There's been a lot of talk lately about ARCs and book bloggers.
You can read some fasincating discussions
Here (Presenting Lenore)
and Here (Reviewer X/Steph)
and Here (the Story Siren)
and Here (The Tea Cozy)
Roger Sutton of the Horn Book Magazine even had a little bit to say.
A few thoughts from me:
1) In the past three years, the YA world has exploded with new books and new authors. Do you realize how many more books are on the shelves now then this time three years ago? A LOT! I honestly can't even think about it very much or it freaks me out. Anyway, and so it seems, the same can be said for book bloggers. If a teen wants to start a book blog, I say go for it. But don't do it because of the free books, don't do it because you want to be one of the "cool kids," and don't do it if you don't have the time to put time and effort into your blog. Do it because you LOVE books and want to share that love and help get good books into the hands of readers.
2) I think a lot of bloggers wonder how some of the other bloggers have become so popular. Well, guess what. No surprise here. The same reason an author's books become popular. They work hard at content! They spend time working on their craft!!
3) Authors and book bloggers alike need to remember the golden rule - do unto others as you would have them do unto you. When I approach bloggers about reviewing one of my books, I do it in a kind, respectful way. And I try to approach people I've gotten to know a little bit, by visiting their blogs. Then, if they don't want to, or can't because they're booked, I hope they'll be honest and tell me so. I'd much rather have you tell me the book doesn't interest you than get a book you never planned to read or review.
Turning it around, if a blogger *really* wants to read and review one of my books before it comes out, and they don't know how to get in touch with the marketing folks, I have no problem with a kind, respectful e-mail asking me for a review copy and giving me a link to their blog. I usually don't have ARCs myself, so I have to forward to my publicist. Am I selective about which requests I forward on? Yes, I am, as I think I should be.
Having said all that, I do want to make one thing perfectly clear ---
I ♥ book bloggers!
My first book, I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME had a lot of excitement around its release, and a lot of that was fueled because of bloggers. They liked the cover. They liked the premise. They were excited about it! The second book, FAR FROM YOU, was a much quieter book. It didn't have the exciting hook. To top it off, a year after the first one's release, there were many more big and exciting books to compete with. But thankfully, there were some book bloggers who took the time to read it and wrote reviews, who helped me with contests, etc., even when it wasn't one of the "big" books people were talking about.
So thank you, book bloggers. You hard work DOES make a difference for a book. And I just wanted you to know I appreciate your time and efforts!