Well, even though I should be writing my new novel, I've gotten sucked into reading all the debate on coziness and blogger book reviews. I wasn't going to comment on it, as I'm very late to the party and, hey, I don't review books. But as an author who has occasionally sent a review copy to book bloggers, I felt twinges of concern. I guess I'm part of the problem.
From what I'm gathering, there's worry that if an author sends a book directly to a book blogger that he/she is somehow inducing their way into a good review. This is such a concern that when BookBuds posted her ethics policy which initially stated that review copies come from Publishers; I immediately read it as: books will come from big non-personal publishers only, not friendly authors (which is not how Book Buds meant it). In a way it makes sense--it keeps business business and avoids possible personal contact with authors--it makes blog reviews more like print reviews. It's a policy that could not only help solve the the coziness issue, it would temper any expectations the author may have if they sent to a reviewr directly.
But, I've never thought because I personally mailed a book that I was entitled to a good review. Just like how if I am friends with editors, I don't expect them to publish everything I write. It's a business, some things work for people, some things don't.
All I really thought was, now I KNOW the reviewer will see the book. I completely understand if it's not liked there's probably not going to be a review. If you didn't like it and don't post a review on it, I'm fine with that. I wish you had liked it, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. All I wanted to do was give my book a chance.
And it is a chance I feel obligated to achieve for myself. Publicity people at publishers are busy. The books I write are not "lead list," Usually publicity does not have the time or concern to send my books to all the avenues that I see available. I've learned that if I really want something (a tour, a poster, a party), I should do it on my own. The truth is mid-list authors usually get lost next to the big names of the world. Book blogs have been a wonderful source for non-name authors to have their otherwise forgotten books recognized. If bloggers close their door to authors sending copies, it just becomes another division between the big and small. We know you will get a copy of Mo Willems' new book. Ours? Maybe, maybe not.
One of the things I love about book blogs is how they reveal hidden gems, books that I've never heard but sound fantastic. Will this fear of "coziness" lead to these gems remaining hidden?