Discussion: The Rocky Relationship Between Book Bloggers and Authors

Hi everyone!

A few months ago I wrote an article for a magazine for which the main audience is authors. The topic: book bloggers and their connection to authors - and, in turn, writing success.

I didn't think much of the article (in fact, I may or may not have forgotten about it altogether, as I have the unfortunate habit of doing) until the day after it was published. After that, I couldn't exactly forget about it - because suddenly there were emails pouring into my inbox from authors across the interwebs.

Here's an excerpt from one (published with permission, of course) -

Thank you very much for your article on book bloggers. It was so helpful, as I never realized bloggers could be such a good resource when marketing books or even how to approach them ... I think we are two very different groups of people, but it was a great reminder that book bloggers are people just like us ... The differences seem pretty big sometimes.

The rest of the emails read almost disconcertingly similar to the one above. Authors, it appears, have no idea how to talk to book bloggers - and worse, when they do, they act "way too sales-y, like they're only interested in making money on their books instead of actually forming a relationship", as one of my lovely (but frustrated!) blogger friends told me.

And other book bloggers apparently feel the same way. I've seen quite a few posts from some of my favourite bloggers, talking about how they refuse to accept Goodreads friend requests from authors, or how they never comment on authors' blogs, or how they've taken to completely ignoring authors' emails.

And then there's me.

*waves awkwardly*

I'm standing here with one foot in each of the camps, sort of. I'm not quite an author and not quite a book blogger, but all the same, I'm rooted in both of the communities firmly enough that it makes me slightly sad that there's so much stigma between them. I can't help but wonder - aren't we all book lovers here?

Authors, is it so difficult to talk to fellow bookish people, especially ones who are responsible for spreading so much literary appreciation? And bloggers, aren't authors the reason we have our blogs? Of course some of them are rude and only interested in sales... but there are others who are ridiculously amazing and eager to form real relationships. Can't we give them all a chance?

But I'm just one person, and I want to hear your opinion on this. Authors, do you find it tough to approach book bloggers? And bloggers, what are your thoughts on forming relationships with authors? Please do let me know in the comments - let's have a discussion!

love, Topaz