Saturday, June 18, 2016

Grinds My Gears

Hey everyone!

I'm blogging again which is actually a surprise to me as I haven't used this in such a long time and yet twice in a week I'm using it to talk about serious topics. But hey, at least I'm blogging.

So I was recently incensed about this issue after I saw someone talking about how someone felt entitled to an author's work without pay and how they were trying to pirate and how "authors make enough money!" etc. and well all of that is horrible and not true.

But it did get me thinking about something I hate.

I'm going to turn my attention on reviewers - now hold the flaming torches and delay the lynch mob for just a second. This blog isn't directed at ALL reviewers because I have many, many friends who are reviewers and without them, we authors wouldn't gain as much traction as we do.

But there is a group of reviewers who get me all flustered (no, not the ones who give me bad reviews - I love you guys! You make me better :D) and those reviewers are the ones who I'm going to be talking about.

I'm sure most/all authors are familiar with the practice of giving a reviewer a novel, for free, in exchange for an honest review.

It's fairly common, after all, because buying a novel is like...taking a small gamble akin to playing the lottery. You could spend 0.99 to $5.99 on a book and can either hate it or really really love it to the point where the author becomes one of your new favorite authors. I.E. you waste money or hit the jackpot. So an author giving a reviewer a free novel in exchange for an honest review helps circumvent that a bit because they're not taking a chance / wasting anything on their part, they just gain a free novel they may love and it's the author who stands to gain/lose on that exchange.

Except, there are some people/reviewers who take the novel and agree to do an honest review yet...never do. And those are the ones who upset me.

I can understand if life happens/things come up, but I could always ping the author and say "yeah, I couldn't review this because so and so happened, etc."

But to simply agree to do something and then not do it (after getting something for free, mind you) just really grinds my gears.

As I said earlier - reviews are SUPER IMPORTANT to an author's success. Without reviews, a novel will probably not sell well because there's no word of mouth to help it reach people.

And there's a vast difference between "here, take this book and if you like it, review it!" vs. "here take this book in exchange for an honest review" the former, there's no obligation but the later, I feel like there is and I feel like not following through is kind of a crappy thing to do.

To all the reviewers that do your thing and review hundreds of books a month, keep your promises, and help authors everywhere soar because of your brilliant opinions - keep doing you and you guys are awesome. <3

I apologize in advance if this offends anyone but it's my honest opinion.

And with that, I bid you farewell!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Share Love

Hey friends.

This post is going to be a bit different and I'm not going to do my usual format.

I'm sure everyone knows the tragedy that happened recently in Orlando. Fifty brothers and sisters were lost and even more were hurt. It's such a terrible situation that I don't even know how to process it and I can't even begin to understand why someone would do such a horrible thing.

I've been told and I strongly feel that I've been gifted with a large capacity for empathy. As such, I find it hard to fathom how someone could just do such a thing. If it were me, I'd be thinking a thousand different thoughts like: "I wouldn't want to be hurt, so why would I hurt someone else?" or "I wouldn't want to lose a friend/brother/sister, so why would I cause someone else to lose their friend/brother/sister?" or "I'd hate to get a call that my child was killed, so why would I want to put someone else in that position?" etc. etc.

And it surprises me that these situations happen because it honestly feels like the person who did it either: (A) didn't think those things, or (B) didn't care. And I'm not sure which is worse.

The whole point of this blog post is that I've seen so many comments, posts, etc. about the tragedy and I think there's one important point that most are missing. Do not get angry. Do not hate.

I know that sounds odd, but let me finish.

Do not get angry - be upset, hurt, frustrated, etc. but do NOT get angry.

Do not hate - feel compassion, be worried, be understanding, etc. but do NOT hate.

If you let anger/hatred fill your soul you are only letting people like this win. People like this want to shake the foundation of life. They want you to become like them. They want you to stop loving, stop caring, stop feeling anything but what they feel which is anger and hatred. Do not give into that.

It's no secret that one of my favorite TV shows is Xena: Warrior Princess. At times like this I like to remember and reflect upon something Gabrielle said:

"There's only one way to end the cycle of violence and hatred, and it's through love and forgiveness."

And that's the honest truth of the matter. We can only prevent further events like this from happening when we continue to love with all of our hearts and share that love with everyone in our lives. The guy in question (I won't mention his name because I'd rather he be forgotten rather than immortalized for his horrible actions) hated himself for who/what he was. The scary thought is it could have been someone in your life. Someone in your life could have been the one to do such terrible things.

If you want to make a stand and make a change - just remember to love. I know it's hard during times like these, but please, don't forget to love and forgive.