Random Ramblings: Do my best interests count?

Posted March 12, 2018 by StaceyisSassy in Book Talk, Random Ramblings / 4 Comments

 

I’d be lying if I said I did it for my pleasure…

 

I’m back and I’m rambling along, singing my song…please bear with my ramblings as I will eventually get to the point.

I love reading and reviewing but for a while there I was doing it for others instead of myself.  Reading and writing reviews felt like it was my job…that I wasn’t getting paid for.  I was requesting books that would gain me more likes instead of picking books that I would enjoy.  My reviews were written with rose coloured glasses on.  I was looking for absolutely anything to make a book that I wouldn’t normally touch with a ten-foot pole, sounds even remotely interesting.  Not to say the books were bad, but they didn’t always suit MY style.  I wasn’t necessarily doing it for authors, though.  I was doing it so that the advanced copies didn’t dry up.  For some crazy reason, I thought my success was solely based on making that magical Approved ARC list.

 

My confidence would be shattered when I was rejected.

Maybe, I’m not good enough?  My acceptance is the book blogging world would be questioned if I didn’t like a particular author.  Maybe, I’m not cool enough?

There was a time when I would spend hours on my computer or device just checking my stats.  My likes would jump and drop depending on the day of the week.  If two people unliked me on the same day, it was the end of the world.  What did I do wrong?  Did I offend someone?  Maybe my reviews are boring?  I would knuckle down, try and produce interesting content and hope that those two people would come back.

A reader would compliment me on a review or thank me for sharing my thoughts and I would feel my hours dedicated to reviewing were justified.  It was a bit of a buzz.  But, then I needed another buzz.  I needed more ARCs, to read quicker and authors to see my reviews.  I flagged, tagged and notified my little heart out.  If I didn’t get likes or comments on a review I started to question where I went wrong and what I needed to change.

It was a never-ending cycle of highs and lows.

 

I’m not sure when it changed…

 

 

I couldn’t pinpoint exactly when it all started to come into focus but I think an ARC rejection finally pushed me over the edge.  Do you know what was the dawning light?

Money.

I could pay for the book I was begging for and I wasn’t obligated to anyone for anything.  If I didn’t like it I didn’t have to review it.  If I didn’t like it I could say whatever the hell I wanted whenever the hell I wanted.  There would be no holding off my negative review.  If I liked it a lot, I could spread the word far and wide without having to tag the promo company to prove I wrote a review.  I no longer had to suck up to anyone to get an ARC.  I didn’t feel obligated to like it, or guilty if I was late to post, or scared to have an opinion that wasn’t a mushy and gushy 5-star review.

If I paid for my book with my hard earned money or received an arc because the blurb, cover or author caught my eye, I can guarantee, you’re getting the real me in my review.  The time has gone where I feel I need to prove myself.  If you like my reviews great, if you don’t, that’s OK too.  I almost feel like I should re-review every book I read when I started blogging and see if I feel the same way.  Then again, my taste in reading has changed and my level of accepting near enough is good enough has gone.  I’m now reading for my pleasure.  Whether it be ARC or bought I’m only going to read what makes me happy…or sad…or angry…or horny.

 

So, what’s this post about…besides my ramblings?

 

Recently I wrote a post on Facebook about the Romance Package…

 

Dear Authors,

Should I keep my Audible Romance Package membership?

I’m really interested to know if authors want listeners to keep their membership? If they do, do they want listeners to spread the word in their reviews?

Some Twitter posts are telling members to back out. Do all authors feel this way?

I don’t want to support or promote something that’s bad for authors.

 

I had one response from a fellow reader and not a peep from authors.

To be honest, I was kind of hoping that an author would comment and make it OK to like the Romance Package.  See, the Romance Package has been awesome for me.  I’m listening to books that I’ve had on my – Want To Read – list forever.  I’m getting to try new to me authors.  There was an opportunity to listen to books that I read years ago and enjoying them again or laughing at how much my tastes have changed.  The Romance Package was worth every cent.  I was continuously surprised at the quality reads I was getting to experience.  I felt like all my reading/listening dreams had come true.

 

But, the bubble burst…

Rumours started flying that Amazon/Audible were short-changing authors/narrators and fixing them into long contracts with very little return.

I wanted to cry.  How could I keep my membership when every download felt like I was stealing?  If I did use my membership, would every download be a *bugger you, author/narrator, I’m not paying full price*?  Am I lining Amazon’s pockets instead of the authors and narrators?

Then, I stopped and thought about it.  I’m pretty sure that Amazon will only ever be looking out for their best interests.  I’m also pretty sure that most authors and narrators realise this before they sign the dotted line.  Nothing in life is free and it’s never easy.

Should I forsake my Romance Package because of rumours?  Is it my job to stamp my foot in protest and shake my placard at Amazon for not being upfront and clear to authors and narrators before they signed the contract?  Will cancelling my $Aus9.01 membership show Amazon who’s boss?  Can little ole me make a difference?

 

Is it bad that I don’t want to?

Should I feel guilty because I love the Romance Package?

It’s a great value package and I find it exciting to go exploring for new audios.  I’m satisfied with the variety and range of books and I know there will always be something new or different for me.  Maybe it’s time for me to look out for my best interests?

 

At this stage, I’m keeping it…

 

 

I’m looking out for me.  If an author was to comment on this post and confirm that the accusation was well founded, I may reevaluate my position.  My guess is that some authors may not earn enough from the Romance Package to cover the cost of making the audio.  My guess is that some authors have already covered the cost of making their audio and were hoping to regenerate interest in their titles.  So, maybe, the Romance Package is not the end of the world for some authors.  Maybe it’s just the end of the world for authors who thought that Amazon/Audible would do anything besides looking out for themselves.

Fingers crossed that by the time everyone reads this it was a useless post.  I would be STOKED to find out that authors and narrators are happy with the Romance Package and nobody is left disappointed.

 

These are just my random ramblings…

 

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4 responses to “Random Ramblings: Do my best interests count?

  1. Suz

    Of course you’re best interests count!
    Remember why we first started reviewing and blogging, it was all about having fun and debriefing with other like minded readers when we finished a book. You know if you say it’s a wee bit dark for you I’m going to snag it 🙂
    LIfe’s too short to not enjoy our relaxation time <3
    Happy Reading xx

  2. I love this, it’s like you have read my mind! I’m tired of trying to please ARC’s and I love KU (sorry instead of the romance package). Is it okay to discover new authors and not have some big weighty obligation that comes with it??? YES, YES, YES!!

    • I’m so glad it’s not just me. I’m paying to read so I’m looking for the best value and something that will suit my needs. I can’t believe I was choosing for any other reason for so long. I think as reviewers we do a better job if we’re giving it real…reviewing on the whole package. Price, quality and skill should be what our reviews are based on. How can we do that when we have unedited copies and don’t know what the price will be?

      Thank you so much for commenting. 🙂 <3

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