So, it's Book Blogger Appreciation Week! Hurrah!
For this first day, participants are encouraged to do a post dedicated to blogs we love that didn't make the BBAW shortlists thanks to the cruel capriciousness of fate. Tomorrow, I'll be posting an interview with blogger Beatrice from My Kingdom For a Book.
Today, however, as I avidly refresh the BBAW page to see some of the early BBAW winners (Congrats, Books on the Nightstand!), I will bring to you blogs that I personally love:
The Thrillionth Page
What does blogger Carolyn Crane review? WHATEVER SHE DAMN WELL WANTS TO, ha ha ha. Her commentaries are funny and thought-provoking (particularly her post on the "moment of longing" in romances, le sigh), and she won't hesitate to poke fun at the ridiculousness of Ye Olde Internets (after receiving a bunch of meme-ish blog awards *cough*onefromme*cough*, she created the Ultimate Blogger Award to end all blogger awards and then gave it away in a draw), the attraction of cowboy menages, and the repetitive silliness of backcover blurbs.
Happily Forever After
With all the controversy and differences in opinion over the Internets, people forget that blogs can still be fun to read even if your tastes differ. I always read Barbara's blog, even though our romantic tastes are like night and day. If I hate a book - she'll probably love it (so I'll suggest it to her!), and vice versa. So it's always great to read her blog to see what she didn't like! At the same time, Barbara writes her reviews with grace and style, providing an eloquent look at the different flavours and attractions of the romance genre that I might not have discovered yet.
The Misadventures of Super Librarian
Wendy, here, is romance's very own superhero. She writes reviews, commentaries, and whatever else strikes her fancy. She also will not put up with Internet bullshit. The blogosphere has had its share of controversies, but Super Librarian is there to remind us that, "Dude, it's the internet. Quityerbitchin'."
Ramblings on Romance
Ramblings on Romance is a lovely blog, and not just because Kristie J and I are LIKE THIS *crosses fingers*. She (and the other blogs I've mentioned) blog what they like, because they like it. Most bloggers don't get paid, so we have to provide our own motivation. And when Kristie J gets motivated, hooooooly crap. We get authors like Judith James getting better book deals! I'd hate to see what would happen if Kristie J hated something - would the author vanish down a well?
That being said, I do have a question to ask of the blogosphere: what is wrong with people getting paid for reviews? One of BBAW's biggest controversies was how one of the blogs nominated got paid for reviews, and people assume their opinion has been bought. How is that? From what I understand, the blogger was upfront about it and kept a list of prices in return for book reviews. I have a problem with a blogger being motivated by money instead of just plain reading, but how is what they do unethical? Maybe I'm ignorant of the situation, but how, for instance, is this different than receiving an ARC from a publisher?
ARCs are free books, but they cost the publisher money - hence, they are sacrificing money to a blogger in return for a review. I've received many ARCs while writing for The Green Man Review and let me tell you, it has never prevented me from writing a negative review when one was warranted. One example - I received a press kit from TA Barron's publicist about his Tree of Avalon series. Because the ARC was the last book in the series, the publicist also sent me the first two books of the series, in hardcover, for free - along with a pretty keychain and postcards, the whole deal.
I really, really, REALLY didn't like The Tree of Avalon. I wrote a review explaining as such. I threw out the keychain, in case you're wondering - not because I didn't like it but because the chain snapped (it was a very pretty keychain). So, to me, ARCs are an investment/gamble on the part of publishers - how is paying for a review any different? I'm not asking this in defence of the paid blogger, I'm asking this because I am genuinely curious as to where the whole "unethical" argument comes from. Let's discuss!