09 December 2013

Life and Blogging

This post has been a long time coming, and it’s not directed at any one person at all. 

I am a person, not just a blogger.

I have a life, one that doesn’t revolve around my blog.

I am a mother (to a dog), a daughter and a sister first.  Always and forever.

And then, I am a blogger.

I spend my nights, not sleeping but reading books for authors who have asked.  I spend my days writing up reviews for the books that I have read.  I run on 4 hours of a sleep on a good day if I’m lucky, but you don’t hear me complaining.  And why do I do this?  Because I like helping people.  I love helping the people that have spent hours of their lives writing the stories that are in their head down for us to enjoy.

I don’t do it to be ridiculed or cussed at.  I don’t do it to be told that my opinion doesn’t matter, because if it didn’t matter why did you ask for it to start with?  I don’t do it to be told that my “real life” is less important and that I should be tied to my computer all day ensuring that posts are live on time.

I didn’t sign up to be sitting in a hospital with my niece, and getting emails from authors because my review didn’t go live at a certain time.  I didn’t sign up for when I have doctor appointments to get messages because people are upset that my appointments take priority.

I started my blog to help promote authors who asked for it, not just demand that I do it.  The ones who send a message ASKING if I would help to promote their books, not just send a message saying “Share this” and when I don’t, they get upset with me. 

When I started blogging not so long ago, it was fun!  It was great to be able to see everyone’s opinions on everything, and see how different people react to books.  When did it turn into a popularity contest?  When did it get to the point that blogs are talking about other blogs behind their backs because they posted something that someone doesn’t agree with?

I write reviews, and yes my reviews are short and to the point.  I don’t sugar coat things, like a friend of mine told me (which I do completely agree with).  I say things flat out and am completely honest.  If you have an issue with that, then don’t read my reviews.  It’s that easy.  I didn’t sign up to get messages saying that my review was written wrong, because it’s my review, not yours.  I say things a certain way, always have and always will.  That isn’t going to change.

Despite it all, the drama and the popularity contests, I do love what I do.  But people do need to remember, that bloggers?  We are people to and we have lives outside of our computers.  Yes, the authors put hours of their lives, their blood, sweat and tears into their books.  But bloggers?  We do the exact same thing.   

Despite what people might think, it isn’t that easy running a blog.  And we do it all for free, ok that might not be right we do it for the cost of an eBook that the author sends us.  That’s it.  Even after we spend our time doing all of this; reading the book, writing the review and setting up the blog post, most times we don’t even get as much as a Thank You.

As a blogger, when I get a book from an author I can’t stop telling them thank you for the chance to read their book.  Yet, after we read it, we are lucky if the author even says those words to us.

Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of great authors out there that will take the time to talk to a reader or blogger.  But like many other things, the bad always stands out from the good. 

I didn’t write up this post to point fingers at anyone.  I didn’t do this to say that I hate blogging.  I did it because I have been thinking about this for quite some time, and as the time goes on it feels as though bloggers are getting the short end of the stick.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this, but I do know that I will be the one to stand out and finally get it out there.

So just remember, next time a blogger says that they will try to have something up for you at a certain time, they might be having something serious going on with them.  And we can’t always get to a computer just to send an email, or a Facebook message.   

Sometimes, Real Life is a real thing and it does happen.


  1. People suck. You rock and if I can ever help you out, let me know!

  2. Very well said, Crystal. This author appreciates the hell out of you. You have bent over backwards for me and it means the freaking world! Thank you!

    Much love,

  3. Well said! I try to thank the bloggers who participate in my blog tours but come to think of it, I'm sure I've forgotten a few here and there. For some reason I never thought bloggers cared that much, but of course they would! Going to redouble my efforts to thank bloggers and make them feel appreciated, because without you guys, the indie-publishing world would be a very cold, lonely place indeed. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! ~T. L. Shreffler

  4. As an author and a blogger I couldn't agree with your points more. The thank yous I get for a post are few and far between, but I keep on doing it. I keep paying it forward. Because the bloggers are there for me when my author hat is on, my blogger hat will always be on for the authors. Its a shame this isn't standard.

  5. As a fellow blogger, I agree 100% with you. I love what I do, but the appreciation isn't always there. I'm not sure if that is the way it always has been and if it's just the different people's personalities or if it is that over time authors have become jaded and bloggers have become complacent. I recently spoke with a new author who had scheduled a blog tour and of the people that were slotted to review/promo post for her tour only a handful actually followed through. Who is at fault? The tour host? The blogs? The author? All of the above? No finger pointing here and no judgement, but emergencies aside, if you have an issue with not being able to post on a tour.... let someone know. Now this author is turned off from working with blogs because she has no idea who she can trust. If you aren't in it for the BLOGGING and are only in it for a FREE read.... there are thousands of freebies on Amazon. You are giving those of us who work hard and spends more hours a day than we would at a full time job ensuring that we put forth quality reviews/promotions/sales/author spotlights/giveaways and any number of other things so that READERS have a fun place to find out about the next great book.

    Okay, off my soap box. Thank you Crystal for having the balls to stand up and speak your mind. Love you girl.

    1. That's shocking that half the blogs flaked on that one author! I've ran my books on several tours (usually month-long tours) and it's normal for 1 or 2 blogs to not post, so I always have some back up posts ready to share on my blog with readers just in case.

      I know, for me personally, no one ever told me (as an author) that bloggers really enjoy feedback. I know it seems like a no-brainer, but you guys post so much every day, I guess part of me assumed you got your gratification from something else. The digital publishing world is still so new that there's no "set of rules" established yet about thanking bloggers. I think for my next blog tour, I'm going to send my bloggers something more than just the ebook--maybe thank you cards or free bookmarks, something to let them know I appreciate their time and effort. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  6. Crystal darlin...you know I adore the bones of ya. As an author, I can tell you I appreciate bloggers and reviewers and everything you guys do for us as authors. You are a vital part of the process and anyone who doesn't take the time to thank you guys needs a swift kick in the a$$. You guys ROCK! Honest reviews provide great feedback and though sometimes I might not agree with one....it's that person's opinion. If we all had the same opinion...everyone would be married to the same person and eat the same thing every day. Variety is the spice of life darlin. You do a great job and you've created something grand. THANK YOU for taking the time to read my books.

  7. Hey, don't let the clueless get you down. :-) Every blogger is an individual, just as every author is an individual, and eventually people figure out who's who. I don't judge anyone by the group, and I don't let the drama get me down! It's true that some people are flakey, and some people are dedicated, but we all have lives (I hope, LOL). Yes, I've done blog tours where half the people don't post, and giveaways where people don't pass along any winners, but I love and appreciate the people who help, even though I'm just one person trying to write several novels a year and may not get the time to thank every one individually. To date, I have not personally turned down a single blogger request for an ARC, and I almost always donate to group raffles or giveaways, even if it's just an ebook. I don't judge any individual person by the actions of any other, or that of a group. Yeah, it's easy to get disheartened. It's hard to keep going. But with experience at your back and true friends at your side, it's all right. :-)

  8. Crystal, where would we be without you ? Every time there's a new release whether it's one of my own, JT's or one of the other awesome authors who you help promote by reviewing their books, you're there at the forefront hollering and making everyone take note. I know JT has posted above but I wanted to let you know that for us this isn't about competition, it's about love, the love of writing and reading. We'd be lost without the hours of work and commitment you give us, so thank you , from the bottom of my heart. You are an amazing friend and your reviews are always met with avid interest and love. Huge hugs lovie...Keep up the great work! Seriously, we'd be lost without you!