Why I will no longer be reviewing Crown books

I had a terrific review scheduled for today. I had planned to feature Pulitzer Prize-winning author Kai Bird's highly-anticipated new non-fiction THE GOOD SPY, a fantastic portrait of CIA spy-extraordinaire Robert Ames, one of the most important U.S. operatives in the Middle East whose tragic death in the 1983 Beirut Embassy bombing may well have changed the course of history.

But I'm interrupting our normally scheduled programming to talk to you about something else. I'm going to talk about book reviews. And I'm going to talk about Crown Publishing. Specifically, I'm going to talk to you about how Crown Publishing puts their books into the hands of book reviewers. As many of you know, book bloggers receive their books from a myriad of sources. Personally, I review books that I've purchased, books that I've grabbed from the library, and books that are sent to me ahead of publication by various publishers. 

Recently, Crown Publishers made the decision to switch from sending advance copies of books (including e-books) to reviewers to a new program called Blogging for Books. I'd heard a few rumblings through the grapevine about this program over the past couple of months, chiefly from book reviewers concerned about certain restrictions with the program, but I wasn't too concerned about the change. After all, Penguin has their own in-house program that I find wonderful. Another long-time program through Amazon, the Vine Program, also has reasonable restrictions (ie, you must actually write your reviews before you order new books). And as an admitted introvert, I'm always happy with programs that reduce actual human contact with publishers and publicists, boiling it all down a few clicks on a website with the books I'd like to review.

Clearly, I approached Crown's new program with an open mind. 

My first clue that something might be amiss came as I signed up for the Blogging for Books program. According to Crown Publishers, what books I would be offered would be entirely dependent on my Klout Score. 

At this point you might want to plug your ears. Because my verbal response to my computer was probably what you'd expect: "What the FUCK is a Klout Score?" 

Okay. I'll bite. I followed the link. As it turns out, Klout is a website designed to "measure" your online influence. They do so via your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Instagram accounts by - from what I can gather - measuring the responses your posts garner. It then does the hoogly-googly math and comes up with something called your KLOUT SCORE. And this is what Crown Publishers use to decide whether you are a SOMEBODY and therefore worthy of them allowing you to review one of their books, or a NOBODY and not worthy of even gazing upon their hallowed works. Crown lets you know right away that the higher your Klout Score, the better books that will be made available for you. (It is at this point that I felt a little bad for the authors whose work was made available for those with the low Klout Scores -- I mean, how bad is that? Even your own publisher knows that they can't give your book away to the loser bloggers, geez.)

Right away, I figured out that their Klout Score formula was utter crap. How did I figure this out? Because mine was so high. Yep, that's right. According to Klout, I am extremely influential. I nearly spewed my coffee on the keyboard because we all know I have about five loyal blog readers here. But because I can spout off a political rant on Facebook and garner a bazillion "LOL"s each time, Klout measures that and deems that I am a VERY INFLUENTIAL PERSON. Way to go, Crown. But Crown's sign up told me that if a blogger had a Klout Score greater than 60, well then, they would have all doors open to them. A Reader's Respite blew that 60 out of the water. [Eye roll]

Now that we've determined how VERY INFLUENTIAL I am, let's move right along. Crown said I had a lot of books to choose from but at the time I'll admit I only took a cursory glance. I happened to spot a novel that I had heard some good things about called BITTERSWEET and so I went ahead and ordered it. 

It took over two weeks for the book to arrive. After reading the book, as I prepared to return to the Blogging for Books website to write my review, a friend and fellow book reviewer urged me to closely read the fine print --- you know, the part where Crown Publishers lays out their review requirements. I did so and was more than a little disturbed by what I found. Perhaps I was shocked because I am a book reviewer who strongly, STRONGLY feels that the reviewer is in no way beholden to the author, publicist, or publisher in any way, shape, or form. Not only is there no guarantee of a glowing review - only an honest one - but there is no obligation to be a one-person publicity storm for that book either.

Here is how Crown Publisher's would like you to write your review:

Your review needs to be at least three paragraphs long. It must be original and thoughtful. If your reviews are determined to be of poor quality (too short, typos, not thoughtful, etc.) your account will be suspended. Here are a few examples that make up a strong review:
  • Sharing specific examples/quotes that you enjoyed
  • Talking about how the book moved or impacted you
  • Creative and original reviews
  • Embedding book trailer videos, links to purchase or embedding the first chapter on www.Scribd.com (all first chapter excerpts should be up on Scribd).
  • Including a photo of the book in your review (we automatically email you a link to download the cover after you select a book to review).
  • Coming up with a question for your readers to answer at the end of your review (they'd respond in the comments section).
Now, I didn't want to get too worried. After all, some folks might indeed need a little guidance writing a review, especially if they were new to the whole book reviewing gig. And Crown does specifically state - and I want to be clear on this - that a positive review isn't required:

Yes, we ask for an honest review. We realize that you may not enjoy or agree with some books. However, we hope that our publishing standards mean that each book will have at least something for everyone to enjoy. Also, if you have a negative review to post, please be specific in what you did not like about the book. Please don't just put "I didn't like it," rather, share specific quotes from the book and talk, at length, as to what you disagree on or what you didn't like.

That sounds reasonable. Right? Sort of? I tried to put the best spin on it as I continued reading the fine print, which told me that I must wait a minimum of five days between the time the book is shipped to me and writing my review (no problem there since the book took two damned weeks to arrive) because:

This is in place in order to keep evil-warlord-book-hoarding bloggers at bay (yes, they're real).

Yes. That is an actual quote from Crown's fine print. Nice, huh? Don't you feel like they are cultivating a warm and fuzzy relationship with book reviewers everywhere?

Moving right along....by the time I had read all of this fine print and discovered all the uncomfortable restrictions I was bound to, the damned book arrived and I was contractually committed. (Worse, the book wasn't awful, which was somewhat of a disappointment because I would have loved to have written a scathing review at this point. Alas, that honest review thing came into play again.)

And so the day arrived when I actually wrote the review. Off I toddled to Blogging for Books to perform my contractual duty. Logging into my account, I diligently posted my four-star review of BITTERSWEET. The site accepted my review and then required me to post a link to my blog where I had posted the review. That is odd, thought I. I've never seen a review program that requires the review to also be posted on a blog. Amazon Vine and Penguin Books certainly do not. (In case you're wondering, I posted the review to my Tumblr blog - there is a link on the sidebar.) 

The site then required me to post a link to a COMMERCIAL BOOK SELLER SITE (ie, Amazon, Powell's, and independent book store) where I had posted the review. Whoa. Wait just a freaking minute here. Since when am I required to sell their books for them, too? Recommending their books is one thing. Selling them on a commercial website? No. I never agreed to do that.

It gets better. Once I had submitted all that, the site actually required me to post my review to Facebook or Twitter. I kid you not. 

Crown Publishers has crossed over the ethical line here. And if you review books, you're likely to experience Crown's hard sell, too. Book reviewers who use e-book services such as Edelweiss will now receive the following message when requesting any Crown book:

Thank you for your interest in this book! We recently re-launched our blogger based website Blogging for Books where you can receive free books in exchange for honest reviews. For more information and to join this program, please visit www.bloggingforbooks.org.

My hope is that this adequately explains to you why you will no longer be seeing any Crown books reviewed on A Reader's Respite. Oh you might think that with all the purchased and library books that I read and review that you'd be seeing some Crown books pop up there, wouldn't you? No, I'm sorry to say, you won't. Until Crown Publishers backs off with the unethical review requirements, it's my belief that any review of a Crown book is suspect at best. And so I won't be offering any until their policy changes.

I'd offer to return to our normal programming at this point, but THE GOOD SPY is, unfortunately, a Crown Publishers book. Tune in tomorrow when we will be featuring a review of a book not published by Crown.

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UPDATE:  Please see what Crown's reaction has been

64 comments:

  1. Ick. But then I'd have been brought up short right away, by the Klout score bit. I have a personal FB account that I don't want associated with my book blogging, and I have no Twitter account. As far as I can tell, you can't even get into Klout to check your score unless you have one or the other account. So I guess, by that standard, I don't even exist.

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    1. Even if you did have a Klout Score, it's inaccurate at best (look at mine for the love of Pete). I'm okay with a publisher wanting to make sure that I actually have an online presence, but don't turn me into your publicity department. You hire people for that. The entire experience left me with a very, very bad taste in my mouth.

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  2. Wow! That's interesting. I've requested Crown books on NetGalley, but have also had hardback ARCs turn up in the mail, un-requested.

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    1. I don't participate on NetGalley, so I can't say with any authority what they are doing there. I, too, used to have Crown arc's turn up unrequested in the mail (I always thought that was a waste of money on their part). I always did my best to review them because I had a fondness for Crown. Guess they killed that fondness with one fell swoop, didn't they?

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  3. OMG! That's very scary. I actually have the Good Spy, but it is in audio form, and came with no such requirements. But if it had, I would so not be doing it. That's very sad.

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    1. My copy of The Good Spy actually came to me before this program was re-introduced (it was originally their Christian books reviewing program but they've now expanded it to include all Crown books). Bird writes a great book, as always. Shame I won't be reviewing it. Pffft.

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  4. Interesting. I know from working in the book industry that other publishers do look at your Klout score. It's a sad truth, but mostly they're looking to make sure you have an internet heart beat. I would not be happy about being forced to post my review to FB and a book retailer. That's not cool. Like you I signed up for the program. I'm not saying that i will never use it, but I will enter into it reluctantly and with my eyes fully open. Thanks.

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    1. I can certainly understand wanting your books to go to someone with an internet heartbeat. But to turn that person into a publicity machine was way over the ethical line, in my own opinion. I would encourage people to take a look at Penguin's program. Penguin doesn't force the reviewer to post reviews all over the internet. They just require you to post your review on their website and then you give them permission to use that review. That's fair, in my opinion.

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  5. Wow - very interesting information. Given my work schedule and limited reading time, I pretty much gave up accepting requests for reviews from authors, publishers, blog tours etc since it's virtually impossible for me to commit to specific dates. I also refuse to post reviews on Amazon and don't like the idea of being told where to post. I do request titles from NetGalley but I think I'll be steering clear of the Blogging for Books program. Thanks for the warning!

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    1. Wish I had been smart enough to read the fine print before I committed to reviewing that one book. I felt like a one-woman publicity machine for Crown, ha. I have to say, though, Penguin's program is absolutely a joy to work with. They really do things right.

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  6. Golly. I've gotten the emails for the new Blogging for Books program but ignored them because I'm not accepting books. Now I know better than to bother. I'm sure my Klout score would be something in the negative range, these days.

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    1. Which means you have a good online presence. I deduce this because my score was high and we both know what *my* online presence is --- nil, ha. I think the final straw for me was when their program told me -- at the very end -- to have my friends "like" my FB post of the review or "retweet" my Twitter post of the review. Really? How damned tacky is that? I nearly threw up. Also -- to post my review on Amazon...I'm a top reviewer on Amazon, how dare they capitalize off of my reviewer status there? I worked hard for that...I don't just give that clout (forgive the phrase) to Crown for a book that was published earlier in the month that I could easily get from my library. Which - if I choose to read a Crown book in the future - is exactly where I will get them from. Still up on my moral/ethical high horse here...can you tell? ;)

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  7. I'm speechless. I signed up but never looked at the fine print because I was disgusted at the books I was being offered to read (they were ones I had already read two months prior thanks to NetGalley and Edelweiss). I highly doubt I will ever go to the Books for Bloggers website to request a book anyway because unless it is on E or N, I don't bother. I have too much to read as it is. I don't need any more.

    As for posting of reviews, I'm not quite certain what they are thinking. Do they believe that bloggers post their reviews to multiple sites as it is so there shouldn't be any heartache? Why insist on a bookstore as well as Twitter and/or Facebook and a blog? You are absolutely correct. They are asking/telling bloggers to do their publicity for them. I'm sorry, but a free book is not adequate compensation for everything they require.

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    1. Agreed. Penguin has a fantastic program. You post your review at their site and that is it. They can use your review for whatever they like: blurbs, author website, Twitter, FB, whatever. But that is *their job* not yours. I believe Crown dropped the ball here. Perhaps they meant for this program to be geared towards book reviewers new to the game. Okay. But if that's the case, they alienated a lot of veteran book reviewers who have been loyal for years. And what a shame that is.

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  8. My eyes glazed over reading this. I lose interest anytime a publisher starts spouting off restrictions, etc. I think they have a right to do it. I am sure there are tons of bloggers out there that take and take and never review but as soon as it gets too complicated. You know, when they start putting the stuff in a bulleted format, then I am out of there. I don't think I have reviewed Crown books before but I would not like this set-up if I did.

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    1. This is because you are a very, very experienced book reviewer who has been doing this a long time. I can't imagine any experienced reviewer complying with these terms. It was very nearly painful to write the one review I was contractually obligated to do when I signed up for the program. Of course I completed it according to their terms (an agreement is an agreement, after all), but lordy, that was difficult.

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  9. I signed up after getting one of those emails (following a book requested on Edelweiss).
    Five minutes later, I certainly wasn't impressed. I ended up requesting the book on NG, got approved, read it, reviewed it there. And voilĂ .

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    1. I've heard that it is business as usual on Netgalley. Thanks for the reminder. I don't personally use NetGalley (I've always used Edelweiss - which Crown has decided to decline all requests, I'm told, in favor of the Blogging for Books program), but I'm sure there are some reviewers who do and this is helpful information for those who still want to review Crown books. Thanks!

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    2. Here's to hope it won't change. Because the publisher's being asinine doesn't mean all its books are bad, so I'd still be interested in reviewing. Just not in following annoying (at best) guidelines.

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  10. That's some bullshit. And goes against like EVERYTHING I stand for in blogging. Cheers to you for writing this!

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    1. Bah - I'm sure I'll be black-listed like crazy. Which bothers me not one whit. I need advance copies of books like I need another hole in my head. My poor library hold list is on overload. It will be a cold day in hell when I kowtow to publishers simply for a book. Never going to happen, babe. ;)

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  11. I cannot believe the used the words "evil-warlord-book-hoarding bloggers". I guess I'm evil as I have books everywhere! I don't have to worry about them as I'm in the UK - I wonder if everyone tries to be nicer here because we're more likely to bump into them in person? There's one publisher that nagged me a bit about a review and sets timescales, and I won't review for them now, but at least they were polite.

    I do tweet all my reviews and I don't mind cross-posting to a few places I already have accounts on. But that's my decision, and sometimes I don't want to.

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    1. Exactly, Ellie - it's YOUR decision. I, too, will tweet reviews and post to Facebook. If I find a great book, I'll shout it from the rooftops! I enjoy passing along the information - that's what book lovers do. But to force me? Absolutely not. I don't think most of us will stand for it. I still believe integrity will win the day.

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  12. Ugh. I'm glad I never got invited to this program. I'm hard pressed to write anything these days let alone post what I've written in a million places.

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    1. Oh I never received an invitation either. I suppose because I haven't gotten around to requesting a Crown book on Edelweiss recently. I just wandered over to their website after hearing rumblings through the proverbial grapevine. They encourage all bloggers to join. And why wouldn't they? Get enough bloggers to join and they'll be able to furlough their entire marketing department. (eyeroll)

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  13. Yeah I was pretty unhappy when this was introduced for the Christian books and it did mean I pretty much stopped reviewing their books. But I guess that wasn't much of a loss for them since the program has been going strong for a few years now. It's really not to my liking, but I guess it's easier for them than the work of getting to know bloggers and pitching them, etc. I'm really sorry to hear it has extended beyond Waterbrook, though, sigh.

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    1. I do understand their desire to have a program in place. Really, I do. I just think this is a really, really bad program that needs to be revamped. Completely.

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  14. I had the same feelings about Blogging for Books... I knee-jerk requested a title, which was just meh, and now writing the review feels almost unwholesome.

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    1. Don't you just feel like you need to take a shower? Twice? With lye soap? I feel your dirtiness, really I do. We can suffer together. :(

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  15. Well they wouldn't have me anyway, because I stopped posting reviews on the blog, just Goodreads. They wouldn't get their money's worth out of me. Ha! My husband continues to ask me if I could make money writing reviews, and I just laugh. I told him that the way it is nowadays, they (being whoever at this point) would let me provide sexual services on them if I wrote a review. Well, I didn't say exactly that. It was a little cruder.

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    1. God I love you, Sandy. I think your Goodreads account counts as a blog! They would lurve you!

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  16. I can't believe they used those words! Yikes!

    I had an email from Penguin Canada for a blog tour and I wasn't too impressed with some of the things they wanted me to do. This would have made me livid! I've been doing this for some time now. I think I know what I'm doing and I've been too independent for too long to cater to anyone's demands!

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    1. And I think this is what happens when you are an established reviewer with years of experience. This kind of dictatorship just chafes at you. It's like a parent-child thing going on. And whoever wrote the FAQ with that wording ought to be fired. Or demoted to dusting ARCs in the back room.

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  17. Wow! That's a lot to ask of a reviewer!

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    1. I'm wondering how many newer book bloggers are signing up and thinking this is an okay, perfectly ethical thing to do. Ick.

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  18. This is something a lot of the Christian publishers have been doing for years and is part of the reason why I stopped reviewing books. Too many restrictions, too many hoops to jump through, etc. I did get an email telling me about the new program and I resigned up only to be told that I had a book back from 2011 that I still needed to review before I could get another one. So....yeah no more of that for me. I had always wondered what would happen once it moved past the Christian blogging community (who seemed to just accept it without asking any questions).

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    1. To be honest, Deborah, this is why over the years I've always preferred to read/review books after my library gets them or the ones I purchase. I'm such an introvert that I never liked dealing with publicists or publishers if I don't have to. As I've mentioned, I really like Penguin's program. And I've been a member of Amazon Vine for a long time. Those are both better because neither put requirements on *how* I review the book nor do I have to deal with an actual person (perfect for me). I very much agree with you that it will be interesting to see how the secular book reviewing folks deal with this. (Popping myself some popcorn....)

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  19. oh whoa! that is really not cool. I've also got The Good Spy to review & Bittersweet...oh man now I"m rethinking the whole darn process - "evil warlord book hoarding bloggers????" that's being just a bit harsh and the expectations? You're right, since when were we required to sell their books for them! Oh this is bad, this is really bad. but I'm so glad you wrote this and blew open the doors on evil-warlord-bloggers! I think that will be my new tagline :-)

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    1. I love the tag-line...wear it with pride, says I. I enjoyed both Bittersweet and The Good Spy, for what it's worth. And I'd love to be able to review them as I *normally* would. I'd even probably tweet or post to Facebook and Tumblr about them. But I won't be told to do it and won't have it be made a condition of receiving the book, that's for damned sure.

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    1. Yes. I was thinking I might be getting a little over-sensitive here. But from the reactions I'm seeing on Tumblr and Twitter, I see I'm not the only one (thank goodness) who thinks Crown is over-stepping their bounds here. I do hope they back off from the hard-sell here.

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  21. Agree with all your points here. Plus it's elitist, which rubs me up the wrong way (the "klout" score?! Plus, they can't spell). Thanks for sharing this, it's great to hear about these things.

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    1. Not to mention that no one has actually used Klout since 2012. It's an utterly useless tool for what they are looking to measure. And yes, it is elitist as well. I still stand by my original statement that I feel horrible for the authors who are made available to the B-List bloggers with low Klout scores. What a hit to the ego.

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  23. Wow! Thank you for this informative post! I will be sharing for sure!

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  24. Like Amy and Deborah said, Blogging for Books isn't a new-to-me program, having been familiar with it since it started for Waterbrook/Multnomah years ago. But the combo of extra hoops of posting other places, and the forever-long ship times and the overall condescending attitude killed it for me. I'm sad to see it expanded (instead of, say, died) but I'm interested to see how it's received (or not) outside the Christian-book blogging circle.

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  25. I read all your updates, too. Power to the people! Companies are always trying to figure out more cost effective and profitable ways of doing things. There is no problem with that, of course, but when you rely on human capital...ie. writers...as an important way to market your product you have to be careful to treat them with the respect they deserve. Well done.

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  26. Back when I had time to read & review I was part of this blogging for books program. Then they had no 'worthwhile' books to offer. Then they revamped & all the Klout crapola started along with all the links where you posted the review, etc. Such stupidity with the book hoarding comment, I had also seen that months ago. Basically I give up. It's not that fun anymore.

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    1. Oh & pretty sure this was the site where I had to embed code in my blog post to ask my 1-2 blog readers to pretty please vote for my review so I could get more mediocre titles

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  27. I agree with you about the Klout score silliness, mainly because it's algorithm is extremely misleading. I get your frustration but my perspective is a bit different on this one. I actually see where Crown was going with all of this. Book blogging has exploded and there simply isn't enough of a supply to meet demand. No one has a right to a free book. It's great to get them but I get uncomfortable with the idea that we are entitled to them. Yes, we provide a service and often that service is unpaid. But we know that going in and it's a choice we make. Calling us evil-warlord-book-hoarding bloggers was completely inappropriate and I can only think was a misguided attempt at humor. But hoarding is an issue in the book blogging community, with some notable blogger actually using their TBR book piles as a badge of honor. Just my two cents :-)

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    1. Oh dear, I hope you didn't misunderstand my post, Liz. As I wrote, I have no problem at all with publisher's programs (I happen to like Penguin's program, for example). What I'm telling you here is that I do not feel comfortable being a one-woman marketing department for a publisher. This has nothing to do with getting a free book. No blogger is entitled to a free book. No publisher is entitled to free marketing all over FB, Twitter, and Bookselling websites everywhere in return for that book, either. I understand what you are saying about a few bloggers, but those of us who have been doing this for nigh on a decade - well, hoarding isn't an issue for us. ;)

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  28. I had signed up for the Blogging For Books program when I was early on in my blogging career and had fewer options for review books and a tight budget and limited access to a library and I wanted to diversify a bit. But I agree, some of the requirements are a bit harsh. I can completely understand why you would want to not be a part of something like that.

    Lisa @Just Another Rabid Reader

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    1. And I am completely okay with those bloggers who do choose to participate, Lisa. I hope I don't sound degenerating towards those who do...if so, I sincerely apologize because I didn't intend any of my ire to go in that direction at all.

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  29. Thank you for sharing this! The last thing busy book bloggers need is a bunch of hoops to jump through. Crown may find that the only bloggers participating in this program are brand new to blogging and reviewing, since that seems to be who their program is aimed at.

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    1. And BOOM - you just hit the nail on the head. Crown is cutting off their nose to spite their face here, aren't they. They want their books to have a lot of exposure, yet the very bloggers that can give them that exposure are the ones they are alienating. Dang - you figured this one out!

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    2. Then quit and review your books on Amazon.com where there are no hoops.

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  30. I loved your post. I know I'm a bit late to finding it but then I only just recently stumbled upon Blogging for Books and honestly I'm not interested in it. When I did some searching after a friend linked me another article I found you. And I say I will of course now be stalking you. Stand by your guns! off to read your update article.

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  31. Late post reader is late. >.> Incidentally, I found out about Blogging for Books through Edelweiss. I'm fairly new in the blogosphere and didn't have an Edelweiss account yet. Turns out that the Edelweiss registration form actually asks if you have a BFB account in the ~optional user profile~ section with all the social media (i.e. twitter, facebook, goodreads, google+, personal website... I dunno why the heck BFB counts into the social media tbh).

    Because I'm fairly new and occasionally naive to the point of ridiculousness, I signed up on BFB, though I quickly changed my mind after registration because they actually made me feel pretty uncomfortable as I was exploring their site. I realise that they first started with Crown's Christian imprint and now offer other books too, but I couldn't shake the uneasy feeling it gave me and wanted to run for the hills.

    But... you cannot run for the hills on BFB. You cannot terminate your account. It's not possible to delete it (unless you email them and ask for it, I suppose, but maybe not even that? or maybe I am just painfully blind and can't find the option) and that, more than anything, makes me distrust them despite their willingness to make changes.

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  32. Why can't you just be thankful that you are getting a free book??? Yes, they have a criteria to help you, but I don't see it as a set of rescritions on the reader. And as a current BFB person, I don't feel like running for the hills. yes you have to wait until you submit a review before you get the next selection, I understand that - I see your point on that, but why are you hung up on it? if you can't wait for that next selection, then go to your local bookstore and buy it. Delete your account and move on! Grow up and stop complaining.

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  33. Hey,

    Just found your site when looking for similar programs to blogging for books. I actually didn't know this program existed, or any like it until just a few weeks ago when I saw it on another site. Being new to this scene may have influenced how I feel about the program... I quite like the concept, but I will check out the other ones you mentioned to see if they are available for Australian bloggers. Also, I just posted a review and they didn't require me to share (it was suggested but not enforced), also you don't have to submit the Klout score, although what you said about it being encouraged is still true, and finally, you don't have to post on a commercial book sellers site. So these things might have changed due to feedback. Nonetheless, thanks for your post :) I will hunt down other programs! And if anyone from Australia recommends one let me know!

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  34. I do get book from Blogging for Books and my experience is very different from yours. Yes, I was required to put my review on my blog. It is Blogging for Books afterall. But there was no other "requirement". Everything you mention as a requirement is optional. I wasn't required to tweet or FB my review. I wasn't required to post on Amazon. It was optional. And I wasn't required to give a rosy review. I've also found them very helpful, when a book I wanted to review wasn't available to me due to my "Klout" score, which is over 60. I contacted them and make a personal request and received the book without any obligation to review it. I've found them very easy to work with.

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    1. She posted this over a year ago, and the things you're noticing that are different are they way because of the attention this post got. Read her follow-up post.

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    2. Not true at all. I have reviewed for them for several years (since 2012), and her experience was not mine at all. I have never shared a review to facebook or twitter, nor has it EVER been a requirement. I'd advise her to actually read that fine print. Furthermore, to the post author, you were upset at the suggestion of posting your review on a public blog, on twitter/facebook, and/or on a site like Amazon. Seriously, where in the world had you been posting your reviews???

      It sounds like you are the very reason for all the rules, because you get a book for free then don't want to review it. Why would they give you free books for nothing?

      Delete
  35. Is there a way to delete my account? Or cancel a book request? I was unaware of these ridiculous terms. I sent them an email but I have yet to get a reply.

    ReplyDelete

Fire away!