea were doing is bad, we all know that they are very respected bloggers and review there books in a good way. Friends joke around, they chat, and just have fun, I’m sure we’ve all joked around before! I think that it really helps an upcoming book sell if it gets a lot of reviews on different blogs rather than only being seen on the publishers website and later on, in Barnes and Noble. And if only one person got the advanced book to review, then what about the hundreds of people who follow other blogs that won’t see it? Then the sales are decreased. I love it when someone reads on of my reviews and says in a comment that they want to buy/read it because of that review! Like I said before, while I think some people are doing this for the wrong reasons, a lot of us are doing it out of the pure love of reading books and wanting to help others learn about them and help out authors.

  12. >Hello there. I have read reviewerX post about ARCs and all the drama connected with certain book bloggers who are aparently bent on ruining the reputation of others (if such a thing were possible). I have written a post on my blog about why I blog, how i review books just to offset the wrong practices of some bloggers I guess. If you’re interested in my opinion here’s the link:
    I hope you’ll stop by if only to find out one blogger’s opinion 🙂

  13. sharonanne says:

    >Before I respond let me get this straight. You don't even have the guts to sign on before bashing two innocent bloggers? Yet you feel that you have the right to question mine and Alea's integrity! What planet of you from? A planet filled with people spineless cowards who don’t know how to do anything except copy and past from twitter? That is the only thing I can think of. I never realized there was such a planet until now. Maybe you should head back there and find some other people to target.

    That being said this copy and paste job is complete rubbish. I have NEVER and would never send an author a snarky message for not sending me an arc. Since we seem to be on the subject of twitter let me do some copying and pasting of my own:

    @sarahockler went to barnes b4 work no twenty boy yet
    This is one of my tweets from this morning. I rushed over to barnes before work to see if they had any copies yet of her book. I was planning on buying a copy and sharing picture with Sarah because I support her work!

    I might to the teen reading night next week. wanna see @thesarahcross! <3

    Me tweeting about how excited I am about going to support another ya author on her reading night.

    ya bloggers who tweet v.4.0, added wordpress blogggers and people who emailed me:

    Me compiling a list of ya bloggers who twitter so that we can all network better

    @sarahockler thanks 4 tweeting about my post…mom 🙂

    Me thanking Sarah for her rt
    goodnight all.

    @cindypon need to come to ny so I can stalk you too!10:54 PM May 2nd from twhirl

    This is a great example of a tweet taken out of context. I mean really how many of you reading this think I’m really going to go stalk Cindy?

    @larazienlin Got my book today! *yay! ty so much for the gift card. I will make sure to ruin my diet while reading your book. 🙂

    Me thanking Lara for the arc she sent. Btw she offered! I also thanks her on my latest 7bb vlog.

    To clear up the whole Sarah Quigley thing, I bought a hb of TMI down the Strand books and a couple of days later she emailed me about a review copy. I thanked her for the offer and told her that I would be needing it since I bought a copy and that she could give it to the next person on the list. Not only are we on good terms,but she is going to be a part of my Sarahs chat next week!

    A while back I asked Saundra Mitchell about review copies and she said that she didn’t know if I could get one. Well a few days later when some lovely Shadowed Summer bookmarks arrived in my mailbox, I emailed Saundra and told her thank you very much for the nice bookmarks! So umm yeah were exactly is this horrible and greedy blogger you speak of? The same goes for Alea who is one of the sweetest bloggers I know! The girl has class! I’m always amazed by how sweet and kind she is!

  14. Bookworm says:

    >Anon., that’s kind of a mean attack. Alea and Sharon are both very honest and good reviewers, and sweet people, too, NOT greedy book thieves who are in it for the freebies.
    I am one of those bloggers who asks authors for their books, and this makes me feel horrible. All the authors I’ve contacted have been so sweet about sending me their books IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW FROM ME. It’s an exchange. And I realize the shipping money comes right out of their pockets. I read and review to make authors and publishers happy, not to be an awful person who just wants free goodies. And neither are Sharon and Alea, two of the best book bloggers out there.

  15. sharonanne says:

    >Bookworm: thanks hon you made my night 🙂

  16. Kami Garcia says:

    >I'm a new author, but I have to say that I'm flattered when a serious YA blogger wants one of my ARCS. M & I don't have any, but we always feel grateful their is interest. As for Alea, I tweet with her all the time & she never asked me for an ARC or has said an unkind word about any author. I have to agree, if you have opinions you feel you can stand behind, you should sign your name to them.

  17. >Just got back from a trip so I am late to the party.

    I think it was my post way back when about authors requesting reviews that inadvertantly opened up this can of worms.

    I was horrified when someone said YA reviewers were twittering about not getting books, but if it is THIS transcript they are talking about, then I see that the whole firestorm was a misunderstanding. Alea and Sharon’s tweets are taken totally out of context here. They are both serious about book blogging and very sweet.

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