I’ve talked about trigger warnings in my discussion series, Beyond the Blurb, before. And while numerous bloggers, readers, and reviewers champion them, sometimes they aren’t always clear in the publishing industry.
Book Twitter has been talking nonstop about Leigh Bardugo’s adult novel, Ninth House. From the sale of ARCs to copies being hoarded by bloggers, this book is in high demand. Anything Leigh creates, everyone wants. One concern that has popped up is the content in the book. Justine from I Should Read That brought up the lack of trigger warnings listed in the ARC (I warn you now that the Tweet below is graphic, so if you want to read the full thread, click on the photo below).
For months, Leigh has marketed Ninth House as an adult book with graphic content. You can also call it grimdark, which is a violent or realistic subgenre. A good example is Mark Lawrence’s Prince of Thorns or even George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones. However, I haven’t seen any warning of it being a grimdark title though. Yes, she informed her readers it’s not like her YA series. I’m fine with that. And my issue isn’t with her. My issue is with the publisher itself. I’ve discussed why bloggers should use trigger warnings, but publishers need to understand the delicate reasons why they need to start advocating for them. Here’s my take:
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Guess who’s back. Back again. Sibby’s back, to stir up shit.
Oh, I’ve been waiting to use that line. I’m not one to back down from controversial topics. And even with my dying breath, I won’t stop. I want to dedicate my latest discussion post to the entitlement that the book community doesn’t realize it extrudes. Or perhaps it does but doesn’t care. I haven’t decided which.
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Okay, book bloggers,
I couldn’t sit on this topic for any longer. And for my next discussion post, I want to talk about the most recent social media spat.
Back in January, Twitter blew up with many bloggers discussing/arguing about ARCs. Susan Dennard, the author of Bloodwitch, stirred up the issue. You can see her Tweet below:
Now, as a marketing and publicity intern at a small publishing house, I do agree with her to a point. Yes, ARCs are expensive to print, ship, and depend on. It’s one of the publisher’s first line of marketing tools that target the right audience. When I see the print quote for ARCs, I want to make sure that all copies will reach the right readers and contact them to see if they’ll post their review.
As a blogger, I don’t agree with Susan completely. I’ve seen Instagram market books quicker and better than just a traditional review. Some of the biggest bookstagrammers like Bridget from Darkfaerietales_ and Kristen from My Friends Are Fiction have large followings. I’ve seen other bloggers admit they don’t always have time to read every single book they receive from publishers. However, a photo and publicity on Instagram are golden though.
So to get back to Susan’s comment, should we bloggers give up an ARC that we won’t read? Should the book community even bother to argue over this situation? Depending on your blogging influence, I don’t think we need to. We can provide a different type of marketing on another social media platform like Instagram. Read More »
I think we bloggers all worry about this situation. Some don’t mind. Or others believe criticism from authors is a right of passage. I haven’t hit that mark yet. And I don’t know when it’ll occur or what I’ll do. But one incident I saw on Twitter simply hit a nerve with me.
Because of my journalism education, I’ve witnessed and read truly horrible things online. But I’ve mainly felt comfortable in the book community. Yes, I stay away from certain fandoms and readers who love to rip them apart. I don’t see the point. Nor do I involve myself in that kind of negativity or obsessiveness. But I never expected to see an author of colour attack two bloggers who gave a low-rating review. I won’t name names since I promised Satou and Santiago from Inkish Kingdoms. But the way the author handled the situation didn’t sit right with me.
So how do we confront authors who criticize our reviews and possibly even attack us directly or indirectly? Do we address the issue or the author? Or does ignoring the problem help? Perhaps, both choices are viable options, depending on the issue. But here are some tips if you run into an online spat:
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