Be Nice – With Integrity

For the past few months with all the hoopla about negative reviews and burning bridges and now the YA Mafia, I have been doing some major soul searching about my blog. I was told at a conference that having a ’large readership’ gave me a ’responsibility’. I tend to agree but where does that responsibility lie?

To my readers yes, but beyond that. I never started this blog to be BFF with authors, or to solicit ARCs (had no idea what an ARC was), or to brownnose my way into the industry. After three years of book blogging though I have learned some things. I really love publishing. This industry is so interesting to me beyond anything else I have ever forayed into. I would like to find a position someday using my tech background, social media savvy, and my ever growing curiousness about the business. So that brings me back to responsibility and what you say online stays forever and be nice and all of that jazz.

The truth of the matter is I am a subjective reader, I have had life experiences and while I try to always be open minded and I am always respectful there are just sometimes books that don’t click with me personally and more often than not when I state my reasons for not liking a book, I get feedback from my readers saying they want to read it, because those reasons are the exact ones that make them adore a book.

A book blog is nothing more than a recommendation engine. When I started Bookalicious in December of 2008 I had no idea that it would grow to what it is now. I love that I have a platform large enough to help people find books that they will love because that is why I went into book blogging. I never knew that publishers, and books, and publishing professionals were so easy to access. The name of my game was to get great books into the hands of readers. Therefore the recommendation engine mantra.

I have a great responsibility to the readers of my blog to provide them with reviews and recommendations and even writing those reviews is a craft I am still honing and those first reviews here were horrendously full of suck. However I don’t want to burn any bridges. I do want to ’be nice’. I am a nice person and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. When I have a few months of great reviews, where I am vetting hit after hit from the TBR I get emails and private messages asking me if I still have integrity, did I really like those books and the answer is yes. Why is it you lose street cred if you are reading what you love?

Bookalicious is a’changin’ and I hope for the better. I will unveil a new site soon that will make this site less about Pam and what Pam thinks and more community based. There will be fabulous ways for me to give back to other industry professionals, publishers, authors and bloggers. I want to share my platform with you, because in the end I am only one person and I want Bookalicious to grow even more and I want to be known as nice and smart and helpful. Not as vile and immature and the blogger who hates everything.

I can’t wait to show you what we are working on here and invite you to share your opinions. For now my book blogging peeps, be strong, have integrity, and never back down from something you truly believe in!

What do you think?


8 Responses so far

  1. Gravatar

    I think I appreciate your real take on the world o’ books. I also understand what you mean about being nice with integrity, and find that my readers also tell me they’ll read books I didn’t like because what I hated makes them love a book.

    Since I give authors and publishers the option to hold negative reviews, I don’t end up publishing reviews for a lot of books I read. I’m not in the business of fluffing, but my site looks like I am sometimes because I don’t want to say hurtful things or hurt book sales, or harm a person’s perception of what is good and what is not, just because I put on my critic hat and gnashed apart the writing.

    Looking forward to what you have in store for us!

  2. Gravatar

    I dunno – I kinda like Pam and what Pam thinks :)

    But I’ll still read your blog, nonetheless :)

  3. Gravatar

    Do you really see your blog as a recommendation engine? Because that is not how I view my blog at all..

  4. Gravatar

    I cannot wait to see what you have. I know it will be made of awesome.

  5. Gravatar

    Iris, I recommend books to other people based on how I liked them. You can call it a review but people come to read to see how you liked the book and to try to decipher from the review if the book is something they want to read. I read reviews to see if I want to read something so if I read a review on your blog I see it as a personal recommendation from you to me the reader. So yes I see my blog as a recommendation engine.

  6. Gravatar

    Pam you know I will read your blog no matter what. I look forward to seeing what you have up your sleeve and I know that whatever it is will rock. :)

  7. Gravatar

    I’m sure whatever you come up with will be awesome. :)

    The YA Mafia is a misnomer. It implies a level of rebellion and lawlessness that aggrandizes them unjustifiably. They’re really just Yes Men who are like Michael from The Office, shoving it up our ass and telling us to play nice.

  8. Gravatar

    Ok, I totally missed what the YA Mafia thing was. I saw the hash tag start appearing but no idea what it was about. I hope even with your guest reviewers you will still be doing a lot of your own posts. I love your “voice” in reviews. I have to admit I’m a little leery of the whole guest thing after what happened with J. Kaye’s book blog. I definitely did not care for the style of the person who took over.

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