I’ve talked about book box companies and subscriptions before. As I type out this post, I’m in a subscription ban since I’ve run out of room. But I’ve never discussed the dangers of dealing with certain book box companies.
More and more, I see customers either getting ripped off of a product or entirely losing a purchase. We don’t truly have a guide to help us out, now do we? Well, I hope to change that. So for my next discussion post, I’ll be giving you tips and tricks on buying book boxes and the ones you should either go for or look out for.
Please note that not everyone has had the same experience as you, and that goes for me. As a disclaimer, this discussion post is of my own opinion, which may not match yours. It’s not intended to offend, but to offer support.
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Who’s ready for another discussion post?
When I first started out, I loved the fact I could interact with authors. But etiquette is a delicate matter to uphold, especially on the Internet where anything and everything can be screensaved and reposted. Over the last year, I’ve noticed that the Twitter book community has jumped on the cancel culture bandwagon. Now, some situations deserved that treatment, but not others.
So are we all that surprised there was another Twitter scandal? Give me a second to stop cackling. Let’s get to the next one. Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give and On the Come Up, announced that we reviewers should stop tagging authors in reviews. Now, at the time, the wording was slightly different from what she’d meant to say. Take a look:
Perhaps the words “good reviews” are what stuck with everyone, who took offence. That assumption is what I came up with, but I can be wrong. Maybe the mention of all authors is what bothered people. And I see why some reviewers would feel somewhat offended. Many of us find our next favourite books from other readers. And often times, I see several authors retweet reviews, which made me look at their titles.
Later on, she clarified that she meant the bad ones, which is completely understandable. I haven’t written in several years, nor have I drawn anything since high school. But as a creator, I hate criticism. Yes, it comes with the territory of creating. However, criticism easily morphs into criticizing. The two concepts blur together. So I’ll never criticize authors for separating their work and their mental wellbeing.
So how do we handle a situation that has turned into some Internet brawl? Cue the music for the upcoming tips, please:
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Calling all paranormal romance readers!
Yes, you’ve read the headline properly. I am talking about that genre and the respect it’s long overdue to earn. Honestly, if I had this conversation a few years ago…No, scratch that. I would never have had this conversation before. Ever. And I’m not being dramatic either.
You obviously know what’s on my mind though. So in the next installment of my discussion series, Beyond the Blurb, I address the lack of respect this genre gets from a select few readers. You may not agree, or you may feel the same as me. But I’ve wanted to talk about this topic for some time. So I’d avert your eyes you aren’t a PRN reader. Yes, now is the right time.
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Back in 2018, I talked about female leads deserving equal respect as their male counterparts. I loved that conversation. I opened up about an issue I witnessed while travelling through the blogosphere and Goodreads. And I saw how many female readers see the same problem. Now, I want to talk about female villains.
I love them. They give readers a new antagonist who can offer a refreshing storyline. But I often find many them with badly thought out backstories. So if our leading ladies get them, why can’t our villains receive them as well? For my next discussion, I want to talk about that question.
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Here’s another addition to my discussion post, Beyond the Blurb. I want to talk about criticizing reviews. I find this topic contentious. We bloggers all have different opinions on the same book or of the same author. Sometimes we’ll disagree, and that point is where situations will get dicey. I don’t have a problem with the different opinions. I draw the line when people start harassing others because of their opinions though.
Maybe not all of you have seen the hostility bloggers receive once they post their review. Unfortunately, I have, and I don’t see this trend disappearing any time soon. So when does critiquing a review drift more into criticizing? Making your complaint personal doesn’t help. Yes, we all read the same book, but how we read it and what we see will differ. For example, you may see misogyny as nothing more than a horrible plot device in a book, but I may see it as a way to show how our world is mirroring fiction. When you attack someone, you aren’t helping your side. And you aren’t building up your opinion. Instead, you weaken it.
I’ve seen bloggers attacked for not speaking up. Now I see why those people came after bloggers. But becoming one, I see the dangerous line we walk once we hit the publish button. But we have an avenue to stand up where some people may not have that right to do so.
I would rather have people come to me and ask me why I didn’t talk about these problematic scenes than have them attack me. I’m still branching out into the diverse world. I’m still learning, and I want to support diverse authors and their books. So I may not pick up on something that you may blatantly see. Having an opinion in 2018 has turned toxic. We pit ourselves against each other. And somehow this toxicity has drifted into literature, which has been trying to combat the problem.
Several books have suffered because of this issue. Veronica Roth’s Carve the Mark was one of the most anticipated books of 2017. But when the reviews came out during the release, bloggers were borderline harassed by other readers. They obviously didn’t pick up on the ableism and racism in the book, or they simply didn’t believe they were offensive. Some of the reviews that talked about those concerns persuaded me not to read the book. But what I didn’t expect was the firing squad who lined up those chosen few reviewers and fired hatred.
If you have a red flag about a review, talk about it. Don’t criticize, and don’t belittle that person. Your point won’t come across to anyone. But your anger will, and it won’t help your cause.
What are your thoughts on this topic? When does someone cross the line when critiquing a review? When does it become criticizing?