I used to be proud to say I was a book blogger. Five years ago, when I attended a con, I would declare my status of book blogger with pride. I would say what blog I owned and I would get happy nods. I would get smiles. I would get authors pushing their cards into my hands, I would get books pushed on me.

I feel like some old lady. “I remember when…” blogging was in it’s prime. Then one scandal rocked our world after another. And it keeps happening. Now something happens, and I’m all, oh yeah – that’s every year after BEA and ALA. Or – oh yeah, she wasn’t as bad as that YA Blogger – you know, She Who Must Not Be Named. But, now it’s not fun anymore. Now, it’s trickled out of our little world and into the world we love, the world of authors, publishers and publicists. Now when you say blogger, it’s not an interesting thing, you’re just another person trying to get a free book. We’ve been stereotyped.

And we deserve it.

I hate saying that. Maybe a good portion of us are in it for the love of books. But a lot, especially the ones that rat the cons and are our PUBLIC facade are in it for what they can grab. The truth of the matter is, that if 10 book bloggers show up at a con and one acts like an asshole, that’s all everyone remembers. The one asshole. I’ve seen people go bonkers at a con for a stack of hot ARCs. Bonkers. It always seems to be a blogger. Oh yeah and that one grandma of the blogger.

I now even have my own personal author/blogger drama.  I don’t want to tell this story (you’re my first), because it’s embarrassing. But at my first signing, as an author, I had a blogger walk up to me.

She said, “Hi my name is ______ and I’m from ________.”

Don’t ask me to tell you the blog name or her name, I have no idea, can’t remember actually.

I looked at her blankly, because I had no idea who she was. I was so new in the author game, I thought she was going to say something like, “I love your tutorials.” But, no, she stood there like I should do something. When I didn’t say anything, she said, “I’ll promote your book if you give me a copy.” And then she looked pointedly at my stack of books in front of me and held out her hand. I was so stunned I handed her a book. She didn’t even ask me to sign it or say thank you, she just walked off. I was embarrassed after because I should have told her to do something inappropriate with a rod-shaped piece of wood. But, I was so stunned by her that I followed directions like a sheep. I don’t even remember her blog name to see if she did promote my book.

And that was my first interaction with a “blogger” as an author. It’s funny, when you bring up bloggers with authors they all nod their head and smile, saying “We love bloggers!” And then they glance warily around themselves, like “who was listening?” Because they don’t want to get in trouble with a blogger. If they were to voice a negative opinion suddenly all their books will be 1-starred and their career ruined. But, if they experienced something like that- something like I experienced. Something like the current drama that is going on, why would they love bloggers?

And it’s so unfair. I don’t want to be embarrassed to be a book blogger. I love book bloggers. I have never met better people in my life. There is nothing like meeting someone that loves books as much as you do. Nothing like it!!! I don’t want to be embarrassed to be a book blogger. I don’t want to scared to voice my opinion about another blogger that is stealing, scamming or ripping me off. Scared that I’ll  be called a bully and now that I have books – all of them 1-starred. Call me a bully, so be it, write a bad review. It’s already happened. One bad interaction with a blogger and she marked all my books to 1-star – and she was the one that was stealing my designs! But, again I’m the bully.  I just don’t want to be embarrassed to do what I love. I just don’t want this to be what we become.

I don’t know what to do to fix it. Only that we have to be louder voices. We have to be the ones that show our faces. We have to be the ones that say “hey that’s not right.

So, here I am saying – hey this is not right. Taking five and six copies of the same ARC at BEA and ALA is not right! Then charging for it – not right:

 

Because guess what BLOGGERS – because of people like this “book blogger” signs like this are now going up and people are laughing about us. Go away little Blogger – these books are not for you. Download your eBook like a good little blogger. 

I really am embarrassed, now. I don’t know what I would do if I was walking around ALA happily taking ARCs and saw that sign. Patti went to ALA I can’t wait to hear what she says about this. I would have probably gone back and put my books back. I don’t want to have to put my books back. 🙁

Update:

It would seem this blogger, scammer, that runs Crossroads Reviews, that I called out in the post has been doing this for a LONG time. It would seem the ego on us “old hat” book bloggers think that we as a community are above this stuff. Above scammers and cheats. But, like all communities there are people out there that prey on the unsuspecting and trusting. This blogger from Crossroads Reviews seems to be one of those people that think they “deserve” to take money from other people. And it’s gone on since 2013 – why it’s just now coming out is beyond me. We can’t let people like this infiltrate our community.

Example 1 2013 -> https://www.facebook.com/ravenreview/posts/500207320015690

Example 2 2015 > https://m.facebook.com/mereadalot/posts/817452165036797

Example 3 2015 > https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2365789-other-trading-sites

Her response to the drama (she keeps deleting the comments):
Jessica Porter, Scamming Book Blogger

My rebuttal: 

  1. It costs me  $3.52 to ship 2 books via media mail the other week, in an envelope that she ships in.
  2. She has deleted the original post, so there is no way to see the “other goodies” part
  3. The four people in the room are said to be her family, and there is proof in her pictures and from people that witnessed that she had her small kids with wristbands on their wrists to get books.
  4. We have no knowledge of a Disney trip or a GoFundMe, only claims by below book blogger about a GoFundMe campaign that wasn’t used for what it was intended. Nothing substantiated.

Serious Accusations:

Jessica Porter of Crossroads Review is now being accused of fraud. I must reiterate that all of these posts are one blogger’s word against another’s. Take it how you will:

7/7/16 – Response from Crossroads Review Blogger in a post – equipped with hashtags in the title for classy effect: Open letter to the #Blogging #Publisher Community at large

“We are sorry that this was all blown out of proportion. This entire situation was been a drain on twitter and the page as well as on us personally. And we hope that this letter will stop all the drama, bulling, and hate.”

My Take: Does no one know how to do a proper apology anymore, or spell? Words – “We are sorry that this was all blown out of proportion.” Akin to “I’m sorry ya’ll are idiots – I did nothing wrong.”

See the “real” post: link
Don’t want to give her pageivews: Screener1 | Screener2 | Screener3

And look! At the bottom of the post – if you comment, you can win a book! I’m sure she’ll charge you for shipping though (the fine print). Only $20 in shipping!

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 10.16.04 PM

 

7/7/16 – Posts about Jessica Porter and Crossroads reviews are being reported on Facebook, so are being taken down.

 


7/7/16 – Blogger Jessica Porter is believed to be in the process of creating a new blogging identity – Bookstagram-> “FieryReads

7/8/16 – Blogger Jennifer Christensen who spoke up about her prior relationship with Jessica Porter is claiming to be bullied and pressured into recanting her story. Please see her comment below (#84) and give your support.

7/8/16 – More aliases are popping up left and right for “Jessica”, we have @WitchReader, we have “rainamem” who commented on this post, saying  “I’m proud to be a friend to Jessic and Crossroads” – but it’s actually Jessica herself. She put in an email she used to use:

 

No, the quote is not spelled incorrectly – she can’t spell her own name.

7/8/16 – All comments on blogger Jessica Porter’s “apology” post have been deleted. But all have been documented. See link above “Screener3”

********** I’m sure there will be more updates. *********

 

161 Comments

  1. Melissa

    I loved this article and your completely right, in a blogger and if I can’t get an arc it’s fine ill support the author and purchase the book and do a review. Plus it’s more fun shopping for them at the stores too

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      It is. I go broke in B&N every time I visit. Don’t get me started when I hit the indies.

      Reply
      • Amber@WickedGoodReads

        I might as well give my paycheck over to BAM. 🙂

        Reply
      • Meg a. Watt, queenbee @litbuzz

        I would never be so presumptuous as to demand a book, and I honestly always offer to take an eARC…even at a con. But the behavior of these people is just plain disturbing. As someone who has worked in PR for 15 years, I can tell you people take great liberties with people they consider celebrities, even when there is no logic behind it.
        Thanks for the post, no matter how upsetting the reality of this situation is…this craziness needs to stop!

        Reply
    • Dana

      I joined Bloggin’ With M. Brennan in June last year as a reviewer. Within months I was a reviewer team lead. Now I am one of the folks running the blog. I have read over 570 books in just over a year, many of them anthologies of some sort or another. It makes me mad as a blogger that a person like this gives bloggers a bad name. I’m the same as you Melissa. If I sign up for the ARC and get it, great, if I don’t, and it is part of a series that I’ve really enjoyed reading thus far, I go buy it as well when I can afford to do so. I donated HUNDREDS of books that I had purchased over the years to a local rural library a few years back. I kept select authors books that I had collected the whole series on. Other than that, now I have them on Kindle. Talk about saving my back on the weight of the bag when I’m traveling with my Kindle. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Laura

    Some of the loveliest people I’ve met in my journey as an author have been bloggers. I’ve been lucky, I know, because I’ve heard some real horror stories. But I do know exactly what you mean. I sometimes feel that way when I tell people I self-publish some of my work–like I should apologize because I am so embarrassed by the behavior of some of the people who are sharing my umbrella.

    Here’s the thing. Dishonest people are dishonest. Scammers are scammers. They’re everywhere, in every part of life. It sucks that they screw up the things you enjoy, but it’s like they just have to spread their crappy attitude.

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      Laura – your comment makes me feel a lot better. Thank you. I think part of it, is that we feel like we’re above this kind of behavior. Egos, I guess. 😀

      Reply
    • midnyte reader

      Well said Laura. There are bad apples in every sub-culture that give the rest a bad name.

      Reply
  3. Jaime Arnold

    This chick gives us all a bad name. As a blogger I am totally ashamed to be associated with blogging right now and I shouldn’t have to be. As a Publicity & Marketing Director for a publisher and a Tour Company owner I am now constantly on the lookout for people who cheat the system to get free books. Fiktshun and I banned this chick from our tours over a year ago for bad behavior and I have banned her from receiving any books from Month9Books.

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      I remember you guys mentioning her – but I didn’t associate the blog name with the person. Now we know. 🙁

      Reply
  4. Tigris Eden

    This was nicely done! I could say more, but I won’t. I’ve been fortunate to meet some cool ass bloggers. I myself was and still do blog. But I do like to support my fellow authors by buying their books. It’s a world of WTF and that’s just sad to see. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      Thanks, Tigris. And I wish more people out there were like you. 😀 I think the majority are. It takes one bad apple…

      Reply
  5. Lori

    So I went and snooped on their page to see if they had pulled the post. And they did, but they also don’t care about all of the drama because, and I quote, “We took what we were entitled to take end of story. ” Wow. There are so many things I could say about this, but I won’t.

    It’s funny how the bad apples are the only ones that most people remember. Because most of the bloggers I know are incredibly kind, caring, and giving people. In fact all of the ones I know personally don’t feel entitled to anything and work their butts off.

    Thank you for sticking up for all my blogger friends who are great people. I don’t want to see people like this ruin it for them.

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      Yes. Yes. Yes. I saw that. She took what she deserved. It amazes me what some people think. The entitlement. And yes, they always remember the bad apples, which is why it’s hard to be all “ooh I’m a blogger.”

      I think if we show that we won’t tolerate this behavior – we can get our awesomeness back.

      Here is her post: https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8fQqA1JymyA/V35ZFqQ9FsI/AAAAAAAAHRc/jcO91p4Avbc6OFvoAfvMlqHdui7q9RHzgCLcB/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-07-07%2Bat%2B8.26.19%2BAM.png

      Reply
      • Donya Lynne

        I was just on their page and saw the post. So either she reposted it or blocked certain people from seeing it. The comments have apparently been deleted, but the post is still there.

        Reply
        • Parajunkee

          It says 17 comments when I see the post – but you can’t see them. I don’t know if it’s because she deleted them, or if they are those “hidden” comments that you get on pages. I believe it’s because the commenter has not “liked” the page.

  6. Michele

    Best post ever. I have this same feeling…I feel shamed for being a blogger. Yes I went to cons and ala. I have taken arcs to review…and I have also donated books and swag to my library because I live in a small town of under 1000 and we are lucky to even have one. However I would never take advantage of that. In the 5 years I have been blogging I have only emailed a publisher twice for a book. It’s sad that one person can ruin it. I saw the person above at bookcon this year. She had her children there with wristbands to get books, taking away the opportunity for other teenagers the chance to meet their favorite author. It was a shame.

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      Thanks for sharing with us. I did notice in pictures that her small child always had a copy of a YA novel in her hand. Look, I have an advanced child. She reads at a 10th grade level at the age of 9. But, I would not give her a YA novel to read because of maturity. It just looks really greedy a child grabbing books that she couldn’t possible want or be able to read. 🙁

      Reply
  7. Ming Ong

    Wayyyy back when I went to my first BEA with my librarian from high school, I got opened up to the world of book blogging and met some amazing bloggers and got to meet some of my favorite authors. I love reading and wanted to write about what I read so that others could enjoy the same books and give authors their deserved love. It pains me that some people treat it with such disrespect. ARCs cost the publisher money and are for the author to do promotion and amp up the excitement for their books. Not to be exploited. I hope that people won’t lose faith in the book bloggers who are actually doing right by the authors and publishers.

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      As long as we don’t let stuff like this slide. Authors and bloggers need love too. 😀

      Reply
  8. Stephanie Collins

    🙁 I hate seeing stuff like this. I love getting books at cons but I’m also known for passing them along if I hear of a fan at the con who would die for a certain ARC. My motto is PASS ON THE LOVE. I also love to do giveaways and, as some can attest to, am not the type to ask for a photo let alone a book just cause. Now… begging on Twitter for a book early cause NEEDZ sure… but I happily buy copies cause *and thus is important* I WANT MOAR BOOKS and ya know they aren’t going to be published if no money is made.

    Reply
  9. Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)

    I like a lot of what you say here, but I am going to disagree with your statement that “we deserve it”. I have NEVER acted like I deserve an ARC or a book from someone because I’m a blogger. And I don’t know any other bloggers personally like that. I started blogging before I knew anything about ARCs, like you said, for the love of books. And if I never got another ARC I would continue to blog about every book I read. Because I love to read, and I will read for the rest of my life.

    However, before you think I’m griping at you about this post, I’m not really. I totally agree with the examples you have given. I have had my own run-in with the blogger you are showing up above. When I asked about trading for an ARC she had several copies of, and she said I didn’t have anything she wanted, but I could pay for a book on Amazon and shipping, she wanted over $40 for two ARCs. Of course at that point, I was out of it. I mean, wow. That is what gives bloggers a bad name.

    I also don’t feel like authors act the way you mentioned above about bloggers, or at least not any of the authors I’ve met. Again, maybe it’s because I’ve not acted the way these “bad bloggers” have, or seen people who acted like that. Every author I’ve ever talked to in person, or on social media has always been very nice and very excited to talk to their fans.

    So, that sucks that you had that experience as an author. I hate that there are those bloggers out there.

    Reply
    • Lisa F (Bookworm Lisa)

      Uhm… aren’t ARC’s not supposed to be sold? That kind of goes against integrity.

      Reply
      • Dana

        No, it even says in the front of a print ARC that it is not to be sold or traded. I found an ARC one day in a book store in Chicago. I took note of the author’s name, and where I found the book, the book title, etc. Then messaged the author via FB and let them know. They thanked me and that was that. I let it be. Not my job to police, but if nothing else, I don’t know when that ARC was released. It could have been an older book of the author’s and they may not have been worried about it. I just felt as a blogger and reviewer that I needed to let the author know it was out there.

        Reply
    • Parajunkee

      I got your meaning, Lisa. It was mean to be inflammatory, if we let these kind of bloggers get away with it – we’ll deserve the backlash. That’s it – but of course the ethical blogger doesn’t deserve to be stereotyped. I hate that there are those kind of bloggers out there too.

      Reply
  10. Sharon (Slick reads)

    I’m a reviewer on a blog and I’ve attended a lot of conventions and often authors have asked to give me books. I always tell them that if they’d like to give me one to give away on the blog that’s great, but I personally prefer an e-copy to review. I’ve never asked an author for a book (except for a few times for a charity raffle basket and I’ve always offered to pay for them) nor would I, if I want a hard copy of a book I buy it and to be honest I buy a good 85-90% of the books I get ARCs of either in e-form or paperback for my personal use. I guess I was blissfully unaware this was going on, or maybe I just have a different attitude than some reviewers/bloggers, but I review because I want to help promote the authors I love to read, I’m not trying to scam them which again is why I buy so many “clean” copies once they are published. I know the author’s have worked hard on their books and if I want them to keep writing I need to support them not only with a review but by BUYING their book!

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      That is an amazing outlook Sharon. I hope the majority of people feel that way.

      Reply
  11. Amber Goleb

    This is soooo true! This is one of the reasons why I have struggled with blogging for a while now. A label is everything to some, in turn they thing it entitles them to free stuff! I am not going to pretend that I don’t receive more ARCs and books that I don’t know when I will around to reading them… Here is the difference though… Very few have I politely asked to be considered one of the few to get them. I have earned where I am today. I love reading. I love sharing what I read with everyone I can.
    When I go to book signings, I rarely say I am Amber, owner of Up All Night Book Addict. I say I am Amber. Many of the authors know me or of me because I have connected with them over the years, I have promoted their books even if I hadn’t read them yet. I don’t ever expect them to hand me free books. Some do, to their own accord, and I am very GRATEFUL for that. I have no problem purchasing books off of them for giveaways. It’s a privilege, not a right to get things without having to ask for them. These types of bloggers in this post embarrass me too. Therr are times that this kind of blog makes me want to hang my head in shame.
    Kudos Parajunkee for not being afraid to have a voice!

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      Thank you Amber, and I hope next time you can say that you’re Amber from Up All Night Book Addict. 😀

      Reply
  12. Acourtofcoffeeandbooks

    Agree when I went to ala first time authors asked me if I was a blogger I went really quiet since my co blogger is a librian and she said not to say your a blogger. I just like going since I have a blast plus I’m a avid reader. I just started blogging. And I saw there who was doing this….

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      That’s a shame. I’m glad you had fun though.

      Reply
  13. Midnyte Reader

    This is such a great post and I agree with everything you are saying. It’s unfortunate that a few people can give a whole industry a bad name…but that is the way of the world. A few bad apples. And when that bad apple is labelled, (whether it be blogger, cosplayer, Pagan, etc.) people jump to conclusions about everyone.

    I had NO CLUE about ARCS when I first started blogging…I reviewed a few, but ultimately decided it wasn’t worth it for me. I only wanted to read books that *I* wanted to read. Blogging to me is a conversation about books — I’m going to try to remain naive that way…although, yes the industry has changed so much. But hey, the awesome book bloggers will prevail!

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      I feel such pressure with ARCs lol. At first I was all like “need need need” but then the first time I went to BEA and had a stack of books I couldn’t even read in time – I was upset that I had so many. Granted at BEA they shove them into your hand as you are walking down the aisle – so it’s not like I was grabbing them just to grab. I only stood in three lines to get the books I really wanted. Now, when I went to RT – I came home with about five books. I was proud of myself. But, I paid a ton for that con – so I was probably doing myself a disservice. But, the money went to the con – and not the authors that donated the books. So, I’ll go and buy the books that I like…I’m rambling. And Yes, awesome book bloggers will prevail! We gots to stick together.

      Reply
  14. Taylor (Exposure Book Blog)

    I just started my book blog in June. But I’ve been reviewing books forever. I would never go up to an author and say “give me an arc” I’ve received arcs before I even had a blog and each time I did I felt so grateful that the author had entrusted me with such a wonderful gift. I just recently even wrote a post on my Facebook page for my blog about why I started in the first place and it had nothing to do with free books and had everything to do with wanting to give back to the amazing authors that share a piece of their soul with us readers. Shame on the bloggers who don’t even care about the artwork of the writing and only wants to be like “gimme gimme gimme”

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      Congrats on your new book blog. I will have to look it up.

      Reply
  15. Kari

    I love being a book blogger. But, as in any arena, there will always be crappy people pulling crappy stuff. There are bad authors out there as well. Just as there are bad “Booktubers”. You should see some of the hauls they post on YouTube. Personally, I like ebooks anyway. I never know that to do with my ARCs because I can’t donate them to my library sale. I hate to recycle them because I can’t destroy a book on principal. As a blogger, I have been turned down lots of times for ARCs, but there are so many books to read out there, I am never offended or upset. But an interesting article, that blogger should be ashamed of herself!

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      You are very right Kari. I’ve been giving my ARCs to the Vets senior home. At first I thought these guys don’t want to read this stuff – but they keep accepting them with excitement – so I get a kick out of these seventy-year-old veterans reading the romance novels I send them. 😀

      Reply
  16. Brooke

    Such a nicely written post. I am so sad to see the state of blogging these days. When I started, it was about growing your blog and your followers, making connections, and reading books because you wanted to read books. It was not about hoarding books, or trying to make money, or trying to scam people. Now I truly understand why publishers really pull back at cons when there are bloggers. I mean, I have seen with my own eyes the way bloggers will act at cons but this person really tops of the cake. And to think she’s been at this since 2005? That’s truly scary.

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      2005 – wow, didn’t realize that. I don’t know if I believe that either – there are only a few bloggers that have been around that long that are still in the game. It was a much smaller community back then. I wonder if she’s been doing this for that long?

      Reply
  17. Jennifer @ Bookshelfery

    This is why I don’t blog anymore. It’s being saturated with assholes.

    Reply
  18. Doana

    Those pictures are from two different things just so you know. 1 is from a post a few days ago and it’s cut off. The bottom of it states that you are also getting bookish goodies that Jessica paid for out of pocket. So it’s to cover that as well.

    The other photo is from May when 4 FOUR people were with her sharing a hotel room. So that’s not just hers.

    But of course no one cares about the truth. It’s all nothing but drama these days. I’m proud to be a friend to Jessic and Crossroads. But I know two seconds after this post goes up it will most likely be deleted. Because that’s the way the world works.

    Reply
    • Briana

      With the utmost respect, I really would be interested in hearing Jessica’s side. All the conversation I’ve seen has been scattered across social media–Facebook, Twitter, maybe elsewhere–and it’s really hard to follow. Combined with the fact that posts keep getting deleted, I don’t really know who said what anymore. For instance, all I have seen is the screenshot of her asking for money to cover shipping costs. The original post is gone, so I literally had no idea there was supposed to be something other than books in the box. I didn’t even see Jessica mention on Twitter that the costs were also to cover bookish items. Your comment, on this random blog post I stumbled across, is literally the only mention I have seen of this.

      I think this post nicely lays out why the book blogger community is upset at what happened (or, appeared to happen, according to you). If Jessica wants to respond, I would just love to see that also in a blog post. (Disable comments if no commentary is wanted.) But I truly am having difficulty following her explanations due to the way they have been published on various social media platforms, then edited or removed. (Plus she’s blocked a lot of people, who now cannot see them. And no judgment there. I get the impulse to block people in an attempt to have a peaceful Twitter experience. But it’s also hard to defend yourself to people who can’t see what you’re saying.)

      Reply
    • Parajunkee

      I don’t delete comments Doana – so assuming that is kind of ugly. If I dish it out, I take it. Are you saying that post is faked? If it is – I’ll remove it.

      In the text one – it says 3+ books for $20, it does not say ” bookish goodies that Jessica paid for out of pocket” in there. So $20 for 3 ARCs is a scam.

      And for the picture one – if it was 4 people sharing a hotel room – did each one grab 2 ARCs? Because there are like 8 of each book in some of those stacks. Just saying, still not a good reflection on them. Great that you are standing up for your friend. I’m glad you commented.

      Reply
    • Jess

      I’m pretty sure I heard the people sharing a room with her were her family, so…they’re still all hers (if that’s true).

      Reply
      • Parajunkee

        Yes – to be precise, the “four” people were her and her co-bloggers. Which are her children, the youngest is very young , preschooler/elementary age.

        Reply
    • Mary

      Yes, the books in the picture are for four people, but that does not excuse seven copies of a book going to one outlet (most cobloggers share, even the ones who live in separate countries) or the fact that she picked up certain titles at BEA and then took additional copies at ALA.

      Reply
  19. Isabel

    All this makes me so sad. Partially because I met this blogger at ALA and she was extremely nice. It’s so weird to see how her online stuff contradicts her in person stuff and vice versa. I know I personally tend to grab more ARCs than necessary (only one of each book though) both because I’m not used to getting them and because I have various places for them to go (me blogging, school library, and local bookstore teen advisory board). I love being a blogger and wouldn’t give it up, but this stuff always makes me sad.

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      Look – if they allow you to grab an ARC, my all means, if you can get it in the hands of someone who will read it, take it. The last time I went to a con that had a mass amount of YA ARCs – we grabbed 1 of each for in-class libraries for the teachers. They love getting these books and it’s a cool teaching tool about publishing. So, don’t feel bad. But, if the intention is to take them just so you can claim you have 8 of the hottest ARCs that everyone is drooling over – there is something wrong there. I’ve been surprised by a lot of people too. The nastiest person I’ve ever met, a girl that went behind my back to get me fired, lied, cheated, changed files to make other people look bad, even tried to steal money from the company I worked for, was the NICEST person to your face. So nice, that when it all came out, no one believed it. She was too nice. Too sweet. But, we realized she was so nice so you wouldn’t notice what she was doing. It was very sad. I’m not saying this is the same kind of thing. But, people surprise you all the time.

      Reply
  20. Lisa F (Bookworm Lisa)

    Book Blogging used to be fun. I still love getting to “know” some of the people in the community. There are days that I wonder why I still do it. Most author’s want an Amazon review over a blog review. I often wonder if I am taken seriously as a reader anymore.

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      That’s such a shame. The Amazon reviews mean more to the authors because it helps with their ranking. An Amazon ranking is life or death to an author now. The higher they go, the more books they sell. The more books they sell – means they can write more books. It’s an endless cycle. The blog reviews are appreciated, but the impact on sales is why they ask for Amazon reviews. I think as bloggers we need to evolve.

      Reply
      • Dana (Bloggin' With M. Brennan)

        Some are even asking for B&N as well as posting on Goodreads. I always post on Amazon and Goodreads if the books are listed on Goodreads. When the sign up for an arc asks to be posted on B&N, i do my best to do that. I had one the other day that when I submitted my Amazon link to the review, it asked me to please post on Goodreads and B&N as well. I could not find the book on B&N. But I had already posted on Goodreads.

        I also use Eidelweiss and NetGalley, because I saw some PR tours were using those formats from the publishers for the books. I’m good with that.

        Reply
  21. Jennifer @ The Book Nympho

    I stay out of the drama that some bloggers bring to the world. I’m usually clueless about this stuff until I see posts like this. The nerve of some people.

    I keep my head down and read/review what I want and when I can.

    Reply
    • Jonetta (Ejaygirl)

      Same for me, Jennifer.

      Reply
      • Felicia GeekyBlogger (@thegeekyblogger)

        I heard about 24 hours after it started. I generally have my head stuck in the sand. It really is just sad!

        Reply
    • Parajunkee

      I’m usually clueless. I’ve joined a book blogger resources forum on Facebook and those girls are on top of things. I saw this post and couldn’t stay silent. I don’t like getting in on drama – but I’m tired of seeing people keep doing the same thing over and over again and all of us “rule followers” sitting back and shaking our heads. We are good as a community and as a community we need to be vigilant – the deeper my head went into the sand the more I detached from the rest of the community. And then I felt more and more like, why am I doing this? I did this to connect with people. So, I’m going to try and get back in there, if it means getting my dose of drama, so be it. 🙁

      Reply
  22. Melinda

    I had no idea that this was a “thing” until I saw a post about Crossroad Review on Facebook. Oh, my. I’m an English teacher, and when I can score an ARC, there’s a happy dance in my classroom. And I then BUY a published copy when it’s available. I spend $100s every year (the past few years it’s been over $1000 a year-please don’t tell my husband!) because the only way to get my students to read is to provide them with titles that they will love.
    I suppose that I was naive; I believed that “book people” are better than that.

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      Oh my Melinda! My husband would kill me lol. I am the same way, you call it naive – I call it ego, for me at least. I thought we were better than other types of “bloggers” and book people didn’t behave this way. BTW there would be nothing wrong with you getting donations for your classroom. Teachers do not make enough money for you to be spending that much on books for your classroom. If you are spreading the love of reading to a new generation – we should help you do this with the industries help. Thank you for what you do.

      Reply
  23. Robert Eggleton

    I’m a retired children’s psychotherapist. My debut novel was published by a traditional small press and is soon to come out as a second edition. I saw this post on Facebook today. While my comment is a little tardy, I felt compelled to express that as a group, book bloggers have been so very kind and supportive. Thank you all for your contributions to the advancement of literature.

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      You are giving this post too much credit. But you are welcome. And Thank you for your support of book bloggers. We appreciate it.

      Reply
  24. Danielle Gorman

    Wow! I want to be like OMG I can’t believe there are bloggers out there that are doing this but it doesn’t surprise me. It makes me sick to my stomach because it is so not cool and I hate that it puts a stigma on all of us bloggers. I’ve been blogging now since 2011 and I NEVER feel like I’m entitled to anything. There are authors that I’m super cool with and I would NEVER expect them to give me a book just because I’m a blogger. That is some crazy ish right there.

    Reply
  25. Kathleen collins

    This disheartens me. I have met so many awesome bloggers. Yes, there are a few that weren’t so great but I try not to paint everyone with the same brush, I’m sorry that others are and that you feel you have to apologize for them. I’m happy to give ARCs to those that ask and have been known to send them to some of my readers just cuz they’re awesome that way. I hate it when a few bad apples ruin it for everyone. I hope those that are blogging because they love it, keep doing it because you’re the ones authors love to work with.

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      Thank you for being awesome Kathleen and not stereotyping!

      Reply
  26. johnna

    This is so wrong that people are doing that. I am a blogger and I try to promote as many authors that I can. I haven’t been to an event yet but when I go in September I fully expect to have to pay for the books that I get. I don’t have time to review them so they go on my extremely long TBR list for someday. This person is a disgrace to the blogging community as a whole.

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      This is wrong – and good luck with your first event!

      Reply
  27. Kelly Erickson

    I am a book blogger and I never ask for free books. I do get them, however. If an author likes a review I’ve done, they often send us more books. At a recent three day book event, we ran into several authors we know and word got around. We don’t tell authors we are bloggers until after we purchase books. Then we simply hand them a business card. We spent $300+ on books but ended up having authors just hand us a couple more books for each one we bought. I always feel guilty about that as I know indie authors not only pour their hearts out to write, but pour their wallets out to get print copies.
    We would never sell books we receive for free.

    Reply
  28. Patti (@TheLoveJunkee)

    I did not see that sign at the Macmillan booth but it explains a LOT. And people like Crossroads Reviews are exactly the reason for that sign. When I took a book from the stacks on the floor at ALA, I asked the reps if it was okay – and they always thanked me for asking.

    And yes, we’ll talk – ALA 16 was great – people were so nice and everyone was friendly. I only saw one “book grabber”. It was a ton of fun to talk to the pubs and hear about what they were excited about. Going to do a post soon about what ALA got me excited about 🙂

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      I will be waiting patiently for that post. I”m intrigued now.

      Reply
    • Mary

      You most likely did not see the sign because it wasn’t at the regular Macmillan booth. It was at the Macmillan library marketing booth, which works solely with librarians and teachers. 🙂

      Reply
  29. ELIZABETH h.

    Thank you for this post. I didn’t realize how big a problem this is. I knew that there were some jerks who are selling ARCs on eBay and other site, but to actually have the gall to go up to an author and demand their book. No, no, NO! These people need to be shaken repeatedly! As a blogger and romance book enthusiast, I am ashamed as well. I would NEVER expect or demand a book from an author. I’m sharing my love of books with others in my constant search for happily ever afters. If I am offered the opportunity to review someone’s book, I take that as an honor. I am so sorry you had to experience this and that there are so many “fakers” out there.

    Reply
  30. Kelly

    This. Exactly. I feel the same way when I speak to authors. It’s like I cringe as I introduce myself as a blogger. Thank you for writing this.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  31. Jaime Lester

    I have a tiny little blog that I would love nothing more than to make into something special. I love reading. It is my escape, my happy place, and I love to talk about that with EVERYONE. But there are so many people out there that will take you to task for stating an opinion, or rating a book 2 stars when they loved it, or various other examples, that I am scared to grow my blog. I am not a confrontational person, and I am ridiculously emotional…. I want to get involved with a great community of other bloggers, and know that I can be who I am. I want there to be honesty and sincerity, generosity. I love it that wonderful bloggers are starting to voice their truths, and being KIND about it. Maybe it will start making a difference, and encouraging people who want to be a part of this awesome community, but are just too scared!

    Reply
  32. Lynette

    I went to ALA and when I saw that sign. I was devastated because I knew exactly why it was there. I was almost in tears to be honest and the condescending tone of some people on how that was “the way that it should be” almost made ALA unbearable . I’m not only a book blogger but a teacher and someone who wants to be a librarian (and in the fall getting my Masters in LS) and wanted to rub elbows and see new library technology that I might be in the future. But instead I felt hostility every time someone would look down at my badge (I’ve just moved and was hired so I didn’t feel right putting my school name). To be completely truthful, for the most of the conference I purposely turned my badge around because I felt ashamed and I didn’t want the rolled eyes and looks like “you don’t belong here”. Sorry for the long post.

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      Lynette – this makes me so sad. I’m sorry you feel that way. I’m also sorry that it was that feeling at ALA. I’ve only been once, it was at the beginning of the book blogging phenom. It was basically the beginning, when there were these huge long lines for ARCs and they didn’t care what you were, they were excited that people were lining up for ARCs. But, when it turned out that a lot of the people in those lines were not librarians the tone started to change the following year. I remember there was even a call to not allow entrance to the show floor unless you paid for the conference. If ALA wanted it to be only librarians that is what they would do. If they didn’t want bloggers there, they wouldn’t sell the day passes – or floor passes, right? So you have just as much a right as anyone. Someone did say that sign was at a specific LIBRARY booth for MacMillion – so maybe it was special books they had at that booth? Who knows. I do know publishers like us because we give them free promotion. You can’t pass up free. Don’t be ashamed. I might have been a little dramatic in my post…lol.

      Reply
      • Lynette

        Actually for the most part the publishers were very nice and very accommodating! My feeling was more because I knew why that sign had to be put there and it made me sad. I felt more hostility towards those attendees that I stood in line for and that is mainly why I turned the badge around. It’s sad because all the librarians see and hear are about ARC grabby bloggers and that is awful!

        i just hope that if there is ever a convention JUST for book bloggers that we would be a little nicer to other people wanting to attend (I know BEA is sort of). But who knows lol!

        Reply
  33. Leona

    I am so freaking embarrassed and pissed that I’m at a loss for words. But oddly enough these horrible examples of how NOT to act makes me want to do better and more to change the tarnished rep of us bloggers that are doing what we should do.

    Reply
  34. Stephanie @ Reading is Better With Cupcakes

    This is very eye opening.

    I have only been a book blogger for a year… And what I have seen recently has been awful. I would love to find a way to help get book bloggers a better name.

    Also, thank you for providing those older examples. People keep saying that she has been doing it for years, but no one has ever provided any “proof” to those of us who haven’t been around.

    And I think I am like you. If I had seen that sign, I wouldn’t have been able to take a book from the stack(s). Whether someone was looking or not. I would just end up feeling horrible and guilty for the whole day and then end up trying to sneak it back on the stack.

    Reply
  35. Mary Bookhounds

    This makes me sad. Blogging about books is a hobby and I spend way too much money on it but it is what I love to do. People like that are just horrible. I just know that karma does come back and it must be horrible to have to scam publishers to make a few bucks. I ended up feeling sorry for her that her life is that small.

    Reply
  36. Jen @ The bookavid

    The majority of the people who have been speaking up about this are angry. This is the first time I’m seeing someone who feels the same things I feel – complete and utter embarrassment. I wouldn’t be upset if publishing professionals decided to completely stop giving out ARCs to bloggers. I’d totally understand. It would be sad, but people like this just justify that. They keep on showing that bloggers aren’t reviewers, bloggers aren’t professional, the stuff I’m sure everyone has heard at some point if they’re a blogger. While the truth is that there is only a fraction of us that are like her – that’s already enough. And that’s what those scammers don’t understand. One drop poisons the entire well. How can you live with that? I genuinely don’t understand how this person can live with themselves knowing they are inviting so much negativity and prejudice into this community. This is why people hate bloggers. Especially authors. And as a passionate blogger I can’t even blame them. This breaks my heart.

    Reply
  37. JG

    Great post!

    Reply
  38. Erin

    I’m so over this girl. Why is she even relevant anymore? 😐

    $20 for 3 books. IT COSTS $11.73 TO SHIP 20 lbs worth of media via media mail. Yeah, she’s only charging you the cost of shipping my ass. One book is what maybe a pound? Mmhmm.. She’s profiting from this and thinking she’s getting around the whole “you can’t sell ARCs” thing. Unless of ourse…. she’s shipping via Priority, but I doubt that. >:|

    Reply
    • Erin

      Of course**

      Reply
  39. Nanette

    I have been to lots of cons, I am friends with a lot of bloggers and authors and I never ask for anything for free. I have also been a blogger and have had authors gift me with fun book related stuff for. Wing a blogger. I always felt bad about getting something but the smiles on their faces made me happy because they were happy. I share my love of books for everyone. I don’t care what you write I share it. It saddens me that people try to scam hard working authors by begging for free books or guilting them out of them. I also know a few bloggers who are truly great bloggers but are bullied by other bloggers who say they are stealing books by taking the arcs the authors freely give to them for reviews. I’ve pulled away from this world a bit because of the things you’ve written in this post. Their is so much negativity and hatefulness that I didn’t want to be a part of the drama. I will always share my posts and reviews on my book page and do what I can for any author it’s just harder now because of the things one bad egg might do. I’m glad you aren’t afraid to speak your mind and you wrote this. People should never put a bad review of a book up because they got called out doing what they shouldn’t have. Some have forgotten why we all do this. We love books. We shared that togethe and nice r and I want that love of books to be our focus again.

    Reply
    • Nanette

      Sorry for they typos

      Reply
  40. Joyce

    I’ve been blogging foot a couple of years now. So far, it’s been a great experience. I got into it as a way to say thanks to those authors who put their books out there for free or almost free. I don’t have a big following yet and I’m okay with that. My only problem was with an author who felt I should change my rating of her book because I ruined her perfect 5-star rating. She asked for honest and that’s what I gave her. And in case you’re wondering, I gave her three stars because of spelling and grammatical errors.

    Writing reviews just happened. I started as a beta reader. Then I got asked to review and it’s grown from there. I don’t take money or anything in trade for it. I don’t want to feel obligated to anything other than an honest opinion.

    I mostly don’t ask for books anymore. If review copies are being offered and it’s a genre I enjoy, I’ll ask. I don’t think I’m entitled to a free book just because I write reviews and have a blog. I have a ton of books by Indie authors on my Nook I can write reviews for, most of which came from sites like Freebooksy and Robin Reads.

    Reading your post and the comments that follow leaves me both sad and disturbed. I have a couple of “stray thoughts” I’m being encouraged to flesh out into full blown novels.

    I think Indies are a special breed of author. I’m really sorry you had to go through this and hope your faith in bloggers can be restored.

    Reply
  41. Grace Fonseca

    I know for a fact that it doesn’t cost what she is saying to ship books, since I ship books all the time to other book bloggers, and I use the post office $2.28-$4.. is the going rate. If it is a flat rate box-then $18 something at the most…. This is terrible that she does this year after year. She will never learn. You are right to say she gives us all a bad name. I have gone to both ALA and BEA. At ALA MW, the publishers were so nice and I got to interact with them… It wasn’t about the books, but rather me interacting with friends and the publisher reps to see what they are coming out with and what I like to read and what titles they are excited for. I’m happy to get an ARC… ARCS are costly to make… So I try to use Net Galley and Edelweiss when I can… They are not a right, but a privilage. Things like this are going to make publishers wary of making arcs….

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      Grace! Where ya been? Or has it been me that’s been hiding?? Great comment. So true.

      Reply
  42. Erin

    There should be some kind of ban list that her name needs to be on and shared with all coordinators of book cons. :/

    Reply
  43. Paul (Audiobook Reviewer)

    I stopped begging for review copies a long time ago. It is hard enough to keep up as it is. I giveaway all physical review copies anyway, and I eat the shipping.

    Reply
  44. Louise McKiE

    Okay I’ve seen a few posts lately about bloggers/readers selling arcs.
    I’m a uk blogger, we don’t have signings as big as the USA ones. I have never ever been given a paperback arc and if I had I would treasure it like I treasure all my books.
    It’s people like this that give us bloggers a bad name. I enjoy what I do and I do it to help get authors names out there, but because people like this are doing things like this eventually we will all be out of a job. Because no one will want to touch us nice ones with barge poles just in case we aren’t the good ones.

    Reply
  45. Javeria Maheen

    It’s like you’ve spoken to my soul, I completely understand where you’re coming from. I started blogging recently after I posted a review on goodreads. Sure I’d be happy to get a physical ARC but I’d be just as happy to get an eARC. It’s not fair that she’s defaming book bloggers like this and her whimsy excuses don’t work on us. And your experience with that book blogger was awful, I hope you never experience that again.

    PS. Your one of my go to blogs for tutorials. 😉

    Reply
  46. Wes

    Pardon my ignorance, sister, but let me get this straight. Authors are weary of bloggers because some crazy blogger lady is taking their free ARCs (I’m assuming that stands for Advanced Review Copy?), then turning around and selling them?

    Could that be considered copyright infringement?

    By the way, I feel bad that you bloggers are being refused your ARCs. To tell you the truth, authors and publishers send us books all the time just hoping someone in the newsroom will write a review. I also get emails everyday from people asking if they can send me a book for review. I wonder if there’s a way I can pass them along to some bloggers.

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      This is an op-ed and I was being a bit dramatic, dear brother. And yes Advanced Reader Copies, and more than one, and selling them. Which is said to be illegal, but I’m banking with more unethical. I think yes, it could be copyright, because you are selling something that is considered “Unpublished” and the copyright is retained with the author. And author has right to first publish. So, yeah – you are right – they might have a case as far as a civil suit. But, is it worth it?

      As far as unethical – A lot of start-up bloggers can not go to cons or make industry connections, so they’ll pay for ARCs. And I can imagine how much your paper is flooded with review copies – since just running the blog by myself I’m drowning (you’ve seen my room of authors I’ve failed…) in books that I can’t possibly review. That I’ve never requested. That they just send in the hope of a review.

      I would think that maybe your paper could try to pump up their online presence and get a few “citizen reviewers” to tackle your books. I know The Advocate does this. Might be an idea to pass along to the big collars.

      Reply
      • Wes

        Citizen reviewers who know how to write a decent paragraph? You do realize what state I’m in, right?

        Reply
        • Parajunkee

          You never know!

  47. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    I think a lot of publishers and authors are able to realize that there are good and bad people everywhere, and that this also applies to bloggers. I met a publisher at one of the author breakfasts at BEA, and she was genuinely happy to meet a blogger, and she’s contacted me afterwards to send me some eARCs to read and review.

    Even if there are some bloggers who act in ways that are not polite and bordering on extremely bad, most people see that all bloggers are not like that, so yeah, I refuse to feel embarrassed to be a blogger because there are some real ass-holes out there. And I’m OK with not getting ARCs, I buy just as many books now as I did before I started blogging (if not more)…

    Those of us who have integrity just have to keep on showing our integrity, and we should be OK.

    Reply
    • Vi @ Gone With The Books

      I totally agree with you Lexxie

      Reply
  48. Cee Arr

    OMG, I’m going to sound completely and utterly naïve, but when I started book-blogging almost two years ago, I didn’t even know ARCs were a thing. If that sounds like a humble-brag then sorry, but it’s the truth. I literally started my blog because books are my lifeline through my mental health problems, and I want to get the whole world reading *starry-eyed expression here*

    That there are people like this shouldn’t surprise me. But it does. At the end of the day, you’re quite right. As a community we need to call out the bad practices, and keep going with the good ones. That’s the only way these things will fade away.

    Reply
  49. James devo

    This is a heartening and important post. As an indie author desperate for marketing, reviews and above all vindication for these text creations of mine, it hurts when people request books for review and give nothing in return.
    I’ve been engaging with readers in Goodreads groups and begging bloggers for reviews to find 75% of bloggers don’t reply – but then why should they? For most it’s not a full time job and they do it for love. And not everybody wants to read my genre.
    What’s much more annoying is sending out requested copies to get nothing. I’d say a third of the read for review copies I send out for myself, as opposed to those policed by reader groups, disappear into the ether.
    It’s good to know there are some honest people out there. Thanks for this.

    Reply
  50. Anubha

    How can people do this? I mostly get ecopies of ARC’s and all physical copies that I have are either brought or won in some giveaway but I have ever thought of selling them (except for the times when people borrow my books and never return them 🙁 ) In fact if I like a book very much you’ll find me shoving those books in the faces of my friends until they read it and this goes on. The only gain I have is that I’ll have more people on my list who love same authors as me so now we could go for buddy read sessions and stalk same authors to see what is going to be next on our combined list. 😛
    I started blogging but my lazy self can’t keep up so now I just read the books that I can buy and only accept arc’s when I know the author very well.
    I really wish to come back to blogging because in my mind being a blogger is one of the coolest things but after reading your post I don’t know if it’ll be awesome to return back to blogging. I don’t want to be considered as a book monger or a bad person.

    Reply
  51. The Angels Pearl

    Wow! I didn’t know people could be like this. I have been blogging for 1yr and a half and i do take my blogging very seriously as I genuinely love reading. I buy at least 60% of my books and others I get from author requests and Netgalley. Any Arcs i dont read I actually give away to other bloggers or friends to spread the word about the author. I could never sell stuff I get for free. Id rather do a give away so other bloggers can read the books.
    the fact that people like this have been able to get a way with a lot of stuff for so long is just horrific and it does give book bloggers a terrible name. i agree that we need to point out when people are doing wrong as it affects us all.
    all bloggers out there just need to do it with integrity and deliver whatever they promised to authors or publishers. I love being a book blogger and I plan on being on for quite a while.

    Reply
  52. Melanie Simmons @mlsimmons

    When I see these things going around, I’m embarrassed as well. I love sharing my love of books and nothing feels better than when someone picks up a book because of your recommendation and loves it. That is what I do this for. I’ve only been to a few cons, but I did see some grabbers, not to the extreme of what is mentioned in this post. Also, from the authors I’ve talked to, I think they know that not all of us are like that. I do agree that it is our place to call out these people and do what we can to try to stop them. Great post.

    Reply
  53. ManDi castle

    I am an author and have had only positive experiences with book bloggers. Having said that, lately I’m getting lots of private messages asking me for free paperbacks in exchange for reviews. Out of curiosity, is this normal? I gave away several copies when it first came out in exchange for review, but it’s been a year since it was published.

    As far as these scams you mention, I didn’t realize this was happening, and I can imagine how frustrating it is for you, but don’t be ashamed to say you’re a book blogger. Those of us who have followed your blogs forever and who you have promoted need you guys to stick around.

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      No I don’t think this is normal. I would think that most would put in a formal email if they are requesting a review copy – and why so late in the game after release? Has it gotten a bit of attention lately? Maybe that is the reason.

      And thank you. I’m getting over it. I’m not giving up, just trying to make a change, with me personally.

      Reply
    • Samantha (The Book Disciple)

      I can’t imagine messaging an author and asking for a copy of her/his book, especially a paperback. To me, thats rude. My momma would be appalled if she found out I did something so rude

      Reply
  54. Valerie

    This makes me so sad. I’ve been to BEA and ALA and I’m grateful for every ARC I receive. Some get read and reviewed. Most get given away where I PAY for the shipping. I talk about them on twitter. I talk about them on FB. But I would never sell them. AND if I love the book, I buy the finished copy. That’s what blogger do. Or that what this blogger does. I just hate that people give us a bad name. I don’t know this blogger but I want nothing to do with her.

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      Most of us wouldn’t Valerie. And it’s a shame, because someone sees this and they stereotype the rest of us. I hope more people feel the same way as you do.

      Reply
  55. Maggie

    This is sad and wrong in so many levels. I have never attended the ALA or BEA – the only big book event I have attended in the past few years is the NYCC (NY Comic Con) and when I am given an ARC I value it. If I have the opportunity to get more than 1 copy rest assure I give it away, mostly to my good friend who reads as much if not more than I do. I do not charge for any of the books I give away in my blog/Facebook/Twitter. If I am to calculate how much I spend on shipping and the purchasing of books to give away, my husband would probably hand me the divorce papers. Charging for something that is supposed to be FREE is wrong, it is as wrong as stealing a child’s ice cream. Seriously!

    Reply
  56. Jennifer

    I’ll put it this way- at BEA this year I told ppl I wasn’t affiliated with blogging- after watching MANY ppls faces turn sour when speaking of bloggers.
    They misprinted my (paid for) badge w/4 year old info & I blacked it out & rewrote my library affiliation info-which is true & legit .

    Bloggers aren’t like they used to be a few years ago & sadly a book blogger doesn’t have the same rep they used to.

    Now it’s like “your a book blogger *sour face* nice to meet you *rolls eyes*”

    Bloggers did it to themselves!
    All of these posts about LOOKIE LOO AT MY BOOKS FROM BEA, ALA, etc.
    make ppl mad now. It’s like legit librarians are continually passed over for arcs -when they deserve them.

    A line for Heartless by Marissa Meyer at BEA put a sour taste in ppls mouths. I heard MANY a person “great these bloggers are taking all the books, what about the professionals that pay our dues to be here?”
    Literally pay their dues.

    Some bloggers are legit AF & they get their dues. But others? Making book bloggers as a whole look damned bad!

    Or when there’s a problem EVERYONE must get their snarky opinion in about it.

    It’s so catty and jealous and greedy and petty.

    So much damned drama over books!

    Pretty soon bloggers will get ONLY electronic arcs. Then let’s see who hangs in there.

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      This. Truth. BEA isn’t about the bloggers. It’s about the publishers and industry professionals, they have a blogcon before the event. ALA is about the librarians. Book cons and RT and RomCon are about the readers. They need to put things in perspective. Being a blogger does not entitle anyone. I know blogging is a lot of work. I know I spend a lot of money on blogging. It is my choice. It doesn’t entitle me to shit.

      Reply
  57. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    Wow, this is crazy. It makes me happy that I currently only review backlist books. I hardly ever get free stuff, and I avoid all the ARC drama. Entitled people drive me crazy. I can’t believe that someone would just walk up to an author’s table and demand free books. Really, people?!

    Reply
  58. Jennifer

    I had dealings with that Jessica person & I quit her review books group as fast as Icecream melts in the desert!
    She was shady AF.

    Reply
  59. Donya Lynne

    I haven’t read all the comments, yet, but I thought I would point out something. ARC stands for Advance Reader Copy. ARCs are sent out BEFORE a book is published. By the time an author takes their books to a signing or con, the book is published, so the books that author has sitting on his or her table are no longer ARCs. They are final, published books. The ARC phase is over.

    Something to note regarding ARCs: Many times, especially with Indie authors, they still have errors in them. ARCs have not gone through the final proofing process. They are not “finished” books. As such, I don’t want anyone selling an ARC of mine, and if they give it to someone else, I want them to make sure to tell who they gave it to that it’s an ARC and not a finished product, because that makes me look bad if someone gets my book and finds errors in it.

    I give ARCs away to bloggers before a book is published with a note that stresses this is an ARC and not a finished product. I doubt this chick is doing the same with legit ARCs she’s received and selling. But when I’m at a signing, none of my books are “ARCs.” I will trade with another author at the end of a signing if we both have books left over, and if a blogger wants to hang around to the end and ask for a copy at a discounted price (because who wants to ship back a TON of books?), then by all means, she can hang around to the end, and if she hasn’t gotten on my bad slide by feeling entitled to a free book, I might actually give her one for free, but that MY choice, not hers. But I’m not giving away copies of my books for free when someone might come to my table later and want to buy them.

    And like others, I’m not buying that those rates she published are “shipping fees,” and I’m not buying her excuse that the price she’s asking for these books doesn’t just cover shipping, but also swag items she purchased. I may have been born on a day, but it wasn’t yesterday. I know the cost of media mail shipping, and I know the cost of swag. $20 for 3 books? And I’m supposed to believe that’s for shipping and swag? This gal is delusional.

    Reply
  60. Spearcarrier

    I don’t know if this will make you feel better, but there are those of us in the small publishing world who have absolutely no idea that book bloggers were bad people. I’m a small publisher, and giving away a physical copy to a book blogger wouldn’t bother me at all. In fact, if it would *just get our latest book some reviews* I’d be thrilled to do it! LOL!!! But I have to be asked, otherwise I’m going to assume you’re just a regular customer because I’m dense.

    I simply haven’t approached any book bloggers because I didn’t know how and perhaps I was feeling a little shy. It’s not you guys. It’s me.

    Turning the books around for profit isn’t something limited to the book blogging world. For example, I have sent a number of books out to traditional venues hoping for a review. The day the book was released It had and still has no reviews, but used copies were already listed on Amazon. One was even described as “unread and in great condition”.

    With book bloggers, if I give you my book and you only turn it around for a profit I will simply not give you another book. With the venues I sent books to, that option wouldn’t be as wise as they are considered mainstream venues and I am given to understand I really want my books reviewed there and so I must keep trying. Which means as a small publisher – a little guy that is often purposefully overlooked by the big venues on principle – I must keep losing book after book.

    What I’m saying is I would rather appreciate guys like you who don’t play that political game.

    So blog, blog away. There are those of us who are paying attention for the scams. (Thanks for the heads up btw.) We are also marking who are forthright and honest, because that is one of the many keys to good business.

    Reply
  61. Jennifer COTHRAN

    I really loved reading your blog post. I was kind of appalled that some bloggers do that. I NEVER EVER ask for a physical book. I either purchase/win any signed books I get. I am not going to deny getting the free arc/ebook to read and review. Isn’t that part of the benefit to being a blogger? To be able to read someones work and review it and then promote/share your thoughts on your blog? I have branced out from just reading/reviews to product/reviews, so I can say that getting products is great and all, but I tend to give them away, because honestly, it’s just stuff/clutter or in some cases, really cool items/toys to keep. I attend signings as well, the ONLY thing I ever ask for is extra signed bookmarks or swag to use as a giveaway. 9/10 times the author is thrilled and asks to be tagged in the giveaways. (which I am thrilled to do) So, just because that blogger was rude and feeling entitled, please don’t let it affect your judgment on all bloggers. I appreciate your post. 🙂

    Just a side note: being a blogger gets a bad rap from the regular reader/fan as well. I am an admin to an author and a fan was upset because she felt I was getting paid to do what I do. I don’t charge anything ever, if I make anything it’s in amazon credits for using their associates program for promotions. And that hurt thinking, just because I am a friend and was mentioned in the book that somehow I am the bad guy and the author shouldn’t have named me in their book. 🙁 just goes to show there are crappy people on all sides of the coin.

    Reply
  62. Tia

    Yikes! This does really suck. I hate seeing things like this. That sad part is that people are just A-holes now-a-days. There’s just no way around it. A-hole bloggers make the rest of us look bad, like greedy, dishonest jerks. Just like A-hole authors make the good and kind authors (that are grateful for bloggers and genuine reviewers) look terrible. Just like bad cops make good cops look awful, and the list goes on… People just need to remember there are good and bad in all groups. I hate to see the book blogging community under such scrutiny though. What a bummer! I didn’t go to BEA, but as a book lover, would’ve been super upset to see those signs.

    Reply
  63. Ariella

    I have been blogging for 4 years. I get most of ARC’s from netgalley and some authors ask me for me to review. Sometimes I don’t accept a book because it’s not a genre I read. I do a lot promos and just help promote. If I don’t get that ARC I wanted I wait and buy it.

    Reply
  64. Echo

    I love this article! I can’t afford a lot of hard copies, sadly, so all of my books tend to be e-books, but I can tell you–some of the very best people I know are book bloggers. No looking around to see what blogger is standing where. I love my book bloggers–so much the publisher I’m with made me their review coordinator!!!
    Please, never feel discouraged and always, always smile and nod your head when you say you’re a book blogger.
    And as an author–that one blogger was just a creepy person. You’ll find good and bad people everywhere, but the good? They make it all worthwhile.

    Reply
  65. Angie V

    This makes me so sad! I can’t believe she feels so entitled! I was considering starting my own blog, to help out some indie author friends, but now…I just don’t know. Any time I am given an ARC, I always purchase the book, when it releases, and a lot of times, I give one away (that I’ve paid for) on my personal page. I also buy it in paperback when I see the author at a signing. This woman really needs to be stopped, but it is difficult. I’ve seen some that change their names, on fb, and start a different blog. It’s so hard, in this age of social media, to tell who is really behind the scenes.

    The other thing that surprises me, in her response, is her grammar. How many errors did you see? Maybe it’s my teaching degree, but I wouldn’t want her writing a review for me.

    Thank you for giving this issue some attention.

    Reply
  66. Liz Crowe

    While I remain (blissfully, purposefully) ignorant of most of the drama that swirls daily in the author/blogger/publishing world I couldn’t resist reading this. As an author who, upon bad advice from someone I should not have trusted royally pissed off a set of bloggers who then set about to utterly ruin an important release weekend for me (including boycotting a party I had planned for everyone) I can tell ya, that no one should have that much power over another person’s life, unless they are some kind of a blood relative. This has got to be the strangest thing ever, but I know your blog (you’ve reviewed for me in the past, I think or hosted a tour), and I tend to believe those who have proven themselves to be trustworthy and honest.
    I’m sorry you got into this but if that whole thing is actually true (Selling ARCs, scamming people for money–one of the reasons I never give to those GoFundMe things) it’s yet another nail in the coffin of our reputation as professionals.

    Reply
  67. A.

    As someone who went to this past ALA, I will say this sign was at a LIBRARIAN MARKETING booth. There is no reason for non-librarians to be in that particular booth. Also, there was a level of entitlement among bloggers. I heard a group of them question why there were so many librarians there. As a former blogger, current librarian, I couldn’t believe it. I saw a blogger take a book out of a librarian’s hands because “I paid as much as you did to be here. This is mine.” Exhibit only pass is about $60. Most librarians pay $250+ for their access. And although that’s a whole other story, the entitlement has been growing since I started going 4 years ago to ALA. I don’t feel comfortable going anymore and that’s the truth of it. The entitlement has made me physically uncomfortable. When I hear “oh. you’re a librarian” and then whispers from bloggers…and I’m not saying ALL bloggers are bad. I know that 95% are amazing and awesome people (said as a former blogger) but the 5% is starting to take over and not in a good way.

    Reply
  68. Blow Pop

    Reviewers like this make me want to delete my blog but then I think of all the amazing authors that I have met and the new authors I have been exposed to and go “nah, I will just call out and publicly condemn those that do deplorable shit like this”.

    Were I to go to ala, I would get multiple copies and bring to all the libraries around my house including school libraries (we have a shit ton of schools around me).

    Initially, I got into reviewing as a writing exercise to help me improve on getting thoughts from my head to out there. I have always loved reading so it feels more like a natural progression. Now, I get to talk to people who are passionate about reading and authors who are passionate about reading AND writing.

    Truly, I am sorry that you had that experience. I believe that I am not entitled to an ARC. I am entitled to go and buy a book if I want to read it. And to go pester my local public library to order a book so that more people can find the author and the book and it gets exposure and more people buy it. But never entitled to an ARC. Even on the ARC teams I am on.

    Reply
  69. Autumn

    I agree with everything you said here. I too, am embarrassed to be associated with the blogging community. I’ve felt that way for a few years now. What started as a fun hobby for me, turned into a drama consuming life for me that I didn’t have the time or energy for. I also worked in book promotion with another company before starting my own publicity company, but I’ve even changed my company practices due to the current blogging atmosphere. It makes me sad for the authors who pour their blood, sweat, and tears into their writing. I don’t feel they get the same promotion or publicity that authors once did because of these types of criminal blogging practices.

    Reply
  70. Mary Kirkland

    I’ve had my blog for 10 years and although I don’t review books all the time, there are some reviews on my blog. I don’t think there’s any reason to feel bad/embarrassed as a blogger because of what other bloggers do. I don’t think all bloggers should be lumped together with the bad apples. The “We Deserve it” I think is wrong. Just because a few bloggers act like asses doesn’t mean that all bloggers are like that. There are bad apples in all walks of like but that doesn’t mean that all bloggers are bad or should feel embarrassed about being a book blogger.

    Reply
  71. Sakuranko

    I agree with everything darling. I am blogger and sometimes I publish book reviews from some books and purchases but I never received any ARC and I don´t want receive none. I can purchase the books I want and If the book is good for me I promote this book in all my social networks or not. Thank you for the information!

    Reply
  72. Aly

    First of all, thank you for posting this blog. I had no idea people would be so crass and mercenary to do something like this…

    I wanted to chime in as an author, to share my perspective and experience. Hope you don’t mind a little wordiness 🙂 I first got published in 2010, and at that point, my publisher auto-sent eBook copies to a list of reviewers they had on file, so at first I didn’t pay much attention to it. Later on, I started reaching out to other book bloggers. Many of them were amazing, enthusiastic, lovely people, but only about half of those whom I sent a book ever reviewed it. And as time went on, that proportion went down even more.

    A few times, I followed up when months went by and I didn’t see a review. It always made me feel uncomfortable, and I HATED doing it, but they always said the book was on their list and they were just behind, so I continued to wait. I actually had a blogger lie to me in email, telling me “So sorry, I’ll get to it,” and the whole time her blog had been taken down completely for some reason. I stopped sending review requests all together because of this. Too many times a blogger showed huge enthusiasm about a book, and nothing ever came of it. I just got disillusioned. As an Indie author now, I have even less clout to get bloggers interested.

    Despite all of that, though, I had planned to send out a few ARCs for my upcoming book; was debating having a print ARC giveaway to make it more special and get more people interested to actually read the book. I’m sorry to say that after reading about this drama, I have scrapped that plan, and all future plans to ever approach a blogger with a review request. And I’m even sorrier to say that typing all of this out now actually makes me nervous that someone might get angry and attack me for it, which is why I’m not using my full author name.

    I can sympathize with the outrage upstanding bloggers feel over the actions of a few bad apples, but I hope they in turn sympathize with the fact that this isn’t just a few books for authors… this is our livelihood. The book community used to be such a friendly and open space, so generous and supportive. Now I’m actually afraid to speak out because one person with a following and a grudge could actually destroy a career I’ve spent the last seven years building.

    Thank you again for posting this, and providing a unique perspective as both a blogger and an author yourself. =) I wish you all the best in both endeavors.

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      Thank you for chiming Aly. I can say that your words make me sad. I do know that the majority of book bloggers are enthusiastic and would love to review your books, but I can tell you out of my experience that once you get to a certain point in your blogging career the review requests become almost insurmountable. When I tell you, I have a stack of books that I call the “pile of shame” or all the “authors I’ve failed” it’s true. Publicists and publishers consistently send unsolicited books that it is almost impossible to get to and review. I want to read them all, but I wouldn’t be able to leave the house, sleep, or write blog posts, because all I would be doing is reading. I wanted to learn how to speed read, but I heard that kind of takes the fun out of reading. I don’t want to do that.

      Granted, when a direct request comes in from an author/publisher, I don’t agree unless I know I have the time to review it. So, I’m sorry you went through that. Please don’t think those bloggers were just accepting your book, to get a free book. I honestly think that the majority of them are taking them because they can’t say no to a direct request. Or, they think they can do it, but get taken over by life. And how embarrassing is it to admit that you forgot? Or that you failed. It’s hard. A very hard thing. A few times, it might be because the blogger couldn’t finish the book, or didn’t like it at all – and doesn’t want to write a negative review and might not know what to tell you. It’s hard. I’m telling you. Please don’t hold it against us. Yes, there are a few of us that are assholes. I’m sorry you feel you can’t even say your full name in light of this. I know I feel the exact same way as you do half of the time – and it hurts. Because I don’t want to be right. I want everyone to prove me wrong.

      Reply
  73. Shari

    I think I stay away from FB and Twitter a lot because of all the drama lately. I never really hear about these things until days later.

    So I started blogging about 5 years ago this month as a hobby because I had just had a baby, didn’t have a job and needed something that I felt was mine to own and love. A hobby is what I called it. To that, I am not one to ask for a free book or even contact publishers. It’s part of my introverted nature and the thought of being told no would devastate me. Now to that, I have had several publishers contact me and I have signed up with them, but I never ask for freebies unless they offer them to me and even then I am kind of picky as I don’t want to waste money (their money).

    I have gone to 3 conferences. Yes, I take free books, but I don’t take multiple of any one of them and I don’t demand anyone give me one. I am not entitled and that is a whole other bag of drama on people who feel entitled to things. I never sell books, I tend to give them away as I clean house. And over the years, my eyesight has gotten worse and I don’t even want the paperback books because I can’t see the print very well. The last conference I went to an author wanted me to take her books and I had to say no and why. I let her know I was buying them when I got home. That is just my thing. I love the textile feel of books, but I also love being able to read them.

    Authors need to make a living. I truly feel this and while I do order lots of free books, I also buy just as many books. I have a few author friends who will offer me a free book and I will say no, that I want to pay for it because I know they need the money. It’s their livelihood.

    I try very hard to also review the books I say I will review. I have two right now I am a little behind on. My co-blogger is going on a month long vacation and I am doing all the work right now. I also have several home projects going on with 3 kids home from school. So yep, I run behind, but I will stay up late at night to get things done when I say I will. That is just me as I want to blog with integrity.

    So I am going back to my sandbox and putting my nose back in a book. The drama sometimes just boggles the mind when people truly think they are above the fray and can do whatever the Hell they want. I want to have fun, so I will just read, write my reviews, have some fun giveaways and talk to people who love reading and are all about the worlds they can get lost in for a while. Rinse and repeat.

    Reply
  74. fishgirl182

    I am not aware of the new drama but it does make me sad. Being a book blogger is supposed to be fun and a way to share books. I definitely feel that the bad behavior by a few has affected a lot of bloggers. I also feel a bit embarrassed to tell pubs and authors at events that I am a blogger. I don’t want them to think that I am just looking for a handout. I am friends with a bunch of bloggers and they are all amazing, book loving people. And sure, sometimes it’s nice to get a free book but the bloggers I know are happy to pay for books are not trying to scam anyone into paying for ARCs. It’s a shame that a few bad eggs give the whole lot a bad name.

    Reply
  75. Shirley

    I have a couple of authors that I receive ARCs from on a regular basis. I also pick up a lot of ARCs from NetGalley. Recently, one of the Indie authors re-vamped her ARC system and enlisted help with the process. In that process several of her long-time bloggers got left off the list. I was a little hurt at first when new books came out and I didn’t receive an ARC. Did I throw a temper tantrum? No. Did I demand to know why I didn’t receive an ARC after being a long-time supporter? No. What I did do was purchase the book I didn’t receive and gave it a fair and honest review – just like I did previously with all of the ARCs I was given. Being on her Street Team, I did mention that I would be purchasing the next book since I didn’t receive the ARC for that one either. After my comment, several other readers made the same statement. The author was totally crushed to think that so many of her faithful bloggers were left out. She immediately fixed it – which I never asked her to do. She did it because she actually cared, which is why I would purchase and review her books, regardless. That’s what this community should be about. No rivalry. No entitlement. Mutual respect and give and take on both parts.
    I began reviewing books to support Indie authors. I’ve branched out to review every book I read – eventually. (I read a lot and I’m REALLY behind 😉 )
    I guess my point is that I feel my job as a blogger is to support authors. If they want to give me a book to do that fine, if not, that’s fine too. Maybe it’s because I make my living as a graphic artist and know the hard work and sense of accomplishment that goes into creating something. Or maybe it’s just the fact that I feel people should be treated like people… not someone who feels like they are entitled to something just because I’m doing something for them.
    This was a great post from both sides of the proverbial coin. Thanks for sharing and I’m sorry for the frustration.

    Reply
  76. Liz Brooks

    Oh my gosh, this is extremely embarrassing and frustrating. 🙁 I know I’m still relatively small when it comes to how many followers my blog has, so I haven’t felt justified in asking for many ARCs anyway, but the more I hear about these things, the more I get afraid to ask for any whatsoever. I don’t want to be hated for getting ARCs, and I don’t want to be seen as just another greedy ARC-Smaug. And I wish the bad apples wouldn’t ruin it for the rest of us. I hate it that this is a bookish community where we should be working together, and we’re not. If it’s not hoarding ARCs, it’s plagiarizing reviews or bullying authors or whatnot. And it just makes me sick. We’re all people. We should treat each other like people. We should act like human beings who at least have a basic understanding of the consequences of our actions. We say we love books, so why are some of us doing stuff that has a negative ripple-effect on the publishing industry? *headdesk*

    Maybe it’s just because I’ve been on the outside for most of this, but I fail to understand why ARCs have become the end all be all. Sure, whatever, they’re shiny and they let you read the book early, and that’s fun. I own a handful of ARCs myself. But they’re not as high quality as the actual books are when they come out. And they don’t support the author unless your review encourages readers to buy the author’s books. So what the heck? Why did they start to become such a status symbol?

    Thank you for writing this. Again, I can’t really enter in too much because I’ve been watching all this drama from the sidelines mostly, but still. Oh my gosh.

    Reply
  77. Amy J

    This is one of the reasons I stepped away from my book review blog. I mean, on occasion I will post something, but I got to the point to where our book blogging community just exploded with selfishness, competition, and backstabbing. I started my blog for the passion of reading that was sparked from one review I read online after years of never picking up a book. When I started, it seemed like we were laid back and pretty much knew of the different book blogs that were around and trusted. I started around the same time as you. I still debate getting back into the blogging world because of this stigma that everyone has of us now.

    Reply
  78. Kara

    I am so sorry you had to deal with that blogger that came up to you. I don’t even get to go to cons (live in a small town too far from any big cities, and I’m broke usually), I can’t imagine someone actually getting to, and then abusing it!

    It’s also horrible about Crossroad Reviews, even if you didn’t use media mail and used priority mail it would STILL be cheaper! That is just insane.

    I hate people that give the good people a bad name. 🙁

    Reply
  79. Lauren

    I attended my first BookCon this year and got there pretty early (I think 4 hours and the line was already so long) so I was there for quite some time. This woman was in front of my the entire time and it honestly put me in such a horrible mood just being next to her. She was the rudest person I have met in quite some time. She made sure everyone around her knew that she had a VIP badge and that she was a VIP. She had people with her, I think they were her kids or friends or a mixture of both sitting down drawing and highliting maps on how they would be able to all get ARC’s (and made sure they were the most popular ones). That was the main topic that they talked about for those 4 hours. I’ve never had an ARC in my life. But the only one I ever wanted was Sabaa’s new book to An Ember in the Ashes. Ans this lady just so happened to have one and she held that book out and talked very loudly so people could see and hear here holding it and how she had it. (I later on won Sabaa’s Twitter Giveaway and got a copy during the convention!! 🙂 I could go on about this woman (I mean, I was there for 4 hours). It’s just awful how some people can be…Sorry for the long post! I’ve had this bottled up for some time now and when I found out that this whole uproar was about this person I knew, I had to get it out! Have a good day everyone! 🙂

    Reply
  80. Heather Fowler

    The internet is a hatching ground for all kinds of crooked people and kerfufflers. I’m a newbie to doing reviews, and I admit it, I do it mostly because I love books and want to spread the love, but I also do it to help authors (as I am one myself) AND because I get free books! I’ve never been to a con, so I can’t speak to that, but… I host for a number of Tour companies, and scour Netgalley and Edewiess for things I’m interested in. BUT I break my butt to make sure I read and review every single one of them in an honest and timely manner.

    I admit that several authors that I’ve met and/or loved forever have received notes from me begging for an e-ARC, and even the ones who don’t know me from… someone else they don’t know…they are always so kind as to oblige me in return for my review.

    Selling ARCs is wrong (unless the author/publisher has donated them for a contest/charity, etc.), and no one should EVER profit from ARCs. I mean, I don’t know about hard copies, but most eARCs say explicitly somewhere (usually on the copyright page) that this is a copy for the reviewer only, and is not transferable. There should be some kind of legal sanction, like there is for pirating.

    I’m sorry this is going on, hon. Don’t be embarrassed — I’ve loved your blog for years, and I love what you do. You should keep doing it!

    Heather
    Bloodthirsty Muses

    Reply
  81. C.T. Green

    Thank you Ms ParaJunkee for a well-written and insightful article. And thank you to those book bloggers who commented with their own takes/ethics. 🙂

    While I feel a little embarrassed to admit this…it never occurred to me ARC’s would be on-sold for profit. (I’m now wondering about some of the ones I’ve given out over the years). It’s a shame that someone unethical spoils things for others who are trying to share the wonder and excitement of a new adventure (book).

    One blogger commenting on here said she donates physical ARC’s to her local library. As an author, I think that’s a stellar idea. 🙂 Libraries don’t often get funding for new books, us authors might get a new fan and avid readers get new books. 🙂

    I’ve become great friends with a couple of book bloggers, who work incredibly hard at what they do. And yes, I’ve had a bad experience or two, but it hasn’t ruined my outlook on book bloggers. People like you and they, help keep the good going.

    Wishing you all the best as a blogger and new author. 🙂

    Reply
  82. Cathy Clamp

    I’ve been published since 2003 (God, has it really been that long?! Aaack!) which is before the concept of book blogging really took off. Of course, as a debut and early author, I really wanted reviews. I actively sought out reviewers and offered free copies. “Free” was only free to the blogger, of course. I didn’t get many free copies from the publisher, so I had to pay for any extras I got out of my own pocket. At the peak of my list, I was mailing upwards of 30 copies out to reviewers. I was rewarded with many reviews, for which I’m still grateful. I’ve seen a lot of the comments where authors feel somehow entitled to a review, and are angry at the sale of ARCs just because they sent out a precious copy. Sorry, guys, but that’s not how it works. The book is a GIFT. If an author sends a book, it’s a gift, pure and simple. There’s no contract there . . . no requirement imposed on the reviewer. If they have time to read it, and like it (or not), lovely! I certainly hope they’ll review it. But to impose a requirement on a volunteer (and especially one with a ticking clock!) isn’t something we get to do as authors.

    Have my ARCs been sold? Sure, since day 1. Does it tick me off? Lord, no. Yes, they’re precious to me and often I’ve paid real money to mail them (all around the world, I might add!) but my rights of anger at their future use end when I *volunteered* to mail them away.

    I’ve been fortunate enough to become friendly and, in some cases, actual friends with bloggers /reviewers. I can count among my many private email pals the legendary Harriet Klausner (say what you will about her, but she was not only a lovely woman, she honestly read my books. And in some cases, she pointed out errors in ARCs!) and Mrs. Giggles! I mean, talk about your pendulum swing personalities! Mailing copies to that particular reviewer was a challenger. Her actual location in the world might shock you.

    So I’m not as outraged as others apparently are. Would I *prefer* reviewers would want to keep my books as sacred treasures? Sure! Of course! Who doesn’t want to be treasured? But reality sets in for all of us. No matter how fast or slow you read, there’s only so much room in the house, and the shed out back and the storage unit in town! LOL!

    Right now, there are more authors than bloggers. The reverse used to be true. Now my books are in queue to find a reader at the blogs who have TIME to read the book. I get that. So many blogs are gone because of the pressure by readers and costs to keep up the image and design of the blog. So many have gone over to Goodreads and Amazon Vine. Same audience, less upkeep. Again, evolving with the pressure.

    So all of you bloggers and reviewers out there–we still love you. Please don’t be embarrassed. Hang in there for the love of books. 🙂

    Reply
  83. Shannon

    I am new to the blogging game and there are 3 of us on our blog. We do it because we love books and would be reading them anyway. We not only write reviews but we promote the author. We don’t ask for ARCs, we receive them by the authors generously giving them to us in exchange for an honest review. We also do cover reveals, teaser reveals, release day blitzes, blog tours, and author interviews. We have no problem buying our own copies of the books we want to review as this is our hobby/passion, not a business. We aren’t being paid money to do what we love, we are just sharing our love with the public. I love to get physical books because I collect them, but I don’t read them. I would rather have an ebook/eARC if the author is wanting to exchange for a review. If we promote the authors then they will be able to continue writing and we can continue reading. It is quite childish and petty to one star an author because you got ticked off when you didn’t get a free book!! Not everything in life is free and you’re not *entitled* to anything! Not even your next breath, so why get all whiney when someone doesn’t give you something for free that they worked hard on and is their bread and butter?

    Reply
  84. Jennifer Christensen

    Hello everyone. I am the person in the screen shot calling her out. She is trying to bully me into recanting my statement. She is spreading lies and has been for years. I will not back down. My books are super important to me. And 90% of my books are from me buying them. So I have nothing to gain or lose from this situation. I have no reason to lie or to try and bring her down, she does that we’ll enough on her own. I was super close to her for months. I know a lot of horrible things. But I’m not going to back down or hide. Even after 2 years of blogging I still use NetGalley religiously. She said she was ENTITLED to those arcs she got. That made me mad. When I get a physical arc/review copy it’s exciting! But I don’t think I’m entitled to anything. When you start thinking you are entitled that’s when you’ve become too big for your britches and need to check your ego at the door. Most of us are amazing people. Yes, we have our drama and issues, but this? This is illegal and wrong. I go to this smaller author signing in Easton, PA and I feel weird just taking swag. So if have no idea how sick in the head you have to be to do what she does but I’d bet it’s pretty bad. She’s been doing this for years and I’m so glad other people finally see it. I felt so alone and weird when I stopped being her friend. I knew all this horrible stuff but what could I do to stop her? I had no follower base and wasn’t known by anyone. I’m not known now but I have some contacts. But she is the reason I created Author Spotlights on my blog. I want authors to know there are more good than bad bloggers. We are all amazing people and we need to do better as a community.

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  85. Charlie @ Girl of 1000 Wonders

    The unbelievable amount of evidence provided by various people for years back in the blogging community doesn’t give a lot of room for defense. I have only been blogging for three and a half years, and I know I heard something about this particular person and her activities and interactions after my first year. The fact that comments continue to be deleted, accounts changed/closed is an immediate indicator of someone trying to rid themselves of a “paper trail.” And every time a screenshot or picture shows up, the response is always it was two different things spliced together. How many times can you play that card and people still believe you? Just as I have been ashamed of the behavior of particular people in my life who claim balls to the wall that they are “Christians” and their actions and behaviors are in now way Christ-like, the kind of people that give Christians a bad name and make others not want to say they are Christians for the fear of being judged and grouped into such a group of bad apples, she does the same for book bloggers. It is disgusting, and criminal. How can she be held accountable for selling ARCs?

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  86. Karen Blue

    This whole situation just makes me sick. I actually met Jessica through her book club late last year. I promoted it on my site and actually bought a few books from her. I noticed then that she talked about writing reviews before she even finished the books. I called her out on that but she just said “oh I got the gist”. I found that really off-putting. I didn’t do anything at that point.
    When I saw a friend blogger mention her with #booksfortrade I asked my friend what she was talking about. She pointed me to the goodreads group where everyone knew of her and a lot of bloggers I recognize shared their own stories of the lies and thievery from her. I confronted her and she called all of those other bloggers liars and then she blocked me.
    The funny thing is that I was going to split a hotel with her at BEA before I found out how she was. I can’t imagine the hell that would have been.
    I knew when I saw her in lines at BEA she would do something shady with the books. I think it is horrible that she dragged her kids into this mess. Between this crap and her lying about her grandmother’s funeral money I am so disgusted. She is the very definition of white trash.

    Thanks for posting about her. Here is my post about the book club she ran.

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  87. Lizzy

    Wow. I’m a pretty new book blogger (well, seriously, at least) and had no idea this kind of stuff went down. I’ve just been reviewing books that I’m excited about that *I* buy or borrow from my library, and I was super-excited to get one from NetGalley. This is so sad and to me it goes against everything that books and reading is supposed to be about. I swear people ruin everything. 🙁

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  88. Adria

    This really does sadden me. I know what you mean by being embarrassed to say you’re a book blogger. I’ve been at it for about 5 years and I still think I’m a newbie. I’m still learning. I’ve made mistakes but I’ve been lucky to have some pretty neat bloggers help me out. When it comes to ARCs I don’t EVER feel ENTITLED to them, I feel LUCKY that I got one because really, there are bigger blogs out there but my enthusiasm for the review copies is just as real as the bigger bloggers. I have worked my ass off to be at the point where I can be at 80% on NetGalley (I am very proud of this, it’s silly but I am) and that authors/publishers now email me asking if I’m interested in reviewing a title of theirs. It’s not all about reviews though. I love interviewing authors even though I’m kind of bad at it. I don’t like knowing that there are “bloggers” out there who are just in it to see what freebies they can get.

    Do I love getting a free book? Yeah, who doesn’t? But really, I just want a chance to try new to me authors so that if I end up liking the book, I can go to the bookstore or online and bust my wallet getting the previous books or pre-ordering the next one (I am so broke from the last round). I LIKE supporting authors by buying their books. Heck, whenever there are online sales on some of my favorite books I buy extra copies to give away on the blog because it’s FUN and I LOVE giving people books. People who scam, act entitled, or think it’s no big deal to steal books make it harder for people like me who want to improve and really be a good blogger.

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  89. jenai

    started blogging for years (around 2008) without free books! I did it for I wanted to keep track of my readings. I think I got free books around 2010-2011. I don’t know why lots of new bloggers get free books after only months of blogging. It doesn’t bother me but sometimes I wonder why would an author send free books to new bloggers smh. I’ve been on constant AWOL since 2015 so I didn’t know about this newest incident. Yes, I sometimes feel that too, embarassed to be tagged as book blogger. Most people think we are only here because of free books when in reality, we have more bought books than free books!

    Reply
  90. Erin

    There’s so many comments here so I’m not sure if this was posted..but someone shared this in a Facebook group where we’ve been discussing this. Did you guys see it?

    https://youtu.be/WFXDPgjXNDw?t=27m15s (The part you want to watch is at about 27:15)

    Reply
  91. Alexa

    I was standing in a signing line when I met Jessica at ALA this year. Taking as many arcs as she did and the numerous copies is one thing but another thing bothered me….
    She was using a wheelchair to put all of her stuff in so she wouldn’t have to carry all of her heavy bags of books. At first I thought she needed the wheelchair and that she was taking a short break standing up. As the conference went on for two days I never saw a person actually using the wheelchair, it was always just piled high with her stuff. Since there are no carts or suitcases allowed to be wheeled on the conference floor she got around this by using a wheelchair which can’t be denied on the floor.
    My mother-in-law is a woman who actually needs a wheelchair to get around and this is an insult to everyone who actually has to use a wheelchair. Wheelchairs are not for piling up your arcs they are for using because you are unable to walk long distances or have a disease that has forced you to be wheelchair bound. Using a wheelchair because you are too lazy to carry your bags of books is an insult to the community of people who have no other way of moving around.

    Reply
    • Parajunkee

      OMG – I have no words that would properly convey how disgusted I am right now. Thank you so much for sharing this.

      Reply
    • Dana (Bloggin' With M. Brennan)

      This disgusts me to read. I have a portable oxygen machine because I cannot walk long distances (even at school walking from my classroom to the restroom down at the end of the hall with only 1 classroom and the depth of the students restrooms) between me and my classroom, my O2 sats drop. That is a big part of why I have had to stop going to conventions. 🙁 I loved going to places like GenCon, DragonCon, etc. I cannot do that anymore. Typically conventions don’t have scooters available. That would be the only way I would be able to function at a convention. So I’m even angrier with her over this.

      Reply
  92. Dana (Bloggin' With M. Brennan)

    I am on a mailing list of Librarians from around the World. I see them talk about ALA all the time. I’ve always dreamt of going, even before I became a reviewer/blogger, because of my passion for reading. All that so I could see what’s new, what’s trending, what would I want to keep my eyes peeled for. I’ve been on that mailing list for about 10 years now. I got into it because a Church Librarian was a customer of mine when I worked for a small mom and pop ISP (Internet Service Provider) in Texas. When her computer was on the fritz, she’d call me and ask me to go into her email because she was waiting on certain emails or needing to send some notifications out to the list. I made friends with the list, got invited to the list and am still on it to this day, even though my ‘customer’ passed away last month.

    Every once in a while, I’d see something come across FB about authors that are looking for new people to pick to do reviews in exchange for free copies of the book. I signed up a number of times for Kate Carlisle. Was never picked. That was fine. Then one day, I was! June 25, 2015 was my first review (TRUE REVIEW) of a book, other than maybe a sentence or two saying I enjoyed a book. Within 6 months of starting to review books, I had authors contacting me on Goodreads, letting me know they saw my review I posted for a friend of theirs and would I be interested in reviewing books for them. I’ve now even done some proofreading, editing, and beta reading. I am still surprised and blush (yeah, even though no one can see it) because I’ve been approached by someone to do these things. I did an editing job for an author and they asked what I would charge for it. I told them nothing. I’m doing it because I want them to have the best book that I can personally help them have.

    My day job is a Teacher. I originally certified in Texas as a 4-8 ELAR (English, Language Arts, & Reading) teacher. When I came to Arizona, I also have my SPED endorsement as well as my ESL endorsement. For my first year of Teaching 4 years ago, I taught 8th grade Reading and LOVED IT. The last three years, I taught anywhere from K-3 Special Education. I’m about to start my 5th year of teaching and I will be teaching K-1 in a rural public school on the Navajo Nation. My 4th year in this district. I do the reviews/blogging/etc. because I love to read, and I work hard when the school year is in session to bring that passion to my students. I went so far as to even have the K-3 students that I was working with last school year write a book about what it means to be Native American for Native American Month (November). The kids had a great time drawing their pictures and figuring out what they wanted to say about the pictures. Who knows, maybe by doing this, I am inspiring future authors to take shape at an early stage of Critical Learning.

    Thank you to all of you authors, indie and otherwise. Without you all, I would not have kept my sanity this last school year when there were weeks that I had 10-12 meetings in a 10 day timeframe for IEP meetings. Thank you to the other bloggers and reviewers that I have met through FB and have become friends. Without you all, I know I would have lost my sanity during in Insanity of the school year. 40+ students to do RED/MET/IEP meetings for as needed was too much. I’m thankful there will be two other teachers in the school starting in a couple of weeks, when the students come back to school on August 1. One of the things I enjoy about being a reviewer and blogger is that I have the ability to scout out children’s books that I feel my students might enjoy. With a classroom set of 20+ kindles, I tend to pick up free books on amazon during those limited times they’re free for the children for the kindles.

    If I read a book by an author, and it isn’t the first in the series, like the Kate Carlisle book was (Book 9 in her Bibliophile Mystery series), I went back and got the first 8 books so that I was reading the series from the beginning. Last month (June) I wrote my review for book 10. I cannot wait for November when the next book of her Fixer Upper Mystery series gets mailed to me. I’ve even gotten my mother hooked on her books! That’s how much I raved about them, that mom had to get her hands on them too!

    Okay, since I’ve lost the reason why I started this post, I’m going to stop. Besides, I need to be on FB in 28 minutes for a takeover, to introduce authors. 🙂 Y’all have a great rest of the summer, a good weekend, and enjoy reading!

    Reply
  93. Nette

    Oh sh@! She’s on the Parajunkee radar! It’s over for her now. I’m so happy you are outing her. What she has done is just disgusting. I met her many years ago (virtually) when I first started blogging. She was unreliable at best and never answered emails but I have, in the past watched her do that “pay for shipping thing”

    Reply
  94. Michelle

    I’ve been embarrassed to call myself a book blogger for several years now, and I’ve been doing this for over seven years. Between all of the drama, the embarrassing conduct at various trade shows, and the sense of entitlement that seems to pervade a certain section of bloggers, I try to avoid using the word blogger at all costs. I just do not want to be considered in the same vein as them. Sad, isn’t it?

    Reply
  95. Eustacia Tan

    This is just sad. I’m out of the US, which means I don’t get ARCs apart from NetGalley copies, but it’s really no big deal. Book blogging is about sharing my thoughts about something that I love – stories. It’s not about making money and it’s a shame people are doing this.

    Reply
  96. Chrystal

    I guess I’ve been out of the game long enough to have missed all this drama. I took a blogging hiatus when I got pregnant and probably won’t be back full time for a while.

    I had no idea this was happening in the community. It saddens me to see this behaviour. And perhaps makes me happy I’ve been in my own little bubble for a while.

    The original group of book bloggers I met six years ago will always be my inspiration to keep doing what I do and to keep everything legit. No shaming, no stealing, no bad attitude to bloggers/authors/publishers. Just the love of books and sharing my thoughts.

    Reply
  97. Ashley

    I loved this. I’m a blogger, and have been doing so for YEARS. However, I never actually realized that publishers will give you copies of their books to review…I know, I’m slow on the uptake!

    So this just angers me. I blog because i love to read and to talk about the books I’ve read. I use NetGalley and go to BEA because I’m also a Librarian.

    For the love of books, people! Just be nice and share what you love reading!

    Reply
  98. Samantha Grace

    How weird that she makes no money from this account and spend hundreds a year on shipping and giveaways yet charges for the cost of shipping and ‘bookish goodies’ smh

    Reply
  99. Shelli Rosewarne

    I think it’s sadly like most community, the few bad apples end up giving everyone a bad name. I’ve been very lucky that as an author I’ve generally only had good experiences with book bloggers and reviewers, and really appreciate the time and effort they put in. You have nothing to be embarrassed about and I do hope people like this don’t put you (and so many other great bloggers) off doing something you love.

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  100. Grimlock

    Parajunkee, many of us bloggers – and I use the term loosely for me as I only blog on Booklikes – both appreciate authors and are in turn appreciated by authors and publishers.

    I was talking to one of the co-publishers of Chizine at Readercon this year, and I encountered this type of ‘gimme, gimme attitude.’ I planned on doing a giveaway and wanted to know if his wife and co-publisher would be there to sign a book of her poetry. (He happened to be going to pick her up at the airport. And they know me by name: I found out via Brett that I made Sandra cry because she appreciated my reviews of her poetry books so much and I end up spending so damn much at their booth in the dealer’s room each year.)

    Anyway, I was saying, ‘oh, good, I wanted to snag a copy of her poetry and get it signed for this giveaway.’ He immediately became less comfortable saying that they only had a couple copies so I’d have to talk to her tomorrow when the bookstore opened again. It slowly dawned on me that he thought I was /asking/ for the books. I laughed and said I was planning on buying the books, He immediately relaxed and said ‘oh, that’s okay then!’

    I spoke to his wife later saying it was so bizarre to me as I wouldn’t even think of just asking for the books. And she said they got that a lot. It was another case of that.

    By the way, I only ever go to Readercon: it’s local, it’s small, and I feel comfortable there. I have anxiety issues with large populations of people, especially if they’re, well, crammed into a smaller space.

    I’m also sorry to hear about your experience. I know what a good positive experience with a reader can do, by the way. Terence Taylor, for example, remembers me as the first person to come up and recognize him and his books. He was thrilled. We catch up each time we’re both at Readercon. He spoke about it to others just recently at the past Readercon, so I know that years after, he still remembers, and he still appreciates me broking the subject of his books. He was a paying guest not a panelist or doing a signing or reading which is probably why I was the first, by the way. But I know how that can color an experience. I’ve spoken about Gemma Files being one of the first authors I spoke to: she was selling at her autograph booth and saw me eying her stuff, engaged me, and was so charming I believe it’s her who boosted my confidence enough to approach other authors. I’ve been on both sides of the positive there, and it can do wonders.

    Here’s hoping to more positive experiences to counter your negative. I hope those can overcome the way that first experience no doubt has influenced how you approach people at conventions. I’m not completely shocked that either of this happened: I know there are these people out there. But I hope that some of us speaking out, and saying ‘we condemn these actions’ can counter this, especially if we turn it into action. Right now that’s been blogging, sharing, and not accepting weak excuses from Crossroads, at least for those not at BEA, who couldn’t have taken that picture.

    And by the way, I may be grossed out that someone thought taking those books was okay, or demanding that book from you, I don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed or shamed. In addition, I am proud of us as a community for saying ‘this is not okay, tell the publishers, tell the authors,’ and speaking up about this. The difference in how I feel is because I can’t control other people: how they ultimately feel about me, or what they do. What I can do is control my own actions.

    Reply

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